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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Let’s get it on in the kitchen

    You didn’t make Valentine’s Day reservations at any of the restaurants in last week’s WILDlife because:

    A) You forgot and every place you’ve considered is now fully booked.

    B) You want to impress the love of your life – or, for anyone who’s single, your friends – with your cooking skills.

    C) You want to have money for rent, food and other necessities after Valentine’s Day.

    D) All of the above.

    Whatever answer fits your current situation, WILDlife is here to help you through Valentine’s Day with the following recipes. They are simple, delicious, inexpensive, and will impress whoever you’re entertaining.

    DINNER

    Spanish Garlic Shrimp

    Makes about 4 servings

    Time: About 30 minutes, mainly for preparation

    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 3 teaspoons paprika
    • 2 or 3 large cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
    • 1/3 cup olive oil, or more as needed
    • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds uncooked shrimp, 20-30 per pound, peeled, deveined, rinsed and dried
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    • Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

    Blend together in a large bowl the cumin, paprika and olive oil. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.

    Set oven rack as close to the broiler as possible. Preheat the broiler. Line a heatproof baking pan with foil.

    Mix the garlic slivers into the shrimp and spiced oil. Pour everything onto the foil and spread evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Broil the shrimp until cooked through – it should look pink – about 4 – 10 minutes, depending on the broiler.

    Remove from the oven and scatter the minced cilantro over the shrimp. Serve immediately.

    • Buy fresh shrimp if possible. With frozen shrimp, get ones with the shell on. Place them in a strainer under cold running water to thaw and dry.
    • This recipe can also be done in a skillet on the stovetop.

    Let’s not forget that Valentine’s Day is also “”Single’s Awareness Day.”” But that doesn’t mean you have to spend Feb. 14 at home alone, sobbing to “”The Notebook.”” Round up a group of your fellow single friends and cook up some Spicy Turkey Chili. This comforting dish is easy to make, cheap, and healthy to boot.

    Spicy Turkey Chili

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound extra lean ground
    • turkey
    • 1 can each kidney beans, pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, diced
    • 1 can tomato paste
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 1 packet chili seasoning
    • Cooking spray

    Spray a large pot with cooking spray, heat to high. Add chopped onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent. Add packet of chili seasoning and green bell pepper.

    Add ground turkey, stirring occasionally and cooking until the meat is no longer pink. Add can of tomatoes, tomato paste and beans. Cover the pot, turning the heat to medium low. Allow chili to simmer for 20 minutes, then serve.

    BREAKFAST

    Just what is it about sex appeal and the French? They seem to add a certain je ne sais quoi to everything they touch – French perfume, French lingerie and, of course, the French kiss.

    Another French favorite will definitely score points with your significant other this Valentine’s Day: fruit filled crepes. You can use whichever fruit you like for the filling, although the red color of strawberries and raspberries is particularly fitting for the holiday. Breakfast in bed never looked so sexy, non?

    Strawberry Filled Crepes

    Makes 4-5 servings

    Time: About 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces strawberries, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
    • 1 cup whipped cream
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 tablespoon oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3/4 cup skim milk

    For the filling: toss the strawberries and brown sugar in a bowl and set aside.

    For the crepes: In a medium bowl whisk flour, egg, oil, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon and skim milk.

    Heat frying pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cup of the batter in the pan and make sure it evenly covers the bottom.

    Cook each side for 30-45 seconds on each side (should not be completely browned) and remove to a plate.

    When all crepes are fully cooked, spread one or two spoonfuls of whipped cream into the middle, cover with a spoonful of the berry mixture. Then wrap one side of the crepe over the mix and the other side over the first. Cover with whipped cream and more berry mix.

    Recipezaar.com

    LUNCH

    This elegant appetizer, adapted from a recipe by Bon Appetit’s Sarah Tenaglia, serves as a perfect prelude to a light romantic lunch. You and your significant other can take a moment, or three, to feed each other the crisps before proceeding to the next course. The quantities here can be easily doubled or quadrupled if you’re planning to serve this to your single friends and other couples.

    Pancetta Crisps w/ Goat Cheese and Pear

    Makes 4 servings

    Time: About 20-30 minutes

    • 4 thin slices pancetta
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • 4 teaspoons fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
    • 1 very ripe small pear, halved, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
    • Fresh thyme leaves

    Place baking rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place pancetta slices on a baking pan covered with foil. Sprinkle with pepper.

    Bake until the pancetta is golden, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place pancetta on a platter. Cool until warm.

    Top each slice with 1 teaspoon of goat cheese and 1 pear slice. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and serve.

    Get a rolled, round pancetta. It allows for better presentation and serving.

    DESSERT

    Nothing quite says Valentine’s Day like a box of See’s Candy and a dozen roses. Unfortunately, it also says, “”Sorry honey. I totally forgot about Valentine’s Day, but I stopped by the mall on the way home and picked these up.”” Hate to break it to you guys, but you won’t get off so easy this year. Redeem yourself this Valentine’s Day with a recipe for homemade truffles. Like the name suggests, they’re ridiculously easy to whip up, yet taste incredibly rich.

    Begin with the simple base ingredients, and add toppings to create a custom box of chocolates specifically catered to your sweetie’s sweet tooth.

    Is she a Rocky Road lover? Fold marshmallows and chopped walnuts into the mix. Or perhaps she’s more of a traditionalist: try rolling the truffle base around caramels or mini peanut butter cups.

    Easy Decadent Truffles

    Ingredients

    • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

    In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Shape into 1-inch balls.

    Allrecipes.com

    Variations:

    Rocky Road – Fold mini marshmallows and chopped nuts into truffle mixture

    Mudslide Truffles – Crush Oreo cookies in a Ziploc bag until crumbly; roll truffles in the crumble mixture

    German Chocolate Cake – Roll truffles in crushed walnuts and shredded coconut

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