Thursday, November 15, 2012

On the Spicy Side

Welcome to our blog! We hope that you enjoy what you see, read, and taste after trying out our recipes.  We look forward to your comments and support!

After feeling nostalgic about our wedding festivities coming to an end, I thought it would only be appropriate for us to begin by sharing some recipes that feature our homemade blackened seasoning, which we gave out as favors to our guest.  Whether you are simply a fan of blackened seasoning or were a guest at our wedding still trying to figure out what to do with it, here are some ideas and dishes we really love.  Enjoy!

Homemade Blackened Seasoning

1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Store in an airtight container.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon blackened seasoning (add more if you want them spicier)
Sea Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Wash and pat dry the sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges.  Place them in a medium bowl and add the olive oil, blackened seasoning and salt.  Toss well to mix.  

Spread the seasoned sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.  Flip fries and bake for another 10-12 minutes or longer until desired crispiness is reached.

Serve with your favorite blue cheese or ranch dressing.

~Serves 2

Blackened Shrimp with Pappardelle Alfredo

8 medium shrimp with tails on
6 ounces of pappardelle noodles
Blackened seasoning to taste 
Sea salt to taste
Olive oil

Rinse shrimp and pat dry.  Coat shrimp with blackened seasoning.  Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil.  Let the shrimp stand for a few minutes as you boil a pot of water for the noodles.  Cook pappardelle noodles according to the package directions.  Meanwhile, make your alfredo sauce.

Alfredo sauce
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup freshly grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.  Add the heavy cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through until smooth and creamy.  Stir in parsley.

Drain pappardelle noodles and return them to pot drizzling with a bit of olive oil so they don't stick together.  

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan.  Cook the shrimp on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side until translucent and cooked through.  

Toss the noodles with the desired amount of alfredo sauce and top with shrimp.
~Serves 2 (you will most likely have extra alfredo sauce left over, unless you like it extra creamy)

Blackened Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

2 pork chops
1/2 cup homemade blackened seasoning 
1/2 cup brown sugar
Sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large parsnip 
2 medium carrots
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/8 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pork Chops
Create a blackened seasoning rub by mixing 1/2 cup homemade blackened seasoning and 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Rub both sides of pork generously and set aside while prepping parsnips and carrots.

Balsamic Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
Combine cherries, parsley, lemon zest and feta cheese in a small bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.

Cut parsnips and carrots lengthwise into long thin strips. Whisk together the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium bowl.  Toss the carrots and parsnips in the mixture and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with desired amount of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes until tender and browned, stirring half way through.  Toss with feta cheese mixture when ready to serve.

Cooking the pork
Heat a large oven safe frying pan on the stove top with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  On high heat, sear each side of the pork chops for 3-4 minutes depending on how thick the cut of pork is.  Place the oven safe frying pan in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Serve with balsamic roasted carrots and parsnips.  

~ Serves 2 ~