Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do.

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On 6:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , ,    No comments
This post is sponsored by KPOP Foods


Mardi Gras season is here and Shrimp Po'boys are on the first thing on the menu.  The 2021 Mardi Gras parades may be canceled, but we can still celebrate the spirit and soul of the Crescent City in our kitchens. Mounds of plump Gulf shrimp are dredged in seasoned flour, dipped in a spicy eggwash and dusted with cornmeal to produce this fine and tasty sandwich. With the help from KPOP Foods Korean Chili Sauce, KPOP Foods Kimchi Mayo and KPOP Foods Honey Glaze, these shrimp po'boys are OUT OF THIS WORLD! 

Don't forget to scroll down to save and print the recipe at the end! Which sauce do YOU want to try first? Now available at Lowes Foods locations throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, they're all perfect to add to your own shrimp po'boy, hot dogs, game day appetizers and more.

As my long-time readers know, I'm a grandchild of New Orleans. I am 100 percent sure that a piece of my soul is roaming around the cobblestoned streets of the Crescent City. I just don't know where. I need to go back and find it. Until travel restrictions are lifted, I'll have to settle for recreating classic New Orleans inspired dishes. 

WHY IS IT CALLED A PO BOY?

Regional folklore says the po'boy was invented by Clovis and Benjamin Martin, brothers and former streetcar drivers who opened a restaurant on St. Claude Avenue in the 1920s. When streetcar drivers went on strike in 1929, the brothers created a cheap sandwich of gravy and spare bits of roast beef on French bread they would serve the picketers. They would yell “here comes another poor boy!” (since they weren't making money, hence the strike and the pity taken upon them in their time of need) every time someone was served this sandwich and the name was transferred to the sandwich, eventually becoming the colloquial “po-boy”.

WHAT IS A "DRESSED" PO BOY? 

“Dressed” means a po'boy is garnished with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise and pickles. Most Po'boys in New Orleans are served this way.





WHAT KIND OF BREAD DOES A PO BOY USE?

Buy your bread the same day you're making your sandwiches to ensure it maintains its light and fluffy interior. The key is FRESH bread. You're ingredients may not be expensive or of the best quality, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to boy or make fresh bread for your po'boy.

HOW MANY KINDS OF PO'BOYS ARE THERE?

Po'Boys are always the least inexpensive sandwich in restaurants that serve them. Luxury ingredients don't speak to the humble origins of the sandwich. Roast beef po-boys with debris gravy are close to the original, but po-boys can be prepared dozens of different ways. Fried shrimp and oysters are the most popular because of the abundance of fresh Gulf and bayou seafood, but hot smoked sausage, ham and cheese and even bologna and potato salad are popular too. The most decadent is probably the French fry po-boy, with fresh, hot French fries, debris gravy (brown gravy with bits of roast beef in it, resembling debris) and cheese. 



To help me recreate this po'boy, I've got KPOP Foods to help me ramp up the flavor of this classic sandwich. Kimchi Mayo gets drizzled (or slathered, I'm not judging) on fresh French rolls and classic KPOP Foods KPOP sauce is a house blend goghuchang sauce that goes into the egg wash and gets drizzed on the sandwich in the end for a zippy, spicy tang and zing as well as color. Want to see how the thing is made? Click on the video below.


Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich

Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich

Yield: 4
Author: Adapted from KPOPFOODS.COM
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 20 MinTotal time: 55 Min
Mounds of plump shrimp are dredged in seasoned flour, dipped in a spicy eggwash and dusted with cornmeal. Dressed on French bread, this sandwich brings New Orleans to your kitchen table

Ingredients

  • 4 French loaves split horizontally (8 in long)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 45 raw medium shrimp (2 lbs) peeled, deveined, and tail off
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • canola/vegetable oil
  • dill pickles for garnish
  • 3 tbsp XXX Sauce or KPOP sauce
  • Kimchi Mayo

Instructions

  1. Mix salt, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper together. Divide the spice mixture in half.
  2. Season the shrimp with the first half of the spice mixture.
  3. Mix the flour, cornmeal, and the second half of the spice mixture together.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and XXX Sauce or KPOP sauce.
  5. Dip the seasoned shrimp in the buttermilk, then coat the shrimp with the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. If you prefer a thicker coating, repeat this step.
  6. Chill the shrimp in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  7. Pour the oil into a deep, wide pot with a depth of about 2 in. Heat the oil to 350° F.
  8. Working in batches, fry the shrimp until golden brown. This will take about 3-4 minutes per batch.
  9. Transfer the shrimp onto the paper towels to drain the excess oil.
  10. Build your sandwich on the French bread and layer it with Kimchi Mayo, sliced lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Finally, top off the sandwich with a pile of fried shrimp and extra Kimchi Mayo /XXX Sauce.

Notes:

Once your oil is hot enough, fry the shrimp in batches as to not overcrowd the pot. In between batches, pause to let the oil get hot again. Otherwise, you run the risk of overcooked and rubbery shrimp by the time they are golden in color.

Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @niksnacks on instagram and hashtag it #niksnacksapproved
On 3:01 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , ,    3 comments
Cod is a very delicate, tender fish. Once it's cooked in a simmering milk bath with garlic, butter and slivers of sweet winter greens (like collards, mustards or kale) it becomes smooth and silky. This Milk Poached Cod is perfect for National Milk Day too (which is January 11th) 

You can make this restaurant-quality dish in 20 minutes or less! Flaky cod is bathed in a buttery milk broth and simmered with fresh greens, roasted red peppers (for color!) and minced garlic for a light, quick dinner. Technically, it's a soup because of the broth, but I just call it delicious.



Are you ready for this incredibly simple meal that will be ready in the blink of an eye? I thought so.
A little bit of chopping and one pot is all you need to get it done.
A few recipe notes:

  • Easily substitute coconut or nut-based milk for a richer flavor.
  • Firm-fleshed fish and seafood like sea bass, swordfish, halibut, scallops and shrimp are also great substitutes.
  • 15 minutes on LOW pressure in an Instant Pot will pull this dish together in a snap.
  • Sauté the garlic and greens together first for a deeper, richer flavor 
  • Most any green can be used in place of collards: kale, mustard, turnip, beet, chard, watercress, arugula, radicchio and even carrot tops can change up the flavor and texture of the dish.

I used to be a private chef for a family and I developed this dish when I worked for them. The matriarch of the family was in poor health and didn't have much joy in life except for food. She enjoyed restaurant-quality meals and I tried my best to produce them. And this was one of those dishes. Overall, it is about the presentation, but the simple flavors are best matched with very fresh, high-quality ingredients. If you use old odds and ends of food because you will taste it because there are so few ingredients.  

In the past, I would take a yearly winter blog hiatus of about 3 months. But in the spirit of minding my own black business, I'm making it a personal goal to thug it out and soldier on through the winter to bring you recipes that inspire me and make me want to make you want to eat. My blog is not the sum of its parts as is just a small fraction (gahhh, I hate math!) of my little multimedia business over here. So whether you're a long-time fan, a first-time reader (hi!), an email subscriber (thank you!) or a repeat offender (two thumbs up), I appreciate you!



SO—Open up that menu planner of yours (you know you got one for Christmas. Go ahead. Break it out) and put down this recipe for you and your family to enjoy this week or next.


Milk Poached Cod With Winter Greens

Milk Poached Cod With Winter Greens

Yield: 4
Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks
You can make this restaurant-quality dish in 20 minutes or less! Flaky cod is bathed in a buttery milk broth and simmered with fresh greens, roasted red peppers and minced garlic for a light, quick dinner. Technically, it's a soup because of the broth, but I just call it "ahhh-delicious."

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, julienne
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cod fillets (1/2 lb each)
  • 4 cups collard greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves chopped fine, like chiffonade
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the cod fillets and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the roasted red peppers and garlic, until tender, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, milk, and ½ teaspoon salt to the skillet and bring to simmer. Gently place the fillets into the milk broth. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip with a slotted spoon or fish spatula and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the fish flakes.
  4. Remove the fillets from the broth and place each in a wide soup bowl.
  5. Add the greens to the skillet. Continue cooking until the greens turn bright green and are crisp tender, about 5-7 minutes. Evenly spoon the broth with the greens and peppers into each bowl.
  6. Serve.

Notes:

  • Easily substitute coconut or nut-based milk for a richer flavor.
  • Firm-fleshed fish and seafood like sea bass, swordfish, halibut, scallops and shrimp are also great substitutes.
  • Most any green can be used in place of collards: kale, mustard, turnip, beet, chard, watercress, arugula, radicchio and even carrot tops can change up the flavor and texture of the dish.

Calories

573.32

Fat (grams)

26.70

Sat. Fat (grams)

12.25

Carbs (grams)

26.89

Fiber (grams)

7.99

Net carbs

18.90

Sugar (grams)

2.03

Protein (grams)

58.15

Sodium (milligrams)

660.89

Cholesterol (grams)

160.75
Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @https://www.niksnacksonline.com on instagram and hashtag it #niksnacks




On 1:11 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , , ,    17 comments
Bacon and cheddar is a classic pairing but when you add them to potato pancakes, it becomes a trio worth making time for. Potato pancakes are usually served with sour cream or applesauce, but the Dijon mustard and pure maple syrup combo is my favorite part. 

The outsides of each pancake are crispy and buttery while the interiors are soft, fluffy and accented with bits of smoky, savory bacon and crisp onion. 


You're running late. You've got soccer-ballet-flute-choral practice and you don't have much time to put anything resembling dinner together. Well, I've got you covered with this easy, super simple meal idea. 

Use leftovers or create from scratch. Either way, this recipe is very easy to whip up as part of a weeknight supper or a weekend project with the kids. 

I originally created this recipe over six years ago. I looked at the previous photos and the simple recipe and decided it needed a refresh and revamp for 2021.




Bacon Cheddar Potato Pancakes with Dijon Maple Syrup

Bacon Cheddar Potato Pancakes with Dijon Maple Syrup

Yield: 20 4-inch pancakes
Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 HourInactive time: 5 MinTotal time: 1 H & 15 M
Use leftover potatoes or fresh to make these easy, tasty pancakes for breakfast or for dinner. The Dijon maple syrup gives you the best of both sweet and savory worlds.

Ingredients

Potato Pancakes
  • 4 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup white onions, finely chopped8 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted1 bunch green onions, sliced (for garnish)
Dijon Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Pure maple syrup1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Instructions

Potato Pancakes
  1. Mix the mashed potatoes, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, butter, egg and sharp cheddar cheese together in a large  bowl.
  2. Heat a large pan or skillet to medium-high heat and melt 2 Tablespoons of butter.Saute bacon and onions for 5-7 minutes until onions become translucent and bacon begins to crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and let cool. Add to potato mixture 
  3. Use the remainder of the butter and bacon grease to cook the pancakes. Scoop 1/4 cup batter per pancake into the pan..
  4. Cook each pancake until you start to see edges browning on the sides. Flip each pancake over and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side (or until the outside is golden brown). Repeat for each pancake until the batter is gone. Season with salt and garnish with green onions. Serve with Dijon Maple Syrup.
Dijon Maple Syrup
  1. Stir together mustard and syrup until well-combined.

Notes:

NOTE: Use instant potatoes and pre-cooked bacon to make the pancakes come together faster. For additional flavor, cook your own bacon and then cook the pancakes in the bacon grease.

Calories

190.08

Fat (grams)

9.32

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.90

Carbs (grams)

19.55

Fiber (grams)

1.17

Net carbs

18.38

Sugar (grams)

2.87

Protein (grams)

6.98

Sodium (milligrams)

464.52

Cholesterol (grams)

31.89
Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @https://www.niksnacksonline.com on instagram and hashtag it #niksnacks
On 5:20 PM by Nikki @ NikSnacks   No comments

Brown Sugar Cranberry Cake is good. So very good. The cranberries are in the running for Best Supporting Actress while the brown sugar is in the lead role but is CLEARLY carried by the rest of the cast. Inspired by NYT Cooking, I made my own brown sugar cake with cranberry frosting. This cake is NOT meant to be a layer cake like the original. It's more like a pound cake or if you're feeling rustic, a coffee cake (goes great with a French roast or Sumatra blend, I promise)

When I read the original recipe, it seemed like it was going to turn out dry and a little crumbly and I was right. According to some the comments the frosting was the worst (and most difficult part) and that was the part with the cranberries in it. I don't want you to make the same mistake so I make sure you've got some berries to grab and that they're not so tart. It's very easy to overbake (which makes it dry) but if you want to portion it into 3 8-inch cake pans and make it to a layer cake, I don't see anything wrong with that either.


The recipe may seem like a lot of steps, but it really comes together quite quickly after you read the instructions and get a sense of what you need.



Both fresh or frozen cranberries work

The brown sugar crust is integral to the structure of the cake. The sugar produces a thin caramelized layer of laced gold that helps the cake stand up by itself or lends a helping hand if you're frosting it. If you don't have brown sugar, granulated while sugar works the same. See this cake for an example.



I am the worst cake decorator in the world. I have every cake tool known to man in my kitchen, I have a certificate in pastry from Le Cordon Bleu and yet I cannot make a decent cake look good to save my life. I am the last person to come to for expert decorating advice, but I can tell you how to make your cake's frosting, buttercream, whipped cream, fondant or meringue taste good.



Brown Sugar Cranberry Cake

Brown Sugar Cranberry Cake

Yield: 16
Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 H & 15 MInactive time: 1 H & 10 MTotal time: 2 H & 35 M

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sugar for sprinkling
Sugared Cranberries & Simple Syrup
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup granulated sugar for coating

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan with 1 Tablespoon of butter and coat the inside of the pan with brown sugar. Tap and turn the sides of the pan to make sure the brown sugar coats every part of the pan evenly. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, add the cranberries and 1/4 cup of the sugar and 2 tsp of water. Cook on medium heat until sugar dissolves and cranberries pop. Remove from heat. Add lemon extract and stir. Set aside to cool. Spoon onto a plate or piece of parchment paper and place under refrigeration to speed up the cooling process.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and blend until combined.
  6. Sift together the flour, salt, baking power and baking soda. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat on low until incorporated. Add 1/3 of the milk and sour cream and blend until smooth. Repeat adding 1/3 of the flour and 1/3 of the buttermilk until all are incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  7. Gently fold the cooled cranberries into the batter.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared Springform pan and spread evenly to the edges of the pan. Tap the pan lightly on a work surface to level the top and disperse any air bubbles.
  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
  10. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then open the clip on the side of the pan. If needed, use a knife to loosen the edges and carefully place the cake upside-side down onto the rack to cool completely.
  1. Combine ¼ cup of granulated sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture just starts to boil. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup fresh cranberries and stir gently to coat.
  2. Allow the cranberries to rest in the syrup for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reserve the cranberry simple syrup to add to the cake later.
  3. Place the sticky cranberries on a cooling rack taking care to separate them. Allow them to dry for 5-10 minutes, then toss one or two at a time in a small bowl filled with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Return the coated cranberries to a clean rack to dry. Dry at room temperature for at least 1 hour, then refrigerate until ready to use.
Cake Assembly
  1. Place the cake onto a cardboard cake round or serving plate,flat side up top.Use a raw piece of spaghetti pasta to poke small holes in the cake. Begin on the outer edge and work your way inward to the middle.Slowly add 1/2 cup cooled, reserved cranberry simple syrup over the cake until it's all gone. 
  2. Wrap and refrigerate overnight before frosting, decorating with sugared cranberries or slicing.
Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @https://www.niksnacksonline.com on instagram and hashtag it #niksnacks
On 1:31 PM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , ,    No comments

This post is sponsored by Karibe Cookware. I was compensated, but all photos, words and opinions are my own.



Hoppin' John Fritters are savory, smoky, a little bit spicy and wholeheartedly a great way to mix Kwanzaa celebrations with New Years observances. Create new traditions to bring in the year or repurpose leftover black-eyed peas to take a classic Southern recipe and turn it into something new.



What or who is Hoppin' John? 

Also known as Carolina peas and rice, Hoppin’ John is a dish traditionally served in the South on or around New Year's Day. It features black-eyed peas (some areas it's sea beans, crowder peas or field peas instead), onions, bacon or other smoked pork cuts and a few spices. 




Paired with collard greens (which symbolizes money) and hog jowls (which symbolizes wealth and prosperity) the black-eyed peas in Hoppin' John resembles pennies or coins. We Southerners eat this dish on New Year’s Day to bring hope of prosperity and good luck in the new year. 



Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and continues until January 1. It's one of those observances that is marked on the calendar by some, not at all by others or cherry-picked activities fill up the days leading up to the first day of the year. I am one of the latter camp.


 

Last week, I created a fun Kwanzaa craft activity to get families talking about the observance and what it means for the community. Everyone knows that every holiday or celebration is not complete without foodways traditions or a feast. The last day of Kwanzaa falls on another holiday: New Year's Day on the Gregorian calendar. Both holidays can be celebrated concurrently with these hoppin' john fritters.



I have good luck already, because I'm using my 12-inch Karibe cast-iron skillet to fry up these bad boys. I love this pan because it is heavy duty, heats evenly on the stovetop, in the oven and even the outdoor grill)



To make sure my skillet is always ready and in good shape before I use it, I make sure it's seasoned properly. It's so important to follow these simple steps to make sure your investment lasts a lifetime. I created a video showing exactly how to season your new Karibe cast iron skillet.

 
 
Just like hushpuppies, these hoppin' john fritters will be jumping out of the pan and into your mouth! 



Skip ahead to find the recipe for Coconut Collard Greens, an excellent side to go along with the rest of your holiday meal.

Hoppin' John Fritters

Hoppin' John Fritters

Yield: 20-24 fritters
Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 1 H & 4 M
Hoppin’ John is a dish traditionally served in the South on or around New Year's Day. It features black-eyed peas (some areas it's sea beans, crowder peas or field peas instead), onions, bacon or other smoked pork cuts and a few spices. Paired with collard greens (which symbolizes money) and hog jowls (which symbolizes wealth and prosperity) the black-eyed peas in Hoppin' John resembles pennies or coins. We Southerners eat this dish on New Year’s Day to bring hope of prosperity and good luck in the new year.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound smoked bacon, cooked, crisp, finely chopped
  • 15 oz can Glory Foods or Margaret Holmes seasoned black eyed peas
  • 2 cups white or brown rice, cooked
  • 1 ½ cups bell peppers (red, green, yellow) chopped
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, finely chopped½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Pour oil to depth of 2 inches into 12-inch cast iron skillet; heat over medium-high heat to 350°.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together bacon, black eyed peas and next 10 ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Using a scoop or two spoon, scoop a heaping 2 tablespoons of the mixture and drop into the hot oil. Use nonstick spray on your scoop or spoon to keep the mixture of sticking.
  4. Fry 4 to 5 minutes, turning halfway through, until fritters are golden brown on all sides.
  5. Drain on paper towels; keep warm in a 300 oven.
  6. Serve with coconut collard greens.
  7. Keep in an airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months.
Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @https://www.niksnacksonline.com on instagram and hashtag it #niksnacks