Sweet and Spicy Honey Grilled Shrimp

It’s almost that time of year. Grilling season. Well technically, the weather has been so nice lately that some of you may have been grilling already. Some of you may have indoor grills (I definitely need one) Shrimp is a fabulous food to grill. Small, perfect for skewers and tons of flavor!

Sweet and Spicy Honey Grilled Shrimp

You know how much I like a little heat in a lot of my food and this is just the right amount of kick! You can always add a little more kick!

Ingredients

  • 2-2 1/2 lb. raw, shelled, de-veined shrimp. (Tiger Shrimp are great).
  • 1 tablespoon minced or pressed garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup hot chili garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili garlic paste
  • 1 cup  honey
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Skewers to thread shrimp
  1. Rinse shrimp in cold water and place in a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Combine garlic, ginger, both chili pastes, honey, lime juice, salt, pepper, and oil in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Set aside 1 cup of the marinade.
  3. Pour remaining mixture over shrimp and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours.
  4. When ready to cook, thread shrimp onto skewers.
  5. Preheat outdoor grill. This should really should be done outside because they get VERY smokey! When grill is hot, reduce heat to low and quickly place all skewers over the heat. Brush with reserved marinade. When they’ve cooked for 1 1/2-2 minutes, quickly flip them over and brush or drizzle with remaining marinade. Cook for another 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until opaque and pink.
  6. Remember, shrimp cook QUICKLY. You want to be careful not to overcook them.
  7. Remove skewers from grill and remove shrimp from skewers. Pile them on a plate, drizzle with any remaining reserved marinade, and squeeze the juice from a lime all over them.
  8. Serve with rice or french fries any of your other favorite sides!

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

¡Hola! ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! I love spanish cuisine! So today, how could I not post some delicious recipes! Cinco de Mayo is a perfect day to enjoy Mexican food, drinks and music. Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride,and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. But, contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is actually celebrated on September 16. Now you know!

Ok let’s dive right in. I was watching Food Network recently (I watch Food Network a lot as you know) and Chef Aarón Sanchez (he’s wonderful, I want to met him) was talking about traditional Mexican dishes and he mentioned carnitas. Carnitas, which literally means “little meats,” is a type of braised or roasted (often after first being fried) pork in Mexican cuisine. Sooooo yummy! So here is a delicious and simple carnitas recipes served as a little taco!

Carnitas

This recipe takes a while! But it is worth it in the end! Serve with plantain chips, and your favorite Cinco de Mayo drink!

via Simple Recipes

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds boned pork shoulder, cut into large cubes (you want to try to remove as much fat as possible)
  • 1 quart gluten free beef broth
  • 2 cups chunky tomato salsa (I like it hot but not everyone does. You can always add heat using hot sauce)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • 2 cups fresh tomato salsa (pico de gallo)
  • 16-24 corn tortillas (make sure they are gluten free corn tortillas, some corn tortillas are not gluten free)
  • Vegan butter (Earth Balance) just a little to soften the tortillas
  • Grated lettuce
  • Vinegar
  1. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine pork, broth, and salsa. Add enough water to completely cover the meat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 3 to 4 hours (or longer) until meat pulls apart easily. Add salt to taste. You want your meat to taste good! That’s the most important part of the dish!
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Remove meat from liquid in pot (discard the liquid) and spread the meat out in a roasting pan. Break the meat into small chunks. Roast meat for 15 to 20 minutes until brown and crispy.
  3. Heat the tortillas one-by-one either in a a hot skillet. Use a little butter or oil to help soften them. When air pockets form in the tortillas they are ready. Keep warm tortillas wrapped in a clean cloth towel for serving.
  4. Dress your lettuce by lightly salting it and sprinkling it with vinegar. Set aside.
  5. To serve, double up the tortillas and place a few spoonfuls of the carnitas on them. Top with salsa. Serve with grated lettuce.
  6. To eat, remove half of the carnitas from one tortilla to another. Take one tortilla at a time with the carnitas and salsa, fold it over and enjoy. Or, keep them doubled up.

You can also serve the carnitas with beans, or grated cheese. Your choice! 

ENJOY!!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Easy Garlic Chicken

Looking for a quick dinner recipe that your friends and family will enjoy? This chicken has a touch of sweetness that is sure to please with ease.

Easy Garlic Chicken

These chicken breast get a touch of sweetness with a touch of brown sugar. Serve with white rice (or brown) and your favorite sides for a great dinner that doesn’t require a lot of kitchen time!

Via Food.com

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (drumsticks work well too- use your favorite piece of chicken)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
  4. Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. (You can always add more after your chicken has cooked. It is very easy to over salt and pepper any dish so be careful. Salt lightly and then if you need more, add it)
  6. Bake uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes.

Didn’t I still you it was easy! This dish would go great along side Garlicky Baked French Fries! 

ENJOY!!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Almost Famous Barbecue Chicken Pizza

California Pizza Kitchen is DELICIOUS! At Quinnipiac, I had CPK for the first time and I had the Barbecue Chicken Pizza. Yum! Well since becoming gluten free, I haven’t been able to enjoy CPK. But thanks to the Food Network Kitchens, I can recreate the CPK deliciousness in my own kitchen! (with a little adaptation of course!)

Almost Famous Barbecue Chicken Pizza 

CPK taste right in your own kitchen!

Adapted from Food Network.com

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Prepared gluten free pizza crust, at room temperature (Udi’s has a great pizza crust or use your favorite or make your own!)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten free barbecue sauce
  • 1 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated Daiya mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, for topping
  1. Position racks in the upper third and middle of the oven. Place an inverted baking sheet on the top rack and preheat the oven to the appropriate temperature according to your pizza crust.
  2. Mix 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small bowl. Put the chicken in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper and brush with the barbecue sauce mixture. Bake on the middle oven rack until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
  3. Cover the crust with with the remaining 1/3 cup barbecue sauce, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Top with the chicken, mozzarella and red onion. Slide the pizza (on the parchment) onto a pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet, then slide onto the baking sheet; bake until the cheese melts and the crust is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.

ENJOY!

Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce

One thing I have been missing since becoming gluten free/dairy free is baked ziti! Finally, one of my sorority sisters and fellow gluten free dairy free girl told me about this great cheese from Daiya Foods and I knew my time to make my own baked ziti had come!

Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ziti pasta (rice pasta is my favorite – great taste and texture)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or basil), minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt to taste
  • 1 large jar of marinara sauce (about 32 ounces)
  • 1/2 pound of Daiya mozzarella cheese (or a little more if you like it really cheesy!)
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a strong boil. Add about a tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water. Add the pasta and boil, uncovered, until the pasta is a little less than al dente—Rice pasta can be tricky sometimes.The trick to making this dish really good is to avoid over cooking the pasta. It should be cooked even LESS than al dente and still too tough to eat. Take a few minutes off the cooking time that your rice pasta says. Drain the pasta through a colander. Toss with a little olive oil so the pasta does not stick together while you make the sauce.
  2. Pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a large sauté pan on medium-high to heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef. Brown well. Don’t stir that often or it will be more difficult for the meat to brown properly. Add a little salt.
  3. When the meat is mostly browned, add the onions and stir well to combine. Sauté everything until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary or basil, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cook 1 minute, then add the tomato sauce and stir well. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole pan, then sprinkle the surface with some of the Daiya mozzarella cheese. Ladle in some sauce with the pasta, mix it well and add the pasta into the casserole.
  5. Pour the rest of the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle on top the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven until the top is nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

YAY!! I can enjoy Baked Ziti again!! Serve with some broccoli and ENJOY!! :)

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Almost Famous Mongolian Beef

I have talked about my love of P.F. Chang’s. I could eat there everyday if I could. They have a great gluten free menu! But unfortunately I can’t eat there everyday. But I CAN make my own version of their delicious Mongolian Beef! (which is a part of their gluten free menu!)

Almost Famous Mongolian Beef 

Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup gluten free soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • vegetable oil , for frying (about 1 cup)
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions, chopped

For the Sauce:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat.  Don’t get the oil too hot.
  2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then increase the heat to medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

For the Beef:

  1. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick bite-size slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts.
  2. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef.  Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  3. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it’s nice and hot, but not smoking.
  4. Add the beef to the oil and sauté until brown. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.  After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels.
  5. Dab excess oil off meat with a paper towel and add to medium saucepan with the sauce in it.  Put the pan back on the oven over medium/low heat.  Add chopped green onions and let sauce simmer until warm.
  6. Serve over white rice or with delicious fried rice!

Even though I can make this at home, I’ll still be heading to P.F. Chang’s often!

ENJOY!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Potato and Sage Fritters with Lemon Aioli

Potato and Sage Fritters with Lemon Aioli 

Light potato fritters with a lemony sauce perfect to serve for a St.Patrick’s Day party appetizer!

Ingredients

For the Fritters

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 package regular active dry yeast
  • 1 lb fresh russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
For the Lemon Aioli
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. In small bowl, mix warm water, 2 tablespoons flour and the yeast. Stir; let stand in warm place about 30 minutes or until small bubbles form.
  2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix aioli ingredients. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. In 3-quart saucepan, cover potatoes with water; lightly salt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook potatoes about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; mash potatoes with fork. Cool about 10 minutes.
  4. In small bowl, beat eggs and olive oil with whisk; stir in salt, pepper, lemon peel and sage. Set aside.
  5. In large bowl, mix mashed potatoes with yeast mixture and 2 cups flour. Stir in egg mixture until well blended. Cover with towel and set in warm place about 1 1/2 hours or until potato mixture is double in size.
  6. In deep fryer or 4-quart Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil (2 to 3 inches) to 350°F. Drop potato mixture by tablespoonfuls into hot oil. Fry 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels; serve warm with aioli.

Love perfect party appetizers like this!

Baked Basil Fries

We’ve got our sweets for St. Patrick’s Day. We have our Irish Soda Bread. But I feel like we are missing something. Maybe a potato recipe? Of course! These baked french fries have some basil for that touch of green that you can’t leave out on St. Patrick’s Day. Plus they are baked so they are better for you! Preheat that oven and let’s get to it!

Baked Basil Fries 

Ingredients

  • 2 lb fresh russet potatoes (about 2 large)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
  3. In medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Toss potatoes with mixture.
  4. Spray foil with cooking spray. Place potatoes on cookie sheet in single layer. Bake 15 minutes; turn potatoes, and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until tender.

French fries are so easy, delicious and the perfect lunch or dinner side. Eat by themselves or your favorite dipping sauce.

ENJOY! :D