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Fri
31
Oct '08

Celebrate Halloween With This Spooky Recipe Roundup

Looking for something to do with all that leftover Halloween candy? Here’s some nice recipes that will help you make the most of your extra goodies.

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Thu
30
Oct '08

Red Velvet Devil Dawg Sandwich Cookies

Doug DuCap's Original Recipes: Click Here to Enjoy More Original Recipes and Cooking Ideas

Red velvet cake is one of those Southern specialties that don’t often see the light of day anywhere else. If you’ve never had it before, a slice of red velvet layer cake could be, visually speaking, a bit disturbing. The color is surprisingly intense. Once you’ve tasted it, though, you’ll forget all about the unnatural color and just enjoy the unexpected chocolatey hit.

Originally, it was unprocessed cocoa powder that gave the cake a reddish color. Now, in these days of Dutch-processed cocoa, the color is ‘enhanced’, but the end result is still wonderfully rich. Be warned, though: the color of the batter is like nothing you’ve ever seen, except maybe on C.S.I.!

Because this recipe uses a standard cake mix and frosting, it would be an easy way to serve an unusual dessert on Halloween without too much trouble. The thicker-than-normal batter is piped into a dog bone shape; you can either freehand it or, if you have a dog bone cookie cutter, trace the outline on the parchment. If you don’t have a piping bag, spoon some cake batter into a ziploc bag, seal the air out, and cut a very small tip off one of the bottom corners. (Remember, you can always make the hole larger, but it’s tough to make it smaller!)

These delicious cookies also work wonderfully if you’re making your own homemade ice cream sandwiches!

Here’s a photo of one of the Red Velvet Devil Dawg Sandwich Cookies.

Doug DuCap's Red Velvet Devil Dawg Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 box Duncan Hines red velvet cake mix (18.25 oz box)
White, vanilla, or cream cheese frosting (I used Pillsbury White Frosting)
Powdered sugar
Red icing (optional)

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add the cocoa to the dry cake mix and prepare according to package directions, reducing water to 1 cup and oil to 1/4 cup.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon some of the cake batter into a piping bag with a medium hole tip or a ziploc with the corner cut off. Pipe the outline of a dog bone shape about 3-1/2 inches long on the parchment and fill in a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until firm. Cool on wire rack.

Make a cookie sandwich using your choice of frosting, dust the tops with powdered sugar, and decorate with red icing, if desired.

Enjoy!

You Can Read More of Doug’s Recipe Corner Here.

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Wed
29
Oct '08

Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp With Capers

Doug DuCap's Original Recipes: Click Here to Enjoy More Original Recipes and Cooking Ideas

This is without doubt one of my favorite meals. I first had Spanish style garlic shrimp many years ago in a Spanish restaurant in the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ and have maintained an abiding love for them ever since.

The classic version is simpler, but (and I wince at the immodesty here) I honestly think this version is a superior expression. It doesn’t stray into heterodoxy; it simply brings in a few more authentic flavors from the palette of Spanish cuisine. The resulting combination of flavors not only infuses the shrimp, but creates a sauce that is delicious almost beyond the range of mortal words to describe. It is the sauce that crusty bread was put on this earth to absorb.

BTW, a recipe for the classic version can be found in The Foods and Wines of Spain by Penelope Casas (if you don’t own it, I strongly suggest you consider adding it to your collection right away. It’s a brilliant book; comprehensive and an absolute delight to read.)

To make up for my apostasy, I send the talented Ms Casas a deep bow and a courtly kiss on the hand, and a humble request that she try this version just once. The truth is in the tasting, que no?

Here’s a photo of the Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp With Capers below which were originally made as part of our special Hand to Mouth Series that focused on the joys of shrimp.

Doug DuCap's Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp With Capers

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp olive oil (a full-flavored Spanish olive oil is best)
1 large bay leaf
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp small capers
1 Tbsp brandy
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (dry well on paper towels)
(watch our video which shows how to easily peel, process, and devein shrimp)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (see Cook’s Note)
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
2 Tbsp minced parsley
Sea salt, if needed

PREPARATION:

In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and the bay leaf over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute, stirring for a minute or so until just softened.

Add the pepper flakes, the capers, and the brandy, and cook off the alcohol for a minute. Turn heat to medium-high and toss in the shrimp, stirring quickly to cook them evenly.

Cook the shrimp until opaque and just firm.

Remove from heat, stir in the paprikas and the parsley. Taste for salt. Serve immediately with warm crusty peasant bread for dipping. Serves four as an appetizer.

Cook’s Note: Smoked paprika, with its unique and delightful flavor, is the secret ingredient of classic Spanish cuisine and is well worth seeking out. It can be found at many gourmet shops, specialty food stores, or online. Though there is no direct substitute, an equivalent amount of good quality regular paprika with 2-3 drops of mesquite smoke flavoring added can be used with good results.

Enjoy!

You Can Read More of Doug’s Recipe Corner Here.

You can also see our list of delicious seafood recipes, organized by type of fish to make it easier for you to find culinary inspiration and ideas.

Blog Fast ForwardPlease join us tomorrow to find out more about our new Halloween inspired recipe with a Southern twist, Red Velvet Devil Dawg Sandwich Cookies.

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