Shrimps Flavored with Lime and Honey

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Please pardon my absence. It was Spring break at our house last week, and just like my children, I too took a break. It was much needed, I am feeling much rested and refreshed.

For spring break, we went away for a week and I did not cook a bit. It was nice to be taken care of, for a change. Though I enjoyed the food very much, I am going to need to be watching my diet in the next few weeks if I want to wear those summer dresses and bathing suits;-)

For tonite, I decided to have shrimps for dinner. I used what I had on hand.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 1 bag of brocoli slaw
  • 1 pack of 24 oz. large shrimps deveined and peeled. I used frozen shrimps, but of course you could use fresh ones as well. 
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1/32 tsp of  salt
  • 1/32 tsp of pepper
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  1. If using frozen shrimps, thaw them out by either leaving them in the fridge the night before, or by defrosting them in the microwave. 
  2. With a paper towel, pat the shrimps dry.
  3. Empty the shrimps in a large bowl.
  4. Add all the other ingredients to the shrimps and mix well.
  5. Marinade for 30 minutes if possible.
  6. Turn the oven to 400 and place the shrimps on a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet.
  7. Cook for 6 minutes.
  8. You can also quickly saute the shrimps in a frying pan. Just warm up 1 tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the shrimps. Cook them for a few minutes ( 2-3 minutes) or until they are becoming pink.
  9. While the shrimps are cooking, empty the broccoli slaw into the large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top and cook the slaw in the microwave for 3 minutes.
  10. Add a dash of salt and pepper into the cooked brocoli slaw  and stir.
  11. To serve, spoon the brocoli on each plate and place some shrimps on top of the brocoli. Et voila!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

An Easy and Healthy Dinner Option: Spring Roll

I don’t know how people eat out everyday. Do they just pick up food and eat at home or they just eat out? I must be disorganized or something because I can’t seem to find the time to go out for dinner, do all that needs to be done at the house and have the kids do homework. As a result, I find it easier to pick up things at the grocery store and prepare my dinner while the kids are studying or are doing what is expected of them.
This evening I was in the mood for spring roll. They do require a bit of patience and a bit of organization but they are quite easy to make.

There are a few rules, however, that you should follow and this will provide you with success and not frustration;-).
1. Have all the ingredients chopped and sliced in small bowls around your working place.
2. Only soak 1 rice paper sheet at a time, or it will get too wet, too soggy and will rip.
3. Lay a wet paper towel on your working area so that the rice paper will not stick to the surface of your working area.

Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 12 Rice paper ( you will need one per spring roll)
  •  2 oz. of Rice noodle 
  • 60 Medium sized shrimp cooked and cut in half
  • A small head of Boston lettuce
  • 1 / 2 of English cucumber cut in very thin slices.
  • 2 carrots grated in julienne
  • Fresh mint

Peanut Dipping Sauce ( yields about 1 1/2 cup)

  •  1 Tbsp. of Low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Red Curry past
  • 1/2 cup of Coarse Peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of lower salt chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp of lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 8 basil leaves minced

In a small saucepan, warm up the oil and add the curry. Cook the curry until it is starting to become fragrant. Add the peanut butter and cook until it is becoming a darker color. Then add the sugar and stir until it is caramelized. Add the coconut milk, broth, lime juice, hoisin sauce, fish sauce and mix well. Cook on medium temperature for about 20 minutes or until the mixture has reduced to half. Remove the sauce from the stove and add the basil. Et voila!

While the sauce is cooking, get ready to make the spring rolls. Pour some water in a small pot, add some salt, and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, add the rice noodles and cook for a few minutes or until they are pliable. When they are cooked, scoop them out with the colander and run some water over them so that they will not stick. Drain the water, transfer them to a bowl and set them aside. Prepare the rest of your ingredients and place them into bowls around your working area.

Whenever you are all ready. Place a soup plate near your working area, and add some lukewarm water. Also place a wet paper towel over your working area.

Place a rice paper into the plate and let it soak for a few seconds until it is soft.

Lay the rice paper onto the wet towel, and lay 6 shrimps halves.

 Cover the shrimp with one boston lettuce and fill the boston lettuce with cucumber, carrots, more shrimps, mint and rice noodles. Fold the boston lettuce onto itself ( it should not be thicker than 1 inch), fold the rice noodle onto the lettuce and roll it. Fold the sides and continue rolling and should have a tube like spring roll. Remove the spring roll from your working area, place it onto a tray that has also been covered with a wet paper towel. Repeat this process until you have used all rice paper.

Eat or devour with the sauce. YUM;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Green Onions and Roasted Pepper Flavored Shrimps Over Spaghetti

Yesterday I was looking for a quick dinner that would not involve much preparation as I needed to work in the evening some more. My family was getting one of their favorite meal: Pasta Carbonora and since I was cooking two dinners ( mine and theirs), I thought, why not utilize some of the same ingredients for my dinner.

Ingredients for 4:

To thaw the shrimps, remove the bag of shrimps from the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have that time, place the bag in warm water and shake the bags every so often. The shrimps will thaw within 15 minutes.

Remove the shrimps from the bag, place them in a colander and rinse them. With a few paper towel, dry out the shrimps and place them into a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1-2 tbsp of the green onion and pepper herb blend from Demarle, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/18 of pepper and mix well. Cover the bowl with the octogonal silpat or a plastic wrap and let the shrimps marinade 30 minutes to 2 hours.

While the shrimps are marinating, prepare the pasta.

Turn the oven to 400.

Fill up a large pot with water, add 2 tbsp of salt and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes or until al dente.

Remove the shrimps from the oven and lay them out on a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet. Cook for 7 minutes.

When the pasta is cooked to your satisfaction, drain the water from the pasta. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of green onion herb blend from Demarle and stir.

To serve, spoon the pasta on plates and place a few shrimps atop the pasta. Add fresh grated parmesan or romano, Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Mexican Shrimp Ceviche

This week, I had the privilege and the opportunity to be in the beautiful state of California  to attend a cooking conference in Newport, California. Since my husband and I had never traveled to this state, we decided to come two days earlier to try to see a bit of this amazing state before the conference started. And I will have to tell you that I have fallen in love with this part of the world. The weather is so mild and the scenery is so amazing!!! So in those two days, we raced to see as much as we could in that short period of time. We saw Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Malibu Beach, Beverly Hills, San Diego and of course New Port Beach since it is where we stayed. I loved every single places we visited. They were all so beautiful!

But I really like San Diego. I wanted to go there because it was recommended by a friend of mine. But the distance to get there really limited our time to see the whole San Diego. Since we were only able to spend a few hours in San Diego, we chose to go to the Old Town since it is said to be “ the birthplace of California”.

“San Diego is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. It was here in 1769, that Father Junipero Serra came to establish the very first mission in a chain of 21 missions that were to be the cornerstone of California’s colonization. Father Serra’s mission and Presidio were built on a hillside overlooking what is currently known as Old Town San Diego. At the base of the hill in 1820’s, a small Mexican community of adobe buildings was formed and by 1835 had attained the status of El Pueblo de San Diego. In 1846, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and a Marine Lieutenant, raised the American flag in the Old Town San Diego Plaza”.
Most buildings are original, and the village is set as in the past so you really feel like you are going back in time of American Colonization. Among the many buildings, you can find shops and restaurants, and of course Mexican restaurants.

We chose to have lunch at “La Casa de Rey” since it was suggested as one of the best in the area. I am not fond of Mexican food, but was looking forward sitting and enjoying a nice lunch in this colorful place. While my husband chose a traditional mexican dish, I chose to eat something much lighter and much healthier …Shrimp Ceviche.
I had already presented the Ceviche in one of my previous post so you should know that  it is orginary from Peru, but also found in many hispanic restaurants.

It is really easy to make. So if you are at loss of finding a refreshing dish in the hot summer, I highly advise you to fix this instead of what we know in the South as Shrimp Salad.
Obviously I did not make this Ceviche, but this is the recipe I make when i do…

3lbs of small raw shrimps deveined and peeled and diced, 4 large Roma tomatoes, diced, 2 cucumber peeled and diced, 6 limes juiced, 4 lemons juiced, 1 cup of chopped cilantro, 1 small red onion diced,  1 tsp of tabasco sauce ( or more if you like spicy), salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, mix together the lime and the lemon juice, salt and pepper and tabasco sauce. Add the shrimps, toss well and let it rest for about 3 hours. Then add everything else: diced tomatoes, diced cucumber, finely diced red onion, chopped cilantro, and mix well. Place in the refrigerator for another hour. To serve, place the ceviche in a large bowl or in individual bowls and serve with tortillas…

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!