Seafood

All posts in the Seafood category

Shrimp Pad Thai

Published April 8, 2013 by jenmatteson

I’ve had quite the Asian theme going in the last few posts, and we couldn’t be happier campers.  Well, maybe Nate would be if he didn’t have to split the leftovers with me!

Shrimp Pad Thai

Pad Thai was on my 30 Before 30 list, and as the months are quickly dwindling away, I am finally getting to it.  I really should have tried it much sooner because it was amazballs.  Part of the reason it has taken me so long to try this recipe is because one of the star ingredients, tamarind, isn’t available at my local grocery store.  I actually had to step outside my comfort zone and stop into my local Asian market.  Not sure why I was hesitant or what I was really expecting, but the gentleman who was working was quite friendly and more than helpful.  This market carried paste, powder, and the solid block.  Some upscale grocery stores may carry tamarind, usually in paste form and in the Asian isle.  But, the recipe I followed strongly suggests using the solid form that comes in a block.

TamarindDSC02251

Clearly, I’ve never worked with tamarind before, but I’m sure I’ve had it in a handful of Asian dishes I’ve ordered, not even knowing what the flavor really was.  Tamarind is a pod-like fruit that tastes quite sweet and slightly tart.  In my opinion, the sweetness and consistency is similar to figs.  Seeing as though I only needed 3 tbsp for the Pad Thai, I had most of the block left.  After some research, it appears the tamarind block can be stored in airtight container on the shelf.  No refrigeration necessary.  Most people says it lasts “forever”, though I’m guessing you’ll use it all before forever comes after you’ve tried this Pad Thai.

Shrimp Pad Thai

This recipe comes from Nicole over at Prevention RD.  It was another home run!  I can always count on her food to be yummy.  There are a lot of components, and it’s slightly cumbersome to prepare, but as Nicole suggests, if you have everything measured out and ready to go, it comes together really quickly.  This dish really hit the spot!  After a long night with friends (and a few drinks), we were really ready for some flavorful comfort food.  It’s amazing how much flavor the peanuts add, so do NOT forget them!  For you vegetarians, the shrimp can easily be omitted or substituted with tofu, and omit the fish sauce or use this recipe for a substitute.  I only made a few adaptations to Nicole’s recipe, which was using 1 tsp cayenne rather than 3/4 tsp (of course we like it spicy), and using fresh rice noodles rather than the dried variety.  Whether you think you like Thai food or not, I highly suggest trying this out.  Nate and I really enjoyed it; he even had two hearty helpings!

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

3 tbsp tamarind solid
3/4 cup water, boiling
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tbsp peanut oil
8 oz rice stick noodles (my grocery store had fresh, but dried will work just fine)
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
6 tbsp unsalted peanuts
3 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:

1. Soak tamarind in 3/4 cup boiling water for 10 minutes.  Push tamarind through mesh strainer, reserving water in medium bowl.  To the bowl, add fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cayenne and 2 tbsp peanut oil.  Stir and set aside.

2. If using dried rice stick noodles, cover with hot tap water in large bowl; soak until softened, pliable, and limp but not fully tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain noodles and set aside.  If using fresh rice stick noodles, in a medium sauce pan, fill with water and bring to a boil.

3. In a small bowl, beat eggs and 1/8 tsp salt.  Set aside.

4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large skillet or wok over high heat until just beginning to smoke.  Add shrimp and sprinkle with remaining salt.  Cook and flip occasionally, until shrimp are opaque and beginning to brown around edges, about 3 minutes (don’t worry, they don’t have to be cooked completely through at this point).  Transfer to plate and set aside.

5. Discard any excess liquid in pan.  Add remaining tbsp oil to skillet and swirl to coat; heat to medium.  Add garlic and shallot and cook until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Add eggs to skillet and stir with wooden spoon until lightly scrambled, less than 1 minute.  Meanwhile, drop rice stick noodles into boiling water, immediately remove and transfer to skillet.  Pour fish sauce mixture over noodles, increase heat to high, and toss constantly to coat noodles evenly.  Scatter 1/4 cup peanuts, bean sprouts, scallions (reserving some for garnish) and cooked shrimp over noodles.  Continue to cook on high, tossing until noodles are tender, about 3 minutes.

6. Transfer noodles to serving platter, sprinkle with remaining peanuts, scallions and cilantro.  Serve immediately with lime wedge.

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Published February 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

Nate loves scallops. Whenever we go out to eat, and there are scallops on the menu, there is a 95% chance that is what he’s ordering. I find it adorable that he sometimes confuses scallops with scallions. Easy mistake when reading it on a menu – not like he looks at green onions and thinks they are scallops. If that were the case, I might be worried.

Simple ingredients make the best dishesScallops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, today is his birthday, so I wanted to make something special for him. I was really hoping I didn’t screw anything up, because wouldn’t that be a crappy birthday present? Even if I did, I would hope he would have been satisfied with his birthday weekend. We had a fabulous dinner at the Capital Grille in Minneapolis on Friday night. I am not kidding you – this was the best steak I have ever had. They were cooked absolutely perfectly, and the rubs they use are to die for! For dessert, he got the creme brulee and I ordered the flourless chocolate cake. My goodness, it was so delicious! On top of that, we had superb service. It’s too bad we waited for so long to try this place, but it was well worth the price tag! If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.

20130212-100347.jpg

Another reason he should be satisfied for his birthday (even if I did screw up the scallops), is that I got him a smoker. He’s been talking about this since we moved in. Nate doesn’t do a lot of cooking, though he does most of the grilling. Not that he’s incapable, but he just doesn’t do it. For this reason, I’ve put off indulging his fascination with a smoker. But, I found one that was a smoker and roaster, which my brother said was highly recommended by his customers, so I went with that one. Plus, bonus, it was in my budget. He was like a little kid on Christmas morning opening it up.

20130212-100314.jpg

In case you are wondering why my pictures have a green tinge…it’s because I have a green case on my phone, and when I use my flash, it reflects off the side – I just realized this last night.  Duh.

Searing the scallops

Tarragon Butter Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, let’s get back on track. The scallops. I found this recipe on Food and Wine – my trusty standby for classic recipes. Nate and I both like tarragon, though it’s certainly a flavor that people generally hate or love. We are the latter! I served them over a bed of wilted spinach, with just a bit of lemon juice. I always seem to underestimate spinach – so much turns into so little! Either way, it was yummy. Surprisingly, I did a pretty good job on the scallops. I probably could have seared them for one minute more, but I was following the recipe and was more worried about over cooking them. My guess is that my pan wasn’t quite hot enough. They still had a nice color to them, and they tasted amazing. The pics aren’t too great, as I took the pictures around 6 PM, when it’s already dark out 😦

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Nate said they just melted in his mouth. The tarragon butter sauce was the perfect complement. I thought the tarragon might be a little to overpowering for the delicate scallops, but they actually complimented each other perfectly. I now will not be so terrified to make scallops again – though I doubt I’ll make them often seeing as though they were $22/lb 😮 Another bonus, one more thing checked off my 30 before 30 list!

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp butter
1 lb sea scallops, dried well
1 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 bunch fresh spinach
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup dry white wine
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Directions:

1. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil with 1/2 tbsp of butter over moderate heat. Season scallops with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Put half the scallops in the pan. Cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on second side and just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil with 1/2 tbsp butter in pan and cook remaining scallops. Remove and place on paper towel.

2. Reduce heat to low, and add spinach to pan. Turn several times to coat in pan juices. Add lemon juice, and quickly remove from pan as soon as leaves have wilted. Divide spinach on plates and place scallops on top of spinach.

3. Wipe out pan. Return pan to moderate-low heat and add wine. Boil until reduced to about 2 tbsp, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to lowest setting. Whisk the remaining 4 tbsp butter into the wine. The butter should not melt completely, but just soften to form a smooth sauce. Add remaining 1/2 salt, lemon zest and tarragon. Pour over scallops and serve.

The best picture of course is the one where Charlotte thinks this is her plate.

Charlotte trying to snipe my dinner - but a great shot of the scallops in the top right corner!

Coconut Shrimp with Two Dipping Sauces

Published January 27, 2013 by jenmatteson

Work has been insane crazy lately, which means less time for me to be in the kitchen.  Well, it’s not like I stopped cooking or anything, but we’ve just been running through old standbys, nothing new.  But, I’m back!  I have finally had a chance to get my head straight since the beginning of the year and I’m getting a move on my 30 Before 30 list.

Coconut Shrimp

Nate is out-of-town for the weekend, so Kimmy came over to keep me company (her Nate is with my Nate ice fishing).  I invited two of my other best girls to come over too, and made a ladies night of it.  I think this might be the first time we’ve gotten together to just hang, rather than do a tasting of some sort.  Not that the tastings aren’t fun, and don’t end up in debauchery anyway.  Back to the topic…so I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to make coconut shrimp – on my list!

Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce

I had to test a few before the ladies arrived because 1) I had to make sure they were delicious, and 2) it would have been too dark to get an acceptable picture – and if you remember, I want to get a bit better this year at taking pictures (without having to invest a bunch of money or space).

Apricot Rum Dipping Sauce

I went with a simple recipe I saw on Food Network along with the dipping sauce, but I came across another sauce that I also wanted to try.  Both turned out really tasty, and also a good dip for egg rolls, too!  I prefered the chili-lime dipping sauce, but the apricot rum was good, too.  The recipe actually called for orange marmalade, but I thought I’d try it out with apricot since I had that in my fridge already.  It turned out really well.  I didn’t read the directions fully, and originally just added the rum to the preserves without simmering.  Whoa!  It was strong.  After I revisited the recipe, I found my mistake and simmered the sauce for a few minutes. The shrimp was great!  Honestly, I would have liked a bit more coconut, but I liked the subtle sweetness.  The panko was a good choice to make them extra crispy.  The ladies all loved the shrimp and said they wouldn’t have changed a thing.  It was a huge success!!

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp with Two Dipping Sauces

Source: Adapted from Food Network
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups bread crumbs (I used a combo of panko and regular)
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

1. In a large shallow dish, combine coconut and bread crumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place flour in shallow dish, and beat eggs in another separate shallow dish.  Set up a dredging station, starting with shrimp, flour, eggs, coconut/bread crumbs, and then an empty platter to place shrimp before frying.

2. Working one at a time, dredge shrimp into the flour, shaking off excess.  Then dip into egg mixture, scraping on side to remove any excess.  Finally, dredge in coconut mixture, ensuring the entire shrimp is covered.  Shake off any excess.  Repeat with remaining shrimp.

3. In a large deep pan or Dutch oven, pour a few inches of oil.  Heat to 350 degrees.  Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove and place on paper towel.  Serve with desired dipping sauce (Cilantro-Lime Chili and Apricot Rum dipping sauce recipe below).

Chili-Lime Sauce

Source: Adapted from Oishii
Servings: Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 1/2 tbsp lime juice

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Apricot Rum Dipping Sauce

Source: Adapted from Food Network
Servings: 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup apricot preserves
1-2 tbsp dark rum

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, combine both ingredients and cook over low heat.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Serve.

Recipe Swap: Penne Rosa with Shrimp

Published September 21, 2012 by jenmatteson

It’s time for another recipe swap, and this month, I was assigned Carrie’s Sweet Life.  Carrie is a fellow Minnesotan, and though we’ve never met in person, I feel we at least have some sort of  a local connection.  I was excited to see that I was assigned her blog, but definitely faced with a tough decision.

So many of her recipes looked wonderful, but in an attempt to add more seafood, and not as much chicken, I settled on Penne Rosa with Shrimp.  **Now that I’m looking back to link her blog, I’m seeing a new recipe for Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins.  I will be back!

In Carrie’s evaluation of her penne rosa, she said it was good, but she didn’t love it.  There wasn’t an indication as to why she didn’t love it, but I of course interpreted this as needing more flavor.  I made a few minor additions in an attempt to really bring out some deeper flavors.  One thing that stuck out to me is that there was a minimal amount of seasoning, so I added some fresh basil and red pepper flakes.  Additionally, I added a little white wine to amp up the flavor of the shrimp.  Instead of mincing the garlic, I sliced it so there were a little larger pieces throughout the pasta.  I love that.  If you don’t, mince your garlic.

The result was fabulous.  Nate and I really enjoyed this pasta, and the leftovers were almost as good (leftover shrimp just never seems the same, but the pasta was excellent!).  The red pepper flakes and basil was a nice combination of heat and flavor, and who doesn’t love a little wine in their shrimp pasta??  The picture doesn’t do it justice – in my opinion, penne is not photogenic.  Also, it’s starting to get dark earlier 😦

Penne Rosa with Shrimp

Source: Adapted from Carrie’s Sweet Life
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

12 oz whole wheat penne pasta
olive oil
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup dry white wine
9 oz fresh spinach, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Cook penne according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

2. In a large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat.  Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften stirring frequently, about 5-8 minutes.  Add garlic, red pepper flakes and tomatoes and cook until garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.  Salt and pepper to taste.

3. Increase heat to medium and add shrimp.  Add white wine and cook until shrimp become bright pink and are almost cooked through (don’t worry, they’ll continue to cook), about 4 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Stir in spinach and cover.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together marinara sauce and Greek yogurt.  Once spinach has wilted, add sauce to pan and turn heat back on low.  Add in pasta and stir until well combined.  Stir in basil.  Serve and garnish with parmesan cheese.


Cedar-Planked Salmon with Dill and Lemon

Published July 5, 2012 by jenmatteson

Nate and I both love fish, but we rarely eat it at home.  I’m such a compulsive frugal shopper, that sometimes it pains me to buy fish because it can be expensive compared to chicken or turkey.  But, sometimes it’s okay to splurge.  Today I splurged on salmon fillets, which I’ve been wanting to grill on our cedar planks for some time.

I thought I’d try something classic like dill and lemon so the flavor of the cedar could still shine through.  Since I’ve never made this before, I googled the ingredients, and the first result that came up was my favorite place to search for classic recipes, Food and Wine.  Perfect.  It had everything I wanted in addition to a salt cure, followed by a sake marinade.  The only down side of this recipe is how long you have to wait to eat it.  The salmon should sit in the cure for 1.5 hours, and then in the sake for another hour.  Add on another 25 minutes for cooking, plus 5 for resting…it’s far far too long.  This is certainly a great recipe for a weekend (or a day off work) so you can get it started early.  I didn’t get the cure going until about 6, and since we had to run some errands, I got the sake in there at about 8:30.  Then I waited the next hour in agony, praying for time to go by faster so we could eat.

But it was more than worth the wait!  The salmon literally melted in my mouth.  It was so silky smooth and bursting with fresh flavors of the dill and lemon.  I really wished I would have tried this while entertaining, but I suppose that gives me a good reason to make it again.  Who wants to come over for dinner??

Cedar-Planked Salmon with Dill and Lemon

Source: Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/8 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dill, chopped, plus 4 sprigs
zest of one lemon, plus 8 slices
4-8 oz salmon fillets, with skin
1 cup sake
olive oil

Directions:

1. Soak two cedar planks in water for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped dill and lemon zest.  Place salmon fillets in shallow  baking dish.  Coat with rub and refrigerate for 1.5 hours.

3. Rinse salmon and pat dry.  Return fillets to shallow baking dish and cover with sake.  Refrigerate for one hour, flipping salmon fillets after 30 minutes.

4. Light grill and cover for 10 minutes.  Grill cedar planks until grill marks appear, about 30 seconds on each side.

5. Drain salmon and pat dry.  Brush with olive oil and place two fillets on each cedar plank.  Top each fillet with dill sprig and two lemon slices, and drizzle lightly with more olive oil.

6. Turn off half of the burners on the grill and set planks over indirect heat.  You may need to cook them in two separate batches, depending on the size of your grill.  Cover and grill the salmon for 25-30 minutes, rotating the planks halfway through.  Tent with foil until ready to serve.

Smoked Salmon and Dill Egg Salad Sandwiches

Published June 4, 2012 by jenmatteson

The first time I made these, it was for my best friend’s bridal shower.  They were a huge hit.  I haven’t made them since, and I thought my wine exchange was a great excuse to make these classy little finger sandwiches again.

Really, I love egg salad on its own, but throw in a little smoked salmon and dill, and this brings your ordinary egg salad sandwich to the next level.  Everyone at work will be jealous of your yummy looking (and tasting) lunch!

Smoked Salmon and Dill Egg Salad Sandwiches

Source: Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh (Food Network)
Servings: 20 tea sandwiches

Ingredients:

6 eggs
2 oz smoked salmon, chopped fine
2 tsp nonpareil capers
2 tsp dill, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
20 slices sturdy whole grain bread
1/4 cup chives, chopped

Directions:

1. In a large sauce pan, cover eggs with cold water.  Bring to a boil.  Once water has come to a boil, remove pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.  Drain water and peel eggs.  A great time my mom taught me was to run the eggs under cold water while peeling them, and the shells come off like magic.

2. Using a box grater, grate eggs (or you can just chop them).  Add salmon, capers, and dill.  Mix until combined.  Fold in mayonnaise.

3. Spread salad between two slices of bread (cut off corners for an even fancier look), and cut diagonally.  Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the diagonal cut, and dip into chopped chives for garnish.

Bethenny Frankel’s Crab Cakes

Published June 4, 2012 by jenmatteson

I watch my fair share of bad television, but one of my favorite guilty pleasures is Bethenny Ever After on Bravo.  She used to be on the Real Housewives of NYC, but them bitches be crazy.  Too much drama for Bethenny, so she leaves and gets her own show.  I wasn’t a huge fan right away, but her dirty mouth and the way she just tells it like it is quickly grew on me.  What I really like about Bethenny, a natural foods chef, is that she started a franchise from nothing.  She had a poor childhood, she came from absolutely nothing, and turned something she knew into a multi-million dollar business – run by under 10 employees.

I made crab cakes a few weeks back, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the recipe.  I saw Bethenny’s in her book, and thought it would be great to try again, and make for my ladies at my wine exchange.  I’ve read that Bethenny, like myself, doesn’t like to measure, so all her recipes are only estimates, however, this one might have been a little off.  It took me a few tries to get the consistency right, really just good enough so they would stick together while frying them, and I finally got it.  I love the amount of veggies she uses as a healthy filler in this recipe, and the small amount of fat used to make something so delicious.  This will be the crab cake recipe I go back to time and time again.

Bethany Frankel’s Crab Cakes

Source: Adapted from Bethany Frankel
Servings: 24 small crab cakes

Ingredients:

olive oil
3/4 cup red onion, diced fine
1 cup celery, diced fine
1 cup red bell pepper, diced fine
1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced fine
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
3/4 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
8 oz jumbo lump crab meat
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, celery, and peppers and cook until soft.  Add cayenne, onion and garlic powder, paprika, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, mayonnaise, Dijon and Worcestershire sauce.  Fold in crab, careful not to over mix.  Add ingredients from step one.

3. Heat a large skillet with cooking spray over medium-low heat.  Scoop out crab mixture with an ice cream scoop, or make small compact balls with the mixture (this will help keep it together) and add to pan.  Press down lightly with spatula.  Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, until crisp and brown.  Serve with chipolte mayonnaise.

Quite sure this is the best pasta I’ve ever made…or eaten for that matter

Published May 5, 2012 by jenmatteson

I can’t remember a time when I saw a recipe and decided that I needed to try that for dinner TONIGHT.  Well, yesterday was a first.  Another great recipe posted by Jessy at Gourmet: Day to Day.  I follow her blog, but I’m quite sure she must think I’m stalking her as I’ve made several of her creations!  We must just have similar tastes in food.  Very nice!

So back to the food.  This pasta is incredibly delicious, I want to make it again for dinner tonight, and the next night, and the next night.  Nate and I loved it so much, we each had a second helping!  It probably didn’t help that I had a horrible day at work, so this was super comforting as well.  But, the good news is that it’s not all that bad for you.  Jessy’s recipe has 400 calories per serving, but I altered mine just a bit, so we didn’t have a ton of extras.  I more or less cut it in half, with a little less shrimp and pasta.  Not only is this pasta way super good, but it’s really quick and easy to make.  You need to have this for dinner tonight.  Do not delay.  If you don’t have shrimp in your fridge, use chicken, or don’t use any protein at all, or get to the store.  Seriously, make it right now!

Shrimp Fajita Pasta

Source: Gourmet: Day to Day
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

6 oz. whole wheat linguine
olive oil
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced (I used a green and a red)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tbsp fajita seasoning (see Jessy’s recipe below)
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 oz. enchilada sauce (I used a 10 oz can of hot enchilada sauce, and froze 1/2 for future use)
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add peppers, onions, and fajita seasoning, and cook until they become soft, about 8-10 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes, until shrimp is no longer opaque.  Note: Carefull not to over cook your shrimp – it can happen really fast.   I actually started step 3 just before the shrimp were cooked through so they didn’t over cook while the cream cheese melted.

3. Add enchilada sauce and cream cheese to pan.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and incorporated.  Add drained pasta to skillet and toss to coat.  ENJOY!

Fajita Sesoning Mix

2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cumin

Crabby Patties

Published April 30, 2012 by jenmatteson

I don’t know any kid who doesn’t like Sponge Bob Square Pants (okay, I only know like one kid, which is my awesome nephew, Carter, and I suppose his sister, Grace, but she’s too young to like Sponge Bob yet), and if you don’t know, he makes crabby patties.  I can only assume these are wonderful crab cakes!

The reason I made these in the first place was because another Nestie and I were unable to participate in a recipe swap because we didn’t have enough posts in our blogs yet.  We decided to do our own private swap.  Basically, a swap is trying recipes of another blogger, and in this case, we just did a general swap, where we could make anything we wanted from their blog.  I love crab cakes, so immediately these stood out to me.

I made a handful of substitutions, but kept with the basic recipe.  I also added a chipotle mayo for topping, which was amazing and will be great with many other dishes, even on sandwiches!  They were a little wet for my taste (which made them difficult to handle), so I altered the recipe I’m sharing to have less Miracle Whip and a few more crackers.  The result was pure awesomeness, and the chipotle mayo just pushed it over the edge!  They were pretty big patties, so if I made them again, I’d probably make them half the size – and then eat two 😉

Crab Cakes with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Source: Just Prepare It Deliciously
Servings: 10

Ingredients:

4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cayanne pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
5 oz buttery crackers (I used Ritz), crushed
12 oz crab meat
olive oil
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, mix onions, cilantro, lemon juice, cayanne pepper, dry mustard, garlic, salt and pepper, and Miracle Whip.  Fold in crab meat and add buttery crackers to mixture.

2. Form mixture into 1/2-inch thick patties, this mixture should make about 6 total.  Refrigerate patties for 30 minutes.

3. Heat olive oil over high heat in a large frying pan.  Meanwhile, dredge each side of the patties in the panko bread crumbs.  Fry patties until they turn golden brown and begin to form a crispy crust, about 4-5 minutes on each side.  Serve with Chipolte Mayonnaise.

Chili Lime Shrimp Salad

Published March 17, 2012 by jenmatteson

This is a fabulous salad that I concocted for a night with one of my best girl friend.  I wanted to make something light, but with a lot of flavor, so I decided on a shrimp salad with a kick.  Nate grilled the shrimp, and did a fantastic job.  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve had shrimp cooked this well in a long time; it always seems to be overcooked with that rubbery consistency.  But I have to hand it to him, he did wonderful work!  The salad is simple and quick and has so much flavor.  I would have used twice the chili powder for a little more kick, or even added cayenne pepper, but since I was cooking for my girlfriend, I didn’t want it to be too spicy.  This recipe would serve four people with a little left over.  Perfect for a summer day!

Chili Lime Shrimp Salad

Ingredients:

For marinade:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb fresh peeled and deveined shrimp

For salad:
4 cups chopped lettuce
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup corn
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 avocado

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, zest, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, pepper, salt, and garlic.  Pour 2/3 of the marinade over the shrimp, use tongs to toss and coat each shrimp.  Place in fridge to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare your cilantro lime dressing.
3. Remove shrimp from fridge and add the remaining marinade.  For grilling, it’s easiest to place the shrimp on skewers.  If you are using wood skewers, its important to soak your skewers in water for at least 1 hour so they do not burn on the grill.  Alternatively, you could toss them in a pan and give them a quick cook.
4. While shrimp cook, prepare the base of your salad.  Add lettuce, black beans, corn, green peppers, red onion, tomato, and avocado.  Top with cooked shrimp and cilantro lime dressing and serve.

%d bloggers like this: