A few months ago we went to Pappadeaux for dinner. I convinced Patrick to try the dirty rice. He always orders fries and the rice at Pappadeaux with lemon butter is out of this world! He ordered some sort of blacked fish with crawfish and lemon butter over dirty rice. We still talk about how good that combo is!
I don’t know if this recipe really qualifies as dirty rice, but it is soooo good with grilled fish. We eat this dish at least once a week. I’m not saying this dish is necessarily healthy because I do use a lemon butter sauce, but it is definitely lighter then the fried fish we usually eat. You can grill the fish in a grill pan if you don’t want to deal with preparing an outside grill, but I love the char you can get with an outside grill.
Since we have been grilling so much fish I have learned a few tricks to set you up for success!
1. make sure you clean the grates on your grill really well and apply a very light layer of vegetable oil then wipe down with a paper towel 2. apply a very thin layer of olive oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil to the fish before seasoning 3. salmon, tuna, and sword fish are usually thick enough to lay directly on the grate 4. delicate fish such as the tilapia I used needs to be placed on a grill plate or a piece of tin foil.
1 pound of fish, salmon, tilapia and grouper work best
2 tbsp blackening seasoning (whole foods has a great in house low salt version)
1 tsp garlic powder
pepper to taste
2 cups of prepared white or brown long grain rice
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
½ cup chopped tomato
1 tbsp of blackening seasoning
1 tsp salt (if you are using a low salt blackening seasoning)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 large lemon
½ cup melted butter
chopped fresh basil
¼ cup of oil
Let the fish sit out for 30 minutes to come to room temp
Heat the grill
Lightly oil the fish and pat the seasoning thickly on top
Lay a piece of tin foil on the grill and top with the fish
Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until the fish is heated through and opaque
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
In an oven safe pan heat oven medium and add 1 tbsp of oil
Saute peppers and onions
Add chopped garlic once onions are translucent
Turn off the heat and add in the rice and tomato
Mix through and season with the blackening spice, garlic powder, paprika, and salt/pepper
Cook for 10 minutes until the rice starts to crisp slightly
Add lemon juice to melted butter
Serve over the rice and fish
Sprinkle with fresh basil
Do you ever watch those videos on tips and tricks for commercial food? They use laundry pins and paper towels to prop food up. Spray with oil to get the food glistening. Taking pictures of real food is sometimes so difficult. So many bloggers make their food early in the day then reheat later. Currently I work around 50 hours a week and try to squeeze blog time in whenever I can. For this dish I had exactly one hour before the sun set to try and prepare the food and my “table setting”. Usually I have time to think about the colors and ways to really show you guys how delicious the food really is. This recipe entailed a ton of comical mishaps along the way, but I had to post because it really is one of my favorite new meals! The rice has just enough crisp to offset the flaky fish and the lemon butter soaks right into each bite.
If you try this recipe please tag me so I can enjoy all your creations! #kelliericecakes
I have always had this weird obsession with paellas. They are so bold and bright with deep flavors. One of the reasons I believe they are often forgotten is the hefty price tag associated with the dish. Saffron is one of the most common ingredients found in paella. This spice is usually around $15 for a handful. While I LOVE saffron I decided to trade it out for smoked paprika. You will still get a bold flavor and instead of the rich yellow or orange the paprika turns the rice a deep red.
Another easy swap is using andouille sausage over the typical cured Spanish chorizo. When you pan fry the andouille you still get a ton of flavor to develop in a short amount of time. I love sauteing my veggies with the fried sausage to really add depth to every bite.
My grocery store does not have paella rice ready available so I switched it for arborio rice. Arborio rice is just tiny enough to soak up every little bit of broth. I actually kept adding extra broth to make sure I still had a little sauce for my bread. I skipped out on the mussels just because those are not my personal favorite. You can definitely add a few in at the end. Boneless skinless chicken thighs and shrimp are what I look forward to in a paella. Both of these proteins usually have great prices in my area especially if you have a Sprouts farmers market near by.
While I do believe an authentic paella taste is extremely hard to replicate without saffron- this affordable version is just as soul satisfying to me. It is such a beautiful dish and packed full of flavor. Honestly this came together so quickly as well. If you are looking to impress on a budget, this is the recipe to make!
An easy way to impress with bold colors and flavors in this affordable paella.
1 pound of chopped boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of smoked paprika
2 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of red pepper
salt and pepper
1 cup of chopped onions
1 cup of stewed fire roasted tomatoes
2 tbsp of chopped garlic
3 cups of chicken broth
fully cooked sliced andouille sausage
1 pound of shrimp shelled with tails on
1½ cups of arborio rice
½ cup chopped parsley
Heat a large paella pan or saute pan over medium heat.
Add the olive oil.
Add chopped onion and sausage.
Fry until onions begin to be slightly translucent and the edges of the sausage starts to brown.
Remove the sausage and set to the side.
Add in the chicken and cook until golden brown.
Add garlic and rice.
Season with salt and pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, red pepper and chili powder.
Add in the stewed tomatoes and stir until all the rice is covered.
Pour the broth over the top and stir into the rice.
Bring to a boil.
Lower to medium low heat.
Add the sausage back in then cover.
Cook for about 10 minutes.
If your broth evaporates before the rice is done just add a little more on top.
The important part is to make sure you do not stir the rice at all.
When the rice is almost done (about 15 minutes) add the shrimp on top.
Salt and pepper then cover.
When all the liquid has absorbed and you start to hear a little crackling the rice is done.
If you are unsure then just test the rice to make sure it has finished.
Sprinkle with parsley and squeeze a little lemon over the top.
I finish mine with Tabasco!
I know this is going to be one of my go to recipes this summer. Even Patrick’s kids ate their entire bowls! I don’t think this dish is too spicy. You can always omit the red pepper. I love the heat so I added lots of hot sauce to my bowl 🙂
Let me know if you try this recipe! I know you will love it!
We are talking wings today. Superbowl is around the corner and these would be a perfect appetizer! BUT for me this is a way to have my favorite meal lightened up. They are so crispy with a burst of juice and all that spice from the sauce. These are one of my new favorite meals for sure! I served some salt and olive oil baked fries on the side. Our ranch was 1 cup of light sour cream, 1 tbsp of milk, 1 tsp of dill weed, 1 tsp of garlic powder, and 2 tsp of ground pepper. If you are doing Whole 30 or eating Paleo you can easily swap this out for approved ranch with homemade mayo.
Now I want to talk about this sauce. One of my favorite things to cook in the kitchen is chopped garlic. I love the smell of garlic heating up in olive oil or butter. Patrick always comes in the kitchen and asks what I’m doing when I drop that garlic into the skillet. You can use olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil – whatever you have on hand. I used 2 tbsp of salted butter then added 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped garlic. Then I sauteed for a few minutes over medium heat. Do not let the garlic brown. All you do after that is pour in a cup of your favorite hot sauce and finish with fresh ground pepper. Delicious!
Usually baked wings have a bad reputation because it is SO HARD to replicate that beautiful fried wing. The trick to getting that crispy skin is to boil the wings for 3-5 minutes before baking. You are going to render a lot of that fat which will help it crisp up fast!
In the midst of all my holiday recipes I remembered this super easy savory tomato and olive pasta. A two pot pasta dish made in 30 minutes with tons of flavor! It starts with some of my all time favorite things: garlic, onion, and olive oil. Anytime I start a dish with those 3 ingredients my mouth just begins to water. Then you add in the ground beef with lots of spices. Roasted tomatoes and briney olives. Then stir in angel hair and a little pasta water. Let it simmer and top with TONS of Parmesan.
This recipe has so many flavors going on. Each component just as important as the next. This are my favorite types of pasta dishes. So rich you don’t need a lot of sauce. Plus it is such a gorgeous meal. A huge step up from the typical spaghetti and meat sauce.
Seriously- look at that sauce. So light and evenly tossed throughout the pasta. Yummm.
I have been craving a plate of nachos lately. Unfortunately, Patrick is not a big fan of tortilla chips so I am always trying to come up with a new spin on nachos. Homemade nacho cheese is what makes this fantastic burger. Fresh garlic and jalapenos sauteed before adding in sharp cheddar and monteray jack.
The hardest part about making burgers on the stove top is not drying them out. To be honest I am usually so focused on flavor I forget about the cook time on the burgers. When I told Patrick what I was making he actually cringed a little clearly remembering my well done burgers from last time. Oops! This time I am focused! These came out a perfect medium rare which is so important since we are using a very lean cut of meat.
I used a blend of my favorite spices: smoked paprika, fresh cracked sea salt, white pepper, garlic and onion. Yes I definitely satisfied my nacho craving with these! Feel free to reduce the recipe. We ended up sharing one burger since they were so massive.
I know I know. Another FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE!? I promise this is different. You can swap the chicken out for white fish or shrimp, but we just happened to have chicken on hand. Did I mention that once a month I load up on every cut of chicken and beef I can find and freeze them all? It makes it easy to come up with different ways to cook when I have options. I usually buy my produce every few days and fish once a week, but the rest I buy in bulk for the freezer.
When I left for work I thought I was going to be making chicken pasta so I sat some chicken out to defrost. By the time I got home I was craaaaaving a po boy. We love ordering from Red Crawfish. They make these enormous po boys filled with fresh fish, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of yum yum sauce. I still had a bag of spicy fish fry left so I cut the chicken into strips and dipped them into a mix of flour and fish fry.
I want to start making my sub rolls from scratch, but until then I will continue to buy from the Kroger bakery. These rolls are just under 6 inches and have a beautiful crust with soft pillow-y interiors. They are perfect for these po boy sandwiches. I hollowed out the inside so I could pack in the filling without too much bread in the way.
Ramen is one of those super comforting foods that we turn to for an easy dinner. Long gone are the days when we fill our foam cups with water and wait for noodles to soften. While dressing up a ramen packet is not new to me, this is definitely a more sophisticated approach. I am lucky enough to live near several Asian farmers markets so some of these ingredients will be optional. Delicious either way. Yesterday we went to pick up some soybean paste (which I seriously cannot find in any other grocery store in our area!) and I was lost in the 3 aisles of noodles. Rice noodles, mung bean noodles, green bean noodles, wheat noodles, soba noodles, egg noodles… so many noodles everywhere! I went with a classic ramen noodle, but we purchased a few others for later experiments.
I started by slicing some sirloin steak very thin and browning it in my soup pot with a little vegetable oil. Removing the meat and setting it to the side I then browned some fresh chopped brussel sprouts. Again removing from the heat and setting to the side. I added onion and mushrooms let that saute then drizzled some soy sauce to deglaze my pan. Turning the heat down I poured in the beef stock. Mixing in the brown sugar and spices. I recommend using a beef stock cube or half a packet of beef ramen seasoning to really get a bold beefy flavor.
I make my noodles in a separate pot tossing them into the broth once they have softened. Then comes my favorite part! The eggs! I know a lot of recipes call for a soft boiled egg on top, but we like to add our eggs straight into the broth and let them poach in the beef seasoning. So wonderful!
These chicken thighs are the easiest Monday night recipe! This dish comes together in 30 minutes or less. No more Monday moody blues! Now you have this dish to look forward to! No one will ever know how fast you threw this meal together once they taste this sauce. The prosciutto and olives add a saltiness to this lemon cream sauce that mimics sauces that simmer for hours.
On Mondays I work a very late shift. Patrick always waits for me to eat so I have to get creative with our dinners. I need something that I can cook very quickly, but still has that great comfort food vibe. Usually I will save our pasta night for Monday since you can boil noodles in under 15 minutes.
You start out with boneless skinless chicken thighs tossed lightly in corn starch. In a saute pan I heat up a little olive oil and brown the chicken thighs. I cook them to about 95 % done. Then remove from the pan. Then all the remaining ingredients are tossed in the pan and cooked down before adding the chicken back in. I used angel hair because I think this cut of pasta soaks up the sauce a little better then some other cuts. This dish really is all about the sauce!
Crispy chicken thighs over angel hair pasta, smothered in a salty lemon cream sauce with olives and prosciutto.
1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs
½ cup of corn starch
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp smoked paprika
½ cup of marinated olives (or your favorite olive)
5 slices of prosciutto
¼ cup of cream
1 cup of chicken stock
salt and pepper
4 servings of cooked pasta
Prepare pasta and strain.
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
Toss chicken in the corn starch.
Tap off excess.
Brown the chicken in the sauce pan.
Cover to cook through. ( Takes about 10 minutes depending on how thick they are)
Remove the chicken.
Brown the prosciutto and garlic.
Add ½ cup of the chicken stock to the pan and turn up the heat.
Whisk or scrap the bottom to get everything up from the bottom of the pan.
Add the olives and lemon juice.
(If the chicken stock reduces down too quickly just add the remaining ½ cup)*
Lower the heat to medium low and add in the cream and stir.
Season with the paprika, salt and pepper.
Add the chicken back into the pan and cook until no longer pink.
Serve over pasta.
* I used 1 full cup of stock. I started with half a cup then after the stock cooked down and I scrapped all those beautiful brown bits up I felt like it was reducing too quick and added more. It is honestly your preference to how much sauce you want over the pasta.
Thanks for stopping by! I’m going to go recreate this again now. These pictures brought back too many memories :p
Where we live there is a fantastic Asian restaurant on every corner. Korean BBQ, Hot Pot, Chinese dumplings, Pho- seriously everything you could dream of is within a 2 mile radius from our house. I wanted to try recreating a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle bowl that can be served within an hour. Honestly you can probably serve this in 30 minutes, but I wanted to have a very flavorful broth.
I started with a lean top round steak that I sliced very very thin. You can use any beef that you like, the more fat the more flavor. Since I was adding noodles to the dish I used a leaner beef to cut some calories. I marinated the sliced beef in soy sauce and garlic while my broth was simmering.
The broth starts with sauteing chopped onion and garlic. Then adding pureed ginger, sriracha sauce, and beef broth. Simmer until the broth begins to reduce then add the marinated beef. These bold flavors are so fragrant and spicy. My whole kitchen smelled so warm and cozy. Plus my favorite thing about rice noodles is the cook time. You just boil some water and pour it over the noodles. Letting them sit until soft and thickened.
Lobster fries have been blowing up my instagram feed lately. Everyone is serving up crispy salty fries covered in lobster to celebrate summer. This is a trend I can definitely get on board with! I wanted to add something a little extra because I just don’t seem to know when to stop. These fries are coated with a light dusting of seasoning salt, warm queso drizzled on top then piled with lobster and a side of steak. These surf and turf fries bring a whole new meaning to summer dinner.
Did I mention the red wine mushroom sauce drizzled over the steak? This sauce mixed with the cheese and fries is pure heaven. Lobster and steak are fairly lean proteins, but adding this cheese and buttery wine sauce turns the meal into quite the indulgence.
I remember growing up and thinking surf and turf was a dinner special for retired people. Now as a 30 year old woman I know surf and turf is just special and it is for all people. The first time I had a surf and turf special it was a seared ribeye topped with shrimp and garlic butter. I didn’t think there could be anything better. Now I know there is. This cheese. This filet. This buttery lobster. Seriously a match made in heaven.