I am always looking for new ways to get dinner on the table without too much hassle. During the summer I grill, but with our grill under construction right now I’ve returned to roasting everything–my wintertime favorite technique. Continue reading Garlic Roasted Shrimp
There’s something about Thai food that makes me feel like vacation. I think it’s all of the exotic flavors that get mixed into a dish with such ease. From simple stir fries packed with spice, to uncomplicated soups, the flavors of Thailand call to me.
Now, it might be that someone I know is vacationing there right now! or it might be that it’s the start of summer, but either way, I’m totally and utterly in love with the taste of Thai food.
One of my family’s favorite dishes when we visit the local spot is the pineapple fried rice. Again, all of these wonderful spices come through and tempt the palate to eat the whole plate. I mean, it really makes me smile to know that everyone at the table will gobble this dish up. With a lovely touch of spices and herbs along with a tad for the sweet tooth and some crunch to it–it’s certainly a comfort food worth adding to the repertoire.
But since we’re trying desperately to get out of this food rut I thought this would mix this dish up a bit and put my own twist on it–and not order it , but instead make it myself. Enjoy!
2-3 oz. packages of udon noodles (or any dry pasta you have on hand)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon chinese 5-spice powder (If you don’t have this spice, you can get some of the same flavors from just using cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper. The powder contains star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seed and black pepper.)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4-1/3 cup pasta cooking liquid
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 diced red pepper
1/2 cup pineapple peeled and diced, alternatively you can use 4 oz. drained pineapple slices that you cut into smaller bites
1 cup chopped peeled and cooked shrimp (personally, I keep these on hand in the freezer for a quick defrost to a healthy and speedy meal)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Udon only takes 4 minutes!
2. Meanwhile, in a serving bowl stir together the oil, soy sauce, spices and peanut butter.
3. When the noodles are cooked, reserve up to 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.
4. Toss the pasta in the bowl with the sauce, red pepper, pineapple, shrimp and cilantro. Add enough cooking liquid, a splash at a time, to make the sauce the consistency you prefer. I used about 1/3 cup. Top with chopped nuts to serve.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. Honestly, between work and play it’s been hard to get inspired in the kitchen. But what better way to get out of a rut than just man up and force myself to do it, right? It’s time for a little change in my family’s dinner repertoire.
I don’t want it to seem like I am normally trying new recipes with my family all of the time, but I do try to mix it up a bit and introduce something new once a week, but in the recent past my inspiration was zapped.
For a while there it seemed that every recipe I tried went up in flames…literally. That happened a few times when I was working with the barbecue. I mean what cook wouldn’t become despondent over multiple meals being tossed in the trash. Thank goodness for takeout and frozen meals. But part of my mantra has been to get rid of those premade meals and eat out of the box. So it here it is… time for change and a chance to experiment with flavor. So with this recipe I am trying to add more veggies to our diet and vary our proteins by experimenting with shrimp.
1/2 orange juice
1 tablespoon crushed garlic, about 5 cloves
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp . crushed red pepper
5 slices of bacon
1 lb. peeled deveined raw shrimp, 21-36 count size is preferred
1 cup carrots roughly chopped
2 cups of cooked rice
1 bunch brocollini, tops only
5 slices of bacon chopped
1. While the rice cooks (about 15 minutes), marinate the raw shrimp in the orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, honey and red pepper.
2. In a large saute pan on medium-high heat cook the bacon until crispy. Do not drain the fat when it is finished cooking, this imparts wonderful flavor to the rice.
3. Add the cooked rice to the pan and coat it with the bacon drippings. Then add the carrots and brocollini and stir fry 5-7 minutes, until the carrots are cooked to desired tenderness. I prefer them crunchy, so I would only cook them about 5 minutes. That is about how long it will take to cook the brocollini too.
4. Add raw shrimp to pan and cover the pan to steam for 3-5 minutes. Shrimp should be opaque and pink throughout when cooked.
Serves: 3-4 people