Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

SNAP SUNDAYS.  I will explain where this idea came to be in a second.  I am sure I am not the only individual that feels like summer flies by.  From weddings/festivities to concerts and weekends out of town… there never seems to a free moment, especially with busy work days.  I have been sad that I have not been able to dedicate time to the blog (and all of you).  Well Andy being the loving and supportive man that he is came up with the idea for “snap” posts.

Quick picture.  Quick recipe.  Quick blog post.

I mean we live in a society that is always on the go and time is something we all could use a little extra of.  Snap Sundays might be my new favorite blog post day :)

Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

 

Avocado crema.  Also known as the poor man’s guac.  Let’s be real here, I wanted to make guacamole and did not have a few of the key ingredients.  Also, can you really find anything wrong with an avocado dip/spread/sauce of any kind…didn’t think so!  Grilled prawns are a summer favorite of mine and there is only so much grilled chicken, steak, or veggies a girl can eat.  These are a real treat :)

What’s your favorite, snappy recipe?  Also, snappy does not equal unappealing…presentation and plating make this recipe look like a fancy little hors d’oeuvres.

Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: less than 10 minutes
Servings: 20 shrimp appetizers

The Players:

For the avocado crema
2 large, ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves
1-inch piece of jalapeño
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
sea salt and pepper to taste

For the prawns
20 large or jumbo tail on shrimp, thawed and peeled
2 T butter

The Rules:

  1. Preheat the grill to 400F and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place 4-5 shrimp per skewer.  (Note: I used metal skewers.  If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling)
  3. Place shrimp on the grill and close cover.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, rub both sides with butter, then flip and grill other side for an additional 4 minutes.
  4. While the shrimp is cooking, place all ingredients for avocado crema in a food processor and pulse until smooth consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve shrimp with the avocado crema as a dipping sauce.  (Note: I place 1 tsp of avocado crema in the base of a white soup spoon and topped with shrimp)

Spinach & Cilantro Turkey Burgers

It’s almost Spring!  Two weeks until it’s officially the season, but the weather in Seattle has been stunning :o)  I cannot stop smiling with all this sunshine.  I never realize how much the weather impacts my mood, until it is gorgeous and bright outside.  The Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom and the Seattle grey is becoming oh-so green.

Spinach & Cilantro Turkey Burgers

Spring weather gets me so excited for the summer.  We are lucky in the PNW because you can grill and be active outdoors year-round, but firing up the grill after a sunny, warm day spent outdoors is my happy place.  Pair that with a beer or wine and your hunny or friends = perfect evening.

Spinach & Cilantro Turkey Burgers

This turkey burger is a great Spring/Summer grill-able since I tend to crave lighter meals when the weather is nicer.  The turkey is a great, lean source of protein and you can shape the patties into slider-size or large burgers.  I did an in-between size for Andrew and I since we were going bun-less–not because we are counting carbs/calories, we were just too lazy to stop by the store for some…hehe.

Spinach & Cilantro Turkey Burgers

I love this recipe because it is a great way to sneak some greens into your meal.  The spinach blends into the turkey flavor and the cilantro is a nice refreshing surprise in each bite.  Cilantro was also the perfect last-minute addition, since we love Mexican and smother anything edible with avocado.  Ahem…see below.

Spinach & Cilantro Turkey Burgers

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 minutes
Servings: 3-4

The Players: 

12 oz ground turkey
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/4 C cilantro, rinsed and roughly chopped
1/3 C red onion, diced
1 t garlic powder
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper

The Rules: 

  1. Clean the grill and spray with non-stick cooking/grilling spray.  Preheat grill to 400F.
  2. Squeeze the spinach to drain and remove most excess water.  Pull apart spinach and place in medium-sized bowl.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients with the spinach.  Form patties.  (Note: I made 9 larger turkey sliders)
  4. Place the patties on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.  (Note: You want nice char marks without burning or drying out the burger) Remove from the grill and serve warm with your favorite toppings.

Grilled, Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

Let me just start off by saying, I do NOT believe in New Year’s Resolutions.  I think everyone should strive to be a better person and work towards personal and professional goals on the reg.  However, that being said, I always feel like I need some sort of a detox after the holidays.

Grilled, Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

Every year I choose something to get rid of after that ball drops at midnight.  I’m not talking big goals here people.  Let’s be realistic.  I have a food blog.  I LOVE EATING.  My goals are usually: avoid baked goods a couple weeks, don’t buy that bag of potato chips or peanut m&ms on your lunch break, eat healthier Monday-Thursday so I don’t feel guilty about my weekend gluttony.  You know…just try and get back to the routine I had before Thanksgiving.

Grilled, Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

This year we decided to avoid alcohol for 2 weeks.  YES.  2 weeks.  This may not seem like a challenge for most people, but when you live in a city where get-togethers revolve around happy hour deals and you are in your mid to late 20s, avoiding alcohol is difficult.  I’m 3 days into it, and had to decline wine at dinner Friday night and a bloody mary at brunch yesterday morning.  Temptation is everywhere.  I wanted to set a realistic goal of 2 weeks, since I am going back home to Wisconsin mid-January and let’s be honest…reunion with family and friends in the Midwest… goes hand-in-hand with alcohol consumption.

How does the bacon-wrapped filet mignon come into play?  Well if I’m not drinking, I might as well eat like a queen :)  Honestly, I would never order filet mignon at a restaurant because I do not want to pay a fortune for a piece of meat.  This is still a pricier meal to make at home, but for less than $1o a person you get to enjoy steakhouse quality meat.  What’s better than grilled steak?  Wrapping that steak in bacon of course!

Grilled, Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

I like my steak medium-rare  so the cooking time below is reflective of that.  You will need to grill a bit longer if you like your meat a bit more on the well-done side.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 12 min
Servings: 2

The Players: 

2 filet mignon (1 lb total)
4 slices thick cut pork bacon
Sea salt
Cracked pepper
4-6 toothpicks
Non-stick cooking spray (or grilling spray)

The Rules: 

  1. Let the filets come to room temperature, by letting them rest for 30 minutes outside of the refrigerator.  Meanwhile, soak the toothpicks in water.
  2. Clean your grill surface and preheat the grill to 475-500 F.
  3. Wrap two bacon slices around the diameter of each filet.  The bacon should come up around the edges of the filet and the slices will overlap in the middle.  Secure bacon with toothpicks (Note: make sure the toothpicks are inserted far enough into the meat so they don’t burn from the heat of the grill)
  4. Season both surfaces of the filet with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, be generous with the seasoning.  (Note: this will flavor the meat and form a nice crust)
  5. Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the filets on the grill and close the lid.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Using tongs lift and turn the filets 90 degrees (1/4 circle).  Close the grill lid and cook an additional 3 minutes (Note: this will create the diamond grill marks)
  6. Using your tongs flip the filets over, close the grill lid, and  cook 3 minutes.  Then lift and turn the filets 90 degrees one last time, close the lid, and cook 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the filets from the grill, tent with aluminum foil, allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.  This will allow the juices to settle.
  8. After the meat has rested, remove the toothpicks, and serve warm.

Note: when cooked for 6 minutes per side, as this recipe states, the filet will come out a perfect medium-rare.  If you like your steak cooked more thoroughly you will need to grill longer per side. 

Oven-roasted, Spiced-up, BBQ Ribs

Oven-roasted, Spiced-up, BBQ Ribs

I love barbecue.  Who does not enjoy a yummy, spicy, smokey, sticky, messy barbecue dinner?  Name one person, I DARE YOU…they do not exist.  Even if you do not love BBQ ribs, there is something smothered in a tangy sauce that is either smoked, roasted, or grilled that you do love.

Oven-roasted, Spiced-up, BBQ Ribs

I lived in Memphis, Tennessee for 2 years when I was in elementary school and to this day I crave the BBQ of the south.  Southerners know how to do it right.  There are so many types of barbecue from dry rubs to the traditional barbecue sauce and let’s not even get started on the types of wood chips the professionals dabble with to get the perfect smokey flavor.

Oven-roasted, Spiced-up, BBQ RibsMake sure the grill is nice and hot before you put your ribs on, this will ensure that you get those char marks you are looking for.

Oven-roasted, Spiced-up, BBQ RibsThere’s a whole lot of flavor going on with these bad boys. The dry rub plus your favorite BBQ sauce oooweeee (they pack a punch).

I am no barbecue professional, but that is just it…you do not have to be an expert to making some damn good, finger-licking ribs.  I grew up watching my dad make ribs this way.  My dad does not use a dry rub, he just seasons the meat with salt and pepper because my mom and brother do not handle spicy food well.  Feel free to season with just salt and pepper if your palette is not as addicted to spicy food as mine is.  Grilling the meat before roasting it in the oven gives it a great charred look and taste.

And the directions below that say wrap the ribs in plastic wrap before roasting them…are not a typo.  Like everyone else your first thought when you read the directions will be, “Won’t the plastic wrap melt?”  The answer is no, tried and true, my dad has even taken bets on it.  For some reason when the oven temperature is less than 350 F the plastic wrap does not melt.  Surrounding the plastic wrap in aluminum foil will help ensure all the juices and flavors stay sealed in too.  Trust me on this cooking technique.

Oven-roasted, Spiced-up, BBQ RibsMake sure you tightly wrap the ribs in the plastic wrap and then cover with aluminum foil, making sure the ribs are sealed in tight.

So enjoy these simple, fall-off-the bone, spicy, tangy BBQ ribs.  I am interested to see how many of you take on the challenge of home-made ribs after reading this post.

Oven-roasted, Spiced-up, BBQ RibsMonday night dinner just got a little more exciting at our house!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 2

The Players: 
1 pork loin back rib
1 C of your favorite barbecue sauce + extra for dipping

Dry Rub: 
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t cayenne powder
1 t smoked paprika
1 T packed brown sugar
1 t ground mustard

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat grill to 500 F and preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Combine ingredients for dry rub in a small bowl and whisk together.
  3. Cut the pork rib in half to make two half-racks of ribs.  Sprinkle 1 tsp of the dry rub seasoning on each side of the ribs and massage into the meat. (Note: If you do not like a lot of spice then omit the dry rub and season the ribs with salt and pepper.  They will still taste amazing.)
  4. Place the ribs with the meaty side down on your grill.  Close lid of grill and cook for 4-5 minutes.  The temperature of the grill should come down to 400 F.
  5. While the ribs are getting some nice grill marks, tear two pieces of plastic wrap and aluminum foil (~ 2 ft in length).
  6. Flip the meat over and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Remove the ribs from the grill.
  7. Coat each side of the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce (~ 1/4 C per side). I use a basting brush to apply the sauce.
  8. Then wrap the ribs in plastic wrap first, making sure that there is a good seal.  Then wrap in aluminum foil.
  9. Roast ribs in oven for 2 hours.  Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes.  Then peel off aluminum foil and plastic wrap and serve immediately.  Serve with extra barbecue sauce if desired.