Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coconut Shrimp with Southwestern rice

A couple of weeks ago I was craving shrimp, but I did not just want boring shrimp with cocktail sauce. I love trying new recipes, especially if they are easy ones. In another life I am supposed to be a chef, but in this life, I will stick to simple cooking. On the menu was coconut shrimp with southwestern rice and a side of asparagus. I was going for a zesty southwestern dish, so that is how I came up with the coconut shrimp and rice. As for the asparagus, that was just something I had on hand and it adds color! Why not?

My starting recipe was one I found on Food Network, this is usually my default Web site to start looking for delicious dishes. When I find a recipe, I usually end up adding and subtracting ingredients or I combine multiple recipes. Here is what you need for my coconut shrimp recipe...
  • Canola oil for frying (or anyone you have on hand)

  • 1/2 cup seasoned crushed croutons (or bread crumbs)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 pinches ground cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger

  • 1 cup shredded coconut

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1 lime

  • 1lb large fantail shrimp, deveined and peeled

  • The recipe online calls for Chinese Five Spice and that can be used instead of all the spices I used, I just did not have Five Spice.

    Directions -

    Heat oil over medium heat.

    Mix coconut, bread crumbs and all spices together in a bowl.

    Lightly beat the egg whites. Dip shrimp in the egg whites, then dredge shrimp in coconut mixture.

    Fry shrimp 5 minutes in hot oil until evenly golden and crispy. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

    So simple! Next, you can bake or cook your asparagus and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want to add a southwestern or yellow rice, be sure to start cooking it on the oven before the coconut shrimp, so it is all ready to serve at the same time!

    Eat and enjoy.

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Happy Hour at Blue Hour

    What could be better than happy hour? How about Blue Hour? After many recommendations, I made my way to the lovely Pearl District in Portland and enjoyed drinks and snacks at Blue Hour. It is right on the corner of 13th and Everett. I cannot believe I have not been here before, it is such a staple restaurant for NW Portland. My guess is the prices...spendy dinner for someone like me, but I am sure it is well worth it if dinner is anything like their happy hour menu.

    The simplicity of this restaurant is what I enjoyed the most. It is classic with neutral colors, elegant white linens and a touch of contemporary flare. The menu was also simple but still with plenty of choices and variety. Nothing was overwhelming about this place.

    From the happy hour menu, a friend of mine and I shared three items and each had a drink. We stuck with the Pilsner and IPA they had on tap, but there was a lengthy wine list as well to choose from. We ordered the Bluehour burger, bruschetta and Roma tomato fonduta. The burger was tasty, served on a kaiser bun with smoked bacon and white cheddar. A classic happy hour item, but the best one I have had and for only $5! The bruschetta is a daily chef's special and we decided to give it a shot. It was a cauliflower puree topped with parmesan shavings and scallions. I never thought I would like a cauliflower puree but it was actually quite good. I ended up only eating about half of the portion because it was a lot of flavor for one bite. Last was the Roma tomato fonduta topped with goat cheese served with toasted baguette slices. This item was just okay, I definitely preferred the bruschetta and burger.

    All in all, a fantastic happy hour for such a stellar restaurant. I know this places gets great reviews, but like I said, a little expensive for me to eat a meal there all the time. I highly recommend the happy hour because no food item is priced of $6. Some other dishes include a Margherita pizza, a white bean puree, garlic fries, salads and a cheese plate.
    Go check it out on 250 NW 13th Avenue at Everett Street in Portland, 503-226-3394.

    Brunch on Sundays - 10am.

    Lunch (Mon-Fri) - 11:30 am.

    Happy Hour - 4:30 to 6:30 pm every night (Saturday from 5:00), and late night after 10:00 pm.

    Dinner and drinks - 5:00pm til late