Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts

Monday, November 28, 2016

Shrimp Scampi Muffins #MuffinMonday

Garlicky, spicy and full of shrimp! Savory shrimp scampi muffins are perfect lunch box food. They are great cold or you can rewarm them briefly in a microwave. Or make them in mini muffin pans for a quick and easy appetizer for your holiday party.

First, my apologies for the lack of photos for the steps where we cook the shrimp. The truth is, we had shrimp scampi for dinner on Saturday night so I actually cooked about three times the amounts below, with way more butter.

It was a simple meal with crusty French bread for sopping up all the lovely garlickly sauce and a fresh salad to counterbalance the rich shrimp dish. The treble amount was a deliberate choice because I knew I wanted to make muffins with the leftovers. Savory muffins are my favorites and it has been a couple of months since I made some. Hope you like them too!

For the shrimp:
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh red chili, minced
1/8 cup or 30ml dry white wine
8 large shrimp (After cooking, about 1 cup, chopped roughly or 150g)
Good handful flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
Salt to taste

For the muffins:
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/3 cup or 80ml canola or other light oil
1 egg
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or lining it with paper baking cups.

Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and add the garlic and chopped chili. Sauté them gently until the garlic just starts to color and add in the white wine.

Now add the shrimp. Cook for a few minutes, covered, until the shrimp are cooked though. Add the parsley, stir and remove from the heat. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together your milk, egg and oil.

In a larger bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pepper and salt.

Chop your shrimp in big pieces and mix them into the dry ingredients.

Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Divide the batter between your 12 muffin cups.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Check out all the great muffins my Muffin Monday group is sharing today!

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Brie Cranberry Turkey Quesadillas

Brie Cranberry Turkey Quesadillas use up the leftover bits of your cheese board, a little of that cranberry sauce and some sliced up turkey to create a whole new dish for the days after Thanksgiving or Christmas.

For many years my in-laws hosted a New Year’s Day recovery open house where they served vast pots of turkey soup made from the donated carcasses of all of their friends’ Christmas turkeys. Isn’t that a brilliant idea? All afternoon their friends would come by for some restorative soup and a drink or two to welcome in the New Year.

My go-to recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas leftovers is turkey potpie. I make the filling every year from scratch, the recipe always in flux depending on the leftovers. I finally got around to trying to quantify the amounts when a reader requested it a few years back. Check it out here. The filling is super easy and I top it with store-bought puff pastry, which makes the whole thing a doddle, as my British friends would say.

This year I wanted to try something a little bit different and decided on quesadillas which incorporate the typical leftovers from my cheeseboard as well. There always seems to be a wedge of Brie, but you can surely use whatever cheese you've got. I can’t give exact amounts since you’ll make as many as your leftovers will allow but I’ll try to approximate how much I used for each quesadilla.

If you struggle with the leftover blues, make sure to scroll down to see all the great ideas my Sunday Supper friends are sharing this week.

Ingredients per quesadilla
2 fresh flour tortillas – I used mixed grain
4-5 slices Brie
5-6 teaspoons whole cranberry sauce
2-3 slices turkey

Put 2-3 teaspoons of cranberry sauce dotted around on one tortilla. Break the Brie and turkey slices into smaller pieces and arrange them on top of the cranberry sauce.

Finish with a few more spoons of cranberry sauce. Put the other tortilla on top and press down lightly to stick it all together.

Warm the quesadilla on a griddle or a non-stick pan for a few minutes over a medium heat, waiting to turn it to the other side when the Brie has melted a bit and can act as a “glue” to hold the tortillas together.

Carefully turn the quesadilla over and brown on the other side, cooking for just a minute or two more, until the filling is warmed through.

Remove from the griddle and leave to cool for a few minutes before cutting the quesadillas into quarters (or smaller) with a sharp knife or pizza wheel. Serve with extra cranberry sauce if you have enough left over.


Many thanks to this week's host, Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures and our event manager, Cricket of Cricket's Confections. We've got nearly 30 outstanding ideas for transforming your holiday leftovers.







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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Spring Onion Pancakes #FoodieExtravaganza

Flakey, light and tasty, these reduced oil spring onion pancakes are a crispy delight, dipped in a spicy, salty sauce.

Pancakes. Growing up this meant one thing. An ever-so-slightly sweet batter cooked to golden perfection on a buttered griddle pan, then slathered with more butter and syrup. Then I learned that if you are in the UK and order pancakes, you’ll get what I would call crepes. These are made with a much thinner batter and are properly eaten with a sprinkling of sugar and a good squeeze of lemon. In our family, my husband is the crepe master and our girls like to eat his special crepes with lemon, sugar AND some chocolate syrup.

I was just about grown up when I met my first Chinese pancake, which really isn’t related, except by shape, to either of the other two. Spring onion pancakes start out as a dough. There are no leavening agents, just some oil between the layers that makes them puff up and gives them their flakey texture.

Typically, spring onion pancakes can be a bit oily. After all, they are supposed to be shallow fried, plus the dough’s been oiled to make it separate into flaky layers. It may not be traditional, but at our house, we like my way better, which is to use a non-stick skillet, and just a little bit of oil to still get the necessary crunch.

For the pancakes:
2 1/3 cups or 290g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup or 156ml lukewarm water
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light vegetable oil
1/2 cup or 25g spring onions, minced

For the spicy dipping sauce:
1/3 cup or 80ml light soy sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon kecap manis or sweet dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions or chives
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 small red chili pepper, sliced

Sift your flour into a large bowl, along with the salt. Make a well in the center and add in your lukewarm water.

Start on the inside of the well and gradually mix the flour into the water until it is all absorbed.

It looks quite dry but turn it out onto a clean work surface and knead it all together until you have a smooth stretchy dough.

Put the dough ball back into the bowl and pour over the 1/4 cup or 60ml of oil. Turn the ball to coat and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave to rest for one hour.

While the dough rests, make the dipping sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

When the hour is up, remove the dough ball from the oil and set the bowl aside. We are going to use that oil to cook the pancakes, so don’t toss it out.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces, cutting them with a sharp knife, then using your hands to rub the oil around each piece.

Use a rolling pin to roll each piece out into a circle of 6 in or 15cm. Sprinkle on the chopped green onions.

Roll the circle into a tube.

Starting at one end, roll the tube up into a spiral, tucking the end of the tube under. Press down on the spiral with the palm of your hand to secure the end.

Now use the rolling pin to roll the spiral into a circle of 6 in or 15cm. Set each aside on a lined baking sheet. Repeat till all of the pancakes are rolled out.

To cook the pancakes, heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over a medium heat and use your spatula to drip just a little of the oil from the dough resting bowl into the pan.
Cook each pancake for a couple of minutes on one side, watching carefully as it puffs up and gets golden spots on the underside.

Flip the pancakes and cook on the other side for another minute or two, until they puff again and have brown spots on that side. Keep the pancakes warm as you repeat the process until all of them are cooked.

Purists say you have to tear the pancakes and dip small bites into the sauce because cutting them flattens the flakiness. I’ve been served them whole or cut in many Chinese restaurants though, so do what makes you happy.

Do serve the spring onion pancakes warm, with the dipping sauce.


Are you a lover of pancakes? Then this month’s Foodie Extravaganza event is going to be your favorite! We’ve got all sorts of pancakes, both sweet and savory for you. Many thanks to Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking for hosting this month!

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Bacon-wrapped Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers

Bacon-wrapped Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers are made with four of my favorite things: spicy jalapeños, sharp cheese, pan-fried shrimp and bacon. They are super easy to put together and bake up crispy in the oven. Make them ahead of time and bake when you are ready to serve.

My grocery stores here in Dubai are hit or miss when it comes to some ingredients. All year-round we can find the little red chili peppers that are often used in Asian cooking but habaneros and jalapeños turn up less frequently. I’ve learned over the last almost four years of living here to take advantage, and quickly, when I see those two.

I make my own habanero sauce that we eat on just about everything so I buy the peppers, remove the stems and wash them immediately. Then I freeze them in a Ziploc bag until I am ready to make sauce. Making habanero sauce requires weather cool enough to open the windows and doors to let some fresh air in and that won’t happen here until a little later in the year.

When decent-sized jalapeños appear, I make poppers. Traditional jalapeño poppers are filled with cheese, breaded and deep-fried but for many years, I’ve been either breading and baking mine, or wrapping them in bacon and baking them. Either way makes a fabulous, delicious jalapeño popper.

I’ve been on kind of a shrimp kick lately, with last week’s bacon-wrapped spicy baked shrimp and spicy salmon shrimp burgers on this blog and, even today, make sure you check out my Cucumber Shrimp Cups on the Sunday Supper Movement website. They are pretty and tasty!

When there were jalapeños in my local grocery store and Sunday Supper announced a football food theme, I knew what I had to do! Add shrimp to my bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers as well. Best decision ever! If you are gearing up for football season, you'll want to make these and possibly everything else on the list below. Let the games begin!

24 medium shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz or 100g cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 oz or 100g extra sharp cheddar, grated
2 cloves garlic, garlic pressed or very finely minced
12 fresh jalapeños
12 slices streaky bacon

Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C.

Heat a skillet and drizzle in the olive oil. Quickly cook the shrimp for a few minutes, sprinkling them with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise. I like to cut carefully through the stem as well so each half still looks like it has a stem.

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and membranes. If you don’t like things too spicy, you can discard these. I like to add them to the cheese filling.

Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic and salt. Chop the membranes of the jalapeños and add them in along with the seeds, if desired. Give the whole bowl a few good grinds of black pepper and mix again.

Fill the jalapeño halves with the cheese mixture. Top them with a shrimp each. Cut the bacon slices in two and wrap one around each shrimp topped jalapeño popper.  Secure the bacon with a toothpick.

Set them in a baking pan.

Bake for 20 minutes in your preheated oven or until bacon is crispy and cheese is turning golden as well.


Many thanks to our host today, Coleen of The Redhead Baker and our event manager, Shelby of Grumpy's Honeybunch. How I wish I could get together with all my Sunday Supper friends to watch football. Who am I kidding? I really just want to eat all these fabulous dishes!

Main Dishes
Side Dishes

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Spicy Bacon-wrapped Shrimp

These spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp will disappear so quickly that you might want to make a double batch. Serve them with some spicy bacon mayo for extra oomph.

I’m not going to give you a big song and dance story today about me and my avid relationship with bacon because no one should have to wait for bacon! My love of bacon has been fairly well documented, to the point that friends and family often send me links to bacon recipes or bacon roses, for which I am grateful. When I read that bacon was chosen as this week’s Sunday Supper theme, I sat down and wrote a list of possible recipes I’d like to share. SO MANY CHOICES. Then I headed to the grocery store.

My list went out the window when I came across the shrimp. Large and luscious, they cried out to be wrapped in bacon! Because my brain works in mysterious ways, I was already picturing them all lined up and skewered so they'd remain upright and their tails would curl up in the oven, creating the perfect little handles with which to eat them.

And so it was.

For the bacon-wrapped shrimp:
22 large shrimp – about 1.15kg or 2 1/2 lbs - before cleaning and peeling
1 lb or 450g bacon (normal, not thick cut)
3-4 hot chili peppers, cut into thin strips
Small handful chives, cut into pieces about the length of your shrimp

Extra equipment: wooden skewers

For the spicy bacon mayo dipping sauce:
1/2 cup or 125g mayonnaise
1 tablespoon bacon/shrimp drippings from baking pan
1 small clove garlic, grated finely
1 teaspoon or more hot sauce
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C.

Peel and clean all the shrimp but leave the tails on.

Use a sharp knife to split the thick part of the shrimp so that they are open enough to put in one or two strips of pepper (depending on your heat threshold) and a couple of pieces of chive.

Cut the bacon slices in half.

Wrap one half bacon slice around each shrimp and secure it with a wooden skewer, cut side up.

Continue wrapping and skewering all the shrimp, cut side up, making sure to leave space between the shrimp.

Place the shrimp in one or more ovenproof pans. The tails should have enough space to curl up as the shrimp cook, creating the little handles I imagined.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crunchy looking.

When the spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp are done, whisk together all the dipping sauce ingredients.

Serve with warm shrimp.


Many thanks to our event manager, Shelby of Grumpy’s Honeybunch and Erica of The Crumby Cupcake for all of their hard work behind the scenes. Check out all the wonderful bacon recipes my Sunday Supper group are sharing today!

Bacon in Appetizers
Bacon in Beverages
Bacon for Breakfast
Bacon for Lunch
Bacon for Dinner
Bacon as a Side Dish
Bacon for Dessert

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Grilled Corn Ravioli Caprese Salad

Nothing shouts summer like a Caprese salad with lovely deep red, vine-ripened tomatoes, except perhaps a grilled corn ravioli Caprese salad. The smokey sweet corn adds more summer sunshine and the ravioli make this tasty dish more filling.

I love corn on the cob cooked anyhow you’d like to cook it. Boiled, steamed, grilled, roasted - love them all. I could cook a pot of fresh corn on the cob and eat the whole thing and call it a meal, no other dishes necessary. But for this week’s Sunday Supper theme of summer corn, that hardly sounded like a recipe worth sharing.

Cook corn on the cob.
Slather with butter.
Sprinkle with salt.

So I had to get creative. Inspiration struck when I came across a package of fresh Italian ravioli called Girasole or sunflowers. They were shaped like flowers, the outside pasta cut like tiny petals, and were filled with tomato, mozzarella and olives. They would be perfect for adding to a Caprese salad, topped with grilled sweet corn! You can certainly use whatever ravioli you have available, though I'd avoid ones with meat or seafood if you are serving this at room temperature and need to leave it unrefrigerated for a while.

Grilled Corn Ravioli Caprese Salad

Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Stacy Rushton
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Vine-ripened tomatoes layered with ravioli, fresh mozzarella and basil, then topped with grilled sweet corn. Like summer should always be.

  • 1 package - about 9 oz or 250g fresh ravioli
  • 4-5 ripe summer tomatoes
  • 2 small ears sweet corn on the cob
  • 9 oz or 250g fresh mozzarella
  • small bunch fresh basil
  • sea salt for salad plus more for water to boil ravioli
  • black pepper
  • good extra virgin olive oil
Boil the ravioli according to package instructions, in salted water. Drain and cover with a damp cloth to keep the ravioli from drying out. If you are a perfectionist - as I can be sometimes - count the ravioli. Now you know how many slices to cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into to make it all come out even.

Grill the corn on grill pan over a medium high heat until it has lovely grill marks all over. Turn every couple of minutes till done. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When the cobs are cool enough to handle, cut the niblets off with a sharp knife.

Slice your tomatoes and your mozzarella. (See comment on ravioli above.)

Pick the leaves off of the basil and discard the stalks. Set aside the smallest ones for garnish and cut any large ones in two.

On a large platter, start arranging your salad: ravioli, mozzarella, tomato, basil. Repeat until you have used up all of your ingredients.

Sprinkle on the corn and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Give the whole salad a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle on the remaining basil.


If you love sweet summer corn, you are going to love the line up my Sunday Supper family has for you today! Many thanks to Ellen from Family Around the Table who is our host this week, and our event manager, Renee of Renee's Kitchen Adventures.

Breakfast and Salads
Side Dishes
Main Dishes