Welcome to HowDoYouCook.com

By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Showing posts with label Shrimp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shrimp. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp

~~~ Welcome to Soup Month 2014 ~~~

Today is the start of Soup Month, our annual series that will bring you 31 new soup, stew and chili recipes in 31 days.

We have a huge variety of soups coming your way from simple classic soups to economical soups, that will feed your family a healthy meal and allow you to stretch your budget, to elegant soups for your upcoming holiday dinners.  We will even be making a few new batches of chili to serve during football parties and winter events.

So whatever types of soups are your favorite I'm sure we will have something for everyone.  So get your soup pots ready and let's have some fun during Soup Month 2014!

For the first day of Soup Month 2014 we made a spicy Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp that is better than anything you can get from a takeout restaurant.  This is a unique version of the classic hot and sour soup in that the sour flavor comes from lemon juice instead of vinegar, giving the soup a bright flavor without the lemon being too overpowering.

We spiced up the broth with a mixture of ginger, white pepper and Sriracha sauce, then added shrimp, mushrooms and tofu to complete this hearty Asian inspired soup.  A Homemade Shrimp Egg Roll on the side was the perfect companion for this soup.

This is also a very quick to prepare soup and can be ready to serve in about 30 minutes.  The ingredients are also adjustable to suit your own preferences.  A little more lemon juice will increase the sour level, an extra teaspoon of Sriracha or pinch of white pepper will increase the heat, and more mushrooms or shrimp can be added for a more hearty soup or if you would like to stretch the recipe to serve a few more people.

2 tsp  Peanut Oil
1  Carrot, peeled and cut into small strips
1 tsp  Minced Ginger
6 oz  Fresh Mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
8 oz can  Sliced Bamboo Shoots, drained
4 cups  Chicken Broth
1/3 cup  Soy Sauce
3 TB  Lemon Juice
1 tsp White Pepper (use 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon more for more heat)
1-1/2 to 2 tsp  Sriracha Sauce (or more to taste)
12 oz  Extra Firm Tofu, drained and cut into strips or cubes
1 lb   Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 TB  Cornstarch
4 TB  Water
2  Large Eggs, beaten
2 TB Green Onions, chopped

In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots and ginger and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots and cook 3 - 4 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften.

Add the broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, white pepper, sriracha, and tofu to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook 2 minutes or until the shrimp are just beginning to turn pink.

Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly until the soup thickens slightly. Slowly drizzle the beaten eggs into pan, stirring constantly, to create ribbons in the soup.

Remove from heat and serve with a sprinkle of chopped green onions.  Makes about 6 servings.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

San Francisco-Style Cioppino

Cioppino, also know as Italian Fish Stew, is by far my favorite dish.  A combination of fish, shellfish and vegetables in a rich broth of tomato and Merlot wine, the taste is simply remarkable.  

San Francisco's Italian immigrants are credited with creating this delicious stew and there are many variations.  Some versions of this recipe use white wine in place of the Merlot, and there are some changes in the amounts of peppers, onion, garlic or tomatoes that are used.  But what is consistent for this recipe is the need for fresh, high-quality seafood.  So for your best results, try to get the freshest ingredients possible.

For our version of this dish we used large chunks of cod, but you could also substitute halibut or another firm-fleshed fish.  Next we included a generous amount of fresh clams and mussels, along with a few dozen large shrimp with the shells on.  The shrimp are butterflied down the back and deveined, but the shells is left on so they can add lots of flavor to the stew.  Lastly, the beautiful king crab legs and cleaned, cracked and quartered before being added to the pot.

This recipe is made in two steps.  First a pepper sauce base is slowly simmered to create a wonderful  base with lots of oregano and garlic, then the second step you will add the seafood which will cook pretty quickly.  This dish might seem a bit intimidating but it is actually quite fun to prepare.  Having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to cook makes the recipe very easy.

Cioppino is a hearty and delicious meal and is wonderful to serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  If you are tired of serving the traditional turkey or ham, your guests will love the change.  Be sure to serve with lots of crusty French Bread, a few bottles of good red wine and lots of napkins. Enjoy!!

3 TB Olive Oil
1 large  Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 large  Green Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup  Sliced Onion
3 TB  Minced Garlic
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 TB  Fresh Basil, chopped
1-1/2 tsp  Dried Oregano
32 oz can Diced Tomatoes
1  8 oz Bottle Clam Juice
1 cup  Italian Merlot Wine
2 cups  Chicken Stock  or  Water
12 Little Neck Clams
4 Alaskan King Crab Legs, cleaned, cracked and quartered
12 - 18 Fresh Mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
1 1/2 pounds Large Shrimp, in the shell - butterflied down the back and deveined..leave the shells on
1 pound Sea Scallops, trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
1 pound Firm-Fleshed Fish such as Halibut or Cod

First make the Pepper Sauce base:

Heat the olive oil in a large stew pot over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add the basil, oregano, tomatoes, clam juice, wine and broth or water, and bring the mixture just to a simmer.  Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar, for 30 - 40 minutes.

Finish the Cioppino:

The steps of adding the seafood goes very quickly so have all of your seafood ready to go.

With the pepper sauce at a simmer, increase the heat to medium-high, then add the clams, and cook covered over medium-high heat for 4  minutes or just until the clams begin to open. Add the crab legs, replace the cover and cook 2 minutes. Next, add the mussels, shrimp, scallops and fish, and gently push the seafood into the broth. Give the pot a little shake to settle the seafood into the broth, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.  Check  to see if  until the mussels are open, the shrimp are pink and the scallops are just firm.  You might need to add about 3 minutes or so depending on the seafood you are using, but once the shrimp are pink and the fish is opaque you are ready to serve.

Ladle the Cioppino into large heated bowls, making sure to include a generous ladle of broth with each serving of seafood.  Serve with lots of crusty French bread and a bottle of Chianti or a rich Merlot.  You will also want a few large empty bowls around the table for your guests to discard their shells. Makes about 6 generous servings.  Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Seafood Chowder

For day 20 of Soup Month 2013, we made a creamy Seafood Chowder with shrimp and swai fish fillets.  My plan for this chowder was to combine a light, vegetable and herb broth with spicy shrimp placed in the center.  Then I got to thinking how tasty the swai fillets would be with the same Sriracha-based marinade. I decided to add the fish to the mix, and it was a delicious success.

To create the flavorful broth, the onion, celery and carrots are sautéed with a bit of white wine and a tablespoon of lobster base, which adds a deep layer of flavor to the soup.  The soup is then pureed and the cooked seafood is placed in the center of the bowl to provide a burst of spicy flavor to the chowder.

This chowder makes an excellent dinner on its own, but it would also be perfect served in smaller portions as a first course, or even as an appetizer.  Serve with crunchy French bread and a glass of chardonnay.  Enjoy!!

Marinade for Seafood
4  Fish Fillets
3/4 lb  small  Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 TB Olive Oil, or enough to coat
1 TB  Minced Garlic
2 Basil Cubes or 2 TB Fresh Chopped Basil
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1 TB  Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp  Sriracha Sauce
1 tsp  Paprika
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

2 TB  Butter
1 TB  Olive Oil
1 small  Onion, finely chopped
2  Carrots,  finely chopped
2 stalks  Celery, finely chopped
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
3  Bay Leaves
1 TB  Lobster Base
1/8 tsp  White Pepper
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 cup  Dry White Wine
5 cups  Chicken Broth
1/2 cup  Heavy Cream

In a medium glass bowl, combine the marinade ingredients with the fish and shrimp, stirring to coat the seafood.  Set aside for 15 - 20 minutes.

In a large soup pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, lobster base, pepper and salt, and cook for 2 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high, add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, add the cream and cook for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Remove the pot from the heat and carefully use an immersion blender to puree the soup until completely smooth.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the fish and shrimp mixture to the skillet, including the marinade, and stir gently, cooking until the seafood is fully cooked, about 7 - 8 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and keep warm, if needed, until ready to prepare the soup bowls.

Ladle the soup into bowls, place several pieces of fish and shrimp into the center of each bowl, top with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shrimp and Crab Po'Boy Sandwich

It's always been a custom at our house that the birthday person gets to choose anything they would like for their birthday dinner.  It's been an especially fun tradition to watch as our kids grew older.  Their tastes have changed each year as they experienced new foods and cuisines, and they have learned which foods they love and even some foods that they don't like.  And as a very proud Mom, I have to admit, they have never, not even once, asked for McDonald's for their birthday dinner. YES!!

So tonight, for my daughter's very special 13th birthday, she chose a Seafood Po'Boy sandwich.  She really didn't specify at first what kind of sandwich she wanted, but just gave me a basic suggestion of shrimp, made into a po'boy.  So we came up with this sandwich together, and she was very pleased with the results.

What made this dinner even better, was that it is super easy to make.  Shrimp, crab meat, a few seasonings, lots of garlic and a quick 10 minutes to marinate and you are ready to cook.  Sautéing the seafood mixture takes less than 10 minutes, and a quick broil to crisp up the rolls is just 4 minutes longer.

This is a great seafood sandwich that's full of flavor and gets a little kick from Sriracha sauce.  You might notice we use fresh and dried basil in this dish.  This is something we've done for many years when cooking shrimp, and for some reason, as good as fresh basil tastes, the flavor is further enhanced by the dried basil.  I'm not sure why, but it tastes great when they are blended.  You could also use only fresh or only dried basil in this recipe and the results would still be delicious.  Enjoy!!

6  Hoagie Rolls, sliced lengthwise
1-1/2 lbs  Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 oz  Imitation Crab Meat, flake style (also called Surimi)
1/3 cup  Olive Oil
3 TB  Minced Garlic
2  Heaping TB  Chopped Fresh Basil
1 TB  Dried Basil
1 TB  Paprika
2 TB  Sriracha Sauce  (use 1 TB for less heat)
3 TB  Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 tsp  Cayenne Pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese for Garnish, optional

Place the hoagie rolls on a foil-lined baking sheet and set aside.

In a large glass bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients.  Stir gently to evenly coat the shrimp and crab, then set the mixture aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high.  When the skillet is hot, add the shrimp-crab mixture and spread into an even layer.  Cook for 4 minutes undisturbed, then turn the seafood over and cover the skillet with a lid.  Cook for 4 minutes longer, then stir the mixture to make sure all of the shrimp are cooked through and pink.  Remove the skillet from the heat while you make the sandwiches.

Spoon the seafood mixture into the hoagie rolls, pressing the mixture down slightly while stuffing the rolls.  Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the sandwiches and broil for 4 minutes or until golden on top.  Serve with cole slaw.  Serves about 6 and any leftover seafood makes a wonderful lunch the next day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Crispy Shrimp Cakes with Lime Salsa

Today I was lucky to find some early-season Florida corn on the cob at the grocery, and I couldn't wait to use it to create these Shrimp Cakes.  Sometimes the early corn crops don't have that sweet corn taste that you get from the late season corn, but this corn was sweet and tasty and smelled like summer.  We pureed half of the corn and left the rest of the kernels whole, which added a nice layer of texture when combined with the shrimp.

A blend of two flours are used for the batter, a mixture of regular flour and masa harnina, which is the flour used to make tortillas. The masa flour keeps the batter light and airy, which let the shrimp flavor comes through, but also allows the cakes to form a nice crispy exterior.

The salsa we used is a quick and simple recipe we've used for years.  The first tomatoes of the season always end up in a batch of salsa, with fresh minced jalapenos and lime juice. Yum!

If you have kids that are a little finicky about seafood, there is an easy way to get them to at least try this Shrimp Cake.  Call it a Krabby Patty!  Anyone under the age of 30 or so knows that the Krabby Patty is the staple food in the SpongeBob cartoons, and this will at least get them interested in trying something new for dinner.  For a little less spice, you could also serve these cakes with a simple tarter sauce or cocktail sauce in place of the salsa.  Enjoy!!

1/2 cup  Minced Red Onion
2  medium  Tomatoes, chopped
2  medium  Jalapeno Peppers, finely minced
2 TB  Lime Juice
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt

To prepare the salsa, combine the above 5 ingredients in a glass bowl and stir to combine.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

2/3 cup  Masa Harina Flour (this can be found in the Mexican foods section)
2/3 cup  Flour
1 tsp  Baking Powder
2 tsp  Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 tsp  Kosher Salt
3/4 tsp  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 cups  Fresh Corn Kernels, cut from 3 ears of corn, divided into 1 cup portions
2 TB  Low-Fat Buttermilk
1 TB  Grated Lemon Rind
2  Eggs
1-1/2 lbs medium  Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 medium  Red Bell Pepper, minced
1  Green Onion, finely minced
1 TB  Minced Garlic
Canola Oil

In a large glass bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, Old Bay, salt and pepper, and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1 cup of corn, buttermilk, lemon rind, eggs, and shrimp.  Pulse the food processor several times, just until the shrimp is a chopped consistency, but some pieces still remain.

Pour the shrimp and corn mixture into a large bowl and add the red pepper, green onion, garlic and the remaining 1 cup of corn kernels.  Stir to combine, then add the flour mixture and stir gently only until the batter is blended.

Heat 1/4 inch of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Using a 1/3 cup measuring scoop, place scoops of the batter into the skillet, pressing the tops of the cakes down slightly with a spatula.  Cook for 4 - 5 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown, then turn the cakes over and cook 4 minutes longer until golden.

Remove the cakes from the skillet and place on paper towels to drain while you cook the rest of the cakes in batches.  Serve the shrimp cakes with the Lime Salsa, tortilla chips and guacamole. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Caribbean Seafood Sandwich with Lime-Dijon Vinaigrette

Summer has arrived early here in Florida with temperatures already in the low 80's.  Although my basil and tomato plants are very happy to have the warm temperatures, after a few hours of yard work,  we wanted something light and cold for dinner. 

We started by boiling some medium-sized shrimp.  Just a few lemon wedges, Old Bay seasoning and bay leaves are all you need for delicious boiled shrimp.  And they only take about 4 minutes to cook. Super easy!

Next, we chopped imitation crab meat into bite-sized pieces,  (This crab is also called surimi and is the same crab used in some sushi.)  and added a little minced jalapeno and green onion.  I used half of a jalapeno in this recipe, but I think I would use the whole pepper next time.  The heat from the jalapeno was really tasty.

Instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing we went with a simple and light Dijon and lime juice vinaigrette.  The flavors of the Dijon, lime and jalapeno all came through it this light, delicious coating and were a huge improvement over the customary heavy mayonnaise dressing.

We used Cuban bread to make the sandwiches because of its light, airy texture, and adding a drizzle of the vinaigrette to the sandwich allowed the bread to soak up some of that zingy flavor.  As an alternative, my daughter used the butter lettuce leaves to make "wraps" that were also delicious.  I'm sure this cool seafood sandwich will be a family favorite this summer.  Enjoy!!

1-1/2 lbs  Medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-1/2 quarts  Water
1  Lemon,  cut into wedges
1 TB  Old Bay Seasoning
2  Bay Leaves
10 oz  Imitation Crab Meat, coarsely chopped
1 heaping TB  Dijon Mustard
1 TB  Lime Juice
2 TB  Red Wine Vinegar
2 tsp  Honey
4 TB  Olive Oil
1 TB  Minced Green Onions
1 TB  Minced Jalapeno Pepper ( use 2 TB for more heat)
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Cuban Bread, sliced lengthwise and into portions
Garnishes:  Sliced Tomatoes, Butter Lettuce, Avocado Slices, Chopped Green Onions and Lime Wedges

Place the water, lemon wedges, Old Bay and bay leaves in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, then add the shrimp to the pot.  Cook 3 - 4 minutes, stirring several times, until the shrimp are bring pink and cooked through.  Drain the shrimp and transfer to a platter to cool.

In a medium glass bowl combine the Dijon, lime juice, vinegar, honey, olive oil, onions and jalapeno.  Whisk vigorously to combine, then season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the cooled shrimp and the chopped crab meat to the vinaigrette and stir to coat the seafood.

Slice the Cuban bread into the desired portions and cut out a wedge of the bread interior.  Place a scoop of the salad onto the bread, along with a spoonful of the vinaigrette.  Top with butter lettuce, and a few slices of tomato and avocado and a sprinkle of diced green onions.  Served lime wedges on the side.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chipotle Shrimp Soft Tacos

Tonight we were in the mood for Mexican food.  Something spicy with a little chipotle pepper flavor.  I love cooking with chipotle peppers, and the adobo sauce the peppers are packed in adds a nice smoky undertone to any dish.  So when I went to the grocery and spotted Florida Gulf shrimp on sale, I started thinking...Shrimp Tacos!

We started off with some very thinly sliced red onions, and let them marinade in lime juice, almost like a ceviche-style mixture.  The lime juice worked its magic on the onions, adding a citrusy bite to the sweet red onions.

Next we let the shrimp marinate in a very simple mixture.  Olive oil, a few spices and a couple spoons of adobo sauce was all that was needed to infuse the shrimp with lots of flavor.

We wanted to add a sauce to the tacos, too.  Something light and not so strong in flavor that it would hide the seasoned shrimp.  So for the sauce we went with a simple, yet amazingly delicious sauce of sour cream, one chipotle pepper and a dash of milk to thin the mixture.  If you like things a little more spicy, just add a second (or even a third) chipotle pepper to the mixture.

All of these bold flavors came together beautifully and this meal will definitely be added to our regular rotation of dinners.  This meal is very quick to prepare and can be ready start to finish in about 30 minutes, and any leftovers make a great lunch the next day.  Also as a side note, the chipotle sauce was simply heavenly and I know it would be wonderful on chicken sandwiches, or as a base for chicken salad, so you might see those recipes pop up here very shortly.  Enjoy!!

1/2 medium  Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 TB  Lime Juice
1/4 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 lbs  Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 TB  Olive Oil
2 TB  Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
3 tsp  Adobo Sauce
1/2 tsp  Smoked Paprika
3/4 cup  Sour Cream
1 - 2  Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1 tsp  Adobo Sauce
1 - 2 tsp  Milk
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Soft Taco Tortilla Shells
Garnishes:  Sliced Fresh Avocado, Fresh Lime Wedges

In a small glass bowl, combine the onions, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Stir until coated and set aside.

In a medium glass bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, garlic, pepper, adobo sauce and paprika.  Stir to evenly coat all of the shrimp and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

To make the chipotle sauce, use a small blender cup and combine the sour cream, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, 1 teaspoon milk and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.  If mixture is too thick, add the additional teaspoon of milk and blend.  Adjust the salt and pepper here, if needed.  Chill the sauce until ready to serve.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the shrimp and marinade in a single layer and sauté for 5 - 6 minutes, stirring frequently and turning the shrimp over to cook evenly.  When the shrimp are pink and cooked through, remove pan from the heat.

To serve place a soft taco shell on a plate, place several pieces of shrimp in the center of the taco, add slices of avocado, a scoop of the marinated red onions, and a drizzle of the chipotle sauce.  A squeeze of lime is optional, but adds a beautiful, crisp citrus flavor to the taco.  Serve with Spanish rice.  Makes about 6 servings.  Enjoy!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Shrimp and Blue Cheese Noodles

Tonight we revisited a favorite family recipe, Shrimp and Blue Cheese Noodles.  This is probably my favorite seafood and pasta meal because the flavors are just a really unique combination. We used to make this dish years ago when my kids were very young and I wasn't sure if they would even remember having eaten this dish before.  But once they smelled the garlic, shrimp and blue cheese aromas filling the kitchen, they were excited to try this again.

Once again the combination of a few simple ingredients come together in an easy to fix dinner that can be ready in about 30 minutes.  Serve with a side of steamed spinach or asparagus and a few stuffed clams shells and you have a tasty meal on the table in no time. 
1 lb  Raw Shrimp, about 30, peeled and deveined 
2 tsp Minced Garlic
2 tsp Olive Oil
3 oz Cream Cheese, sliced
4 oz Blue Cheese Crumbles at room temp (or Gorgonzola)
1/3 cup Milk
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 lb  Regular or Whole Wheat Linguine
Grated Parmesan and Romano Cheese

In a large pot, heat water for the pasta, adding pasta when water boils. When pasta is to an al dente stage, turn off the heat and keep warm, but do not drain yet.

While the pasta is cooking, using a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering, then add the garlic. Lightly saute the garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Add the shrimp to the garlic in a single layer, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat just until shrimp begins to turn pink, then turn the shrimp over.

As soon as you turn the shrimp, add thin slices of the cream cheese on top of the shrimp and reduce heat to medium-low.

Once the cheese starts to melt, drain the pasta and add the pasta to the shrimp mixture.  Add half of the blue cheese to the pan and fold mixture over gently. Add the milk and the remaining blue cheese and stir until the cream cheese is fully melted and all of the noodles are coated. 

Portion noodles and shrimp out onto warm plates, top with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan and Romano cheese and serve.  Serves 4.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Indonesian Nasi Goreng

Don't let the tricky name scare you away, because this is a delicious stir fry dish that's actually quite easy to make.

The name, Nasi Goreng, translates into "fried rice" in Indonesia, and the dish has many variations.  It can be served as a breakfast dish by serving the rice with more egg, it can be made suitable for vegetarians by omitting the chicken and/or shrimp, or you can prepare the dish with just chicken.  Either way, it is a quick and simple stir fry and makes a great weeknight dinner.

Cooking with a wok (or a large skillet will work too) the first thing to do is prepare all of your ingredients.  Have everything ready in advance and this meal will come together very quickly.

First, prepare a sauce of red chilies, chili paste, lobster or shrimp base, minced garlic and soy sauce. (You can use a small food processor to puree this if you would like a smooth mixture, but I liked having the pieces of garlic and chili in the sauce.)  Next chop the cucumbers and tomatoes and place in smalls bowls.  Then slice the chicken into strips and you're ready to go.

You can also vary the amount of heat in this dish, since this dish as written was not overly spicy. The chilies I used were a little mild, and next time I might try using Thai chilies for a more intense heat, or maybe add a teaspoon or two of Srirachi Sauce for extra heat. You can easily adjust the spice up or down for this recipe according to personal preference.  This dish got a thumbs up from the kids, even the picky eater, so I'm sure it will be added to our list of Go-To weeknight recipes.  Enjoy!!

4 - 6  Red Chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
1 TB  Roasted Red Chili Paste
2 tsp  Lobster or Shrimp Base
2 TB  Minced Garlic
1 TB  Soy Sauce
Peanut Oil for Stir-Frying
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 lb  Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into strips
1 lb  Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups  Cooked Rice (Jasmati, Long Grain or Brown Rice will work)
1/3 cup  Soy Sauce
1 cup  Diced Cucumber
1  Large Tomato, chopped
Lime Wedges for garnish

In a small bowl combine the minced chilies, chili paste, lobster or shrimp base, garlic and soy sauce.  Stir and set aside.

Heat the wok (or large skillet) until very hot, add 2 tsp peanut oil and swirl around the wok.  Add the beaten eggs and gently swirl the eggs so they spread out in the wok, to create a large thin crepe.  Carefully flip the eggs over, cook for 1 minute until set, then transfer the eggs to a plate to cool, then slice the eggs into thin strips.

Reheat the wok and add 2 teaspoons of peanut oil, then add the chicken and half of the chili and garlic mixture.  Stir to coat and cook the chicken until it is no longer pink.  Remove the chicken from the wok and keep warm in a large bowl.

Reheat the wok, add 1 teaspoon oil, then the shrimp and the remaining chili and garlic mixture.  Stir and cook until the shrimp are cooked through and pink.  Transfer the shrimp to the bowl with the chicken and keep warm.

Reheat the wok and add 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the cooked rice, and stir constantly over medium-high heat for 4 minutes.  Add the soy sauce to the rice, stir, then add the chicken and shrimp to the wok.  Continue to turn the mixture until everything is warmed through.  Season with salt and pepper, as needed. 

Spoon the mixture into serving bowls and sprinkle with the strips of egg, then a spoonful of cucumber and finally the tomato on top.  Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the dish. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Seafood and Spice and Everything Nice

For day 28 of Soup Month 2012, we have an amazing seafood stew that is truly one of the best I've ever eaten. The title really says it all for this dish.  The stew combines shrimp, scallops and swai fish fillets, and adds red and green peppers, plus chipotle and jalapeno peppers, with just a little kick from cumin and chili powder.  Everything comes together to create a mouth-watering bowl of seafood goodness.

This stew is a simple five step process that begins with a marinade for the seafood.  A combination of spices, minced jalapeno and garlic infuse the seafood with flavor while you prepare the rest of the stew.

The stew base gets a bold start with a bottle of dark beer, chipotle pepper and a spoonful of adobo sauce, plus some chopped veggies and a can of navy beans for a little extra heartiness.  Adding just a touch of cream at the end gives the broth a luxurious finish, and brings all of those flavors together.  You'll never, ever, find something this delicious in any restaurant.  It was quite simply, homemade and magnificent!   I hope you enjoy this stew as much as we did.

3 TB  Olive Oil
1 tsp  Ground Cumin
1 tsp  Smoked Chili Powder
1 medium  Jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 lb  Swai Fish Fillets, (about 3 fillets) cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb  Medium Shrimp, (41 - 50 count) peeled and deveined
3/4 lb  Scallops

2 TB  Olive Oil
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
1 stalk  Celery, chopped
1 medium  Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium  Green Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1  Chipotle Chili, minced
1-1/2 tsp  Adobo Sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
1 bottle  Dark Beer
1-1/2 cups  Chicken Broth
1 can  Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1/3 cup  Heavy Cream

Step One - Seafood Marinade - In a glass bowl combine the 3 TB oil, cumin, chili powder, jalapeno, and garlic.  Stir to combine, then add the shrimp, scallops and fish to the bowl.  Toss gently to coat, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the stew.

Step Two - Making the Stew Base -  Heat 2 TB oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery, red and green peppers, and oregano.  Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies are slightly tender.  Add the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce and cook for 3 more minutes.  Add the beer, chicken broth, beans, salt, and pepper, bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Step Three - Prepare the Seafood - While the stew base is simmering, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 TB olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the seafood plus any marinade to the skillet and saute for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the fish is nearly opaque.  (Be sure to turn the fish carefully so it does not break apart too much.)

Step Four - Add the heavy cream to the stew and stir to combine, then blend in the cornmeal, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes. (This will thicken the broth slightly.)

Step Five - Carefully add the sauteed seafood to the pot, gently stir and cook for 5 minutes over low heat.  Ladle stew into bowls and serve with lime wedges, tortilla chips or cheese quesadillas on the side.  Enjoy!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shrimp Bisque

For day 26 of Soup Month 2012, we decided to go with a luxurious bowl of creamy Shrimp Bisque.  This is a great special occasion soup and would be delicious served as a first course for New Year's Eve alongside a perfectly medium-rare Standing Prime Rib Roast.

The secret to a successful bisque lies in the stock.  Making your own stock does take a little extra time, but the depth of flavor you get from a slow-cooked stock is amazing!  For extra seasonings, we added just a touch of old bay to the stock to round out the shrimp, and the tomato paste with garlic adds just a hint of garlic to the background of this soup.  Enjoy!!

2 lbs  medium Shell-On Shrimp (41-50 size)
4 TB  Butter, divided
1 medium  Yellow Onion, diced
2 medium  Carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium Celery Stalk, diced
1/2 tsp  Old Bay Seasoning
2  Bay Leaves
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 TB  Tomato Paste with Garlic
4 cups  Water
4 TB  Flour
3/4 cup  Dry White Wine
1 tsp  Lobster Base
1/4 tsp  Cayenne Pepper
1/2 cup  Heavy Cream

Peel the shrimp and reserve the shells.  Chop the shrimp in half and place in a glass bowl;  refrigerate until needed.

In a large saucepan, melt 1 TB butter over medium-high heat.  When butter begins to simmer, add the onions, carrots, celery, Old Bay, and bay leaves and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the reserved shrimp shells on top of the vegetables, sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir and cover the pot.  Cook for 5 minutes longer, until the shells are pink and vegetables are softened.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the water to the pot and stir to combine.  Bring stock to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Use a colander lined with a paper towel or coffee filter to strain the stock through to filter out the solids, then discard the solids.

Rinse out the saucepan and return to the stove.  Over low heat melt 3 TB butter.  When the butter is melted, add the flour to the butter and blend with a spoon to create a roux.  Keep stirring until mixture is a golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Add the white wine and lobster base to the pot and stir to combine, then add the reserved stock to the pot.  Bring mixture to a low boil, then add the cayenne and the shrimp to the pot.  Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes or just until the shrimp are pink.  Reduce the heat to low, add the cream to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. 

Serve this soup with crusty french bread or baked clam shells.  Serves 5 - 6 as a main course, or about 8 as a first course. Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Swai and Shrimp Creole Chowder

For day #7 of Soup Month 2012, we bring you a quick version of Swai and Shrimp Creole Chowder.  This mildly spicy seafood and vegetable mixture is served over brown rice and makes a delicious and complete meal, and can be ready in about an hour.

We started this recipe with the basic Cajun/Creole ingredients known as the "holy trinity", bell peppers, onion and celery.  (Using the yellow and green peppers adds beautiful color to the dish.)  Next, we added lightly seasoned shrimp and pieces of Swai fish fillets to the chowder.  If you are not familiar with Swai, it is a type of catfish that has a light, sweet flavor.   It is also ideal for this type of seafood chowder because it absorbs the flavors of the soup nicely and it holds together very well while cooking.  If you cannot locate Swai at your local market, you can also substitute catfish or another firm type of fish.

We did keep this chowder a little on the "mildly spicy" side since the kids were eating this also, but if you prefer a bit more spice, just add a little cayenne pepper and paprika to the shrimp seasoning.  You could also add just a dash of Tabasco Sauce to give it even more zing.

Be sure to serve some crusty French bread on the side so you can soak up all of the juices!  Enjoy!!

1 lb  Swai Fish Fillets, thawed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb  Medium Shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
2 TB  Lemon Juice
2 TB  Cajun Seasoning Mix
2 tsp  Olive Oil
1 medium  Onion, chopped
1/2 large  Green Pepper, chopped
1/2 large  Yellow Pepper, chopped
2 stalks  Celery, chopped
2 TB  Minced Garlic
1 14.5 oz can  Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Basil
1 4 oz can Tomato Sauce with Roasted Garlic
1 cup  Dry White Wine
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp  Dried Thyme
1 TB  Dried Parsley
2 tsp  Worcestershire Sauce
Diced Green Onions or Chopped Fresh Parsley for Garnish
Cooked Brown or White Rice

Prepare Swai fillets and set aside.  Place shrimp in a small bowl and coat with the lemon juice and Cajun seasoning and set aside. (**Note:  For a spicier batch add a 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp paprika to the shrimp along with the Cajun seasoning mix.)

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat.  Add onion, peppers, celery and garlic and saute 5 minutes.  Add the seasoned shrimp to the pot and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, white wine, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley to the pot, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Add the Worcestershire sauce to the pot and stir, then carefully place the Swai fillets on top of the soup, gently pressing the pieces down into the juices.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat or until the fish is cooked through and opaque in color.

Ladle soup over a scoop of cooked brown rice and garnish with chopped green onions and fresh parsley. Serve with a loaf of crusty french bread and a glass of red wine.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blackened Shrimp Po'Boy Sandwich

I can't believe Summer is nearly upon us.  Here in Florida the temperatures are already into the mid to upper 80's and I'm afraid we might be in store for a very hot summer.  So this is a great time to start experimenting with some new lighter fare for those days when it's too hot to bake anything and you just want a nice light sandwich.

With a just a few minutes of prep time and a handful of fresh ingredients, you can make this delicious Blackened Shrimp Po'Boy Sandwich for lunch or as part of a light dinner. 

This is also a very inexpensive meal.  Considering a fast food cheeseburger meal probably runs $5 per person (or more) and is far from healthy, the half pound of shrimp will only cost $3 - $4 and will make at least 2 sandwiches.  On top of that you have a fresh and healthy sandwich full of bright flavors that will taste SO much better than a processed burger.

1/2 lb  50-60 ct Shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tsp  Old Bay Blackened Seasoning
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 tsp  Butter
1 tsp  Olive Oil
2 tsp  Minced Garlic
2  Hoagie Rolls
Provolone Cheese
Romaine Leaves

Once the shrimp are cleaned, place them on a small plate in a single layer and sprinkle with the Old Bay and garlic powder.  Turn if needed to evenly coat the shrimp and set aside.

Prepare the hoagie rolls, lining each roll with romaine and provolone cheese; set aside.

Using a small skillet, add the butter, olive oil and garlic, browning the garlic over medium-high heat.  Once the garlic is slightly browned, add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer.  Do not turn the shrimp and allow to cook about 3 minutes over medium-high heat.  This will allow the shrimp to sear.  Turn the shrimp and cook for 1 - 2 minutes until cooked thru.

Scoop the shrimp into the 2 hoagie rolls and serve with sliced pickles or a light salad.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Creole Jambalaya

Sometimes for an event like a Super Bowl party, you might want to serve a dish that is a bit more "substantial".  With lots of beer and cocktails flowing it's a good idea to have something for guests to eat that will balance out the drinks.  This hearty dish will do just that and, to make things easier, it's all cooked in one pot.

This recipe is adapted from an Emeril dish. It includes chicken quarters that are seared on the outside before they finish cooking in the oven, smoked sausage (in place of andouille sausage which is quite pricey) and shrimp that is gently steamed in the same pot just before serving the dish.  The flavors are amazing!

First a little history! There are two primary methods of making jambalaya. The first and most common in Southeast Louisiana is Creole Jambalaya (also called "red jambalaya"), which originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans. The second style is Cajun Jambalaya, which contains no tomatoes, and is known as "Brown Jambalaya" in New Orleans. For another twist on this classic dish you might want to try our Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya.

Since there are as many different recipes for Jambalaya as there are for chili, this is another dish that changes from one family to another to satisfy specific tastes. The Jambalaya can be adjusted by adding more or less shrimp or go heavier on the hot sauce and Cajun seasoning if you want a more spicy flavor. Try this recipe once and adjust to suit your own taste buds.  Serve with a loaf of crusty french bread and Olive Oil Dipping Sauce.  Enjoy!!

3 - 4 pieces Chicken Leg Quarters
2 TB Cajun Blackening Spice
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Celery, chopped
1 cup Green Peppers, chopped
1 cup Onions, chopped
1 TB Garlic, minced
1 lb pkg Beef Smoked Sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices, then halved
2 cups Long Grain White Rice
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 - 14 1/2 oz can Diced Tomatoes
1 TB Tomato Paste
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
4 Bay Leaves
1 tsp dried Thyme
1-1/2 lbs medium Shrimp (21-25 size), peeled and deveined

Preheat oven to 375.  Season the chicken quarters with Blackening Spice and salt. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 - 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

Add the celery, peppers and onions to the pot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add the sausage, cook 2 more minutes. Add the rice and stir well, cooking another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon of the Blackening Spice, Tabasco, bay leaves and thyme. Stir to combine. Return the chicken quarters to the pan and nestle the pieces into the rice mixture.
Cover the pot and bake until the chicken and rice are tender, about 40 minutes.

Toss the shrimp with the remaining Blackening Spice. Remove the jambalaya from the oven and add the shrimp to the top of the pot, gently pressing the shrimp into the rice. Cover the pot and let stand for five minutes, undisturbed. The shrimp will be cooked through from the steam in the pot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Seafood Pot Pie

This is not your ordinary grandma-style pot pie!  A mouthwatering blend of seafood, homemade stock and a creamy white wine sauce, this recipe is perfect for your next special occasion. 

Unfortunately, we weren't able to find as much lobster as we would have liked, so we had to improvise a little, and the results were fantastic.  The base for the creamy sauce started with a batch of homemade stock made from shrimp and lobster shells and white wine.  Yes, it does take a little extra time to make the stock, but the flavor was SO worth it.   This meal is something that will impress your guests and have them asking for the recipe.  Enjoy!!

Prepare the Seafood Stock

4-6 cups  Seafood Shells (I used the lobster shells and shrimp shells)
1  Large Onion, chopped
1  Carrot, chopped
1  Celery Rib, chopped
Cold Water (enough to cover shells)
1/2 tsp  Dried Thyme
2 tsp  Fresh Parsley
1 Bay Leaf
12  Whole Black Peppercorns
1/2 cup Dry White Wine

In a large soup pot combine shells, onion, carrot, and celery, and add enough water to cover.  Place the remaining spices in a piece of cheesecloth and tie the top.  (If you don't have cheesecloth, I used a tea ball and it worked great!).

Add the spice bundle to the pot and bring to a boil.  When the stock begins to boil, skim off the foam.  Allow the stock to boil for about 10 minutes, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer stock for 30 minutes, then add the white wine and simmer 10 minutes longer.  Strain the stock using cheesecloth and a colander and discard shells.  Use the amount of stock needed and the remainder can be frozen for another recipe.

For the pot pie crust, I did cheat a bit on this step and used store bought pie crust.  I used a glass to cut 2 large circles for each pie, placed them on a baking sheet with 1 circle overlapping the other.  For seasoning I added a sprinkle of thyme and kosher salt and baked them per the instructions, then set aside.

Now for the Filling
2 TB  Butter
1  Small Onion, finely diced
4  Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
2  Carrots, diced
1/2 cup  Frozen Pearl Onions
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  White Pepper
2 cups  Seafood Stock
1 cup  Half and Half
1 lb  Shrimp, (21-25 size) peeled and deveined then sliced down the center, shells reserved to make stock (above)
2  Medium Lobster Tails (gently remove meat from shells & cut into 1-inch cubes, reserve shells for stock)
3/4 lb  Bay Scallops, rinsed
4 TB  Butter
4 TB  Flour

In a large soup pot, melt the 2 TB butter.  Add the onion, potatoes, carrot and pearl onions, stirring to coat with the butter.  Sprinkle with the kosher salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to brown on the edges but are not fully cooked.

While the vegetables are cooking you can get the next step ready. 

In a small skillet make a roux by melting the 4 TB butter over medium heat, next adding the 4 TB flour and stirring until the mixture turns slightly brown.  ** You may not use all of this mixture depending on the thickness of the broth desired.  I used about 3/4 of the roux by it's always better to have a bit extra on hand should you need it!  Keep the mixture warm.

Back to the filling:  Add the seafood stock and half and half to the pot and gently stir the vegetables, cooking for about 5 minutes until the carrots and potatoes are almost tender. Carefully add the shrimp to the pot making sure to push them down into the broth, and simmer on low for 3 minutes. Next add the lobster, followed by the scallops.  These will cook very quickly and only need about 4 minutes to finish the filling.  Increase the heat slightly to medium and add a few teaspoons of the roux to the filling, stirring gently and adding more roux as needed to get the desired consistency.

Spoon the filing into soup bowls, add the double-circle crust on top of each and serve.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Red Snapper and Shrimp Soup

For day #16 of Soup Month we bring together two of my favorite foods, Gulf Red Snapper and Shrimp.  I wanted to create a light soup that would complement each ingredient without masking the flavors but to do that I would need a flavorful clear base for the soup.  I'm not a fan of tomatoes with seafood; for some reason tomatoes with fish or shrimp just doesn't seem to work for me.  This brought me back to my favorite standby, White Wine and Herb Broth.  With the addition of a healthy portion of garlic and a pinch of saffron, this soup delivered a flavorful, light and elegant taste.  Even better, it was very quick to prepare.  We added some baked clam shells as a side but the soup would also be delicious spooned over Jasmine Rice.  Enjoy!

2 - 3 tsp  Minced Garlic
1 medium  Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 small  Onion, finely diced
3 cups College Inn White Wine and Herb Broth
1/2 tsp  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/8 tsp  Saffron Threads, crushed
1 lb  Red Snapper, cut into 2-inch chunks (can also use cod or halibut or any solid fish)
1 lb  Medium Shrimp (31-40 size), shelled and deveined
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Black Pepper
Cooked Jasmine Rice (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the garlic, pepper and onion, cover and cook over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the broth, red pepper and saffron, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the fish and shrimp, cover and simmer just until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.  Serve in soup bowls alsone or spoon over a serving of jasmine rice.  Serves about 6.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Smoky Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

The best thing about making homemade soup is getting to experiment with new flavors.  For day #7 of Soup Month, we've combined shrimp with fire-roasted tomatoes, white wine and spicy dry chorizo and the end result is delicious.

This recipe was adapted from a 2009 Food &Wine recipe I came across.  I had never used dry chorizo so I was curious to try it as we do like fresh chorizo.  The dry variety does need to be used in this recipe as the fresh would result in a mushy texture.  The smoky paprika, combined with the chorizo and shrimp is an amazing flavor, without being overly spicy.  We did add a package of frozen cheese tortellini just to make the soup a bit more hearty and a little more kid-friendly.

2 lbs Medium Shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
1 - 49 oz can Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
12 oz  Dry White Wine
8 oz Dry Chorizo, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Small Sweet Onion, finely diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 - 28-oz can Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 TB Flour mixed with 2 TB of Water
1 pkg  Frozen Cheese Filled Tortellini
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Avocado slices, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, simmer the shrimp shells in the chicken broth and wine, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain the broth and discard the shells.

In a large soup pot, cook the chorizo over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a plate. Add the onion, garlic and paprika to the pot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Return the chorizo to the pot, add the shrimp broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 25 minutes. Stir the flour mixture, whisk it into the soup and boil for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tortellini and bring soup back to a low boil.  Add the shrimp to the soup and cook just until pink and curled, about 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with avocado slices.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Golden Potato Soup with Spicy Shrimp

On to day #2 of Soup Month, we have a silky smooth Golden Potato Soup with Sriracha Spiced  Shrimp on top.  This is a relatively easy soup to make, requiring just a few minutes of prep time.  The original recipe from Food & Wine magazine called for Turkish red-pepper paste as the base seasoning for the shrimp but, since I could not find any here in our small town, my husband decided to use his spice magic on the shrimp and they turned out great.  Just the right amount of spice to compliment the mild potato soup.

Why use 2 varieties of potatoes?  The Yukon Gold is a boiling potato which contains less starch and sugar and also gives this soup its beautiful color.  When you combine the 3 Yukon potatoes with 1 regular Russet potato, which is higher in starch and will add a little fluff to the recipe, you get the perfect combination of silkiness and just a bit of starch to thicken the soup.

This elegant soup would be perfect for the first course at any holiday dinner, and would be delicious served before a Beef Standing Rib RoastEnjoy!

1 TB  Olive Oil
1 medium Shallot, sliced
Kosher Salt
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium Russet Potato, peeled and diced
2 cups  Chicken Broth
1/2 lb  Raw Shrimp, about 21-25 size, shelled, deveined and cut in half horizontally
1 tsp  Fresh Basil
1 TB  Minced Fresh Garlic
2 TB  Olive Oil
1/2 tsp  Sriracha Sauce
1 tsp  Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch of Ground Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp  Paprika
1  Green Onion, minced for garnish

In a large pot heat 1 TB olive oil.  Add the shallot and just a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the diced potatoes and cook 5 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and simmer over medium heat until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the shrimp, basil, garlic, 2 TB olive oil, Sriracha sauce, balsamic, cayenne and paprika.  Set aside to marinate while the potatoes are cooking.

When the potatoes are tender, use a slotted spoon to scoop the shallots and potatoes into a blender.  Strain the remaining broth into a saucepan, and carefully add 1 cup of the broth to the blender.

Puree the soup until smooth, then add the puree to the saucepan with the broth.  Add just a pinch of salt, to taste and stir until the broth and puree are combined.

Using a small skillet, add the shrimp mixture, and cook shrimp over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes or until shrimp are pink and slightly curled.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with several of the cooked shrimp and a sprinkle of green onions for garnish.  Serves about 3 as a main meal with a side salad, or serves 6 as an appetizer or first course.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What Would You Like for Your Birthday Dinner?

If you ask most kids this question, you would get a variety of answers from McDonald's to delivered pizza.  When I asked my daughter the same question, she replied "Let me go look at the website!".  At the ripe old age of 11, she is fortunate to have a "sophisticated palate".  She will gladly choose salads  or any type of seafood over burgers and pizza any day.  Which is exactly why her answer worried me.  I feared her answer might result in multiple trips around town to find ingredients that may or may not be available in our tiny town. So I silently hoped for something simple!


After a conference with her sisters, she announced her decision, Grilled Shrimp Po' Boy sandwiches.  YES!  Pretty simple and straightforward. But they didn't want the recipe on the website, they had something else in mind.  They wanted "Daddy's Shrimp" in the form of a Po' Boy, and with a guacamole-style sauce. Hmm.  Since my husband's shrimp recipe has been highly classified (until now), he was my co-chef for the night.

Shrimp and Marinade
1-1/2 lbs  Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 TB  Olive Oil
2 TB  Minced Garlic
1 tsp  Sriracha Sauce
1 tsp  Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp  Chopped Fresh Basil
1/4 tsp  Cayenne Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

After cleaning and deveining the shrimp they went into the marinade for about 20 minutes.  Then we skewered and grilled them to perfection. 

The Guacamole sauce was pretty simple:

1 Avocado
1/2 cup  Mayo
1/2 to 1 tsp Chipotle Pepper (start with a/2 tsp and adjust to taste)
Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 tsp  Kosher Salt

Puree the sauce in a blender until smooth.  This is a very versatile sauce and would be great on a grilled chicken sandwich.

The grilled shrimp went onto sliced French baguettes and were topped with sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce and a dollop of avocado sauce.  Truly yummy with a bit of spice, this will surely be a favorite for more birthdays to come.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Low Country Shrimp Boil

Low-Country Boil? Frogmore Stew? Beaufort Stew? Shrimp Boil? The name given to this delicious meal will likely depend on your region, as each area of the country has its own name for this combination meal of seafood, potatoes, corn on the cob and kielbasa.  Regardless of the name you are most familiar with, this hearty meal is a family favorite, and nothing tastes more like summer than a huge pot of boiling seafood.  As a bonus, since this is a fairly messy meal, the kids seem to love it even more.

The main ingredients are adjustable according to your personal preferences. Add a little more shrimp or a little less crab or kielbasa, just add each ingredient to the pot in the same order, so all of the foods are cooked through, and finish cooking at the same time.

This recipe serves 10-12 adults.  Serve with lemon wedges, lots of napkins and a big bowl in the middle of the table so everyone can discard the empty shells.  Enjoy!!


Old Bay Seasoning, to taste ( we use approx. 1/3 cup for a large pot)
1 Whole Lemon
1 TB Tabasco Hot Sauce, more or less to taste
3 - 4 pounds small Red Potatoes, scrubbed, cut in half
3 (16 ounce) packages cooked Kielbasa, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 - 10 ears Fresh Corn, husks and silks removed, ears cut in half
5 pounds King Crab Legs, broken pieces work best (can substitute Snow Crabs, just use what is in season)
5 pounds fresh Shrimp, deveined, peeled or unpeeled

Heat a very large pot of water using an outdoor turkey pot, or over medium-high heat indoors. Add Old Bay and Tabasco to the pot, then squeeze the lemon juice into the pot and then place the whole lemon in the pot and bring to a boil.

Add potatoes and sausage, cook for about 10 minutes. Add the corn and crab; cook for another 5 minutes, then add the shrimp when everything else is almost done, and cook for another 3 - 5 minutes.

Drain off the water and pour the contants into large servings bowls. Be sure to have 2 -3 large empty bowls on the table to discard crab and shrimp shells. Serve with ice cold beer and lots of napkins.