Crab And Corn Wontons

Happy August!  Posting on the run today.  We are currently on vacation at the beach with all my husband’s family. He’s the youngest of five kids, so we took over not one, but two beach houses!

 

I love the crispness of wontons, but am not a huge fan of some of the fillings that I’ve had at restaurants.  I wanted a wonton that had a light, summery filling.  So I used many of the same ingredients that go into crab cakes, and created these tasty nuggets.  Personally, I love wontons fried, but they also taste great baked, if you want a healthier version.

original recipe

Crab And Corn Wontons

Yield: 30 wontons

Crab And Corn Wontons

Ingredients

Filling
8 oz. crabmeat
⅓ c cooked corn kernels (about 1 ear if using fresh corn)
2 Tbs mayonnaise
½ Tbs dijon mustard
2 Tbs green onion, light and dark green parts finely chopped
½ Tbs chopped cilantro
2 Tbs lemon juice
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
Assembly
30 small wonton wrappers
Oil for Frying

Instructions

  1. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Make an assembling station by laying out the filling mixture, a small bowl of water, the wonton wrappers, a baking sheet, and a damp towel. Keep wonton wrappers covered with the damp towel.
  3. Place about 1 ½ tsp of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Wet the edges of the wonton wrapper with the water from the bowl. Crimp the edges closed and press to seal. Place completed wonton on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
  4. Pour oil into a pot to create a 1-inch depth. Heat oil to 350°F. Fry wontons, five at a time, until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Remove wontons with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat until all wontons are fried.

Notes

to bake: preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Space wontons on a baking sheet so they don't touch. Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes.

http://kokocooks.com/2014/08/crab-and-corn-wontons/

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Beer Steamed Mussels

My husband recently scrolled through my Instagram feed, just because.  He commented, “You post a lot of pictures of mussels.”  Really?!  Personally, I think I post way more pictures of cupcakes, macarons, and donuts – you know, three of the main food groups.  But I can’t deny that mussles are one of my favorite foods.  And they’re so visually stunning; I can’t help posting a picture whenever I eat them.

I always associate mussels with Belgium.  They are one of the national foods of the country, along with waffles (waffels), chocolate, and beer.  So, it made sense to me to cook them in a good Belgian brew.  The onion, bacon, and tarragon all complement the beer, and of course you need some crusty bread to sop up all the lovely juices.

original recipe

Beer Steamed Mussels

Serving Size: 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main dish

Beer Steamed Mussels

Ingredients

2 slices bacon
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
¾ c beer
2 lbs mussels, cleaned and debearded
Chopped tarragon
Serve with
Baguette

Instructions

  1. Brown the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, cut chop it into small pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, add the sliced onion to the pot. Cook until onions have begun to caramelize, stirring every few minutes. Add beer and bring to a boil. Carefully add the mussels. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let steam until mussels have opened, about 10 minutes. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
  3. Sprinkle bacon bits and chopped tarragon over the mussels before serving.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/beer-steamed-mussels/

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Grilled Peach And Brie Sandwich

Last summer, I made a decision to improve my grilling skills.  I dodged the daily downpours and grilled something nearly every day.  The discovery of the summer was that celery tasted great when grilled.  This summer, I dusted off the grill, got back into it.  Peaches and pineapple are my foods of choice this summer.

This sandwich name may be a bit misleading.  It’s not a grilled cheese sandwich with peaches and brie.  Rather, it is a sandwich of grilled peaches and combined with brie.  I suppose you could heat the sandwich up after assembling it.  The brie would get all gooey and melty, which sounds delicious as well!

original recipe

Grilled Peach And Brie Sandwich

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Grilled Peach And Brie Sandwich

Ingredients

1 peach, pitted and sliced into eighths
1 tsp olive oil
4 slices bread
Lettuce leaves
3 oz. brie, thinly sliced
Chopped, fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill. Toss peach slices and olive oil in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt.
  2. Place peach slices on grill and cook until the surface of the peaches begins to caramelize, about 4 minutes per side. Toast bread on the grill, if desired.
  3. Assemble sandwiches: layer lettuce, brie, and peaches on two pieces of bread. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Top with remaining slices of bread.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/grilled-peach-and-brie-sandwich/

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Toasted Marshmallow Shake

The first time I had a toasted marshmallow shake was when I was six months pregnant.  Joey and I were visiting my sister in Washington, D.C. and had been trudging all around the mall looking at landmarks.  We hiked over the hill and found Good Stuff Eatery, where we chowed down on burgers, fries, and shakes.  Oh the shakes.  After walking around in ninety degree weather, that marshmallowy shake was heaven.

There are several things to love about this shake.  First, it’s super easy to make.  Three ingredients.  Boom.  Next, you get to toast lots of marshmallows.  The more toasted they get, the better.   Then, the shake gets interspersed with teeny bits of squishy marshmallow, which are easily sucked up through the straw.  And lastly, you can make s’mores with all the leftover marshmallows.

If you’re in the mood for more shakes, check out my other two recipes:

Pistachio Cookies and Cream Shake

Nutella Shake

Still in the mood for more?  Below are a list of other contributors to #MilkshakeWeek.  Special thanks to Julie and Lindsey for organizing this week, and for putting together an awesome giveaway!

original recipe

Toasted Marshmallow Shake

Yield: 1

Toasted Marshmallow Shake

Ingredients

½ c milk
3-4 scoops vanilla ice cream (depending on how thick you like your shake)
12 marshmallows, well toasted

Instructions

  1. Combine milk, ice cream, and 10 of the marshmallows in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Top with remaining marshmallows.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/toasted-marshmallow-shake/

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Pistachio Cookies and Cream Milkshake

It’s #MilkshakeWeek on the internet!  So declared Lindsey and Julie.  What better way to cool off this summer than with a frozen, portable drink?  As with any event, there is a fun giveaway.  Need a new blender to make more frozen treats?  Well, click here or here see how you can win a brand new blender and a set of vintage milk bottles (perfect for toting around more shakes!)

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I missed Monday’s round up, but got my act together in time for today’s list.  I love  blending stuff into my frozen concoctions.  Just take a look at some of the ice cream flavors I’ve made.  I couldn’t make just a pistachio shake.  No, I had to mix other stuff into it – in this case, some Oreo cookies.  It looks like a typical mint chocolate chip shake, but has that wonderful nutty pistachio flavor.

Check out the other recipes that have posted today in honor of Milkshake Week! Looks like my blender is going to get a lot of use.

original recipe

Pistachio Cookies and Cream Milkshake

Yield: 2

Pistachio Cookies and Cream Milkshake

note: color of the milkshake will vary depending on the brand of ice cream you use.

Ingredients

¾ c milk
2 Tbs pistachio pudding mix
8 scoops pistachio ice cream
4 chocolate cookies (like Oreos)
Whipped cream
Chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. Blend milk and pudding mix in a blender until well combined. Add in the ice cream and three of the chocolate cookies, breaking them up before throwing them in. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour into two tall glasses. Top with whipped cream and pistachios. Crumble the remaining cookie and sprinkle on top.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/pistachio-cookies-and-cream-shake/

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Weeknight Red Beans And Rice

A few months ago, my husband Joey had to get surgery.  Major surgery.  The night before Easter he was doubled over with cramps, so he went in to the emergency room.  The scar tissue from an earlier surgery had caused a section of his small intestine to constrict to a 1 mm diameter, food to block up behind it. So, few inches of intestine had to get removed.  The operation was on Tuesday, and thankfully he was home by Saturday.  This year continued our streak of very unlucky Easter holidays. Oh, and this also happened during one of my busiest weeks ever.  Yay, me!

Joey’s recovery was steady but slow.  He wasn’t able to play trombone for a good two weeks, and it was another month of very incremental work before he could play at his normal strength.  His abdomen muscles are still repairing.  But now he can eat without chewing everything a hundred times each, and without having to poke the side of his torso to push the food through his intestines, and without getting a blockage every eight months or so.

Diet-wise, high fiber foods are helping him get back on track, which is why he loves this red bean and rice recipe.  He requests it at least once a week.  It’s become our Sunday lunch staple.  You can prep the ingredients as you cook, and the meal takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, and it tastes like it’s been simmering all day.

original recipe

Weeknight Red Beans And Rice

Yield: 4

Weeknight Red Beans And Rice

Ingredients

14 oz andouille or smoked sausage
1 large white onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz. cans small red beans
3 dried bay leaves
½ tsp dried thyme
3 c cooked rice

Instructions

  1. Slice andouille into ¼” inch thick rounds (if using smoked sausage, cut lengthwise and then slice.) Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and brown on both sides. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate. Add onion, celery, and garlic to the pot and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add sausage back to the pot along with the beans, bay leaves, thyme, and ¼ c water. Bring to a light boil, stirring the bottom of the pot to lift off all the browned bits. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes. Serve over rice.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/weeknight-red-beans-and-rice/

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Happy Fourth of July!

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Apple Pie Banana Split

Sometimes, I forget the beautiful simplicity of vanilla ice cream.  My favorite flavors usually are chocolate based, with lots of yummy stuff mixed in.  Even the ice cream recipes that I’ve posted usually have two (or more) added ingredients to make a unique flavor.  But any other flavor than vanilla would distract from the other components of this sundae.

The dessert is like apple pie a la mode, but with a quarter of the effort.  The first bite I took of it I exclaimed, “holy c**p, this is good!”  My son kept pestering me because I didn’t want to share.  And one word of advice: don’t skip the pie crust!  Even if you’re not comfortable with making your own, use a pre-made roll out one.  It’s so worth the extra step.

P.S.  Wondering what’s written on the spoon?  Get a better view of it here.

original recipe

Apple Pie Banana Split

Yield: 2

Apple Pie Banana Split

Ingredients

For the topping
2 medium apples (I prefer Macintosh or Rome), peeled, cored and cut into ¼” slices
3 Tbs sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
½ tsp fresh lemon zest
1 tsp flour
2 Tbs water
For the banana split
Pastry dough for one pie (use roll out type or homemade)
2 bananas, peeled
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream
Caramel sauce

Instructions

  1. Stir together the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, and flour in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Add water and bring to a gentle boil. Keep cooking mixture for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apple slices have cooked through.
  2. While the apples cook, roll dough on baking sheet to ¼” thickness. If using a premade crust, simply unroll it onto the baking sheet. Bake at 375°F until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then cut crust into desired shapes for the dessert.
  3. To assemble the sundae, split each banana in half lengthwise and lay each in the bottom of a dish. Layer with three scoops of vanilla ice cream. Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and the pie crust pieces.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/apple-pie-banana-split/

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Cherry Vodka Limeade

 

I frequently get asked, “How do you manage to do all that you do?”  My glib answer is usually, “Well when something’s gotta give, it’s usually house work.”  Which is totally true.  When things get busy, stuff like laundry, dishes, and keeping the house looking decent fall way down on the priority list.  In March, I added another ball to juggle, so to speak.  I accepted a freelance job that kept me incredible busy all spring.  So along with all that house work, blogging became a casualty of my schedule.  I can’t say too much about my new job, but every so often I get to work here:

With the school year completed, I’m thoroughly enjoying my days off.  I celebrated my first week of freedom hosting a little get together with some friends.  We played through chamber music, ate lunch, and kicked back with these fruity drinks.

Let me tell you, all the stress of the past few months slipped away with each sip of this drink.  If you’re a fan of cherry limeade slushes, then this drink is right up your alley.  The non-alcoholic version also tastes great.  It’s the perfect cocktail for the hot months ahead.

original recipe

Cherry Vodka Limeade

Cherry Vodka Limeade

Ingredients

12 oz. frozen limeade, thawed
¾ c grenadine
1 ¼ c cherry vodka
2 ½ c club soda
Extra
Ice cubes
Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a pitcher and stir.
  2. Pour into glasses half filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedges
http://kokocooks.com/2014/06/cherry-vodka-limeade/

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FFTP: Gumbo, Voodo Kitchen

Chicken and sausage gumbo from Voodoo Kitchen.  The gumbo was packed with chunks of andouille and chicken, along with the requisite holy trinity vegetables.  I am jealous of the darkness of the roux – mine never gets that rich.  And as a bonus, the truck also sold these stunning mardi gras themed cake balls, made by a local company.  The flavors were king cake (purple), white chocolate (gold), and red velvet (green).

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