Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

37,000 feet in the air I’m finally catching up on last week’s Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers. I’m returning from an amazing trip to Napa for my friends wedding and I can’t say enough how much I love the California wine country. Besides the amazing vino the weather and scenery was absolutely breathtaking!!

Last week Idol paid tribute to Motor City so I decided to combine some of the city’s most notable flavors in one recipe. From the soul of Motown to Detroit’s Italian influences a Prosciutto Shrimp and Pesto Polenta Cake is what came to fruition.

I can’t wait to share some pics and tips from my amazing weekend, but in the meantime try out this recipe! Your taste buds won’t be sorry. 🙂

Check out today’s recipe on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog HERE!

Happy Eating!


Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Ingredients

Pesto

  • 2oz fresh basil (2 bundles)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Polenta Cakes

  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 oz prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tube pre cooked polenta
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, diced

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

To make the pesto combine the basil and remaining 8 ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

If the texture is still too thick add more olive oil until it reaches a creamy consistency.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper. Pile the prosciutto on top of each other and cut into 1/2″ thick long strips. Wrap the strips around each piece of shrimp.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat until melted.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Add the garlic and red pepper and cook until fragrant, around 30 seconds.  Add the shrimp and sauté until cooked all the way through.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Around 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Slice the polenta into 1/2 circles and lightly rub with olive oil.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Place in the same skillet and sauté until lightly golden, around 3-4 minutes on each side.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Top the polenta with a tablespoon of the pesto and two shrimp. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Shrimp & Pesto Polenta Cakes

Bon Appétit! 

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Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: BBQ Chicken Minis

BBQ Chicken Minis

Mmmmm crescent rolls. From sweet to savory the sky’s the limit on what you can make with these buttery pieces of perfection. This week American Idol is paying tribute to Detroit so I thought I’d get creative and make a hodgepodge of recipes celebrating the city’s diverse culture.

Detroit loves their hotdogs and Motown so I wanted to think outside of the box and combine a bit of soul into this culinary classic. So Voila…spicy BBQ chicken wrapped in delicious crescent rolls. Think…pigs in a blanket, except with chicken!!

Check out today’s recipe featured on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog HERE!

Happy Eating!


BBQ Chicken Minis

Ingredients

BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp BBQ seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder

Chicken

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp BBQ seasoning
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375.

BBQ Chicken Minis

To make the BBQ sauce combine the ketchup and remaining 4 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well combined.

BBQ Chicken Minis

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces and liberally season with the salt, pepper and BBQ seasoning.

BBQ Chicken Minis

Add to the skillet and lightly sear on each side for 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.

BBQ Chicken Minis

Spread out the crescent rolls and cut each triangle into 3 mini triangles.

BBQ Chicken Minis

Top with 2 slivers of jalapeño. Take a piece of chicken and wrap with the crescent roll.

BBQ Chicken Minis

Lay seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet.

BBQ Chicken Minis

Bake until the crescent rolls are a rich golden hue. Serve with the BBQ sauce.

Bon Appétit! 

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Cupcake for lunch, check. Mini tarts for dinner…don’t judge me!

My sweet tooth has been absolutely out of control lately so for tonight’s Idol results show I’m sticking with the British theme and honoring the Brits love for all things sweet!

I went a little crazy with the raspberry puree and added extra liquid so make sure you let it live in the fridge for a little bit to avoid a super runny tart. I learned this the hard way…raspberry liquid all over my plate and hands…and no I did not lick up every drop.

*If you prefer for this to be alcohol free then just omit the orange liquor!

Check out tonight’s recipe on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog HERE!

Happy Eating!


Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Ingredients

  • 12oz fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange liquor
  • 9 medium size tart shells
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

In a food processor blend the raspberries, sugar, orange juice and orange liquor until smooth.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Put in the fridge until slightly thickened.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

For a crispy tart bake the shells in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

While the shells are baking heat a double broiler over medium high heat and add the chocolate morsels.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Occasionally stir until melted through.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Spoon a tablespoon of chocolate into the shells and set aside.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Add the whipping cream, confectioners sugar and almond extract to a cold mixer bowl.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Whip until stiff peeks form. Make sure not to over-whip.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Spoon a tablespoon of the raspberry puree on top of the chocolate.

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the orange zest.

Bon Appétit! 

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Mini Shepherd’s Pies

Mini Shepard Pies

And the obsession continues. Muffin tins and won ton wrappers are a match made in heaven! Just line the tins with a won ton wrapper, fill with whatever your heart desires, pop in the oven and bam…deliciousness!

The contestants on American Idol are singing songs from John Lennon and Paul McCartney so for tonight’s recipe, featured on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog, I’m sticking with a British theme.

The brits love their meat pies, or pies in general, so I thought I’d throw a little twist on Shepherd’s Pie. Now I’m not trying to pat myself on the back too much but you MUST try this recipe!! I’m really happy with how they turned out…3 servings happy.

Happy Eating!


Mini Sheperd’s Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound lean ground sirloin
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/8 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup medium sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375.

Mini Shepherd's Pies

In a large dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, around 30 seconds.

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Add the sirloin and next 5 ingredients, through the black pepper, and sauté until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for another minute. Pour in the beef stock and simmer until mostly evaporated. Scrape up all the goodness at the bottom of the pan.

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Spray a muffin tin with the spray and place two won ton wrappers per muffin cup, overlapping to make sure it holds in the filling.

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Put a few tablespoons of the beef mixture in each cup. Top with a tablespoon of the mash potatoes.

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Sprinkle with another heaping tablespoon of cheese.

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the won ton wrappers are a deep golden brown.

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

Panko Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

I’m on a vegetarian kick this week so my inspiration for tonight’s Idol recipe was a fancy version of a vegetable tray. I love tempura anything but I wasn’t in the mood to make batter let alone fry anything so voila…a healthier yet equally delicious alternative!

I was surprised at how easily the panko stuck to the veggies and they turned out perfectly crisp. Dip them in the super easy chipotle ranch dip and it’s a pretty tasty snack.

I’ll be heading to SXSW tomorrow so check back for full coverage! Also, check out today’s recipe on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog HERE!


Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

Ingredients

Veggies

  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 large zucchini, julienned, seeds removed
  • 4 oz cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup brocolli florets
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • olive oil spray

Chipotle Ranch

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 chili in adobo, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 package dry ranch mix

Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

In a large bowl combine the veggies and flour. Toss until well coated.

Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

Lightly beat the egg in a large bowl. On a large plate mix the panko, salt, pepper and thyme. Dip the veggies in the egg then dredge in the panko mixture. Place on a large cookie sheet and spray with the olive oil spray.

Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

Bake until golden brown, gently flipping halfway through, around 20-25 minutes.

Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

While the veggies cook combine all of the Chipotle Ranch ingredients in a large bow.

Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

Mix until smooth.

Panko-Crusted Veggies with Chipotle Ranch

Remove the veggies from the oven and serve with the ranch.

Bon Appétit! 

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Mini White Pizzas

Mini White Pizzas

This is the week kids!!! SXSW is finally upon us and that only means one thing…my birthday weekend will be filled with music, music and more music!!! Hands down my favorite weekend of the year, I’ll be heading to Austin for the festivities in less than two days.

I’ll be sure to post tons of pics, interviews and reviews of my favorite bands but in the meantime check out these delicious snack pizzas I made for Yahoo! Music blogger Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog!

I thought I would experiment with the crust and make little mini pizzas and they turned out beautifully. These would be perfect for a small get together or for just a quick snack to have around the house. I was hesitant to bake them with the arugula on top so I just added it at the end for around 5 minutes. The texture turned out just right, adding just the right crisp to every bite!

Is anyone heading the Austin this week/weekend? Who are you looking forward to seeing the most?

Happy Eating!


Mini White Pizzas

Ingredients

  • 1 container thin crust pizza dough
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup Italian 4 cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby arugula

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mini White Pizzas

Spread the pizza dough on a greased cookie sheet and poke all over with a fork. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with the red pepper. Using kitchen shears roughly cut the rosemary over the dough. Prebake for 5 minutes.

Mini White Pizzas

Remove from the oven. Using a 3.5 inch dough cutter cut 12 circles. Discard the excess dough. Top each mini pizza with the cheese, onion and mushrooms. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese starts to melt.

Mini White Pizzas

Remove from the oven and top with the arugula. Continue to bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, around 10-15 minutes.

Bon Appétit! 

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Chocolate Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

Cream Cheese Chocolate Crescent Rolls

Next to wonton wrappers crescent rolls are probably my second favorite food item. Not only are they delicious by themselves but you can pretty much stuff them with anything your heart desires. I’ve experimented with savory crescent rolls  in the past so this time around I was in the mood to try something sweet.

The brown sugar glaze helps sweeten the rolls so there’s no need to add a bunch of sugar in the filling. Give these a shot! They turned out quite tasty!

Check out today’s recipe featured on Yahoo! Music HERE!


Chocolate Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

Ingredients

Crescent Rolls

  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts, reserve some for garnish
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 package crescent rolls

Glaze

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, chocolate, hazelnuts and almond extract until smooth.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

Spread the crescent rolls onto a non-stick cookie sheet.

Place a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on wide end of each triangle.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle, rolling to opposite point.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, around 15-20 minutes.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

While the crescent rolls are baking combine all 4 ingredients to make the glaze. Whisk until smooth.

Remove the rolls from the oven and drizzle with the brown sugar glaze. Sprinkle with some of the chopped hazelnuts.

Bon Appetit! 

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Guacamole Dumplings

Guacamole Dumplings

The Texas State Fair is a magical place. Only there can you find anything you could possibly imagine deep fried. I typically stay away from fried food but when that wonderful time of year rolls around I go into complete food junkie mode.

All season long for American Idol I’m cooking up themed recipes for Yahoo! Music Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks Blog! This week the contestants are still in Vegas so I took some inspiration from my favorite Sin City chef, Bobby Flay.

I bought way too many avocados this week and didn’t want any of them to go to waste so when I was thinking of appetizer ideas I decided to take a que from my favorite state fair snack, Fried Guacamole.

I love how the texture of the wonton wrappers kept the dumplings light, crispy and full of flavor! You have to give these a try, you won’t be able to eat just one!

Happy Eating!


Guacamole Dumplings

Ingredients

    • 2 large avocados
    • 2 tbsp red onion, minced
    • 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 tsp lime juice
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
    • 1 cup rotisserie chicken breast, diced
    • 1 oz queso fresco
    • 1 egg
    • wonton wrappers
    • 2 cups canola oil
    • salsa

In a large bowl mix together the avocados and next 8 ingredients, through the pepper, until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Guacamole Dumplings

Add the diced rotisserie chicken.

Guacamole Dumplings

And crumbled queso fresco.

Guacamole Dumplings

Take a wonton wrapper and brush the edges with the egg wash. Place a tablespoon of the guacamole in the center of the wonton.

Guacamole Dumblings

Starting from the middle pull the edges of the wonton wrapper over the guacamole and pinch to seal.

Guacamole Dumplings

Making little packets.

Guacamole Dumplings

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over high heat. Fry the dumblings until golden brown.

Guacamole Dumplings

Remove and place on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.

Serve with your favorite salsa. Check out my Fire Roasted Salsa recipe!

Bon Appétit! 

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Black Bean Bruschetta

Black Bean Bruschetta

There’s nothing more relaxing then Sunday afternoon, especially after the insane week I just had. The husband and I just got back from an amazing long weekend in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities. Unfortunately, the Wifi we were suppose to have in our apartment wasn’t working so I wasn’t able to post this week’s Idol recipes.

The competition on American Idol continued in Vegas so I let one of my favorite restaurants in Sin City inspire my recipes. I’m a massive Bobby Flay fan and Mesa Grill is a must visit next time you’re in the mood for some delicious southwestern cuisine.

So for my first Idol inspired recipe I’m putting a twist on an Italian classic with my Black Bean Bruschetta.

Check out this season’s American Idol recipes on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks Blog!

Happy Eating!


Black Bean Bruschetta

Ingredients

Black Beans

    • French baguette
    • olive oil spray
    • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup red onion, diced
    • 1 tsp jalapeno, diced
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • ½ tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 1 tbsp heavy cream

Relish

    • ½ avocado, diced
    • 1 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
    • ¼ tsp jalapeno, diced
    • 1.5 tbsp cilantro, minced
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
    • 1oz queso fresco, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350.

Slice the baguette into 8 thick slices, around ½ an inch, and spray with the olive oil spray.

Black Bean Bruschetta

Bake until warm and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.

Black Bean Bruschetta

Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Sauté the onion and jalapeno until softened, around 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Black Bean Bruschetta

Add the black beans and next 5 ingredients, through the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by ¼ cup, 15-20 minutes.

Black Bean Bruschetta

While the black beans cook combine the avocado and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl, through the black pepper, reserving ½ tsp of cilantro for garnish. Set aside.

Black Bean Bruschetta

Swirl the cream into the beans and using a potato masher mash the beans until nice and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Spoon the black beans on top of the bread and top with a tablespoon of the relish. Sprinkle with the cheese and cilantro.

Bon Appetit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

It’s Vegas week on American Idol and I’m cooking up themed recipes for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog. Last night I was inspired by a little gambling with my poker chip themed Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips. Tonight I wanted to be a little more sinful and my girlfriend Synthia had the perfect recipe for me to steal.

She brought these little beauties over for Super Bowl Sunday and they were literally gone in about 10 minutes. They’re so easy, absolutely delicious and well…sinful. I decided to add a sliver of jalapeño to each bite to spice it up a bit and they turned out sooo good.

Have you guys been watching American Idol? Who’s your favorite?

Happy Eating!


Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 8 pieces center cut bacon, cut in thirds
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and liberally season with the salt, pepper and chili powder.

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

Toss until evenly coated with the seasoning.

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

Press a sliver of jalapeño against each piece of chicken and tightly wrap with a piece of bacon.

IMG_8465

Overlap the ends to seal.

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

Dredge each piece of chicken in the brown sugar.

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

Place on a foil lined baking sheet, seem side down.

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the bacon is nice and crisp.

Bon Appétit! 

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