It’s December! How did this happen? I didn’t even notice November passing by, and now all of sudden I’m in the middle of the holiday rush. I told myself that this year I’d be prepared, get things done in advance. I even set up a series of reminders in my calendar, but I ignored them because I thought I had lots of time. Sigh.
This recipe is great for those of us who are pressed for time. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, and a lot of the ingredients are pantry staples. If you’ve got shrimp in the freezer you could probably make it right now. The recipe is based one from Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That?
Roasted Shrimp with Goat Cheese
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 cups puréed tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 pinch fennel seeds
- 1 1/4 pound shrimp
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 5 ounces goat cheese
- 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Heat half of the oil in a large oven proof pan over medium heat. Sautée the onion till softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and cook till reduced by half, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tomato puree, oregano, and fennel seeds, as well as salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the tomato is simmering, mix the bread crumbs, parsley and remaining 2 tbsp of oil together. Season with salt and pepper.
- After 10 minutes, place the shrimp in a single layer over the sauce, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and goat cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.
Last November I participated in a 30 day sugar free/gluten free challenge. The challenge was difficult at first, because every single meal has to be planned, but once I got the hang of it things went very well. By the end of it I felt great. When it came time to implement what I had learned in every day life things kind of fell apart. I quickly went back to eating exactly the way I was eating before the challenge. A year later I feel like my diet needs a complete overhaul again, so I will be doing the challenge again starting tomorrow.
I was flipping through some magazines to plan next weeks menu when I came across this recipe for Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce from Gourmet Quick Kitchen. I swapped out the tofu for shrimp, and used green pepper instead of cucumber because I had those on hand. The dipping sauce does not meet the sugar free rules, as it calls for some sugar, and hoisin sauce also has sugar in it. But since I’m starting the challenge tomorrow I decided to go ahead and make the sauce for today.
The quick pickled vegetables add a great flavour to the rolls. They are very tasty, and quick and easy to make. I probably should have rolled them a little tighter, but I was still able to pick them up and dip them in the sauce.
I’ll be submitting this post to Magazine Mondays. Head on over to Cream Puffs in Venice Mondays to see what people have been cooking up!
Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Makes 8 rolls
- 2 oz dried bean thread noodles
- 3 small carrots, cut into match sticks
- 1 smell bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp & 3/4 tsp lime juice, divided
- 8 rice paper rounds
- 24 medium-large shrimp, cooked
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tbsp water
- Soak noodles in hot water for 10 minutes.
- While noodles are soaking, blanch carrots in boiling water for 45 seconds. Rinse under cold water then transfer to small bowl with peppers. Toss vegetables with rice vinegar, 3 tbsp lime juice, salt. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Reserve 2 tbsp of the vinegar mixture, and drain the vegetables.
- Drain the noodles, rinse them in cold water twice. Using kitchen shears, cut the noodles into smaller pieces. Toss with 3/4 tsp lime juice.
- Fill a shallow pan with warm water. Soak a rice paper round in the warm water for 30 seconds. Shake off excess water and place on a work surface. Place 3 shrimp, some vegetables, and some noodles on the bottome third of the round. Roll tightly around the filling, folding the sides in. Repeat with remaining rice paper rounds.
- Make the sauce; Mix reserved pickling liquid with hoisin sauce, peanut butter and water. Serve with rolls.
I hated shrimp as a child. Up until about 5 years ago I refused to even try one. Their weird curved little bodies and the memory of a taste and texture I despised were too much for me to overcome.
My mother will tell you that I didn’t actually hate them, I just thought I did. She loves the story about the time in 6th grade when my friend Kathleen and I ate a whole box of breaded shrimp and loved it because we thought they were chicken nuggets. It’s possible that this event occurred, but I would argue that fried breading makes everything delicious and that my child self really did hate those squiggly things.
I don’t remember what pushed me to try them again, but I did.
And I still found them weird.
Shrimp has a strange texture that takes time to get used to. But I did get used to it, and I can now say that I enjoy shrimps meaty but sweet flavour.
That sweet flavour is the perfect counterpoint to heat in this recipe from the October issue of Food and Wine. The recipe is incredibly simple, and yet delicious. It’s great for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking but want to eat real food and not some crappy frozen pizza. I’ll be submitting this post to Cream Puffs in Venice for Magazine Monday (and I’d just like to say that Magazine Monday is making my magazine habit seem totally justified, thanks Ivonne!)
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
From Food and Wine
- 1 1/4 pounds shelled and deveined medium shrimp
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ounce thickly sliced pancetta, finely diced (1/4 cup)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups jarred marinara (I used this easy tomato sauce)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Toss the shrimp with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
- Heat a large pan until very hot. Add the shrimp and cook over high heat until lightly browned and nearly cooked through, about 2 minutes. Take the shrimp out of the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and sauté the onions, garlic and pancetta until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan, and add the marinara. Simmer until the shrimp are cooked through.
- Serve with crusty bread.
It was pouring rain all day, by the time I was on my way home there were enormous puddles along the roads. Puddles that went midway up the side of a car tire. Puddles with rushing water. I had to step through one of these puddles on my way home. The moment my foot touched the water my left flip-flop was swept off my foot. I was a little shocked and didn’t realize what had happened for a few moments. By the time I did catch on, the flip-flop had made its way into speeding traffic. I thought about chasing after it, but I’m pretty sure if I had I would have been run over. So instead I walked the three blocks home with one shoe. Fun.
So to bring some sunshine into my evening I made myself a nice salad with mango, avocado, and prosciutto wrapped shrimp. Something about a nice ripe mango makes me so happy, and this one was delicious. The prosciutto also adds a really nice salty-ness to the shrimp.
Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Salad
- prosciutto slices
- mango slices
- avocado slices
- olive oil
- lime juice
- basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Wrap each shrimp in a small piece of prosciutto, the bake for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Mix olive oil, lime juice and basil leave and salt and pepper together.
- Toss mango, avocado, and spinach with dressing.
- Top with cooked shrimp.
And now I’m going to go eat some ice cream.
I’m exhausted. Five days in Las Vegas and the red-eye back can really take a lot out of a girl.
Vegas was incredible. The sights, the sounds, and the foods were all amazing. I’ve got quite a list of things I want to reproduce!
But for now I’m looking for quick and easy but delicious. I may have over indulged a little while there, so a salad is just the thing. The tough part about coming back from traveling is having no idea what will be in the fridge. I picked up some fruits and veggies this morning, and had some calamari in the freezer so I decided to throw together a roasted calamari salad.
This salad is very easy to make. Marinate the calamari for 30 minutes, throw the other ingredients together, roast the squid for 45 seconds. Then eat!
Roasted Calamari Salad
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp paprika
- nectarine wedges
- feta cheese
- Make vinaigrette. Mix red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Add calamari to vinaigrette and marinate for 30 minutes.
- While calamari is marinating, preheat oven to 450 degrees, and heat a skillet in oven till very hot.
- Once heated, use skillet to roast calamari for 45 seconds. Any more than that and the squid will be rubbery (trust me).
- Toss calamari with spinach, nectarine wedges and crumbled feta.