Browsing Tag

Shrimp

Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Seafood Shrimp

Hugo’s Barbecue Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Slaw

Hugo's Texas Barbecue Shrimp with Bleu Cheese Slaw // Karista's Kitchen

There is nothing quite like Hugo’s barbecue shrimp with bleu cheese slaw. This is an impressive and simple barbecue shrimp recipe that’ll absolutely become a family favorite. 

The first time I made this recipe I swear I could have sipped the barbecue sauce. It’s that delicious!

I first heard about this now famous recipe many years ago when I was working as a private chef and culinary instructor.  I was scheduled to cook for a holiday party for my good friend, Michele, and her husband Ron. When we discussed the menu, they asked me to include their favorite barbecue shrimp recipe, Hugo’s Barbecue Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Slaw.

The sauce is much simpler than I would have guessed but it works. Although, I backed off on the lemon juice because I felt the amount listed was a bit too intense for my palate. Otherwise, I followed the recipe for the sauce as written.

I also deviated from the recipe a bit by seasoning the shrimp with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. It happened to be a cold and rainy December during that time so I decided to pan sear the shrimp in ghee which gave them a deep, creamy flavor along with a hint of smokey flavor from the smoked paprika.

Hugos Texas Barbecue Shrimp with Bleu Cheese Slaw // Karista's Kitchen

As if that isn’t enough, I plated them along with the bleu cheese slaw and I promise I heard angels singing the hallelujah chorus. 🙂

The sauce holds for at least three days so when I serve it for dinner guests I’ll prepare the sauce a day in advance.  Then all I need to do is grill, pan cook or bake the shrimp and assemble the slaw.

I also like to serve this with warm garlic crostini or a crusty baguette for dipping into the extra sauce.

If you make this recipe let me know what you think. You’re going to love it!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Hugo’s Barbecue Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Slaw

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

    For the barbecue sauce
  • 5 ounces Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 5 ounces soy sauce
  • Strained juice from half a lemon (I used 1/2-1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 5 ounces tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
    For the slaw
  • 1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) Maytag blue cheese (I used Rogue Creamery's Smokey Bleu Cheese)
  • 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste
    For the shrimp
  • 36 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I leave the tail on for easy eating)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil (I use olive oil or coconut oil for grilling and ghee for pan cooking)
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (see recipe above)
  • 1 to 2 scallions sliced, to garnish
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, to garnish

Instructions

  • To make the barbecue sauce base, combine all the ingredients except the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, in another pot, bring the cream to a boil. Simmer until the cream has reduced and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Gradually stir the barbecue base into the heavy cream, stopping when you like the flavor. Bring the combined mixture back to a boil, then simmer until it coats the back of a spoon. The shrimp cook quickly, so have your sauce ready before you begin to cook them.
  • To make the slaw, combine the blue cheese, mayonnaise, and lemon juice, to taste. Right before cooking the shrimp, toss the cabbage with just enough mayonnaise to coat. Add the scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well.
  • Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil or ghee until smoking. Add the shrimp, being careful not to crowd. Cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  • To serve, place a mound of the slaw in the middle of each plate and lean six shrimp against it. Drizzle the shrimp with the barbecue sauce. Sprinkle with scallion slices and blue cheese.
  • Notes

    When the shrimp are done I usually take half the sauce and add it to the shrimp, allowing the shrimp to soak up all the flavor. Then when I plate, the shrimp are already sauced and I serve extra sauce with the platter.

    This is fun set up on a platter for an appetizer or even shared entree.

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork Seafood

    The Ultimate Super Bowl Menu

    Garlic Shrimp and Goat Cheese Toasts // Karista's Kitchen

    Super Bowl Sunday is around the corner and it’s time to start planning all those game day nibbles and feasts!

    The Super bowl menu is one of the most fun menu’s to plan – it almost feels like another holiday celebration.

    Cubano Sliders with Marinated Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese, Pickles, Mustard on Sweet Slider Buns // Karista's Kitchen

    Even though my team isn’t in the Super Bowl (crying, sad face) this year, I’m rooting for my cousin Shelby’s team (sorry Carolina fans… Go Broncos!) and cooking up a delicious table of food to commemorate the day.

    Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m posting some tasty food from the archives as well as a new appetizer that is over the top lush with creamy goat cheese and garlic goodness.  My Garlic Shrimp on Goat Cheese Toasts.

    Nori wrapped salmon with fresh herbs, dijon and wasabi

    I’ve also included these flavorful and hearty Cubano Sliders and Asian Salmon Sliders on the Super Bowl menu and for lighter fare, I’m serving my Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa and Nori Wrapped Salmon Bites.

    Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa // Karista's Kitchen

     

    Rounding out the Super Bowl menu is my most requested recipe, Slow Oven Baked Ribs.  I like to plan a large table of food so there will be a little something for everyone. 

    Slow Oven Baked Ribs // Karista's Kitchen

    Of course we can’t skip dessert on this momentous occasion, so I’m going to totally step outside this wintry, cold season, reach into my freezer for the last few bags of blueberries that I froze over the summer to make Max’s Five Ingredient Blueberry Cobbler!

    Easy five ingredient blueberry cobbler // Karista's Kitchen

    Super Bowl Sunday never tasted so good!  Bet you wish you were eating at my house next weekend 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    The Ultimate Super Bowl Menu

    16-20 Toasts

    The Ultimate Super Bowl Menu

    Gulf prawns are tender and sweet and make a delicious pairing with these creamy goat cheese toasts. Combined with fresh garlic and butter, this decadent first course will bring pleasure to everyone’s palate.

    Ingredients

    • 1 large baguette, sliced into 1-2 inch thick slices
    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing baguette slices
    • 8 ounces creamy goat cheese
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chive
    • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 – 1 ½ lb Gulf Prawns (about 20-24), deveined with tails on, patted dry with a paper towel
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • Squeeze of fresh lemon
    • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    • Additional chopped fresh chive for garnish

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Brush each slice of baguette with olive oil, one side only, and place olive oil side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, just enough to lightly toast the baguette slices. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little salt.
  • In a small bowl mix together the goat cheese and chopped chives. Spread a teaspoon or more onto each toast. Either keep the toasts on the baking sheet or place the toasts on a serving platter.
  • Season the prawns with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium high heat and then add 2 tablespoons butter and the oil. When the butter and oil are hot, almost smoking, place the shrimp in a single layer in the pan and brown on each side, about one to two minutes each side. You may need to brown the shrimp in batches depending on the size of your pan.
  • Once the last batch of shrimp is browned, add all the shrimp back into the pan and take the pan off the heat. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, chopped garlic and squeeze of lemon coating all the shrimp.
  • Place one or two shrimp on each goat cheese toast and then garnish with additional fresh chive. Serve immediately.
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    Karista's Kitchen Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Shrimp vegetarian

    Spicy Pomodoro with Creamy Polenta

    spicy tomato sauce with pan seared shrimp over polenta

    Spicy Pomodoro with Pan Seared Gulf Shrimp over Creamy Polenta

    The Autumn fog has settled onto the valley landscape and created a halo of diffused light.  Intensifying the seasons colors and keeping just a little chill in the air.

    This is the time of year I pull out the heavier throw blankets and roam the house in search of the warmer socks and slippers.  Most of them in various unmarked boxes since our move.

    Even the dinner meals become spicier. Rich and flavorful tomato sauces lace the seasons dishes and create a welcome evening reprieve from the shorter and cooler days.

    spicy tomato sauce with pan seared shrimp over polenta

    Italian Inspired Spicy Pomodoro over Creamy Polenta

    This beautiful dish was inspired not only by the season but by my recent visit to Italy.  While pouring through delicious pictures of the loveliest people, mouth-watering food and soul soothing landscape, I knew I needed a spicy pomodoro over creamy polenta this week; and shrimp would make a lovely addition.

    If shrimp isn’t on your list of shellfish love, try serving this rich and satisfying sauce with roasted Autumn veggies.  It pairs well with roasted eggplant and zucchini as well as sautéed seasonal mushrooms.

    Top with plenty of pecorino Toscana and you just might think you were dining in Italy.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Spicy Pomodoro with Creamy Polenta

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    ¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch Arbosana)

    ½ cup finely chopped onion

    2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced

    Pinch or two of red pepper flakes  (I usually add about 1/4 teaspoon) (also a smoked chipotle powder is a fun substitution)

    1  28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

    1 – 2 teaspoons tomato paste

    1 teaspoon sugar (if needed)

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or ½ teaspoon dried basil

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    In a sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the onions to the pan and sauté until golden.

    Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté one minute longer.

    Take the pan off the heat (or you’ll be splattered with crushed tomatoes) and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and basil.  Put the pan back on the heat and then bring the sauce to a very slow simmer.  Let it cook for about 15-30 minutes.  The longer the sauce cooks the richer the flavor.

    Stir in the sugar if the sauce is too “bright”.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.

    Add pan seared or grilled shrimp directly to the sauce and let the shrimp swim in the sauce for a few minutes to absorb those delicious flavors and then serve over creamy polenta (recipe below).  Garnish with plenty of pecorino Toscana or parmesan.

    Vegetarian:  Add roasted eggplant, red onions, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and anything else you think would be delicious.  Garnish with lots of cheese!

    Creamy Polenta

    3 cups whole or 2% milk

    2/3 cup quick cooking polenta

    ¼ cup grated Pecorino Toscana or Parmesan

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Heat the milk in a 4-quart saucepan, stirring as you bring it to a boil. While stirring, add the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and continue to keep the polenta at a simmer for about 5 minutes. Once the polenta has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Lightly salt and pepper to taste.

     

     

     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Seafood Shrimp

    Moroccan Spiced Shrimp with Polenta Cakes

    Moroccan Spiced Shrimp with Polenta Cakes

    Moroccan Spiced Shrimp and Polenta Cakes

    Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day… all in one week.   Boy, did those two events sneak up on me.

    Feeling like “Last Minute Karista”, I quickly planned my week’s menu and raced off to the market yesterday morning before the Andouille sausage could sell out.

    I know you’re wondering how Andouille sausage could ever possibly sell out here in Seattle.  I thought the same thing last year around Fat Tuesday.  I’m sure I dug through every type of sausage in my market’s meat cooler before asking where they hid the Andouille.  That’s when Mr. Meat Cutter told me my favorite brand of Andouille  sausage was sold out.  God help the Gumbo!  It just wasn’t the same without my favorite Andouille.

    As I walked into the market, I grabbed my food cart and power walked  to the back of the store.  I opened the cooler door and there sat the last two packages of my beloved sausage.  Phew!  Fat Tuesday will be a success.  The last ingredient to purchase was crawfish.   Of course, there would surely be lots of crawfish because who in Seattle eats crawfish.  Right?

    Behold devastation.  My fish market was completely cleaned out of crawfish.

    Moroccan Shrimp with Polenta Cakes

    Moroccan Shrimp with Polenta Cakes

    I can only imagine the look on my face as the two young fishmongers were wide-eyed and speechless.  I’m sure they were both wondering if I was going to have a meltdown in the fish market.  They tried desperately to make me feel better and promised more crawfish tails would be arriving soon.  In the meantime one of the fishmongers asked me if I could substitute.  Substitute? Normally I’m all over subbing, but this is Fat Tuesday dinner we’re talking about.  One. Must. Have. Crawfish.

    I quickly re-gained my composure and thanked the courteous young fishmonger for his help.  Feeling badly that I could hardly speak because they sold out of crawfish, I purchased fresh Gulf shrimp and my favorite Ahi Poke.

    Home with my purchases, I was now stocked with fresh produce, Andouille sausage, Ahi Poke and fresh Gulf shrimp.  So what to do with that beautiful fresh shrimp?

    I remembered a Moroccan shrimp recipe from Claudia Roden’s Middle Eastern Cuisine cookbook I wanted to try, and hoped I had all the ingredients on hand.  I didn’t.  But I’m an expert at subbing (unless it’s crawfish) and winged the recipe a bit.

    Score! This is now one of Ranger Craig’s favorite shrimp dishes, besides the shrimp taco’s of course.  A rich and spicy sauce glazing the flavorful Gulf shrimp and served on polenta cakes .

    A delicious dish that is filled with enticing and fragrant flavors.  The perfect recipe for a spicy Valentine dinner. 🙂

    Moroccan Shrimp with Polenta Cakes

    Serves 2-4

    This dish is also great as an appetizer.  Serve one shrimp on a mini polenta cake, trimmed with a small cookie cutter.

    Ingredients

    1 lb large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

    2-4 tablespoons clarified butter or high heat oil

    Salt and pepper

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    2 teaspoons paprika

    1 teaspoon cumin

    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    1 teaspoon Harissa (a hot or spicy chili paste used in North African cooking.  It can be purchased at most markets, Whole Foods or a Gourmet specialty store, or you can make it at home.  If you don’t have Harissa or don’t have time to make it substitute with Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste, a splash of Sriracha or pinch of red pepper flakes or Cayenne pepper.

    1 cup tomato sauce

    1/4 cup water

    1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

    Quick cook polenta

    Directions

    Prepare the quick cook polenta to package directions.  I like to add a little grated parmesan to my polenta and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour the polenta into a baking dish and let it cool.  Once cooled, cut out rounds of polenta with a 3″ cookie cutter.  Heat a little oil in a saute pan and pan sear each side of the polenta cakes, making them a little crispy on the outside.  Place on a paper towel to cool.

    Mix together the paprika, cumin, ground ginger and minced garlic and Harissa with a splash of olive oil.  Set aside.  Mix the water with the tomato sauce.

    In  large skillet over medium high heat add the clarified butter.  Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper and when the butter is hot, pan sear the shrimp on both sides.  You may need to do this in batches.

    When each side is nicely golden brown and the shrimp are opaque, take the skillet off the heat and toss with the garlic and spice mixture.  Mix in the tomato sauce and then place the skillet back over medium heat just for a few minutes to let the sauce coat the shrimp.

    Place a polenta round on a plate and top with shrimp.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

    For family style service, pour the quick cook polenta onto a platter.  No need to cut out and pan sear.  When the shrimp is done, ladle the shrimp and sauce over the polenta and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.  Serve immediately.

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pasta Seafood Shrimp

    Shrimp Linguine with Fresh Arugula Lemon Pesto

    www.karistaskitchen.com

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    From the time my two sassy gals were little, I’ve given them this tidbit of advice.  Be aware of your surroundings. Keep alert, watch where you’re going, and watch your step.  Excellent Motherly advice.  Right?

    Why you ask? Because I am notorious for ending up sprawled out on a parking lot, grassy hills,  rocky slopes, sidewalks, and several times down the stairs of my back deck.  Yep, if there is a fall waiting to happen, I usually oblige.

    Winery Tours with my most amazing cousins John and Shelby. John is a Wine Master with Rocca Vineyards.

    Winery Tours with my most amazing cousins John and Shelby. John is the Sales Director for Rocca Vineyards.

    I do heed my own advice.  Really I do.  But sometimes I’m mentally multitasking and probably not paying close attention (ya think?) to where my feet are going.  I’m not the only one with this affliction.  My twin sister.  Yep, she’s got it too.

    My sister, Kristin, and I recently discussed our unintentional inability to stay firmly planted on our feet.  It’s been too long since we’ve seen each other and we met in Napa for a little fun, wine, and film at the Napa Wine and Film Festival.

    Touring Napa with Ranger Craig, Kristin and Kevin (my Sis and Brother in law)

    Touring Napa with Ranger Craig, Kristin and Kevin (my Sis and Brother in law)

    Between wine tastings, divine food and film, Ranger Craig and my handsome Brother in law, Kevin, decided we should all go hiking.  K and I love to hike, so we were eagerly on board with the idea.

    Just as I got out of the car what does my hunk of burnin’ love say to me? Smiling and trying oh so hard not to laugh… “Babe, watch your step. I don’t want to have to carry you back down the mountain”.

    A beautiful day to hike Napa

    A beautiful day to hike Napa

    Yep.  This has happened.  Probably on more than one occasion, but I think I’ve repressed those memories.  The last time Ranger Craig and I hiked, I did a “slide into home base” down Mt. Si.  Ranger Craig and I had hiked up the mountain (without so much as a trip!) but when we were on our way down, we were deep in glorious conversation (or rather I was) when all of a sudden the mountain moved right out from under me.  And thus sending me into a forward pitch down the hill to claim home plate.

    Thankfully, hiking in Napa proved painless and crashless. My sister and I laughed and reminisced through the hike about our variety of mishaps, sidewalks moving, and wide holes opening in the ground for us to step in and perform unladylike face plants.

    I’m so thankful I’m not alone in the world of stumbling, falling, slipping out of my jeep onto the pavement, and those beautiful and graceful face plants. I couldn’t be more thankful for my beautiful sis. A brilliant woman who amazes me with her determination, leadership, cleverness and hilarious sense of humor.  She has a big heart and a generous spirit. I love her.

    Friends and family are constant reminders of true love, joy and the spirit of Christmas.  Wishing you all a joyous and delicious holiday season.  And be sure to keep alert, watch where you’re going and watch your step. 😉

    Shrimp Linguine with Fresh Arugula Lemon Pesto

    I love fresh.  I love delicious.  I love simple.  Especially this time of year when it’s tempting to get take out instead of cook.  This is one of my fave pasta dishes.  It can easily be vegetarian with roasted veggies subbed for the shrimp.  It’s a great way to use leftover roasted chicken,  and sometimes I sub the shrimp for pan seared or grilled scallops.  Delicious!

    Shrimp Linguine with Fresh Arugula Lemon Pesto

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    1 package good quality dried or fresh linguine, cooked according to package directions (my fave pasta is Jovial Brand Pastas, delicious every time!)

    1½ lbs fresh shrimp (I like larger shrimp), deveined and peeled just to the tail.  Keep the tail on as it’s easier to prepare.

    2 tablespoons butter

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Pinch of cayenne

    For the Pesto

    2 heaping cups fresh arugula (I used baby arugula) about 3-4 ounces

    ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley

    2 cloves garlic (or more if you love garlic)

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

    ¼ cup grated fresh parmesan

    ½ cup good quality extra virgin California Ranch Olive Oil (I love the Arbequina in this dish)

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Zest of one lemon

    Fresh grated parmesan for garnish

    Directions 

    Prepare the Pasta.

    Prepare the pesto.  While pasta is boiling, place the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper, in a blender, vitamix or food processor.  Pulse the ingredients just until nicely incorporated.  Then drizzle in the olive oil until the ingredients are a smooth puree.  Fold in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Prepare the Shrimp.  In a large skillet over medium high heat add the butter.  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.  When the butter is frothy, place each shrimp one at a time in the bottom of the pan.  You may need to pan sear the shrimp in batches.  Sear the shrimp on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side.  You will want the shrimp to be golden brown on the outside and opaque to the eye.   Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and sprinkle with just a pinch of cayenne. This may seem tedious but shrimp cook quickly and pan seared shrimp will add a lot more flavor to the dish.

    Toss the warm pasta with the pesto.  Pour the pasta in a large serving bowl and layer the shrimp on top.  Garnish with additional chopped Italian parsley and grated parmesan.

    This dish can be prepared in about 30 minutes.  🙂

    Kid Friendly Pasta Seafood Shrimp

    Shrimp Scampi Linguine With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Lemon

    Shrimp Scampi Linguine with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Lemon

    There’s a new guy in my life.   And I’ve fallen in love.  Again.  Another dark brown-eyed, silky smooth haired, cute as a bug Terrier.

    Gucci, a Biewer Terrier,  came to visit for a few days and we’re all smitten.  Especially Suzie Q.

    Gucci, the Biewer Terrier, and his new favorite girl 🙂

    I walked into my youngest daughter’s room to check on our handsome little guest.  He was as snug as a bug in one of my old willow clothes baskets.  My daughter had padded it down with lots of soft, fluffy blankets and set the basket at her feet while she finished her homework.  Gucci barely opened his sleepy eyes when I peeked in her room.  He gave me what I could swear was a half-smile, and then went back to sleep.

    Gucci Bear

    As you can tell I love dogs.  Actually I love most animals.  Except snakes.  But those aren’t animals.  Thankfully.  And I don’t care for rodents of any kind especially after the squirrel incident.  That’s a long story.

    But to make it short… years ago, a very large and wooly, less than friendly squirrel decided I had invaded his portion of the parking lot.  He made that very clear when he started slowly walking toward me, watching me intently with those brown beady and terrifying eyes.  I thought I might be in a Stephen King movie.

    No matter how far I ran, he ran after me.  Finally jumping on my leg and scaring me speechless.  Actually, I was screaming.

    After doing a little jig and lots of leg shaking around my side of the parking lot, the less than friendly squirrel decided I was too much trouble and let go of my pant leg.  I can truly say this squirrel incident was one of the most horrific animal experiences of my life.

    Although I may need to re-think “most horrific”.  I’ve been bitten on the bum by my pet pig, bucked off my horse into a ditch (because she wanted to chase the hay truck),  had a little standoff on my front porch with a cantankerous raccoon and the ONE camping trip my family took when I was a child, ended after the first day.  Yes…a bear attacked our camp.  I should have known early on that my love of animals came with a price.

    Maybe that’s why I only have dogs.  Though I’d love a miniature donkey.  And I’ve been rallying the Bennett Crew for a chicken coop.  Ranger Craig is always telling me I need to live on a farm.  One day. 🙂

    You may be wondering how in the heck is she going to bring this post back to the subject of food?  I’ll show you a picture.

    Shrimp Scampi Linguine... a perfect spring meal!

    I whipped up this little dish while Gucci was visiting. I had gone a little nuts with the cherry tomatoes and decided to roast the last two pints for a lovely pasta dish.

    Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

    What could be more delicious with roasted cherry tomatoes than fresh basil, lemon and shrimp scampi.  All ladled beautifully over linguine.  A perfect spring meal!

    For more information about our adorable little Gucci and Biewer Terriers check out my friends website:  http://www.cascadesunrisebiewers.com/

    Spicy Shrimp Linguine with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Lemon

    Ingredients

    Serves 4-6

    1 lb linguine, cooked according to package directions

    1 lb shrimp, larger size,  peeled and de-veined (preferably fresh and not farm raised as the farm raised can be mushy)

    2 pints cherry tomatoes

    1 bunch fresh basil, chiffinade (cut into ribbons) Or hand torn

    3 cloves garlic, finely diced

    1 lemon, zested and juiced

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter

    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    ½ pint heavy cream

    ¼ cup white wine

    ½ teaspoon roasted red chili paste (Thai Kitchen) or a good pinch red pepper flakes or even a good splash of Sriracha hot sauce will do the trick.

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    Drizzle the tomatoes with a tablespoon or two of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet  and roast in the oven until wilted, about 10 minutes.

    Remove them from the oven and set aside.

    To prepare the shrimp:  Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add two tablespoons of oil.  Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar, to aid in carmelization.

    As soon as the oil is hot but not smoking, add the shrimp in a single layer.

    If your pan isn’t large enough you may need  cook your shrimp in two batches.  Let the shrimp cook on one side and then flip them to cook on the other side.  You’re looking for some nice golden brown color on your shrimp.  Total cook time should be about 2-4 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp.  Once the shrimp are done, remove to a plate or bowl and reserve.

    To prepare the sauce:  In a sauce pan or cleaned skillet, add the butter to the pan over medium high heat.  Once the butter is frothy add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.  Then whisk in the white wine and heavy cream.  Turn the heat down to medium and let the sauce simmer to thicken a bit.  Don’t worry if the sauce doesn’t look thick and creamy.  This is a “lightly” sauced pasta dish allowing the flavors of the ingredients to shine through.

    Whisk in the chili paste or sriracha, lemon juice and zest and take the pan off the heat. Taste for salt and pepper.

    Fold in the fresh basil and toss the sauce with the pasta.

    Before serving, lightly toss the pasta with the shrimp and tomatoes and add one more drizzle of really good olive oil if desired.

    Garnish with fresh chopped basil and shredded parmesan.  Enjoy!

    Kid Friendly Seafood Shrimp

    Oven Barbecue Shrimp with Sweet Potato Polenta

    Oven Barbecue Shrimp with Sweet Potato Polenta

    Louisiana is where I learned to love seafood. With dishes like fish crusted in chopped pecans and smothered in fresh crab and a lightly spiced white wine beurre blanc, dark and richly flavored seafood gumbo that’s been simmering for hours, and finger licking good crab and crawfish boils.

    Once I got a taste of Cajun cuisine, there was no turning back. My love of all things Cajun was born.

    My twin sis (Kristin) and me at Mardi Gras 1990. It was a blast!

    So when I found this recipe, I was over the moon excited. Cajun Barbecue Shrimp over Sweet Potato Grits.  I was hooked.  On everything except the grits.

    I like grits, but I like grits sweet with sugar and butter.  And that’s about it.  But… my food lovin’ mind got creative and decided a sweet potato polenta would be an excellent substitution.

    A tangy but spicy sauce, smothering fresh Gulf shrimp and then all that goodness ladled over sweet potato polenta.  Someone pinch me!

    Beautiful Gulf Shrimp

    The recipe did not disappoint. Even my little “I don’t eat fish” gal (Suzie Q) loved it.  And Tink raved about the sauce.  It’s a snappy little sauce that would taste just as good over chicken.

    I was hoping for leftovers. The shrimp flew right off the platter, with only a little sweet potato polenta for breakfast tomorrow.  I’m hiding it!

    Unfortunately there aren’t too many sneaky spots to hide food in the frig.  Too bad it couldn’t be stashed in my secret hiding spot for chocolate.

    Oven Barbecue Shrimp with Sweet Potato Polenta

    Ingredients

    Serves 2-3 (can easily be doubled)

    2 lbs Gulf Shrimp (16-20 count), peeled with tail on and deveined

    ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

    ¼ cup chili sauce

    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1-2 teaspoons Sriracha (Asian Hot Sauce)

    1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

    Salt and pepper

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

    Sweet potato polenta (recipe follows)

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

    In a large bowl whisk together the butter, chili sauce, Worcestershire, lemon juice, Sriracha and smoked paprika. Toss in the shrimp in the sauce and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.

    Lightly oil a large baking dish and pour the shrimp with sauce into the baking dish.  Spread out the shrimp into a single layer.

    Bake the shrimp for about 8-10 minutes and just before the shrimp are done turn on the broil and slightly brown the shrimp.  Watch the shrimp carefully or they’ll burn.  (yes, I did this)

    Spoon the sweet potato polenta onto a platter or large bowl and pour the shrimp over the polenta.

    Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme and serve hot.

    Sweet Potato Polenta

    Serves 4

    1 cup quick cook polenta

    2 cups water

    1 cup whole milk

    ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

    ¼ cup shredded Gouda, Monterey jack or Swiss

    1 – 1 ½ cups mashed, baked sweet potato

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    On medium heat, bring the liquid to a slight boil. Add the polenta and cook for a few minutes until it begins to thicken.  Take the polenta off the heat and stir in the cheese and mashed sweet potato.

    Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Quick cooking a sweet potato – slice a sweet potato in half and place cut sides down on a greased baking sheet.  Bake in a pre-heated 400F oven for about 20 minutes or until soft to the touch.

    Recipe adapted from Louisiana Cookin’ (A fabulous resource for all foods Cajun and Creole!)

    Seafood Shrimp

    Tropical Shrimp Curry over Coconut Rice

    Tropical Shrimp Curry over Coconut Rice

    Ranger Craig and I found a beautiful blue summer sky in the mountains yesterday.  Our first cross-country ski of the season.  It was glorious.  Except when I was laying face first in the snow.  The first snow is always a little slippery.  Right?

    First Cross Country Ski of the Season

    Today, I was thinking about that beautiful blue sky.  Then I thought of all the sweet tropical fruit at the market. It seems my mind and taste buds have wandered off in search of summer.

    Fragrant Aromatics

    I’m devoted to seasonal cooking, but when the organic tropical fruits arrive from South America, I just can’t help myself a little indulgence.

    Fresh Gulf Shrimp from Gemini Fish Market

    This is one of those recipes that is a compilation of about five different recipes that didn’t quite strike my fancy.  So I fudged and tweaked… and this is what I ended up with.

    A little winter indulgence to celebrate the warmth of the season.

    Tropical Shrimp Curry Over Coconut Rice

    I know it looks like a long ingredient list, but it’s mostly spices and fresh aromatics.  It’s truly an easy stove top recipe prepared in about 30 minutes.

    Ingredients

    1 ½ lbs large fresh Gulf shrimp, shelled and deveined

    For the Curry:

    1 tablespoon high heat veggie or peanut oil

    1 tablespoon curry powder

    ½ cup diced onions

    ½ cup diced green bell pepper

    4 green onions, chopped

    1 ½ cups coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen Organic)

    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

    1 cup diced mango (or diced pineapple)

    2 tablespoons fish sauce

    2 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (Thai Kitchen), or 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Sriracha is good)

    1 teaspoon sugar

    1/3 cup fresh chopped basil

    Squeeze of lime

    Salt to taste

    Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

    Directions

    Start the rice (recipe below) and while you are preparing the curry your rice is cooking.

    In a large sauté pan, sauté the onions, bell pepper, green onions, oil and curry powder over medium heat until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Add a little extra oil if needed.

    Stir in the coconut milk, diced mango, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, fish sauce and sweet chili sauce or hot sauce and sugar.

    Let the sauce simmer on low for about 10 minutes to meld all the delicious flavors together.  While the sauce is simmering, prepare the shrimp.

    In a medium skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon or two of ghee (clarified butter) or high heat veggie oil or peanut oil.  Sprinkle the shrimp with a little salt and pan sear the shrimp on each side, about 1-2 minutes per side.  Once the shrimp are done, place them in the curry.  I like to let the shrimp sit in the curry for a few minutes to absorb all the delicious flavors.

    You can also grill the shrimp if you prefer.

    To serve:

    Place the rice in the middle of a large serving bowl.  Pour the shrimp curry over the top and sprinkle with the fresh basil.

    Serve immediately.

    Recipe adapted from multiple sources

    Coconut Rice (recipe can be easily doubled)

    Ingredients

    1 cup coconut milk

    ¾ cup basmati rice

    ½ cup water

    2 T sugar

    ¼ t salt

    Directions

    Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

    Halibut Seafood Shrimp

    Spicy Seafood Stew

    With the cool weather comes the yearning for comforting stews and soups and hearty winter dishes that warm the soul and satisfies the hunger.  One of my family’s favorites is a spicy seafood stew served over saffron or white rice.  Mildly spicy, delicious and simple to prepare.  Once you get the hang of it, this recipe could easily be prepared in under 30 minutes.  It’s so yummy, it could be served as a family weeknight meal or for holiday dinner guests. 

    Mix it up a bit and add fresh basil instead of the parsley, or add lemon thyme instead of English thyme and squeeze of lemon.  This recipe is definitely easy, can be prepared everyday and as always, it tastes like you’ve been cooking for hours. 

    Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

    Spicy Seafood Stew

    Ingredients

     2 medium leeks

    1 red bell pepper, diced

    6-8 cloves garlic, chopped

    1 sprig of fresh oregano

    1 sprig of fresh thyme

    ½ lb Chorizo sausage

    Olive oil

    1 cup dry white wine

    1 15oz can diced tomatoes (I prefer Muir Glen)

    ½ cup water

    1-2 lb small clams

    1lb firm white fish (cod, halibut, mahi mahi)

    1 lb bay shrimp

    Salt and pepper to taste

    ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley

    Saffron rice or white rice (optional)

    1 lemon

     Directions

    Trim the leeks by cutting off the root end, and then cut the leek at the point it begins to turn dark green.  Slice each leek length wise making 4 halves total, and then slice each half into thirds lengthwise and then chop into small pieces. 

    Drizzle a little oil in the bottom of a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven.  Heat on medium and then sauté the leeks and bell pepper.  Once the veggies have wilted, add the garlic and sauté a few minutes more. 

    Next add the chorizo and sauté until cooked through.

    Add the fresh thyme, oregano and white wine.  Let the wine reduce a bit, a minute or two, and then add the diced tomatoes.  Bring to a lively simmer and add the ½ cup water if more liquid is needed. 

    Once the broth is simmering add the clams and cover tightly with a lid.  Turn the heat down a bit and let the clams steam in the hot broth for about 5-8 minutes.  Once the clams have opened, taste the broth for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. 

    Next add the white fish and shrimp, giving the stew a little stir.  Put the lid back on and let the stew simmer on medium low for another 5 minutes.  Once the fish is cooked through, taste stew for seasoning and then sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top. 

    For a warm and delicious winter meal, serve over saffron rice (Spanish rice) or white rice, and a squeeze of lemon juice.