Tag Archives: main dish

Shrimp Etouffee

27 Jan

The Filthy Fowl and I have both been sick, and haven’t been on a good eating schedule. We had no appetite Saturday, and then around 9:30 pm decided we HAD to have Thai noodles. It’s been one of those weekends.

Because I was sick, I planned to spend a good amount of time watching our brand new TV. Now, I’m sure many of you can relate to the fact that besides some of my cheesy teen dramas, the majority of my TV time is spent on The Food Network and TLC. I was excited to see how the cooking shows would look in HD and if Stacy London’s streak of grey hair would be any less annoying (although I love the show and Stacy, if you’re reading, plllllease hook me up!). However, when we switched to the new HD box, we had NO Food Network OR TLC!

The cable people came Saturday afternoon and fixed it, but now the cable box has completely stopped working and the Filthy Fowl has to wait around tomorrow between the convenient hours of 10 and 2 for the geniuses at Time Warner to once again visit our apartment.

Anyway…that’s a long way of telling you that during the 20ish hours that we DID have cable, I saw this recipe for Shrimp Etouffee on Paula’s Party. This is something I would never think of making, but for some reason it sounded really good for tonight, and I had most of the ingredients on hand.

Because Paula is Paula, and I am me, I made some adjustments to the recipe to make it a little more figure-friendly. Where Paula used oil, I used chicken stock. Where Paula used a half stick of butter, I used one tablespoon. I’m not sure what the difference in taste is, but mine was pretty darn good and I don’t think we missed all that extra fat and calories. I think overall this is pretty healthy, and I served it over brown rice to up the fiber content and soak up all of the sauce.

A warning: I read and saw on the show that this is extremely spicy. We like spicy, but I got a little nervous so I left out the hot sauce and figured I could add it later. Well, this certainly didn’t need any more spiciness. It was pretty spicy, and I have a high tolerance. So if you have any doubt, leave out the hot sauce and decrease the cayenne. You can always add it in later, but you can’t take it out.

There are a lot of ingredients, but most are basics. Enjoy!

Shrimp Etouffee

Adapted from Paula’s Party (my camera is out of battery so see a picture here!)

Serves 6-8


  • 1 cup chicken stock, plus more as necessary
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra flour, optional
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more if desired
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 to 3 dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can clam juice
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • Salt (Cajun seasoning has salt already)
  • 2 pounds small or medium shrimp peeled and deveined (recommended: (31/35 size count)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Rice, optional
  • Diced green onions, for garnish


Make the roux, mix chicken broth and flour in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk flour into the broth to form a paste. Add more broth as necessary. Continue cooking over low heat and whisk continuously, until the mixture turns a caramel color and gives off a nutty aroma, about 15 to 20 minutes.

To the roux, add the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic and cook over low heat about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are limp. Add the black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, green onions, parsley, and hot sauce to taste.

Add 1 can clam juice and the tomatoes with their juice, stir to blend. Add the salt, starting with 1 teaspoon, then add more if needed. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add shrimp and stir. It will take about 3 minutes for shrimp to cook, don’t overcook. Remove from heat. Add the butter and stir; the heat from the dish will melt the butter. Transfer the etouffee to a tureen, serving bowl, or if you prefer, over rice. Garnish with the green onions.


Pulled Pork & Other Football Food

22 Jan

Last weekend was cold, snowy, and perfect for staying in. Although the Filthy Fowl and I did get out, we got in a good amount of lounging. On Sunday, we had a whirlwind HDTV-buying experience, just in time for football and the Lost premiere (tonight!!).

Although the Patriots weren’t making an appearance on Sunday, the Filthy Fowl loves football regardless. Our friends K & E were coming over to watch with us, and I wanted to plan something good for dinner. Plus, they were bringing their brand new baby, so I wanted to keep them here as long as possible so we could play with little Levi!

On the menu: artichoke dip, ranch oyster crackers, pulled pork, and coleslaw. I have to say – all were delicious. Recipes are below.

Unfortunately, as the first game started, so did the snow, and they had to leave a little early so they weren’t driving in a snowy mess back to Connecticut with the baby in the back (responsible, aren’t they?). We packed them up with some pulled pork and coleslaw, and they left us with some addicting ginger-chocolate chip and sugar cookies (I want both recipes, by the way!).

Anyway…here goes.

It started with cheese, crackers, chips, salsa, and artichoke dip. This was another Cooking Light recipe and it was so good! Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures, but trust me, it’s good.

Creamy Artichoke Dip

Recipe from Cooking Light/My Recipes


  • 1/2  cup  (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4  cup  reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 3  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2  teaspoons  minced garlic
  • 2  teaspoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  (9-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts (about 2 cups), thawed and chopped
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Stir in artichoke hearts. Spoon artichoke mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until artichoke mixture is hot and begins to brown. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 72 (30% from fat)
Fat: 2.4g (sat 0.8g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.0g)
Protein: 5.7g
Carbohydrate: 8.3g
Fiber: 4.1g

The strangest thing on today’s menu were the Ranch Oyster Crackers. I know, it sounds kind of nasty to mix oyster crackers with powdered ranch dressing. The Filthy Fowl thought I was crazy and I know he had low expectations. Well, these were so good. SO good. It was hard not to inhale them by the handful!


Ranch Oyster Crackers

Adapted from Allrecipes.com (link is to original recipe, which had more spices and oil than I used)


  • 1 (1 ounce) package Ranch-style dressing mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups oyster crackers (I used one box from Trader Joe’s)


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dressing mix, dill weed, and vegetable oil. Add oyster crackers, and toss to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring gently after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool before serving.

And on to the main dish. We now have 3 crockpots, and have used one, once. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out, since it’s all make-ahead. I’m not the hugest fan of pork, but this was so good that I wanted to make it again the next day. And it’s just so easy! Enjoy…

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Recipe from The Way The Cookie Crumbles (go there for amazing pictures!)

In the slow cooker

In the slow cooker

Note: I used a 5-lb pork shoulder and this fit perfectly in my 3.5-qt slow cooker. It took about 8 hours to become very tender. I wouldn’t recommend a bigger shoulder in this size crockpot.

Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground white pepper

1 (6-8 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional – I omitted)
2 cups barbecue sauce

1. Mix all spice rub ingredients in small bowl.

2. Massage spice rub into meat. Wrap tightly in double layer of plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (For stronger flavor, the roast can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

3. Unwrap roast and place it in slow cooker liner. Add liquid smoke, if using, and ¼ cup water. Turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until meat is fork-tender.

4. Transfer roast to cutting board; discard liquid in liner. “Pull” by tearing meat into thin shreds with two forks or your fingers. Discard fat.

5. Place shredded meat back in slow cooker liner; toss with 1 cup barbecue sauce, and heat on low for 30-60 minutes, until hot. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.

With coleslaw and extra barbeque sauce

With coleslaw and extra barbeque sauce

Enchilada Casserole

13 Jan

Tonight was Mexican night in the City Girl kitchen! It was slightly unusual because I generally don’t love Mexican food, but the Filthy Fowl was away for the weekend and got back this morning, so I wanted to make something I knew he would like. However, since his weekend trip included a hot dog-eating contest, I wanted something that was pretty healthy (although not light). And, adding to my challenge was the fact that today was my first day at a new job (!!!) so I wanted something easy that I could just throw together when I got home. This recipe fit the bill. With only 249 calories and 5.7 grams of fat, it’s amazing that it tastes so good. I did make some substitutions which may have affected the calorie/fat count, but I don’t think it changed TOO much. Also…I didn’t even have to throw this together…because I made it yesterday! I assembled everything then put it in the fridge (covered in foil) uncooked. When I got the call that the Filthy Fowl was on his way home, I threw it in the oven. It doesn’t get easier than that!

I assembled last night

I assembled last night

I found this recipe from a link on cookinglight.com. I think the site, myrecipes.com, puts together recipes from several different magazines. It’s a great site for lots of healthy recipes. This originally called for turkey, but since 97% lean ground sirloin was on sale at Whole Foods (and I had a gift card), I used that instead. Oh, and did I mention that it was DELICIOUS? We both loved it. I served it with a vegetable salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and celery tossed with lemon juice, salt and pepper. The Filthy Fowl added a little olive oil, but I liked it with just the lemon juice. Here’s the finished product…it tasted better than it looks in these pictures! Cooked casserole It wasn’t light, but it didn’t leave you feeling gross like a lot of Mexican food. You can’t tell that you’re eating healthy with all this gooey (low-fat) cheese. blog-pics-029 I noted my adaptations in italics…

Enchilada Casserole

adapted from MyRecipes Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast (1 lb 97% lean ground sirloin)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (mix of cumin, coriander, chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salad oil (olive oil)
  • chopped pickled jalapenos – the kind that come in the jar
  • 1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce
  • Salt
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese (8 oz.)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (omitted, by accident)


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. (At this point I did have to drain the mixture a little. I’m not sure if this would also happen with turkey.) Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste. 2. Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture, the chopped jalapenos, and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese. 3. Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 249 (20% from fat)
Protein: 27g
Fat: 5.7g (sat 3.1)
Carbohydrate: 23g
Fiber: 1.7g
Sodium: 1048mg
Cholesterol: 58mg

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks

10 Jan

Fish sticks? Really? I was never a big fan of those frozen fish sticks – I don’t think my mom really served them – but when I saw this recipe on Cooking This and That, I was intrigued. These aren’t really fish sticks – they’re panko-crusted tilapia. I’ve been wanting to try panko for a while, because I recently made something with breadcrumbs and it just didn’t have the crispiness that I like. Also, the Filthy Fowl and I went to Maryland a few years ago and were inspired to buy some Old Bay Seasoning – but haven’t been inspired to use it yet.

So I made these Panko-Crusted Tilapia with Herbed Dipping Sauce. It was really good and I served it with roasted baby red potatoes and roasted green beans. Yum.

Filthy Fowl got really into taking pictures, but the pictures still don’t do it justice. Hopefully with some practice we can make the food look a little more appetizing. As a side note, after the “official” pictures, Filthy Fowl arranged the potatoes, fish, and green beans into a smiley face. He forgets to take pictures at oh, say, any of our wedding events or trips, but fish-based smiley faces, he’s all about.

Finished product

Looking good...

(As another side note, I’m not entirely sold on calling him Filthy Fowl in a cooking blog, but he likes it. Go figure).

Here’s the recipe…(and more photos below)

Roasted Potatoes & Green Beans: This is simple and standard. I just tossed whole baby red potatoes with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400 degrees. After about 20 minutes, I added the green beans to the same pan (also tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper). This is a great space saver in the oven and for clean-up as well.

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks with Herb Dipping Sauce
from Everyday Food via Cooking This and That (and thanks for my first blog comment, Colleen!)
Makes about 3 servings

1 large egg
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cups panko
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound tilapia fillets

(I very much estimated on these. I hardly used any mayo.)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 teaspoons prepared white horseradish

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F, with racks in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil.

Cut tilapia filets in half lengthwise, and then again the other direction. You now have 4 sticks per fillet.

Crack egg into shallow bowl, lightly beat with fork. Season with salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, combine panko, Old Bay, and olive oil.

Dip each tilapia stick into egg, shaking off the excess; then into panko mixture, pressing mixture so that it sticks.

Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, until panko is lightly browned and fish is cooked through.

Meanwhile, mix all sauce ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and serve alongside fish sticks.

Here's a shot with the dipping sauce.

Here's a shot with the dipping sauce.

Aforementioned photo from the Filthy Fowl...

Aforementioned photo from the Filthy Fowl...