Thursday, February 10, 2011

CEiMB: Sesame Shrimp Fried Rice with Cabbage

It's actually my week to pick a recipe for the group over at Craving Ellie in My Belly to make.  I chose for us to make the Sesame Shrimp Fried Rice with Cabbage from from So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week by Ellie Krieger.  I wanted to pick something that would be fast and flavorful and a great weeknight meal.  This recipe literally takes minutes to throw together.  Shrimp is a great choice for a quick meal because it cooks in just a few minutes.  This recipe begins by sauteing ginger, scallions, and shrimp in a very hot skillet, you then add in some cabbage and cook for a few minutes more, which leaves the cabbage a bit crisp without making it soggy.  You then stir-fry cold cooked brown rice and the dish is dressed with soy sauce and sesame oil.  I added a bit of chili-garlic sauce to give it a bit of kick because I thought it would go well together with the other Asian flavors.

The thing I liked the most about this dish was the different textures and how well they worked together.  You have chewy brown rice mixed with crisp cabbage and nutty sesame seeds.  I think it has a prominent ginger flavor and I like the soy and sesame flavors as well.  Next time I might at a bit of honey to balance the saltiness with a bit of sweet, I often do that when I am making teriyaki sauce.  If you like heat, I would definitely recommend adding chili-garlic sauce like I did.  This wasn't a wow dish, but it was a fast flavorful, satisfying dish that is great for a busy weeknight.  Which is what I needed because I worked over 12 hours today.  I am just glad I didn't pick a more complicated recipe.  This is what is so great about Ellie's recipe, always easy, always tasty!  Be sure to check out the CEiMB blogroll to see what other bloggers did with their dish.

Sesame Shrimp Fried Rice with Cabbage

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 pound peeled, cleaned small shrimp
5 cups thinly sliced green cabbage, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 cups very cold cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame seeds


Heat the oil in a very large nonstick skillet or wok over a high heat. Add the scallions, ginger, and shrimp and cook stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the cabbage and continue cooking until it begins to soften, but is still somewhat crisp, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp-cabbage mixture to a bowl.
Heat the sesame oil in the same skillet or wok over a medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook stirring frequently, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp-cabbage mixture back to the skillet, stir in the soy sauce and sesame seeds and serve.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

I wanted to make something a bit different for my Dad's Superbowl party this year.  I always make my Pecan Tassies, and when I came across this recipe for Cherry Cheesecake Cookies on Tasty Kitchen, I knew I had to try these.  The recipe sounded so unique.  How could you make a cookie taste like cheesecake?  Well, this recipe accomplishes just that.  It basically combines a cheesecake batter with some butter and flour in order to make cookie dough.  The dough is then shaped into balls and rolled in graham cracker crumbs.  An indentation is made in the cookie, then 3 cherries from cherry pie filling are placed in the center and the cookies are baked.  These have a really great flavor, not quite cookie, not quite cheesecake, but very delicious!  The recipe on Tasty Kitchen says it makes 36 (but at the bottom it says 48), and the original recipe is found in America's Test Kitchen Holiday Cookie Magazine.  The original recipe says it makes about 4 dozen.  I used a 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop, and I ended up with 52 cookies.  So if you don't want a ton of cookies you might want to cut the recipe in half.  I posted the recipe below, with my changes in red. These are not easy on the waistline, but for a special treat, they really hit the spot!

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies
  • 3-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2-½ sticks Butter, Softened to room temperature
  • 2 packages Cream Cheese (8 Oz Packages Softened to room temperature)
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (I used ½ cups of store bought graham cracker crumbs)
  • 3 cans (21 Oz. Can) Cherry Pie Filling, Drained (I only needed 2 cans, I used Comstock Brand Cherry Pie Filling which claims to have more fruit in it)

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place graham cracker crumbs in a shallow dish.

Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls (or use the above mentioned cookie scoop), then roll in crumbs. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a tablespoon measure, make indentation in the center of each ball. Place 3 cherries in each dimple. 

Bake until golden around the edges, about 12 to 14 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.  (My cookies took about 16 minutes)

Cool for 5 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.)
Note: to make graham cracker crumbs, process 8 whole graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground.