Tag-Archive for ◊ shrimp ◊

13 Jul 2011 Southwestern Pasta Salad

I have not been very impressed with the food section of our local paper in the last, oh, decade.  There is one column in particular that drives me iNSaNe.  Typical recipes include a bit of Dream Whip here, Bisquick, Cream of Chicken soup and canned mushrooms there,  with Tater Tots, Rice-a-Roni, and crushed up Ritz Crackers stirred into a can of Pineapple Tidbits on the side. PLUS, not one of the recipes has been tested by the columnist! (Although she does say how good they all sound and she might get around to trying one over the weekend…)  Arggghhhhhh!!

That all been said and vented, there have been a few recipes over the years that I have tried.  And I have to admit, most have been pretty good.

This one here is a keeper. The basic salad can be thrown together with cans from the pantry, and it’s good for you with lots of fiber from the beans and lots of other feel good stuff from the veggies.  If you have some fresh herbs on hand, the basic salad can be jazzed up a bit, but it’s not necessary, the basic salad is good as it is.  If you want to go all out, throw in a few chopped avocados and a pound of bay shrimp.  This salad serves a bunch of people, so it’s ideal to take to any potluck or family gathering.  I’ve made this a number of times, and I have only had the recipe for a few weeks.  It’s been a popular side dish, and I love, love, love how fast and easy it is to throw together from ingredients I have in my pantry.

This recipe was inspired by two recipes that ran in the “Home Plates” column in the San Jose Mercury News in June 2011, both recipes were attributed to Hazel Lawson Gentry.  I took the best of both recipes, experimented a bit with quantities, and came up with this, my new “go-to” Pasta Salad.  You can do the same!  This recipe is very flexible and very forgiving. Make it yours!

Southwestern Pasta Salad

For the Dressing

1 cup ranch dressing

1 7 oz. can chopped mild green chilies

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

For the Pasta Salad

1 pound corkscrew, penne, or wagon wheel pasta, cooked and drained according to package directions (if you want less pasta in your salad, cook only 1/2 lb pasta, use 1 can of beans, and  keep all the other quantities the same.)

1 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (in the summer use 2 cups diced tomatoes from your backyard or from the farmers market), do not drain

1 OR 2 15 oz. cans (your choice) of black beans, pinquitos, or kidney beans (I use 1 can black beans), drained

1 15 oz. can corn (or 2 cups frozen corn, or fresh cooked corn stripped off the cob), drained

1 7 oz. can sliced black olives, drained

If you have it…

4 sliced green onions

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or basil

To make this Pasta Salad “Supreme”

2 diced avocados

1 lb. bay shrimp

  1. Combine the ranch dressing with the undrained chiles and the cumin powder.  Set aside.  (Dressing can be made up to one week in advance.)
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Cool with cold water, and drain well.
  3. Combine the pasta with the can of undrained diced tomatoes and the drained beans, corn and olives.
  4. Stir in the desired amount of the prepared dressing–you might use 3/4, or you might use all of it.  It all depends on how much liquid your pasta absorbs (this depends on the brand, the style, and how long you’ve cooked your pasta), and your personal preference, how saucy do you like your pasta salad?  Stir in as much as you think you’d like.  Save any leftover dressing, after a few hours the salad might look a bit dry and you can stir in the rest of the dressing at that time.  (If the salad looks dry and you have no dressing left, stir in a few spoonfuls of salsa!)
  5. If using, stir in your choice of herbs, green onion, avocado and bay shrimp, and salt and pepper, if needed.
  6. Cover the salad with plastic wrap and chill until serving time.

That’s all there is to it!  Easy peasy!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  Print out this recipe.  It will become a staple. Do you know how much stress is relieved by having a good, “go-to” pasta salad that can be made at the drop-of-the-hat, without a trip to the grocery store? Invite the neighbors over, get the burgers on the grill…, it’s Summertime and the livin’ is easy!!

22 Jul 2010 Grilled Orange Glazed Shrimp

I’m STILL immobile, thanks to this *&#$%! broken ankle (and still MAD about it, can you tell?), and my 19 year olds are cooking for me. Fortunately I have had plenty of time to cruise the food blogs (so there HAS been some good in this predicament). I found this recipe on Culinary Covers (from the cover of Everyday Food, June 2010)… Perfect! Three ingredients, with a bit of salt and pepper, then quickly grilled on a skewer! So it’s a fun-to-make recipe, too! My son used store-bought marmalade, but perhaps next time I’ll have him make my microwave marmalade recipe, too. He served this on a bed of white rice (all he knows how to make right now), but any kind of grain would work. Green beans or any other veg would have been nice on the side–but he was in a hurry to see a movie! The 19 year olds who came over to pick him up were very impressed with his culinary skills. I wish all nineteen year olds knew how easy it is to cook impressive food…

Note to parents of 19 year olds moving into their first apartment: add a Hibachi to that growing list of “nice-to-have” items.

Grilled Orange Glazed Shrimp

32 large-sized shrimp (with tails on)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
8 wooden or metal skewers

If using wooden skewers, soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Drain before using, and freeze leftover drained skewers for next time. Place 4 shrimp onto each of the 8 skewers (or 2 shrimp onto 16 skewers if serving as appetizers). Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste (use red pepper if you are into the sweet-spicy thing). In a small bowl, stir together orange marmalade and mustard. Brush glaze on all sides of the shrimp. Grill shrimp on a preheated, oiled grill for 2 minutes, flip, brush on more sauce, grill for 2 more minutes. Brush any remaining sauce on shrimp. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4 (2 skewers per person)

08 Jul 2010 Pasta with Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto

ANOTHER pasta recipe from the my teaching 19-years olds to cook series. I think we’ve pretty well established that pasta can be an easy, quick, flexible and satisfying meal. My son pulled this together tonight in less than twenty minutes (hot date, no time to dilly-dally around…). This recipe came from the R.S.V.P. section of the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I had to change the recipe a bit though, because there was way too much pasta for the amount of sauce and shrimp. On another note, I’m not sure where a 19 year old is supposed to find 3 tablespoons of tequila…, ohdearrrr, I need to read through recipes a bit more diligently before handing them over to 19 year old boys. Now he’s made this, tasted it, and impressed himself…, he wants to make it for all his friends (you will, too!).

Pasta with Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto

1 bunch cilantro (about 1 1/2 cups of leaves), stems removed
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 lb. pasta (any kind…that’s usually 1/2 or 3/4 of a box)
1 lb. peeled, raw shrimp (medium to large), deveined
additional 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons tequila
1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija (Mexican-style) cheese or feta

Boil the water for the pasta. After the water comes to a boil add in 1 T. Kosher salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt) and stir. Add pasta to boiling, salted water and cook according to package directions. Drain. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking…cut the stems off the cilantro and discard. Place the cilantro leaves in blender. Add in green onions, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and salt, and chop for a few pulses. With machine running, gradually pour in 1/2 cup olive oil and puree. (Can be used immediately or covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.) Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp. Cook one one side for about a minute and a half, turn over, and cook on second side for an additional minute and a half. DO NOT OVERCOOK shrimp, or it will be rubbery. Remove pan from heat. Pour tequila over shrimp. Return to heat and saute for 30 seconds over high heat. Add in pesto, stir to coat. Add in cooked and drained pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Divide pesto pasta and shrimp between four plates. Top each plate with 1 or 2 tablespoons crumbled Cotija or Feta cheese. Serve.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today,

24 Feb 2010 Coconut-Lime Shrimp Bisque (in 20 minutes!)
 |  Category: Seafood, Soups  | Tags: , , ,  | 6 Comments

It’s cold and raining here in California. Surprisingly cold. Soup weather cold. But it’s Tuesday at 6PM. I’m in the grocery store, hungry, and wanting soup for dinner. Do I grab a can? Noooo…, those cans do NOT contain “soup”! The contents of those cans have a soup LOOK and when warmed they have soup TEXTURE, but they really don’t have any taste. Look and texture can fool some people to think the can contents have taste, but they don’t. Oh dear, I got on my processed food rampage, didn’t I? So sorry. To make a long story short…, this soup is one of my favorites. Once you have all the ingredients it can be on the table in less than 20 minutes, and it tastes d-i-v-i-n-e. Don’t be scared of the ingredients, trust me and try it! My 15 month old grandson slurped up his bowl and then whined until he got to have some of mine. This is one soup where the broth is probably more yummy than the shrimp! Can you imagine? BTW, don’t use Jumbo Shrimp, they are too big for one bite and don’t fit on the spoons. You can make this with all shrimp, or half shrimp and fish, or use scallops or half scallops and half shrimp or half fish…, it’s all good.

Coconut-Lime Shrimp Bisque

1 T. olive oil
5 chopped shallots (about 3/4 cup)
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
8 oz. bottle Clam Juice (In a pinch, can sub chicken broth, or a can of clams with the juice)
14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (the low fat version has no taste)
grated zest of one lime
1 1/2 – 2 lbs med/large raw (shelled) shrimp, firm white fish (cut into pieces about 1 1/2 inches square, or scallops (or any combination of the three)
3 T. freshly squeezed lime juice (from one large lime)
2 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil and saute shallots until tender, about 3 minutes. Add in ginger, turmeric, and cumin and saute for an additional minute. Stir in clam juice, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, lime zest, and shrimp, fish and/or scallops. Simmer until seafood is cooked, about 7 minutes. Stir in lime juice, green onions and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve. See how fast this is to make? You can do it! Makes 4 -6 servings.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  It’s always so good to have you here!