Shrimp Appetizer

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I’m always trying to come up with new recipes to add to our “3T Ranch Food Rotation”. The new item has to be approved by my cowboys before it can make it to this prestige list! Trust me, when I say my guys love my cooking, but they are also picky on what they add to our list. I got a shrimp dip recipe from my best friend Carrie many years ago that has been our staple for holidays and family celebrations. I thought that maybe I can tweak it and make it a little bit more festive to serve to my family as we ring the New Year. My practice run has turned out even better than I expected! The shrimp cups didn’t last very long. Easy, festive and delicious.. you should give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 24 uncooked shrimp
  • 2 scallions – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill – chopped (you can use dry dill, but fresh is much better)
  • 1 cup of arugula
  • 1/2 block of cream cheese – softened
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • cooking spray for mini muffin tin
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (garlic olive oil is great for this recipe, but any olive oil will do)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Wildtree Spicy Carne Asada seasoning (variation: 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray and arrange wonton wrappers in the 12 cups. Spray the wontons again with the cooking spray. Bake for about 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  • In a bowl combine softened cream cheese, scallions, dill, salt and pepper. Use electric mixer to combine all ingredients for nice smooth texture. Add one tablespoon of milk at a time to make the dip nice and smooth, but don’t make it too runny!
  • Pour olive oil into a skillet and turn it to medium heat. Throw in your shrimp along with the seasoning. I have used the Wildtree Spicy Carne Asada as I had some left from one of their parties, but you can certainly make your mix with chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Cook until pink with a nice crust. (Note: What makes a good crust? Dry your uncooked shrimp in paper towels, so you don’t steam your shrimp instead).
  • Time to assemble! Put your wonton cups on a plate, on the bottom of the cups put a few leaves of arugula. This will give the cups a nice peppery taste. Next layer is the dip and each cup gets topped with two pieces of shrimp. Serve immediately.

Potato Chips

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We have been on a potato roll!  The top ranch hand loves helping his dad aka the cowboss rather than hanging out in the kitchen, but this time his tastebuds that love potato chips won! Here we go!

Potato Chips

This requires a little bit a prep, but trust me it is worth it and you will be licking all of your fingers.. twice!

Ingredients:

  • 10 medium yukon gold peeled potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt for each batch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper for each batch
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika for each batch
  • top ranch hand ingredient: blue cheese
  • paper towels

Directions:

  • First, peel and thinly slice your potatoes. I found the best way is to slice them in your food processor.
  • Put the sliced potatoes in a deep pan and cover with water. Let them hang out for about an hour. Don’t skip this step, the starch in the potatoes is your enemy, preventing you to have nice crispy chips!
  • Heat your deep fryer to 355 degrees.
  • Dry the potatoes, dry the potatoes and dry the potatoes. You NEVER want to put wet potatoes into your deep fryer, you don’t want to get hurt. The oil would bubble up really quickly. I have used my trusty salad spinner to dry the potatoes and then pat them dry even more with paper towels.
  • Separate the chips into individual pieces.
  • Fry your potato chips for about 5 minutes. Stir the potatoes a couple of times with metal spoon or fork. You will do about 5 – 6 batches, depending on the size of your deep fryer. Don’t overcrowd it!
  • Have a  cookie sheet ready with more paper towels to pat them dry.
  • Immediately sprinkle with dash of salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Tip from our top ranch hand: sprinkle your chips with salt and pepper (omit paprika) and this time top with crumbled blue cheese. We didn’t believe him, but it was finger licking good!