Seafood

All posts in the Seafood category

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burgers

Published June 19, 2013 by jenmatteson

I used to not like fish.  I know, I can’t believe it either.  But, now if I could afford to, I would eat fish every day.  When I was young, I would dabble in a little fried fish every now and then, only because it was fresh and my dad caught it, and it was what’s for dinner.  Finally, I grew out of my picky stage and realized how delicious fish is, especially my dad’s cracker crusted pan-fried walleye.  But, we’re not here to talk about walleye, we’re talking about salmon.

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burgers

One of my first times trying salmon was at a place in downtown Minneapolis near my work.  It was a fairly fancy seafood place, and I wanted to try to expand my horizons, so I ordered a salmon burger.  It was so delicious.  Granted, I did top it with tartar sauce, not knowing at the time it was weird – but it is.  To this day, if I’m there for lunch, I’m likely to get the salmon burger.  Too bad I don’t work in Minneapolis anymore.

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burgers

So when I saw Nicole’s recipe for salmon burgers, it took me back to my nearly virgin fish days.  The flavors aren’t really similar, but I still wanted to try it because I love salmon, and I really like Asian flare, so the hoisin glazed salmon burgers sounded right up my alley.  These came together so super quickly, and even better, tasted amazing.  The pickled cucumbers on top really add a bang to the burger.  It might also have to do with me adding a little extra cayenne pepper to the pickling juices.  The burgers were firm enough that I might have been able to grill them, but I didn’t want to take the chance of them falling apart, so I used a cast iron skillet.  The sesame oil added the perfect amount of nuttiness and wasn’t too overpowering.  This is a great summer burger recipe and alternative to your average turkey or beef burger.

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burger

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burgers

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

For the cucumbers:
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin (about 16 slices)

For the burgers:
1/2 cup panko
4 tbsp chives, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp lime zest
1-1 lb skinless wild, fresh salmon fillet, finely chopped
1 large egg white
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
4 hamburger buns

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, combine water, vinegar, garlic, ginger and cayenne.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Remove from heat and add cucumbers.  Let stand for 30 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, gently toss together panko, chives, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, lime zest, salmon and egg white.  Separate mixture into four equal parts and shape into patties.

3. In a cast iron pan, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Add two patties to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to brown on the bottom, and flip.  Cook for another 3 minutes, brush the tops with hoisin sauce and cook for 30 seconds more.

4. Place patties on bun and top with cucumbers and top half of bun.

Recipe Swap: Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

Published June 7, 2013 by jenmatteson

This week’s edition of recipe swap, hosted by Sarah at Taste of Home Cooking, was Mexican.  I was assigned creamy citrus jalapeno cilantro pesto from Jey at The Jey of Cooking.  I love pesto and I WC-Recipe-Swap-badge-1love cilantro and jalapenos, so I was looking forward to making this.  The ingredients were somewhat similar to the cilantro pesto I recently made from Thug Kitchen, but with the addition of citrus, which was appealing.

Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

I had to change a few things from Jey’s original recipe, but not much.  Her recipe calls for pistachios, which I love, but Nate is allergic.  So instead, I used almonds.  I also had to add additional cilantro because my pesto was very watery.  I used the juice of one orange and 1/2 grapefruit, but maybe my fruit was really big or extra juicy, because I couldn’t get the pesto to thicken up as pictured on Jey’s post.  I added almost no oil because it was already so runny.  I should have added the juice a little at a time, but now I know for next time.

Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

Jey recommended serving this over chicken or tossing with pasta.  Seeing as though I’m really getting down to the wire for my 30 Before 30 list, I thought I’d take a risk and try it with tuna and check another item off.  All the flavors go really well together, so Citrus Jalapeno Cilantro Pestowhile it was a risk, it wasn’t by any means epic.  I marinated the tuna steaks in the pesto for about 30 minutes – I didn’t want to do it too long so as to start to cook the tuna with the acid in the pesto.  After quickly searing the tuna, I sliced and served it over a wasabi vinaigrette slaw and drizzled additional pesto over the tuna.  Not only was the tuna cooked to perfection (we like it rare, but feel free to cook it further if you like), but the pesto added the perfect amount of flavor, without over taking the clean taste of the tuna.  The crusted pesto added the perfect amount of crisp to the outside of the tuna, while the drizzled pesto added it a little more freshness. Nate and I both quickly cleaned our plates and adored this recipe!

Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

Source: Cilantro Pesto slightly adapted from Jey of Cooking, Tuna is Pigzilla original
Servings: Pesto makes about 1 1/2 cups, 2 servings of tuna

Ingredients:

For the cilantro:
1 orange, juiced
1/2 grapefruit, juiced
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cup almonds
1 bunch cilantro
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded
6 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
2 tbsp honey
1-3 tbsp olive oil

For the tuna:
2-8 oz sushi/sashimi grade tuna steaks
salt and pepper
olive oil

Directions:

1. To prepare the cilantro pesto, combine walnuts, almonds, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and garlic in a food processor.  Pulse a few times, until ingredients are well combined.  Add juices a little at a time – you might not need all of it – until pesto comes together and has thick consistency.  With processor on, drizzle in olive oil until pesto has reach desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Season tuna steaks with salt and pepper then coat with pesto.  Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes.

3.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-high and add tuna steaks.  For rare tuna, cook for about 3 minutes on one side.  Turn steak up on one end and cook for one minute more.  Turn once more, so first seared side is facing up.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Finally, turn once more, cooking the edge that has not yet been seared.  Remove from heat and let rest for at least to minutes.  Slice thinly and dress with additional jalapeno cilantro pesto.  (I served mine over a wasabi vinaigrette slaw and a little basmati rice).

Check out what the other ladies did for the Mexican Recipe Swap:

Recipe Swap: Crab Cakes and Roasted Vegetables with Tangy Butter Sauce

Published May 10, 2013 by jenmatteson

The latest installment of recipe swap was themed seafood, which I was over-the-moon excited about.  Again, this swap was hosted by Sarah, at A Taste of Home Cooking.  I submitted Scallops with WC-Recipe-Swap-badge-1Tarragon Butter Sauce, and  couldn’t wait to receive my assigned recipe.  Honestly, I was slightly disappointed to find that I was assigned crab cakes. But not because I don’t like crab cakes, rather because I already have two crab cake recipes in my blog (Bethany Frankel’s Crab Cakes and Crab Cakes with Chiptole Mayo), and I really enjoyed both of them.  But, that’s the spirit of the recipe swap; you never know what you’re going to get (you know, like a box of chocolates), and really, how could I be disappointed to make crab cakes – I love them!

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

Another great benefit of the recipe swaps is to connect with other bloggers, and many times, blogs you might not have otherwise visited.  I’ve definitely visited The Redhead Baker blog before, and may have even bookmarked a handful of Coleen’s recipes, but I believe this would be the first time I’d be making one.  And what a great recipe to make! The recipe originally comes from Cooking Light, and it certainly is a lightened up version of crab cakes, which I love.  Less filler, more crab, exactly the way they should be.

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

I had gotten everything I needed for this recipe last week at the grocery store, and I generally am very good at knowing exactly what, and how much I have of everything in my kitchen.  I was absolutely convinced that I had Old Bay seasoning, but come Sunday when I was putting these together, I didn’t.  I Googled a recipe to make my own Old Bay (what would we do without Google?), and had most spices on hand, so just used what I had.

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Tangy Butter Sauce

Coleen’s recipe included a tangy butter sauce to go with the crab cakes, which I thought sounded interesting.  If you read either of my other crab cake recipe posts, you’d know that I am generally a creamy-sauce-with-my-crab-cakes kinda girl.  But, I’m always happy to try something new!  I’m not sure if this is the sauce pictured in Coleen’s picture, as her’s does look like a creamy mayo based sauce.  Either that, or mine turned out completely different.  But good different!

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

The tangy butter sauce was a great compliment to the crab cakes and the vegetables.  While I was reducing the sauce, the vinegar smell was strong, so I was concerned it would be too acidic, but once I added the butter, it was much more subtle.  The crab cakes were perfect!  Meaty without a lot of filler, firm enough to stay together, but still fork-flakey like you’d want.  Breading the outside in panko added a perfect amount of crunch.  The vegetables were an added bonus.  It was perfect that they roasted for the same amount of time it takes for the crab cake mixture to refrigerate and come together.  Coleen’s recipe didn’t include green beans, but the original did, and I thought the plate needed some color, so I added those to the mix.  However, I didn’t think they would need to roast for 30 minutes, so I added them into the vegetable mix after 15 minutes.  Turns out, that’s exactly what the Cooking Light recipe instructed.  Great instincts!  Overall, it was a great little meal and I was happy to have tried a new crab cake recipe!

Crab Cakes with Tangy Butter Sauce

Crab Cakes and Roasted Vegetables with Tangy Butter Sauce

Source: Adapted from The Redhead Baker
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

For the crab cakes:
1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
3 tbsp light mayonnaise or olive oil mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 lb lump crab meat, picked over for shells
1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
olive oil

For the vegetables:
3 carrots, chopped
4 shallots, quartered
5 red potatoes, quartered
8 oz fresh green beans
olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

For the butter sauce:
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp butter

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl.combine red onion, cilantro, mayonnaise, Dijon, Old Bay, Worcestershire and egg whites.  Gently fold in crab meat until combined.  Stir in 3/4 cup panko.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with foil.  Combine carrots, shallots, and red potatoes in a bowl and coat lightly with olive oil.  Dump onto prepared baking sheet and spread out into a single layer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and mix green beans in with the rest of the vegetables.  Return to oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

3. Put remaining panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.  Remove crab mixture from refrigerator and divide into eight equal portions, forming each into a tight patty.  Dredge each patty in the panko, evenly coating both sides.  In a large frying pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and heat to medium.  Once oil is ready, gently place four patties in the pan and cook until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes.  Carefully flip patties and cook until browned, another 5 minutes or so.  Transfer to a paper towel and repeat for remaining four patties.

4. In a saucepan, stir together chicken broth, vinegar and shallots.  Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5-8 minutes, until reduced by half.  Remove from heat and swirl in butter.  Spoon sauce over crab cakes and vegetables and serve.

Take a look at what the other ladies cooked up for the seafood swap!

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.

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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.

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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.


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