#TT: Shrimp and Avocado Plantain Cups

As much as I love a quick and simple recipe, I generally loathe the videos that circulate on a certain social networking site. I saw a recipe similar to this and I was inspired. I changed a lot, for instance, baked cups as opposed to twice baked….something-or-others. I added a lot more flavor (and seasoning, ofc.) and upped the health-factor with more veg and some beans.

These can be eaten as a snack, an appetizer (great accompaniment for my simple black bean dip) or as a meal, just load up your plate and dive in.

 


(12 qty)

You will need: a mandolin slicer, cupcake pan and a microplane

 

3-4 large green plantains

Kosher salt

Pepper

Red onion

One large, ripe avocado

Can of black beans, rinsed

2 limes, 1 zested, 1 for garnish

½ lb to 1 lbs of deveined and peeled shrimp

Medium tomato, chopped

Olive oil

Smoked paprika

Chili powder

Cumin

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Bunch of cilantro

Seeded and chopped serrano pepper (optional)

Cooking spray

 


 

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

Peel your plantains and cut in half, across.

(PLEASE BE CAREFUL, USE YOUR GUIDE, DO NOT CUT YOUR FINGER TIP OFF. IT’S NOT FUN. TRUST ME)Using your mandolin slicer on the lowest setting (thinnest), slice your plantain as many times as possible.

 

In your cupcake pan, spray with cooking spray.

Layer your plantains inside the pan, cut into pieces as needed (pictured below). Spray with cooking spray, salt and pepper.

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Bake 15-30 minutes, begin checking for crisp, golden brownness around 15 minutes and every couple of minutes after until ready to be pulled.

In a small bowl, add your shrimp and a couple of tbsp of olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Season liberally with smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder. Sauté on med-high heat until cooked through.

Reserve 12 whole shrimp and chop up the remainder.

In a large bowl, combine your chopped red onion, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, lime zest, chopped tomato and chopped cooked shrimp. Squeeze the juice of your lime and toss gently to combine.

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After allowing your cups to cool, remove them from the pan.

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Fill your cups with your mixture and top with whole shrimp.

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The filling can be served warm or cold. If there is any leftover, toss it with some baby greens and have a quick, NOM-worthy salad.

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© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

#TT: Stacked Chicken Enchiladas

Second installment of the #TT series of dishes that have been previously posted elsewhere without a recipe. I made this a few weeks ago and it was a hit. So many flavors, so much cheese. Because the tortillas (1) do not require rolling and (2) are not pre-dipped in oil  you save time and we’re talking healthier. So you can enjoy more cheese.

 

15-20 corn tortillas

1 15oz can of diced or whole tomato

1 small onion

4-6 cloves of garlic

1-2 chipotle in adobo

1 cup of chicken broth, low sodium

2 scallions (white and green parts)

1 can of black beans, drained

2-3 chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs

2-3 tbsp of oil

garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and cumin

½ tsp of kosher salt and pepper

Juice and zest of half a lime

Shredded cheese

Garnish: (optional)

Cilantro

Queso fresco

Avocado

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  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a large pot, add a tbsp of the oil and the onion. Let it sweat a bit before adding the garlic. Add in the chopped up chipotle pepper.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, as well as 1 tsp each of garlic powder, cumin and chili powder.
  4. Add tomato and chicken broth
  5. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer.
  6. In a large bowl, place your chicken and add remaining oil, seasonings (2 tsp of each) and lime. Toss until coated well.
  7. Put coated chicken in an oven-safe pan and bake until cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Internal temp should register at 165 degrees.
  8. Let the chicken rest.
  9. At this point you want to either use an immersion blender or pour your tomato base into a blender and pulse, some texture is okay.
  10. Return to the pot and bring to a boil and return to a simmer. Taste and adjust spices and salt as necessary.
  11. Chop up the chicken and the scallions
  12. Turn oven down to 375.
  13. In a large, oven safe pan, spray with cooking spraystack2.jpg
  14. Create a single layer of corn tortillas, cutting pieces to fit as needed.
  15. Ladle some of the tomato sauce
  16. Sprinkle some of the chicken, the beans and the scallions.
  17. Top with cheese. Repeat steps 13-16 until the pan is full. You should be able to get 3 layers.
  18. Final layer should be sauce and cheese. Bake until bubbling.stack03

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© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

#TT: Maple Bourbon Bacon Cupcakes

Thrifty or Throwback Thursday? It’s the inaugural post, we’ll figure that out as we grow. For the #TT posts I intend to revisit dishes that I’ve previously posted to IG (but did not include recipes)*

I know that there are certain posts that some of you have messaged me about. So, this #TT series will be your opportunity to get your hands on those recipes!

This #TT will be in honor of our housewarming. My family and I recently moved to Washington, DC. We warmed our home with old friends, new friends and family. It was a blast! And there was so. much. food. I barely ate but, as most cooks do, I tasted along the way so I was full before I could put my feet up.

There were jerk chicken sliders. There was a spicy pineapple slaw. Turkey burger sliders. Veggie packed lasagna. And the star of the show- Maple Bourbon Bacon Cupcakes. That’s a mouthful and they were a mouthful.

NOM!

 

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These are a basic vanilla cupcake that are topped with a simple maple buttercream.

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Where’s the booze!? I know that’s why you’re here. Booze and bacon, I’m getting to it. So, instead of incorporating the booze into the batter, I chose to make a simple syrup with the bourbon. That beautiful twankle and glisten on the cupcakes? Bourbon simple syrup. But Alexa, is that all the booze in these cupcakes!? Oh. Oh, absolutely not. That very same boozy simple syrup was poured onto each and every single cupcake before the buttercream topping. Yes. You’re welcome.

 

And obviously. The bacons.

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Maple Bourbon Bacon Cupcakes 

Yields 12-18 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup of sugar

2 large eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ cup of milk

 

For the buttercream:

2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature)

3 ½ cups powdered sugar

6 tbsp pure maple syrup

pinch of sea salt

 

For the simple syrup:

½ cup of water

½ cup of sugar

½ cup of bourbon

 

For THE (candied) BACONS:

¼- ½ lb bacon

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp bourbon

 

For the simple vanilla cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tin
  2. In a large bowl or your stand mixer (you should totally invest in a stand mixer) place the butter and sugar; beat until light and fluffy on med-high speed
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time until well combined; add the vanilla and scrape the sides. Mix until smooth, about one minute on med-high speed.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together baking powder and flour
  5. Pour in some of the flour mixture, some of the milk and alternate until incorporated fully
  6. Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full
  7. Place them in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, you want a golden top.
  8. Do the handy dandy toothpick test
  9. Place tin on a cooling rack; after a few minutes remove the cupcakes from the tin
  10. Once fully cooled use a tooth pick to poke a half dozen holes in the cupcakes; carefully spoon the syrup over the cupcakes. The cake will absorb the flavorful liquid.
  11. After, you can go on and frost them bad boys!

For the buttercream:

  1. In a large bowl or a stand mixer that is fitted with the whisk attachment (I told you a stand mixer is a good investment), whip the butter for about 30 seconds
  2. Add the powdered sugar very carefully, one cup at a time. You do not want to inhale a sugar cloud. Trust me.
  3. Scrape the sides; alternate the speed from slow (as you pour) and then med-high to incorporate well for each addition
  4. Scrape down the sides and slowly add the maple syrup
  5. Mix on med-high for about four minutes until the buttercream comes together and is nice and fluffy.
  6. Chill in the fridge for a few minutes prior to icing the cupcakes

For the boozy simple syrup:

  1. Pour ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar into a sauce pan
  2. Heat the ingredients until fully dissolved, whisk constantly
  3. Add ½ cup of booze and stir to incorporate
  4. Taste, taste, taste! Adjust accordingly, if needed. I vaguely remember adding more booze. Don’t be like me (be like me, they were amazing!)
  5. Let simmer until it thickens up like a syrup

For THE (candied) BACONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut the bacon in half so that they’re easier to manage
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, maple syrup and bourbon
  4. Place the bacon in the bowl and toss to coat evenly
  5. While the bacon rests in the boozy mixture, line a baking sheet with foil and top with a baking rack
  6. Lay the bacon on the rack in a single layer
  7. Back 20-30 minutes, or until just crispy. Because there is sugar, this bacon can and will burn very quickly so pay close attention as it nears the 20 minute mark.
  8. Let cool and then chop up
  9. Sprinkle the chopped bacon on top of the frosted cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

(*Due to the nature of these posts, images and recipes may not be as thorough as newly posted content. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.)

 

 

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved