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Curry Shrimp & Grits

Anyone from the South has at least heard of, if not tried Shrimp & Grits, its a true Southern favorite. I've made a few versions of different flavors, but my most recent favorite is using the Indian spice "Curry". There are a number of Indian spices that I enjoy using in recipes such as; cumin, coriander, cardamon, and of course curry. According to Wikipedia, The common feature is the use of complex combinations of spices or herbs, usually including fresh or dried hot chillies. The recipe is quite simple & similar to most shrimp and grits recipes.

 

Ingredients                                                                            2-4 Servings
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 teaspoons of old bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping Cream
  • 1 cup quick-grits
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbs chopped chives or fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 tbs green onion chopped
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
Curry Shrimp & Grits

Curry Shrimp & Grits

 

DIRECTIONS

Bring chicken stock to a boil,  add cayenne, 2 tsp. of old bay & curry powder. Add quick grits and stir until water is absorbed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce to low heat, and stir in 4 tbs. butter, cheese, heavy cream, then stir until creamy, (add more cream if necessary)

Rinse shrimp and pat dry, then season with 1 tbs. of old bay seasoning, and set aside. Add 2 tbs. of butter in a skillet, minced garlic, then add shrimp, cook until shrimp are cooked thru; Then add 2 tbs. of heavy cream, saute 2-3mins and remove from heat...

Spoon grits into a serving dish. Add shrimp to top, along with sauce mixture…Use chives or parlsey to garnish, Serve immediately.

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Biscuits Baby

So I live in Texas, so basically Biscuits is just a part of my genetic background, I mean, I grew up eating biscuits for breakfast AND dinner, who didn't? My Aunt Edna made the best biscuits ever! We would literally stand around the kitchen or wait around in the very next room to get her biscuits hot out of the oven whenever she baked them. It was one of my favorite childhood memories. The recipe I use to bake biscuits has no secrets, no fancy techniques, just a super easy, home-made biscuit recipe.

One tip I will share is: ALWAYS use real unsalted butter & not that fake stuff like margarine. Always use Buttermilk and not whole milk, use a self-rising flour & sift it, I prefer using White Lily flour. When cutting the biscuits try not to twist your biscuit cutter through the dough, this technique helps keep the dough from breaking. When placing them on the sheets to bake or in the skillet (whichever you use to bake them in) be sure to place them closely to each other, this helps keep the moisture in when they start to rise.


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Cut!!!!

If you are familiar with being in the kitchen, then I'm sure you will agree when I say, having a great blade to chop onions, mince herbs, or to simple dice an heirloom tomato with, is essential! I recently became acquainted with a beautiful blade known as the Kitaoka Damascus Deba Knife. This handmade blade is about 200 milometers of beautiful Japanese steel with a wooden handle. When holding the Deba in your hand, your skin can actually feel and the Rosewood an Paaka Wood Ferrule which makes it easy to grip. The Deba knives are among the traditional Japanese knives & we all know the japanese makes some of the best steel. The Deba knife is close to a Chef's knife in appearance, and can be used to also chop meat. I use my Deba for almost everything in my kitchen, from slicing a grilled cheese sandwich in half, to fileting a fish, no job is too big or too small for my Deba.

If you are in the food business, or you're just someone who loves to cook & knows their way around the kitchen, I would say, getting your hands on a Deba knife has great rewards. Each time I share a photo on social media with this blade, I get rave questions, compliments, and admiration because, let's just face it, the Deba is a bit of eye candy to someone who loves a a great kitchen tool.

Finding this little Japanese beauty is quite easy, or at least one just like it. I've found a few sites that have them available. Of course you can pretty much find anything on www.ebay.com these days, but www.amazon.com is a sure way to have it at your door in two days for Amazon Prime members.

 


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Cajun Shrimp & Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients:


¾ lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 banana pepper chopped (do not remove seeds)
½ cup chopped sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste

½ cup heavy cream
3 tbsp olive oil
2½ tsp cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked white quinoa

1cup cooked red quinoa
¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup provolone
Fresh cilantro & green onion for garnish

Directions:


- Toss the shrimp and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning together, set aside.
- Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning, set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. 
- Cook the shrimp until opaque, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, jalapeño and garlic. 
- Cook until the onion and jalapeno are tender, stirring often. 
- Mix in the quinoa, tomato paste, ½ tsp Cajun seasoning and tomato chunks. 
- Top with the shrimp and then sprinkle with the fontina cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. 
- During the last 2 minutes, turn on the broiler to high and broil until the cheese is slightly brown and bubbly.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro & green peppers

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Agave Sriracha Sauce Recipe

Its football season & the fans have started pouring in the request for wings. I decided to share the recipe for this sauce because it was a hit! For this recipe I was preparing a pretty large portion for about 75-100 people. So the serving size is pretty large, you can always reduce the serving portion to fit your needs.

Prep Time 5-10 min.

Ingredients

8tbs unsalted butter

1/3 cup Agave

1/2 cup honey

4 cups Sriracha Sauce

1/4 cups Worcestershire sauce

2tbs fresh lime juice

2tbs fresh lemon juice

Directions

In a medium size bowl combine sriracha sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon & lime juices, and mix well & set aside. In a separate microwave safe bowl, combine butter, agave & honey. Place mixture in microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until you see the butter begin to melt. (For best results, slice butter into pieces before adding to the honey & agave.) Remove bowl from microwave. (butter may not be completely melted, stir mixture & butter will melt as you stir) Add the agave mixture to the sriracha sauce & mix.

Depending on how you prepared your wings (fried or baked) toss the wings in the sauce after they have been completely cooked. For added pleasure, I chopped up cilantro & use it to garnish the wings.

Sriracha Agave Wings

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My Roots On A Plate

In an intriguing conversation with a culinary student, I listened, as this student suggested how "southern food doesn't look appealing to the eye" and went on to say "it never looked dainty".... Initially I was shocked to hear a culinary student make these comments, but after thinking on the subject for some time, I began to understand their perspective.

 I grew up in East Texas, where my grandmother raised hens in her backyard accompanied with a full garden along side her home; so I certainly didn't grow up in a home where southern foods were "plated" either.  Thomas Keller can be quoted saying "A recipe has no soul, you as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe". I share similar sentiments of Keller's quote in regards to plating food.

As a cook, and often using food as my art, I often challenge myself to push the limits. I rarely search for excuses when I make mistakes, or when I encounter road blocks, or even after I have failed. Embracing my worse moments in search of what the experience can/will teach me has been my greatest reform.

For this post, I prepared and plated a dish that was often eaten and served in my home as a child, it was served to nourish our bodies & not necessarily "plated" to appeal to the eye; but that is no excuse for me to simply disregard the possibilities. The photo attached below is my first attempt to exquisitely plate southern food. In the next 60 days, I will be challenging myself to plate more southern meals at a higher level than what you see pictured here. My goal is to take note of my elevation during the process while capturing each photo, using each previous one as my muse to make the next dish exceptional. In the end, I hope to have learned new techniques, or how to combine new flavors with old southern traditions, and to also open myself to unlimited possibilities with food.

This is just the beginning, I hope you guys will stay tuned as I journey through my "Roots on a Plate". Please feel free to comment with ideas, suggestions, etc. I am always open to feedback.

Photo: Creamy Potato's, Oxtail, Spinach sautéed in Lobster Oil, Shallots & Sweet Red Peppers


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Whiskey Shrimp & Grits Recipe

Ingredients                                                                            2-4 Servings
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of old bay seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping Cream
  • 1 cup quick-grits
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbs brown whiskey
  • 2 tbs chopped chives (optional)
  • 1 tbs green onion chopped
  • 1 tbs minced red bell pepper
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced

 

DIRECTIONS

Bring chicken stock to a boil, add salt. Add grits and stir until water is absorbed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce to low heat, and stir in 4tbs butter, cheese, heavy cream, and 1tbs of old bay, then stir until creamy.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry, then season with 1tbs of old bay seasoning, and set aside. Add 2tbs of butter in a skillet, add green onion, minced garlic, red bell pepper, then add shrimp, cook until shrimp are cooked thru; Then add 2tbs of the Whiskey to shrimp (may flame with high heat), then add 2tbs of heavy cream, sauté 2-3mins and remove from heat...

Spoon grits into a serving dish. Add shrimp to top, along with sauce mixture…Use chives to garnish, Serve immediately.

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