Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shrimp Banh Mi with Spicy Sriracha Mayo and the Easy Greasy Giveaway!


 
Day 3 of Sandwich Week!


It's Day 3 of Sandwich Week people, and make sure you don't forget to enter the Easy Greasy giveaway (entry at the bottom of page)! I am on a sandwich roll...lol...this week, and I have something extra special for all the seafood lovers. It's my Shrimp Banh Mi, with Spicy Sriracha Mayo!


A Banh Mi is a Vietnamese Sandwich with pickled vegetables. I love to use organic produce whenever possible. 


I used my mandolin to make these beautiful cucumber rounds. If you don't own a mandolin a sharp knife will do the trick. You're going for about 1/4 inch thickness. If your cucumbers are non organic please peel them first. 


Next, I sliced some radishes and used a vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons. Add the veggies to a bowl and mix all the pickling spices and liquids together, allowing the flavors to develop while we prepare the shrimp.


Peel and devein the shrimp, add shrimp to a bowl and top with all the seasonings, freshly grated ginger, sambal and garlic, mix well and set aside. 


I sauteed my veggies and shrimp in a little olive oil. Give the veggies around 5 minutes of cooking time, before adding the shrimp. Please don't overcook the shrimp. I would say 3 minutes per side.


While the shrimp cook, prepare the spicy mayo. Mix the mayonnaise and sriracha well and  refrigerate until ready to use. 
 

Assemble the sandwich by placing spicy mayo on both sides of the bread, layer with drained pickled veggies, top with cooked shrimp and more spicy mayo if desired. 


Now look...I must warn you, this sandwich is a true party in the mouth, you have crunchy veggies, perfectly seasoned shrimp, and creamy, spicy, mayo, what more do you need people, it time to start cooking so you can start eating!

Shrimp Banh Mi with Spicy Sriracha Mayo and the Easy Greasy Giveaway!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. medium size shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoons creole seasoning
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sambal
extra virgin olive oil

For the Pickled Vegetables

1 organic cucumber, sliced thinly
2 large carrots, peeled
1 cup radishes, sliced thinly (optional)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

For the Sriracha Mayo

1 cup of Best foods mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha

Directions:

Rinse, peel, devein shrimp, pat dry, place in a medium bowl. Add all the seasonings, garlic and sesame oil, mix well and set aside.

To prepare the pickled vegetables, using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the cucumbers thinly, if not organic, please peel them first.

Peel carrots and using a vegetable peeler create carrot ribbons. Slice radishes thin if using. Add vegetables to bowl, top with remaining ingredients,mix well and allow to sit on counter, stir every 5 minutes.

To prepare the sriracha mayo, mix both ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.

Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium skillet. Add bell pepper and onion and saute for a few minutes, add shrimp and saute for about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and assemble sandwich.

To assemble sandwich, top bread with sriracha mayo, place drained pickled vegetables on top of bottom bread, top with shrimp and sauteed veggies and more mayo if you like. Enjoy!








Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Philly Chicken Steak Sandwich and the Easy Greasy Giveaway!



Day 2 of Sandwich Week!


It's Day 2 of Sandwich Week with Creole Contessa, and I present to you, my Philly Chicken "Steak" Sandwich, with a spicy cheese sauce! Before we begin, don't forget to enter the Easy Greasy giveaway (entry at the bottom of page).

Back to the sandwich madness. I love a juicy, moist, cheese steak, who doesn't, but I wanted to lighten it up a bit so I decided to substitute the chicken for the traditional steak.


The cheese sauce is the key to this sandwich.  I made a little butter/flour roux, then added hot sauce, heavy cream, chicken stock and a mixture of creamy cheeses. These ingredients takes this sandwich to another level.

Yes, I know they use Cheez Whiz in Philly, and I will admit I use to eat Cheese Whiz by the jar when I was a kid, but I knew making my own cheese sauce would make this sandwich that much more delicious!


Slice your bell pepper and Vidalia onion into thin slices. As you can see I found another use for my Easy Greasy.


To get thin slices of chicken, it must be slightly frozen.


Now for the veggies, I sauteed them in olive oil for about 7 minutes.


Next, saute the chicken, then add the veggies back to the pan to get a final heating. It's time to assemble our sandwich.


Done and yum! I added extra provolone cheese to the bread, poured hot cheese sauce over the chicken/veggie mixture, then I dipped...yes...dipped the sandwich in more cheese sauce! Now, that's some messy, juicy, eating...!

Philly Chicken "Steak" Sandwich

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 slightly frozen, boneless, skinless, chicken breast
4 hoagie rolls
1 vidalia onion, sliced thin
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper

For the Cheese Sauce

6 oz. heavy cream
4 oz. chicken broth
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 cup jack cheese
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
8 oz. sliced provolone cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions:

For the cheese sauce, add butter to sauce pan over medium heat, add flour and whisk for 1 minute, add spices and whisk well. Pour in heavy cream and chicken stock, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, add hot sauce, half the provolone cheese and all the remaining cheeses by the handful whisking well, after each addition. Remove from heat, sauce will thicken as it sits.

To prepare sandwich, slice slightly frozen chicken breast into thin strips about 1/4 inch thickness. Rinse chicken, pat dry and set aside.

Mix seasoning blend. Season chicken with all the seasoning blend except 1 tablespoon.  Slice bell pepper and onion.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat, add bell pepper and onions, season with 1 tablespoon of seasoning blend and saute well for about 5-7 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons more of olive oil to pan over medium high heat, add seasoned chicken breast and cook for about 3 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink, add veggies back to pan,mix well and cook for about 4 minutes more.

To assemble sandwich you can toast the bread if desired, add a slice of provolone cheese to bread, top with chicken, veggie mixture, and top with hot cheese sauce. Enjoy!







Monday, July 29, 2013

Italian Mozzarella Melt with Pecan Pesto and Easy Greasy Giveaway



Sandwich Week Day 1


It's Day 1 of Sandwich Week with Creole Contessa, and not only do I plan on creating sandwich goodness all week, starting off with my Italian Mozzarella Melt with Pecan Pesto, I also have another giveaway this week!

photo provided by Easy Greasy


The great people at Easy Greasy are sponsoring this weeks giveaway (entry at bottom of page).  Easy Greasy, Strain & Save Kitchen Colander is an excellent kitchen gadget, that allows you to not only drain hot grease, without pouring it down your sink, it's also a wonderful multipurpose gadget that can be used for straining pasta and makes a wonderful strainer for storing rinsed fruit. I love my Easy Greasy, and use it everyday!


Now for this sandwich...first off, the pesto. I used sun-dried tomatoes soaked in oil, parmigiano reggiano, basil, garlic, spices and my favorite southern twist...pecans...you can toast the pecans if you prefer, but I am not big on toasted nuts, so I prefer to forego toasting my pecans.


And then we have this wonderful bread loaf...allow me to give you a brief background on why I decided to use this Pillsbury®Crusty French Loaf. When I was a child, my eldest sister would always make spaghetti, and she had to prepare at least two loaves of this bread.

 
The bread would always turn out so buttery and soft, with a nice crusty texture on the outside.  I would often forget about the spaghetti and just try to eat all the bread...and yes, in one sitting...this crusty loaf reminds me of childhood, and I knew it would make a wonderful addition to this beautiful sandwich.


Yes....people, I can talk about bread all day. I love bread, like I love cheese, and you know how much I love cheese.  I almost forgot we're making a sandwich. O.K. bread and pesto is ready. Now for the magic. Top half the bread with pesto, as much, or as little as you like.


Top the other half of the bread with sliced mozzarella cheese, now place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the cheese bubbles and melts.


Remove from the oven and top with Genoa salami and prosciutto.


Cut the sandwich into four pieces, and enjoy!


Italian Mozzarella Melt with Pecan Pesto and Easy Greasy Giveaway

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
  
1 6 ounce ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano
1/2 lb. Genoa salami
8 ounce prosciutto 
1 8 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup pecans
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon of creole seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder 
melted butter to baste bread
extra virgin olive oil to thin pesto

Directions: 


Preheat oven to  350 degrees.

Prepare bread according to package directions. Remove from oven when golden brown. Baste with melted butter and set aside. 

To prepare the pesto, in a blender add pecans, parsley, basil leaves, garlic, cheese, seasonings and sun dried tomatoes including the oil from the tomatoes. Blend well. Drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. I use about 1/4 cup of olive oil. 


Preheat oven to broil.

To prepare sandwich, slice bread in half lengthwise, place on baking sheet, cut size up. 

Spread desired amount of pesto on half of bread loaf. On the other bread loaf add sliced mozzarella cheese, overlapping slices. 

Broil for about 5 minutes are until cheese bubbles. 

Remove from oven. Top sandwich with Genoa salami and prosciutto. Slice sandwich into 4 pieces and enjoy!






Saturday, July 27, 2013

Italian Pasta Sandwich Salad


Sandwich in a Bowl!


I am so excited! In honor of Sandwich week, which is starting soon, I decided to create a "sandwich salad" in a bowl, minus the bread of course. I basically took everything I love about sandwiches and added it to this pasta salad. 


I started off this salad with Genoa salami, and black forest ham, because they're my favorite deli meats, then I added, diced celery, bell pepper, cucumber, and red onion to provide the crunch, lastly, don't forget the pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese.


I tossed my veggies in the homemade Italian Vinaigrette, which consist of rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, plenty of spices and extra virgin olive oil.



Next, I added the deli meats, I just sliced and diced the deli meats. 

Finally, toss in the cooked macaroni and cheeses, mix well, and chill. It's that simple and taste so good.

I prefer to prepare this at least 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend together.




I couldn't wait, the 24 hour chill time, so it's time to EAT! 


Italian Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 cucumber, seeded, unpeeled if organic, peel if non organic, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 lb. Genoa salami, diced
1/2 lb. black forest ham, diced
1 cup diced pepper jack cheese, diced 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup diced sharp cheddar cheese, diced 1/2 inch chunks
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
pinch of crushed red pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, lightly coat in a little olive oil to prevent sticking.

To prepare pasta, mix rice wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar into a bowl, add all spices and mix well. Drizzle in olive oil, while whisking.

Place all salad ingredients into the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss well. Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!



 



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bacon Roasted Garlic Chicken with Vegetable Puree and the Sucre Milk Chocolate Collection Giveaway



Got BACON!


Thank you everyone for making Casserole Week with Creole Contessa, a huge success.  In honor of great food, and wonderful foodie friends, I created my Bacon Roasted Garlic Chicken with a Vegetable Puree.

And don't forget you still have time to enter (entry at the bottom of page) the Sucre Milk Chocolate Collection Giveaway!
 

This recipe is real simple, but the flavors are wonderfully, complex. Instead of using a roasting pan rack, I allowed the vegetables to act as my rack, keeping the chicken from touching the pan juices, and in the end, giving us a moist, juicy, don't forget, smokey chicken.

The bacon created a barrier around the chicken that turns out the moistest, juiciest, roasted chicken you will ever eat!


To create the vegetable puree, I reserved the vegetables from the chicken, along with the pan juices, added everything to the blender with a couple of pieces of bacon and blended it really well, until pureed.

Next, I added the pureed vegetables, chicken stock, heavy cream and a little butter and allowed the magic to happen.


Does this not look fabulous! You see a little crispy parts on the bacon, blame it on Big Goo...he turned the oven to broil because he said he wanted the bacon, extra crispy. I caught him just in time...please don't follow his lead on this...the bacon was perfect before Big Goo...lol.


The vegetable puree is delicious and turned out great, and I used it to dip some crusty French bread...o.k. I almost dipped a whole loaf of French bread, but who can blame me!


Now, just like me, I bet you want to grab this piece of chicken off the screen...And the extra piece of bacon, that happened to wrap itself around the drumstick doesn't hurt!

Bacon Roasted Garlic Chicken with Vegetable Puree

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 whole free range chicken about 4 lbs
1 pack thick cut bacon
1 stick butter, room temperature
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons creole seasonings
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
1 lemon, zested, juiced
10 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch of celery
1 medium white onion
1 bunch of carrots

For the Vegetable Puree

Roasted Vegetables plus pan juices
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon creole seasoning

Directions: 

Mix seasoning blend together and set aside.

To prepare the chicken, rinse chicken under cold water, remove gizzards from inside the cavity, rinse again. Pat dry chicken and set aside.

In a large roasting pan add celery, carrots, and onion. Chop in half if needed. Season vegetables with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of seasoning blend, mix well create a raised bed for the vegetables to prevent the chicken from resting in the pan juices that will form.

Place chicken on top of vegetables, breast side up, rub butter all over chicken, under the skin of chicken and place remaining butter in cavity of chicken.

Pour olive oil all over chicken, under the skin of chicken, and a little in the cavity.

Season chicken with seasoning blend all over, under the skin and in the cavity.

Place garlic, under the chicken skin, add remaining garlic in the pan with the vegetables.

Lastly, sprinkle lemon zest and juice over chicken skin, under the skin and place lemon peel in the cavity and under the chicken breast skin.

Now take the thick cut bacon and place on top of chicken, breast side up. Sprinkle with extra seasoning blend.

Tent roasting pan with foil and roast chicken at 450 degrees for 1 hour 20 minutes, remove foil and continue roasting chicken for 20-25 more minutes are until bacon is crisp and clear juices run out of chicken when cut between the leg and thigh area.

Remove chicken from oven and place on a platter, re tint with foil and allow chicken to rest around 20 minutes before serving. 

To prepare vegetable puree,  remove all the vegetables from roasting pan along with pan juices and place into a blender. Add a couple of slices of bacon from the chicken to the blender. Blend well, until pureed.

Transfer mixture to a pan, over medium high heat, add chicken broth and seasonings, bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and medium low and cook puree for about 7 minutes, reduce heat to low, add cream and butter and whisk well.

Simmer for about 5 more minutes and serve.

 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cheesy Baked Potato Casserole and the Sucre Milk Chocolate Collection Giveaway!



Smokey, Cheesy, Goodness!


It's Day 5 of Casserole Week with Creole Contessa, and I am ending Casserole Week with a bang! Not only did I create a Cheesy Baked Potato Casserole, you still have time to enter (entry at the bottom of page) the Sucre Milk Chocolate Collection Giveaway!


This is a simple casserole dish, but a few key steps are required to make this dish a little bit more fancy...

I start by cutting my potatoes thin with my mandolin, you can use a knife to get the same results, about 1/4 inch thickness is required.

Then I soak the cut potatoes in water with apple cider vinegar for about 30 minutes to remove the starch. Also, boiling the potatoes for about 10 minutes help them bake up that much quicker. 


Hey, you know we had to fry up some crispy bacon, in a little olive oil. Yes, reserve some of the bacon grease to cook the veggies in!


It's that simple, then we add a little flour and then it's time to start making the sauce.


Key step!  Use good cheese! Please people, use good cheese, it's take this dish, from good to great! I used Gouda, Sharp Cheddar, Jack Cheese and Brie...You pick the cheese you like and it will turn out great.


Look at this sauce, I added heavy cream and Greek Yogurt to give it a nice creamy texture. I love Greek yogurt, especially in sauces... The great people at Chobani sent me tons of Greek yogurt and I make sure I use it whenever I can.


O.K. this is a money shot! Look at the cheese dripping. And of course all that bacon can't hurt!

Cheesy Baked Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

3 lbs. russet or Idaho potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Gouda cheese, grated
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup jack cheese, grated
4 oz. Brie cheese
1/2 cup Chobani Greek yogurt, plain, low fat
1 lb. bacon, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of green onion, diced
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 cup flour
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix Gouda, sharp and jack cheese together and set aside.


Rinse potatoes and slice 1/4 inch thick using a knife or a mandolin, place sliced potatoes in cold water with apple cider vinegar. Allow potatoes to soak 30 minutes, drain, rinse, place in a large pot of salted water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside.

In a medium pan, add about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat, add bacon and cook until crispy about 8 minutes, remove bacon, place on paper napkins to drain.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in pan, add bell pepper, white onion, and celery. Sauce for 5 minutes, add garlic and saute 1 minute more.

Add flour and seasonings and whisk well for about 3 minutes. Add heavy cream and whisk well. Add brie and about 1 cup of Gouda cheese mix and whisk well. Add Greek Yogurt and mix well.

In a 13X9 or slighter smaller greased casserole, add about 1/2 cup of cream mixture to the bottom of casserole.

Layer potatoes, 1/2 cup more cream sauce, 1/2 cup of cheese blend. Repeat, ending with cheese sauce and grated cheese on top.

Sprinkle cooked bacon and green onion on top. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.

Allow casserole to sit for about 15 minutes, before serving. Enjoy!


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I must confess I love great food. I decided to create The Creole Contessa blog after cooking and eating a great meal with my family Big Goo the hubby of almost twenty years and my lil’ Contessa Summer aka “Baby Girl." I told Big Goo and Baby Girl, it is just not fair to not share these great recipes with the world; and the Creole Contessa blog was born.

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