Thursday, July 7, 2011

True Blood Season Premier Party - Red Hot Pancake Battered Shrimp and Super Easy Tater Tots and Popcorn Chicken with 3 Homemade Dipping Sauces and Peach Cobbler (it's to die for :)

A couple Sundays ago was the series premier of True Blood and I've been meaning to have a theme party since the series premier, so I was long overdue. I'm glad I waited since this year I had Ann to help me plan it and we came up with the perfect menu. Part of me really wanted to go super fancy with it and pick up on the royal vampire feel (I'm sure they feed their blood dolls well) but we had a long week and a busy weekend, so we wanted to keep it very simple. We chose a couple things right off the bat, shrimp and cajun. Ann's plan was to make food you would get at Merlotte's.

We decided to go with tater tots rather than sweet potato fries to keep it extra easy. A quick dusting of Cayenne Pepper spiced up the mini-tots and bag of popcorn chicken and gave us a chance to highlight a few tasty sauces for dipping. For the shrimp, Ann let me in on a secret - pancake batter was the way to go, and we kicked it up a notch with some Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Ann made up some easy sauces, a cocktail sauce, a bbq cream cheese sauce (like the one in the Jalapeno Hotdish) and a cajun sour cream. To finish off our mini-feast I made a Southern favorite - peach cobbler. And we tied it all together with some homemade Sangria.

Here are Ann's Super Easy Saucy Dips, you really can't go wrong!

(clicky the picture - the detail is better and you can see the yumminess better :)

Creamy BBQ Dip
  • 1 8 Ounce Package of Softened Cream Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Green Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Your Favorite BBQ Sauce (Ann says Devils Spit, I say KC Masterpiece and our friend Sam let us in on Billy Bear BBQ Sauce from our own Brooklyn Center and after trying it - I recommend that you do, too!)
Mix together and keep chilled until you are ready to eat it.

Great with popcorn chicken, veggies, tater tots - this dip makes anything good, be creative! Try it with chips or spice up your boring turkey sandwich with it.

Easy Cocktail Sauce
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Creamy Horseradish (you may wish to change the amount to taste)
Mix together and chill until you are ready to serve. Obviously, good with shrimp, but anything you put ketchup on would be happy to get a little horsey kick, too.

Cajun Sour Cream
  • 1 8 Ounce Container of Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Green Onion
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (add more if you are brave)
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • A Dash of Franks Red Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
Mix all ingredients together and chill until served
Great with potatoes, tater tots, fries, veggies, chicken, chips, crackers!

If I had made the sauces, I would've added a dash or 2 of smoked paprika to them all. A bit more than a dash for the Cocktail and Cajun dip, though. Ann is anti-paprika, but I forgive her, hehe.

Red Hot Pancake Battered Shrimp

Ok, this one is really not finicky and I know, it may be a bit daunting because there are no specific measurements other than 1 egg and a teaspoon of veggie oil, but you can't mess it up, I promise. All you have to do is get the right consistency. 

  • 1 Package of Raw Shrimp, deveined and peeled with tail off
  • 1 Egg
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Flour
  • Tabasco or Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil 

My tip is put in more milk, less water and as much flour as you need until it gets a bit heavier/more pasty. If it gets too thick, water it down. You don't need very much batter for the shrimp, a small mixing bowl is perfect. 

A cup of flour and half a cup milk might be a good place to start. We seriously winged it and it turned out amazing. 

Add the hot sauce to taste, keeping in mind that if you overdo it, it's ok. "Too much" is actually better in this situation - too little will be too bland and pointless. So, give it more than a couple shakes (I wouldn't necessarily go for a tablespoon or anything, though). Throw in the a teaspoon of oil and get to dipping the shrimp in.

Heat a good amount of oil (we didn't deep fry them, but had a good standing amount in the pan, about a centimeter high) in a frying pan on medium heat and wait 'til it sizzles when flicked with water. 

Add shrimp and cook for a few minutes on each side, until golden-brown. Let cool on a paper towel to de-grease. 

Southern Peach Cobbler

This is my husband's dad's real southern recipe. I had to spice it up and add some apple crisp technique to it, because I just love the crunchy spiced topping my mom makes. We used 2 regular sized cans of peaches (like the size of a can of beans or soup) and didn't think it was enough. I think we could've actually doubled the amount of peaches. 

In One Large Mixing Bowl Mix Together:
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour (dad says White Lily Flour, and I wouldn't argue with him! But, regular all-purpose will do)
  • 3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • Slowly stir in 1 1/2 Cup Milk (we used half heavy whipping cream and half skim milk, whole milk is ideal, but you can make it work!)
  • 2 Cans or 4-6 Peaches (sliced and skinned)
In Small MIxing Bowl Mix Topping With Fork:
  • 1/3 Cup Softened Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, melting one stick of butter in a 10x13 inch glass baking pan in the oven. Add mixture to the baking pan and top with peaches - next time, I'm definitely using fresh peaches and fully covering the top with fruit, maybe double layers. Sprinkle with crisp mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.


In Large Bowl Mix:
  • 1 Bottle Red Wine (I'd go with a Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 Cup Whiskey (hey, it was on hand! Pretty much any other booze works)
  • 1 Sliced Lemon
  • 1 Sliced Lime
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider (we were going for that spiced flavor to go with the cobbler, pick any juice you like)
  • 5 Squirts of Lime Juice (or lemon juice if that's what you have on hand)
After letting the fruit soak for about an hour add in 1 Cup Sparkling Water or more if you want to dilute it. We kept adding sparkling water as the night went on and that worked perfectly. Best served chilled. We also ended up adding ice, but if there had been fridge room, we may have stuck with that instead.

I really hope these simple recipes inspire you to put on a little party for your favorite show. It's a really fun theme and you can keep it easy - no excuses not to have a dinner party. Vegging out on the couch with your friends and sharing an inspired meal (even when you cheat and cut corners) is a great way to stay connected without spending a ton of money on a night out. 

I have so many posts ready to go out, so please stay tuned this week for a variety of summer recipes!


  1. Love this! True Blood theme = awesome.

  2. Hehe, I think I will be having a few True Blood themed parties. When Maryann was around I wanted to try making heart...

    Now I just need more of my friends to watch other shows I'm addicted to, like Doctor Who. That would be a fun party, too :)

  3. And just when I thought there couldn't be any more reason to be excited about True Blood!

  4. CJ - you better come to our next viewing party :) I think we'll have one for the finale.