Cheesy Cajun Shrimp & Grits – KARK Feature January 19, 2015

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Cajun Shrimp & Grits

Cheesy Cajun Shrimp & Grits

Grits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup instant Quaker grits
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small pot.
  2. Pour in the grits and whip them in the chicken broth with a wire whisk. Continue to cook and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in cream, butter, and cheddar and continue to cook and stir until butter is melted and cheddar is incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.

NOTE: Different brands of instant grits have a different liquid to grits ration.

Cajun Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs. Peeled and Deveined Shrimp
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • ½ Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • ½ Cup Whole Kernel Corn
  • 4 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1 Tbls. Cajun Seasoning, recipe below
  • ½ Cup Chicken Stock

Directions:

  1. Melt 2 Tbls. butter in a large skillet.
  2. Add both bell peppers and the corn to the skillet and saute for about 2 minutes.
  3. Melt the remaining 2 Tbls. of butter in the pan and then add the shrimp and the Cajun Seasoning. Cook and stir until shrimp turn pink and is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove everything from the skillet and return the skillet to medium heat. Add the chicken stock to the skillet, scraping up the small bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow the stock to reduce slightly, about 1 minute.

To serve:

Spoon 1/4 of the grits into the center of a plate, top with 1/4 of the shrimp mixture and 1/4 of the sauce. Garnish with diced green onions.

Cajun Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbls Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Red Pepper
  • 2 Tbls Garlic Powder
  • 4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 4 tsp Dried Thye
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground White Pepper
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container.

Choosing a Wedding Caterer – Tip #5

Choosing a wedding caterer can be stressful when you are managing your long bridal to-do list. However, before choosing a caterer consider our tips. Your wedding guests will thank you.

Service

We have stressed this throughout the all of our tips, but a caterer should provide the best quality of service possible. From the initial meeting to the end of the reception, you caterer should provide exceptional customer service. Catering companies can appear very similar, but what separates good from great is a company focused on meeting the needs of its client.

At Dinner’s Ready, service is a key component to our mission statement. From our intimate wedding consultations to presentation of our trained staff to complimentary Bride & Groom To Go Boxes, our service sets our catering quality apart form the competition. We challenge you to meet with us for a consultation to find out.

D.r Service

Choosing a Wedding Caterer – Tip #4

Choosing a wedding caterer can be stressful when you are managing your long bridal to-do list. However, before choosing a caterer consider our tips. Your wedding guests will thank you.

Setting the Scene

Every wedding is unique, just like every bride. Dinner’s Ready Catering understands that each bride wants her special day to be what they have dreamed about her whole life, not a replica of someone else’s wedding. You should look for a caterer who can provide uniqueness to make your day the special day you desire.

At Dinner’s Ready Catering we have several services that we feel sets us apart from the competition.

  1. Decorated Buffets – For an additional fee, we can decorate your buffet with your colors and your style. When we provide our decorated buffets we don’t just use standard chafing dishes. We will plate food on beautiful platters and non-traditional ways to keep the food warm. From glass blocks wrapped in ribbon holding up chafing dishes to round wrought iron griddles, we use a variety of our stock to make your buffet a unique and beautiful display.
  2. Action Stations – One of the most unique things we provide are action stations. They are a wonderful way to bring food and entertainment together. Your guests will enjoy the opportunity to participate in the action of their food being prepared right before their eyes. Whether it’s a prime rib carving station or our drizzle drops topped with their choose your own drizzles and toppings, your guests will be dazzled and delighted to see the sizzle and pop of the creation process.
  3. One-of-a-Kind Menus – Our menus provided on our websites are merely presented to give you some direction, but we are truly a custom caterer. We will prepare a menu that is specific to your individual tastes and needs. Let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll do the rest.

No matter which catering company you use, understand that this is your special day and that you want the food to reflect you and your wedding.

Action Station Banana Foster

Choosing a Wedding Caterer – Tip #3

Choosing a wedding caterer can be stressful when you are managing your long bridal to-do list. However, before choosing a caterer consider our tips. Your wedding guests will thank you.

Experience

Knowing what your caterer can do is so important. Websites and social media are good ways to see what a caterer has done and what they can do. Online photo galleries can give you a good idea if what they say they can do is what they are showcasing. Meet with your caterer and ask for examples of previous weddings they catered. Make sure you are able to see current pictures of their service.

Also, getting a good referral is also a good way to choose your caterer. Knowing someone else had a good experience can and does seal the deal. If you don’t know someone who has personally worked with the company you are considering, online reviews can give you insight. Look for a consistency in online reviews to build upon your own experiences such as how you are treated at your wedding consultation. Look for reviews describing food and service. For weddings specifically, WeddingWire.com is our go-to source for wedding vendor reviews.

Dinners Ready Team

Choosing Your Wedding Caterer – Tip #2

Choosing a wedding caterer can be stressful when you are managing your long bridal to-do list. However, before choosing a caterer consider our tips. Your wedding guests will thank you.

Budget

Budget plays a huge factor in choosing a caterer and choosing the type of service you desire. For Dinner’s Ready Catering, a plated service meal is more expensive than a buffet meal or cocktail party.

The other thing that affects budget is the timing of your wedding. An early afternoon wedding where the reception would begin at 2 or 3 p.m. means it’s just a snack for guests whereas a 6 p.m. wedding reception is during a typical dinner time and people will come hungry. Your budget should accommodate your time frame.

The other factor on budget is rentals. Dinner’s Ready Catering provides linens, dishwater, silverware and glassware rentals that many brides love. However having real dishes versus clear plastic does cost more and requires additional staffing. Some brides find it’s not worth the extra cost and others feel it makes the event more elegant.

We find many people underestimate how much catering is going to cost. Consider that most dinners when eating out at any average restaurant would cost between $12 to $15. It’s not unrealistic to pay that per person for catering. The typical range of our weddings is between $13 to $20 per person. We work with each and every couple to build a menu and style of service that satisfies their vision of their day while also considering one’s budget.

The key is finding a caterer that will work with you to make your day special.

Decorated Rustic Buffet

Choosing Your Wedding Caterer – Tip #1

Choosing a wedding caterer can be stressful when you are managing your long bridal to-do list. However, before choosing a caterer consider our tips. Your wedding guests will thank you.

Availability

Getting your date and venue decided are usually the key pieces of information you should have figured out before you decide on your caterer. First of all, many venues have an exclusive caterer or a list of preferred vendors that you have to use. Also some caterers do not travel outside a certain area. For instance, we at Dinner’s Ready Catering provide catering to all of Central Arkansas which means we travel about 55 mile from Benton where we are located. We go to Hot Springs, Conway, Pine Bluff, and Cabot with the presumed Little Rock and Saline County area.

The other important factor on availability is whether the date is even open for the caterer. If you want to ensure that your date is locked in then it’s good to call your preferred caterer and get on their books. Paying a deposit usually ensures your date is confirmed. Some caterers can only handle one wedding at a time. At Dinner’s Ready Catering, we can do more than one wedding on any given day, but if you are wanting some of our more exclusive options like Chef-manned Action Stations or Decorated Buffets, we usually like to have only one wedding booked. It’s all in how much service you need and the type of food. The lesson here is book your caterer early to ensure you get who you want.

Call 501-315-4443 to book your wedding consultation appointment with us!

Brown Wedding Bride and Groom

Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan Recipe – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

KARK 4 Jan 12, 2015

Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan

5 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cans tomato sauce, 8 oz each
  • 1 whole fresh basil leaf (can substitute 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet and saute the diced onion until soft. Stir in minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove the onion mixture from the pan and set aside.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts to taste.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet and add the chicken. Saute the chicken for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the chicken over (notice then nice brown color on the chicken) and continue to cook another 5 minutes until chicken is almost completely cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  5. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup chicken stock (you can mix 1 tsp. chicken bouillon with 1 cup of water). Return the onions and garlic to the pan. Add the tomato sauce, basil, white wine, and Parmesan cheese to the pan and stir to mix. Nestle the chicken back down into the sauce and lower the heat. Bring it to a slow simmer and cover and continue to cook for about 40 minutes; stirring occasionally. To finish top each chicken breast with a little mozzarella cheese and allow the cheese to melt about two minutes.

Spaghetti Squash

4-5 Servings

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and pulp.
  3. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place squash cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a sharp knife can be inserted with very little resistance.
  4. Remove the strands form the squash by running a form from stem to stem. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.

Dinner’s Ready Review of 2014

We cannot complain because 2014 has been a successful year with many highlights. We want to share some of our biggest moments. As we prepare from 2015, we are setting our sights to even bigger and better.

January

Arkansas Democrat Gazette Bridal Show, Little Rock Statehouse Convention Center

We attended our first Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Bridal Show on January 19. We displayed our decorated buffets and plated dinner service. Our feature was our Banana Foster action station seen in the photos below.

LRBridal2

Bridal Show - Bananas Foster Action Station

Bryant Chamber Winter Banquet, Bryant’s Bishop Park

BryantChamberWinter

February

Benton Bridal Expo, Benton Event Center

We had a great time at the Benton Bridal Expo on February 9. Despite the snow, we made it there to feature our decorated buffet and plated dinner service.

LRBridal3

BentonBridal

Benton Chamber Winter Banquet, Benton Event Center

BentonChamberEvent2

March

Duke Wedding, Conway Knights of Columbus

We catered the Duke wedding on March 29. We did a Blackened Chicken with Cajun Cream Sauce Pasta action station along with other New Orleans inspired food for over 300 guests.

EarneyWedding

April

Boys & Girls Club of Saline County Golf Tournament, Bryant

We catered the Boys & Girls Club of Saline County Golf Tournament on April 4 at Hurricane Creek Country Club.

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BGCSalineCountyDecorated Buffet

Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Benton Event Center

JeffersonJacksonDinnerJeffersonJacksonDinner2

May

Strozyk Wedding, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in NLR

We catered the Strozyk wedding where we featured a pasta action station, carving station, ice cream sundae bar and additional decorated buffets for over 300 guests.

SniffWeddingSnff Wedding Pasta Action Station

Razorbacks for Reading to support the Imagination Library, Bryant’s Bishop Park

Imagination LibraryImagination Library2

June

Harris Wedding, Little Rock’s Belgian Meadows

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July/August/September

Taste of Bryant,  Bryant’s Bishop Park

Our Marketing Director Melinda Johnson co-chaired the Taste of Bryant event. We hosted our booth to match the Farmer’s Market theme with our hummus bar, yogurt bar, and pancake bar and breakfast burrito action station.

SavortheFlavor

October

Civitan Services Murder at the Masquerade, Benton Event Center

We partnered with Civitan Services for their first Masquerade event which featured a Prime Rib carving station, Choose your Own Pasta action station, decorated buffet and dessert sampling buffet.

Masquerade Prime Rib StationMasqueradeDesserts2

Henderson State University Homecoming Tailgate, Arkadelphia

Our chefs manned our Prime Rib carving station at the HSU Homecoming tailgate for alumni donors.

HSU Staff

November

Dinner’s Ready Holiday Tasting, Benton Location

We hosted a free holiday tasting at our Market & Deli location for customers. We featured our roasted turkey and glazed ham with many sides and desserts.

HolidayTasting2014

Henderson State University Tailgate, Arkadelphia

Supporting the Krikorian alma mater, we catered another HSU tailgate hosted for alumni.

HendersonTailgate

Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Law Enforcement Dinner, Benton Event Center

In partnership with Ken Casady, Saline County Prosecuting Attorney, we catered the annual Law Enforcement Dinner. We served our Mushroom Cream Chicken with Tri-Color Roasted Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli.

Ken Casady Dinner

LawEnforcementDinnerCasady Dinner Guests

CasadyDinnerEntree

December

Tusk Club Christmas Event, Benton Event Center

We catered a plated dinner including a house salad, Parmesan-encrusted chicken, beef tenderloin with white white mushroom sauce, twice baked mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli.

Tusk2AsaHutchinson2Tusk ClubDinnerEntree3

Southwest Power Pool Christmas Luncheon, Clear Channel Metroplex

We catered a plated lunch service for over 500 people in under 20 minutes. They enjoyed a house salad, bourbon glazed chicken, beef tenderloin with white wine mushroom sauce, twice baked potato casserole, garlicky green beans, and a serving of both strawberry cheesecake and 4-layer chocolate delight.

SPP Christmas Committee Group22014-12-10 22.71

Thank you 2014 for everything! Our Dinner’s Ready team took every event and made it our best. A huge shout out to the team that makes this place a reality everyday.

LR Bridal FairChefsD.R. Crew

Staff1

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DR Service Team

Now we hope 2015 is ready for us!

12 Days of Giving 2014

In the spirit of Christmas and the Dinner’s Ready mission, our team dedicated itself to a campaign that would give back to our community and our customers. One of our commitments as Dinner’s Ready is to “develop strong relationships with our suppliers, our community, and our government in order to better serve.” The success of our team would not be possible without the help of others.

To make this campaign fun, we incorporated a variety of outlets to give back. We provided giveaway contests, promoted non-profits, recognized valuable customers, and delivered holiday treats and meals.

#12DaysofGiving

Day 1 

Terri Clifton won our first 12 Days of Giving Contest for a 2-Layer Ding Dong Cake.

Terri Clifton won our first 12 Days of Giving Contest for a 2-Layer Ding Dong Cake.

Day 2

Bryant B&GC Logo

One of  our dearest passions is support the Boys and Girls Clubs in Saline County. We recognized their efforts and promoted their mission to serve children. #PauseforaCause

One of our dearest passions is to support both Boys and Girls Clubs in Saline County. We recognized their efforts and promoted their mission to serve children. #PauseforaCause

Day 3

Meaghan Harris was the Facebook contest winner for our homemade peanut butter pie.

Meaghan Harris was the Facebook contest winner for our homemade peanut butter pie.

Day 4

Supporting our local hospital is vital for our community and we paused to promote Saline Memorial Health Foundation. We appreciate their foundation team and their support for Dinner's Ready.

Supporting our local hospital is vital for our community and we paused to promote Saline Memorial Health Foundation. We appreciate their foundation team and their support for Dinner’s Ready.

Day 5

We took time to show customer appreciation to Rhonda Walters with Southwest Power Poll for all of her support and business.

We took time to show customer appreciation to Rhonda Walters with Southwest Power Pool for all of her support and business.

Day 6

We showed Chris Ames how much we appreciate him and his business. He paid it forward by donating a holiday meal to Safe Haven.

We showed Chris Ames how much we appreciate him and his business. He paid it forward by donating a holiday meal to Safe Haven.

Day 7

Elissa Claggett won our tray of double chocolate brownies in our Facebook Contest.

Elissa Claggett won our tray of double chocolate brownies in our Facebook Contest.

Day 8

To support our community, we provided a holiday meal to a family with the help of Principal Lita Gattis and Benton High School.

To support our community, we provided a holiday meal to a family with the help of Principal Lita Gattis and Benton High School.

Day 9

We delivered brownie truffle treat boxes to businesses and customers in Benton and Bryant to show our appreciation. The photo is Melinda Johnson at First Security Bank in Bryant with Kayce Wright.

We delivered brownie truffle treat boxes to businesses and customers in Benton and Bryant to show our appreciation. The photo is Melinda Johnson at First Security Bank in Bryant with Kayce Wright.

Day 10

We highlight Civitan Services and its mission to serve those in our community with developmental disabilities. It's an honor to work with them and their team throughout the year.

We highlighted Civitan Services and its mission to serve those in our community with developmental disabilities. It’s an honor to work with them and their team throughout the year.

Day 11

We serve Safe Haven silently throughout the year by providing meals for its families. It's mission is to provide for the victims of domestic violence. We were able to feed six families for the holidays in partnership with Safe Haven.

We serve Safe Haven silently throughout the year by providing meals for its families. It’s mission is to provide for the victims of domestic violence. We were able to feed six families for the holidays in partnership with Safe Haven.

Day 12

Owner Serge Krikorian spent his Christmas morning cooking a holiday meal for the officers of the Benton Police Department who were serving our community on Christmas Day.

Owner Serge Krikorian spent his Christmas morning cooking a holiday meal  to deliver to the officers of the Benton Police Department who were serving our community on Christmas Day.

From the Dinner’s Ready family to yours, we hope your holidays are filled with joy and love!

Christmas Flashbacks

In the spirit of Christmas within the Dinner’s Ready walls, we asked employees to share Christmas photos when they were younger. This little walk down memory lane was a fun way to reminisce. Plus the boss got to see some fun flashbacks.

Krikorian Flashback

The Krikorian family celebratinng on Christmas Day 2008.

 

Krikorian Boys

Matthew, Brian, and Justin Kirkorian celebrating Christmas 2008.

 

Melinda Holiday Flashback

Melinda Johnson, 14 with mother Florence Rogers and sister Laura Nix on Christmas Day in 1990.

 

Michelle Holiday Flashback

Michelle Read with daughter Katelyn Reisma in their 1995 Christmas portrait.

 

Michelle Flashback

Michelle Read with son Jordan Smoke when he was just 17 months old on Christmas Day.

 

Greg Flashback

Graduating this year, Greg Westbrook flashbacks to Christmas Day with family.