Shrimp Bowls

March 12th, 2017

Shrimp Bowl

We picked up some fresh shrimp at the Farmers’ Market last week.  It was expensive.  I decided to use the shrimp sparingly over several meals. By combining it with rice and beans we hardly missed the quantity of shrimp with the quality of the overall dish.  This made a perfect luncheon meal.

Shrimp Bowl

The white bean mixture includes canned diced tomatoes and jarred pesto; easy to pull together.  I used left- over Caribbean rice, but you could use any type of rice that you would like.

Riverside Grill

I know it has been a while since I have published a blog post, but I have been spending very little time in the kitchen. There are so many great restaurants in New Smyrna Beach that we have been eating out quite often.  The above picture was taken with our friends Mark and Ruth at Riverside Grill on the Indian River (IntraCoastal Waterway). Most of the boats going under the drawbridge were headed South.  Winter doesn’t want to give up and it is going to be much colder even here next week; just in time for bike week.

I’m hoping to post a recipe for my Guinness Beef Stew in honor of St. Paddy’s Day soon.  I am making it for friends next week.

In the meantime, hope you enjoy this easy Shrimp Bowl recipe.

SHRIMP BOWLS

3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
1/4 cup jarred pesto sauce
8 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cooked rice of your choice

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until shallot is softened.  Add tomatoes with their juices and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, add beans and the pesto sauce.  Cook until heated through.  Remove bean mixture to a bowl.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Add shrimp and cook, stirring often until shrimp os cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Add cooked rice to 2 bowls, top with bean mixture and place cooked shrimp over all.  Serves 2.

Printable Recipe

Shrimp Florentine with Zoodles

May 17th, 2016

Shrimp Florentine 1

David has been in the kitchen.  I bought the Spiralizer, but he has been the one to use it most often.  Shrimp dishes are his specialty.  We love shrimp scampi but sometimes all of that butter and pasta is way too much.  This rendition of shrimp with sauteed vegetables, including zoodles, is just the ticket.  It is flavorful and very satisfying.

There is a whole lot going on right now in our lives.  Our house in Florida sold.  We are there right now clearing out our belongings in anticipation of an estate sale at the end of the week. It is hard to let go of cherished household items, but I am doing very well.  The kitchen has been the hardest part.  I have absolutely no room in my Lake Lure Kitchen for more stuff!  So I have been strongly resisting keeping much.  I have made an exception for my beloved paella pan and a few platters, but that is it.  I wish all of you could be there, because I know I would find good homes for my extra kitchen accoutrements.

LL Sleeping porch 1

With all that is going on right now, I wish I were home in Lake Lure on our sleeping porch with a good book and no responsibilities.

LL Balconey Herbs 1

We managed to get the herb planters going before we left for Florida.  It is so nice to have our herbs high above the ground so that our hungry deer do not bother them.  We have a great neighbor watering everything while we are gone.

LL Balconey Herbs 2

Two varieties of parsley and sage decorate this planter.

Shrimp Florentine 2

We enjoyed this Shrimp Florentine dish so much.  The fresh spinach and zucchini noodles made this both delicious and healthy.  I need to let David plan meals more often.  He tends to cook healthier meals than I do.  I would be happy with just macaroni and cheese.

SHRIMP FLORENTINE WITH ZOODLES

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Zucchini, cut into noodle-shaped strands
1/2 large yellow onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs

2 Tablespoons butter
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir zucchini noodles (zoodles), onion, red bell pepper, chopped garlic, Italian herbs and 1/2 teaspoon salt until zoodles are tender and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Transfer zoodle mixture to a bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet; cook and stir shrimp and minced garlic until shrimp are just pink, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove shrimp to a bowl and deglaze the pan with the white wine and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to reduce the liquid by half.  Add spinach, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; cook and stir until spinach begins to wilt, 3 to 3 minutes.  Add zoodle mixture and the shrimp and cook and stir until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve.

Printable Recipe

Husk in Charleston/ Shrimp and Grits

February 24th, 2016

husk-exterior-body

Ever since Sean Brock’s meaningful book Heritage came out last year, I have wanted to visit his beautiful restaurant, Husk, in Charleston S.C. Sean Brock’s philosophy about food hits the right chords in my psyche.  The history of the Southern table, the heritage of lost flavors and varieties from the fields, and the importance of keeping these traditions alive with a new twist, all speak to me.  He illustrates his thinking with the story of Hoppin’ John.  His first experience eating hoppin’ John left him less than excited.  It was no wonder it was disappointing being made from commercial, enriched rice and old, flavorless black-eyed peas.  Once he tried it with Sea Island red peas, originally planted by African slaves, and with re-introduced heritage Carolina Gold rice, he knew why it was such a popular dish from the past.  Heritage seeds and varieties matter and it is important to keep them alive in our industrialized farming world.

Husk at table

Husk is located on beautiful Queen Street in the historic district of Charleston.  We have walked that street often over the years.  On our first trip to Charleston years ago we stayed at The Elliot House Inn, which is almost next door to Husk. Also next door is Poogan’s Porch, another lovely restaurant with a long history.  It used to be a favorite of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

Husk is housed in a Queen Anne style house built in 1893 during the grandeur period in Charleston. “The building retains its antique charm and stately exterior while the interior has been renovated with a modern, minimalist theme, designed by Michael Shewan of Michael David & Associates of Charleston, SC.  We were charmed by the dining room with three fireplaces and original tall windows that added light and warmth.

IMG_0648

But food is the reason that Husk shines.  The standards are high here.  The food is locally sourced.  The restaurant grows many of its own vegetables.  Whole pigs are purchased and all parts are used.  The kitchen has a pantry of in-house canned and pickled vegetables.  They have a wood burning oven to impart a homey smokiness to many of their dishes.  An example of a winning dish is Husk’s Shrimp and Grits.  The grits are milled from heirloom corn ( A good commercial brand is Anson Mills).  The shrimp are often caught by free-casting a net along a creek bank or from trawlers that go to the deeper waters offshore.  The smokey taste to my dish came from a combination of tasso ham and wood-oven smoked tomatoes.  It was truly one of the best shrimp and grits dishes that I have ever eaten.

IMG_0649

David had Husk’s house-made Maple Sausage, Kentucky Bacon Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Peppers. It came with their signature homemade ketchup and potato wedges.  It was delicious.  But he would have preferred the Shrimp and Grits if he hadn’t had it the night before at another restaurant.  Husk’s version was the winner.

We left the restaurant on a quest for ingredients to make our own Shrimp and Grits.  I should make that singular, not plural.  David was on the quest to find Tasso Ham and good grits.

IMG_6957

We found Tasso Ham and the local grits at a nearby market.  David’s version of Shrimp and Grits was not quite the same as Husk’s version, but we loved it all the same. If you can’t find Tasso Ham you can always use a good quality smoked bacon.

SHRIMP AND TASSO GRAVY OVER PIMENTO CHEESE GRITS

(Adapted from a recipe by Stephen Crowe, at The Farmers Shed in Lexington, SC, as featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives)

Ingredients

Grits:

4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable or seafood, or any combination)
1 tsp salt
4TBL butter
1 cup stone-ground white grits
1/4 cup half & half
1/2 cup good pimento cheese spread

Tasso Gravy:

3/4 cup leek thinly sliced across the stalk
1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
1/2 cup julienned yellow or orange bell pepper
1/4 cup finely sliced shallot
2 oz finely diced tasso ham
1 TBL chili powder
1 TBL smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
Small pinch seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
1 1/2 cups clam juice
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 cup half & half
1/4 cup white wine, e.g. Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio
1/4 cup all-purpose flour and 3 tsp melted butter (for thickening sauce if necessary)
1/4 cup finely sliced scallions for garnish

Shrimp:

2 lb medium or large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 TBL butter

Directions

Grits:  Bring the broth, and salt to a boil in a sauce pan. Very slowly pour in the grits, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat, and continue to cook for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring frequently until done. Add the butter, half & half, and pimento cheese, and stir well to combine.  Keep warm over a water bath until ready to serve.

Tasso Gravy:  Saute the tasso ham in a large saute pan with a little olive oil until the ham is slightly browned and most of the fat has rendered. Remove the ham with a slotted spoon and reserve on some paper towel. Add the leeks, peppers, and shallot to the grease in the pan and saute until soft or even lightly brown.  Add the chile powder, paprika, basil, thyme, oregano, pepper, salt, garlic, and seafood seasoning, and stir well to mix.  Add the clam juice, tomato juice, and white wine and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the half & half and simmer for 15 minutes. If the sauce seems too thin, make a roux with the flour and melted butter in a small bowl, and add a little at a time to the gravy, stirring constantly, until the desired consistency is reached.  You don’t want a thick gravy. It should be fairly runny, and you may not need the flour roux at all.  Add the ham to the gravy and reduce the heat to very low.  Saute the shrimp in 2 TBL butter in a separate large saute pan until pink, then transfer the shrimp to the gravy pan using a slotted spoon, and simmer for 2 minutes.

To Serve:  Spoon some grits onto each plate or bowl, and spoon some of the shrimp mixture around the grits.  Top with some of the finely sliced scallion to garnish.  (I forgot to buy scallions)

Printable Recipe

Black-Eyed Pea and Arugula Salad

August 28th, 2015

Black-Eyed Pea and Arugula Salad 1

What a bowl full of goodness!  It is hard to see all of it because much of it is hiding in the arugula.  How does brandy soaked cranberries sound to you?  Or that Southern classic, black-eyed peas?  Are you a fan of Asian pears?  In there, all of them.  Succulent Jumbo shrimp are not afraid to show themselves . But the diced red bell pepper, onion and cucumber hunker down in the background.  Everything plays well with a light citrus vinaigrette and we were very happy to dig in. Not a morsel got away from us.

Black-Eyed Pea and Arugula Salad 3

We are very busy right now.  David is doing a lot of the cooking because I have been busy with another project.  He always seems to find the best recipes on the internet.  This recipe was on a feature of Extra Virgin on the Cooking Chanel.  We are watching that show often because of the Italy connection.  We leave for Italy on September 16th.

David has frozen jumbo cooked shrimp in the freezer and is always looking for an excuse to use them.  In addition, he is always looking for healthy recipes. This turned out to be not only healthy, but delicious.  He is keeping us on track this month.

Black-Eyed Pea and Arugula Salad 2

If you are looking for a delicious luncheon or dinner salad, this is a winner.

BLACK-EYED PEA AND ARUGULA SALAD

Citrus Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
3/4 cup unsweetened orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

Salad:
2 cups canned black-eyed peas, drained
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
5 cups arugula
1 cup sliced seedless cucumber
1 small onion, minced
1 Asian pear, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup dried black currants or dried cranberries, soaked in brandy
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
1 pound cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp

For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, parsley and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the salad: Simmer the black-eyed peas in the chicken broth for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, toss together the black-eyed peas, arugula, cucumbers, onions, pear, currants and red peppers. Toss with half of the citrus vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining dressing. Add the shrimp to the salad. Serve immediately.

Printable Recipe

Venetian Fish Soup

December 3rd, 2014

Venetian Fish Soup 1

I don’t know about you, but after the Thanksgiving holidays I crave food that is totally different from that table of white carbs and sweet desserts.  Also, for health reasons, David is trying to eat better.  So he has been on a seafood soup kick lately.  He spends his mornings at the gym and then comes home and throws something together like this Venetian fish soup.  Similar to bouillabaisse or cioppino, this fragrant fish soup is vibrant and alive with flavor.

Venetian Fish Soup 2V

Shrimp and fish fillets are the protein in this soup.  Combined with vegetables, clam juice, crushed tomatoes and white wine, you have a relatively light bowl of goodness.  If you wanted to add some carbs to the mix you could add a piece of garlic infused toasted baguette to the bowl before you add the soup.  But for lunch we liked it just the way that it was.

Venetian Fish Soup 3

The recipe came from Food and Wine Magazine.  David adapted it slightly.  But I am showing it here as it was written.  I am fortunate to have him in the kitchen doing his healthy cooking.  Maybe it will offset all of the cookies I am getting ready to make.

VENETIAN FISH SOUP

1/2 pound large shrimp, shells removed and reserved
2 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in puree (from a 28-ounce can)
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt or more, depending on the saltiness of the clam juice
2 bay leaves
2 pounds moderately firm white fish fillets such as cod, halibut, ocean perch, orange roughy, or pollack (cut in pieces)
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the shrimp shells and the water in a small pot; bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Strain the shrimp stock into a bowl.  Discard the shells.

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat.  Add the carrots, onions, fennel, celery and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the wine; cook until it almost evaporates, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the shrimp stock, clam juice, tomatoes, red-pepper flakes, 4 tablespoons of the parsley, the thyme, salt and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.  Taste for salt and, if needed, add more,  Remove the bay leaves.

Add the fish, shrimp, the remaining tablespoon parsley and the pepper to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until the fish and shrimp are just done, about 2 minutes.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.