Friday, December 15, 2017

Crispy Honey Shrimp (PF Chang's Copy Cat Recipe!)

OOH boy, oh boy do I have a fun weekend meal for you to cook up!

This recipe was born out of desperation. A craving, really, that couldn't be resolved easily. I NEEDED Crispy Honey Shrimp from PF Chang's and yet I found myself with no motivation to actually drive however many miles it would have taken to get to my closest restaurant. Whenever that happens, the most logical thing to do is take to the internet to find the recipe and make it myself. That's exactly what I did.

This Crispy Honey Shrimp is the perfect alternative to my usual PF Chang's meal! It is just as irresistibly crunchy, sweet, sour and gooey. Served over white rice and topped with scallions, and you'll be none the wiser that this ISN'T take out but rather some super tasty deliciousness from your own kitchen.

The recipe that follows isn't inherently hard by any means; I truly believe that anyone could whip it up. However, there are a few steps involved, and the main process (that is, frying the shrimp to airy, crispy perfection) can be a little intimidating. To be honest, I still get a little scared when I am dealing with a big pot of hot oil! The best way to combat these fears is to be sure you have a candy thermometer (to monitor oil temperature...keep it at the right temperature=no fire!), use a heavy pot with high sides (like a 6 quart dutch oven), and use your back burner (to protect kids and pets and yourself from any spills or splatters!).

Once the shrimp is cooked and crispy, the real winner of this recipe is that thick and gooey honey sauce. This is what makes this recipe crave-able. Warm, crispy shrimp get a quick toss in that sweet, tangy sauce and poured over a hot bed of white rice. Oh my. I mean just look at that shine!

Make your whole family extra happy...don't wait another minute...make this shrimp!!

Here's what you need for Crispy Honey Shrimp* (Print Recipe)

30-40 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 cup ice water
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup rice wine
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup corn starch

Here's what you do

In the bottom of a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce and corn starch. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pat dry the shrimp with a couple of paper towels and toss in the marinade. Set aside while you prepare the batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch and baking soda. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the egg. Beat slightly to break it up. Pour in the ice water and mix until smooth and no clumps of flour remain. Set marinade aside to rest while you prepare the oil for frying.

Set a dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat on the back burner. Add enough oil so there is at least about 2 inches in the pot. Affix a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, being sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot but is submerged in the oil. When the oil reaches 350 degrees, you are ready to begin frying. Line a baking sheet with a 2 layers of paper towels.

Remove the shrimp from the marinade and place into the batter. Toss to coat completely. Remove a few shrimps at a time and tap off excess batter. Slowly lower into the oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown, gently turning to cook evenly and prevent sticking. Use a spider spoon to remove the shrimp from the oil, allow excess oil to drip off then transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

While cooking the shrimp, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, whisk together the rice wine, honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger over medium-low heat. In a small bowl, mix together the water and corn starch to create a slurry. Add to the saucepan and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened.

To serve, add a few tablespoons of the warm sauce to a medium bowl and toss together with one serving of shrimp. Pour over a bed of hot white rice and sprinkle with chopped scallions. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Serve immediately!

*Recipe from Sweet and Savory Meals

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

S'mores Pumpkin Pie

We are just 2 days away from one of the greatest holidays of the year -- Thanksgiving!

And to celebrate, I have done something wild and crazy and really great. I had the idea for this recipe and decided shortly thereafter that this would be our big Thanksgiving recipe here on Gas Stove Girl this year. It's traditional with a major ooey, gooey, twist that you're sure to love.

Here it is, the centerpiece of your dessert table. It is S'mores Pumpkin Pie and, well, just look at it!

This pie is a little outrageous but super ridiculously delicious, it is sweet and full of warming fall spices. It starts with a classic pumpkin pie, but rather than a traditional pie crust, we will fully embrace the s'mores aspect with a graham cracker crust. Once our pumpkin pie has been baked a cooled slightly, we are going to top it with jumbo marshmallows that will get toasted golden brown! Not only are marshmallows very essential to s'mores, but this also reminds me a little bit of the sweet potato casserole our grandparents would make, with lil' baby mallows on top. Nostalgic and decadent, a win-win!

Now, if there is one thing that is always noticeably absent from a Thanksgiving dessert spread, I would argue that it's CHOCOLATE. And lucky for you, I have found a way to remedy that situation without sacrificing our favorite pie. A beautiful drizzle of bittersweet chocolate ganache it the perfect finishing touch to our s'mores pie!

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with great food (like s'mores pumpkin pie), your closest family, and a full stomach and heart. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sausage and Kale Tortellini Soup

Hiiii, it's finally soup season!

You guys KNOW I love me some soup. As soon as there starts to be the faintest chill in the air, I am all IN on soup for dinner (let's be honest, sometimes I make it in the dead of summer. I just love it!)

This soup, like all great soups in my very humble and honest opinion, is so easy to make while also being loaded with different flavors and textures that make it so much more than a basic bowl of soup. With the first freeze of the season happening in New England today, you HAVE to be sure to add this Sausage and Kale Tortellini Soup to your menu.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I know you might be thinking...didn't you JUST post a recipe with sausage? What gives? And I would say to you that yes, yes I did. That is kind of sausage overload, but I do really and truly LOVE sausage. However, this wasn't my original schedule of posts. My PLAN was to share a pistachio and chocolate sour cream coffee cake with you all this week. But this, of course, is no cake recipe. In fact, my dreams of a pistachio and chocolate coffee cake are in the garbage after my bundt pan overflowed everywhere and the edges overcooked while the middle stayed raw. It was probably my biggest food fail to date, and it left me bitter towards any and all baked goods. But, when life gets you down, the best thing to do is turn back to what you're good at - for me, that's soup!!

Alright, so. What is it about this soup that makes it stand out among the hundreds of other soup recipes out there on Pinterest? First of all, tortellini. Perfect little stuffed pasta packages swimming in a flavorful broth among some of our favorite vegetables. To compliment the robust flavors in the sausage (which, by the way, I used chicken sausage here - it's a bit more tender than pork sausage, making it better for a soup) I steeped a bouquet garni in the broth while the veggies and pasta cook. This is a simple bundle of rosemary, parsley and sage, but the flavor benefits are out of this world!

I also love wilting in a leafy green to most soups, for flavor, texture and added nutrition, and my grocery store had the most beautiful bunches of kale that I had to scoop up for this. Rachel Ray always suggests adding in a bit of freshly grated nutmeg to really bring out the flavor of kale, so I finished off this soup in that exact way and let me tell you - between the nutmeg and the sage, this soup is filled with all those intoxicating, warming holiday season flavors that make my heart smile!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Ooh ooh! Look! Comfort food!

And not just any comfort food. This has everything you need, including but not limited to pasta, fontina cheese, sausage, pumpkin and accompanying seasonal spices. So many flavors in each delightful little bite!

These Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Cream Sauce are a wonderful Fall spin on a classic dish. Even though I love basically every baked good made with pumpkin ever, this season I've been trying to incorporate pumpkin into more savory dishes. And, based on how ah-mazing this recipe turned out, that happens to be a very, very good idea.

The idea for these stuffed shells was born first and foremost from my desire to make a pumpkin and sage cream sauce, filled with nutty fontina cheese, creamy pumpkin, fresh sage plus cinnamon, nutmeg and a little red pepper flake. I knew I wanted these shells to be both meaty and cheesy, so I built the filling around savory ground sausage to really bring out the sage. Combine that with a bit of ricotta cheese, more pumpkin, spinach and parmesan and you will be well on your way to the ultimate Fall pasta dish!

Are you hosting a holiday party or Friendsgiving this year? Have you been tasked with bringing the first course to a family dinner? Look no further than this recipe right here! Don't be intimidated by the number of steps - everything about making this dish is therapeutic plus you have the promise of aaaall this deliciousness at the finish line!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Recent Eats - Volume 6

I can't believe that Halloween is just around the corner! I really love Halloween, but I am not ready to accept that we are hurtling head-first into the holiday season. We've got a busy November and December ahead of us, but I will be cooking and eating to my heart's content. Check back each week for some new, hopefully super festive recipes! In the meantime, here's a look at a few bonus eats we've been enjoying the past few weeks!

Quick, clean Zucchini Fritters

November may be just around the corner, but there is no denying that this has been a rather warm autumn so far. Turns out, that's not the worst thing ever because that means we got a few extra weeks of fresh vegetables at the farmer's market. I used the last of my zucchini bounty for zucchini bread, turkey zucchini meatballs, enchiladas, and these zucchini fritters! I originally walked through the step by step recipe on my Instagram stories, but since those only survive for 24 hours I wanted to be sure these could live on forever on the internet.

Super simple, super yummy, clean-eating approved...just put a drippy egg on it and you have breakfast/lunch/dinner in 20 minutes or less!

One Pot Stove Top Mac and Cheese!

I am of the firm belief that in this world, we all need a back-pocket stove top macaroni and cheese that we can whip up in no time at all with a few staples. It's like the stuff from the box but 100% more delicious and creamy AND without any weird unknown chemicals. This is the type of recipe we cook up after a long day, when we feel like crying for no reason, or when we just need a big old hug. It's so simple, we don't even need to make a roux! The secret is...wait for it...CREAM CHEESE!

Here's how you make it: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook a box of small cut pasta, such as shells, for 7 to 8 minutes until very al dente. Reserve at least 1 cup of cooking liquid then strain the pasta and return to the pot. Over low heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, a big pinch of black pepper, a little salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir, stir, stir with all your might until everything is melted and starting to come together. Add enough reserved pasta water to create a creamy, dreamy sauce. Sprinkle in some fresh chopped chives and serve at once...yummy!

The Best Italians in Boston

Back in March, we moved to the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston, and it wasn't until last week that a coworker of mine informed me that the actual best sandwich you can get in Boston is ALSO in Hyde Park.

Tutto Italiano is a nondescript little deli that has some of the tastiest and most authentic Italian offerings this side of the Charles River. They have tons of Italian wines, sodas, and candies, in addition to fresh pasta and sauces and classic Italian cookies. But it's their amazing sandwiches, piled high on bread they bake fresh in the store, that brings the crowd (and yes, there will be a crowd no matter when you go!) I had the classic Italian, and trust me when I say it lives up to the hype. Not only is the bread fresh, but they also freshly slice all the meats as well as the lettuce and onions for each sandwich. Truly to die for! If you find yourself in the neighborhood, be sure to stop in! You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pumpkin Chip Vanilla Pudding Cookies

These cookies are little festive pillows of happiness!

No, seriously. I could honestly take a nap on one of these cookies. They are irresistibly soft and bursting with pumpkin flavor.

When I first saw these Toll House Pumpkin Spice Chips at the grocery store, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I HAD to have them. I didn't know exactly what I was going to do with them, but I had no idea it would be this delicious.

These Pumpkin Chip Vanilla Pudding Cookies are made with all the best things that we need in a cookie, plus a few extra special ingredients that kick the flavor up a notch. We start with a whole stick of butter, because duh, and a bit of pumpkin puree because it is October after all and if your pantry isn't packed with cans of pumpkin then how are we even friends? These get beaten together with both granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.

Note: if your butter is not super soft, this mixture may look a little curdled when you start mixing it...don't panic. Everything is fine. Keep going and trust the process.

To the butter, pumpkin, sugar mixture, we will add some eggs and the ultimate secret ingredient -- a package of vanilla pudding mix! If you have never made pudding cookies, I'm here to blow. your. mind. Adding a package of pudding mix to cookie batter adds a burst of flavor and also keeps your cookies soft and fresh for days and days!

To finish up the batter, we will mix together our dry ingredients. which includes a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg of course to bring out the flavor of the pumpkin, and combine wet and dry. Lastly, the pièce de résistance, those pumpkin spice chips! Delightfully bright orange in color, sweet, and packed with warming spices and a subtle pumpkin flavor. Oh gosh. My mouth is watering just thinking about these cookies, they are truly that good!

I actually LOVE these cookies straight out of the fridge - when they are chilled, they become a bit chewy and the flavors really develop...mmm, ok. I need to go make another batch of these! Don't miss this recipe!!

P.S. I am realizing now that these aren't the most beautifully styled photos, but that's because when I was taking these pictures my husband was up on our roof for the first time ever taking down a satellite dish so I was a little stressed...believe me, though - THEY. ARE. TASTY!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Drink and Snack Pairings with SkinnyPop!

There is nothing quite like autumn in New England!

Well, except this year, when autumn in New England means extreme humidity and mid-summer temperatures...

Then again, that hasn't stopped me from setting out mums and pumpkins on the front porch, going apple picking, and enjoying as many fall drinks and baked goods as possible!

As for everyday snacking, my husband and I always have a bag or two of different SkinnyPop popcorn in our pantry for munching on no matter what time of day it is. My favorite flavors are Sea Salt & Pepper and Aged White Cheddar. SkinnyPop popcorn is full of flavor and incredibly satisfying while still being a light snack you can feel good about all day long.

No matter what fall drink you love, SkinnyPop has a drink and snack pairing that you'll be enjoying straight through Thanksgiving and beyond! These five fall-inspired drinks make my mouth water, and I am even more excited that SkinnyPop has paired each drink with the perfect flavor of popcorn!

I am most excited to mix up a batch of Autumn Pear Mojitos to serve alongside SkinnyPop's Sea Salt & Pepper popcorn. Pears add a slightly sweet and autumn-inspired twist to a classic mojito, and you can really pump up the flavor by adding a pinch of cinnamon to the muddled pears and mint. The refreshing cocktail will quench your thirst while also bringing out the flavor of the pepper - a win-win!

Be sure to pin this post so you can always have delicious cocktails to pair with your favorite popcorn flavors! Enjoy responsibly :-)