August 27, 2009

Simple Spicy Shrimp in Photos

Posted in Appetizers tagged , , , , at 7:15 pm by jenniec00ks

((Remember: all pictures are clickable so that you can see the larger image and be hungrier!!))

springvegmas 020So this is actually a triple-hitter because I’ve got 3 (w00t!) fantastic seasonings of shrimp to go with pretty much anything or to become an appetizer by themselves.  First up, the one in the photos.  To the left is a rosemary & red pepper flake shrimp!  You can swap out the rosemary for ground dried sage and have a whole new flavor palette.  I’ll also be giving you the recipe for a sage & bacon shrimp.

I think these simple seasonings are an easy throw together since you should always keep shrimp on hand, and they’re SUPER quick to dethaw!  Check out my shrimp basics post for the rundown on the kind I use!!

1. Allocate 10 to 12 shrimp (31/40 count) per person for a dinner portion.  Preheat a skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil (per portion)!

springvegmas 0092. Version 1: Season each portion of shrimp with two pinches of finely chopped FRESH rosemary (1/2 tsp) and a dash of dried red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp, you can up this a bit if you like it spicy).  Salt & pepper to taste, but I don’t think these shrimp need either.

2. Version 2: Season each portion of shrimp with two pinches of DRIED ground sage (1/2 tsp) and a dash of dried red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp, ditto with the make it YOUR spicy tolerance)

springvegmas 0113. Cooking time depends on the size of the shrimp.  I’d say these shrimp need 2-3 minutes on the first side, and 1 minute on the other side.

Version 3

1. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat.

2. Season each portion of shrimp with two pinches of DRIED ground sage (1/2 tsp).  S&P to taste, but I don’t add either.

3. Add 2 strips of bacon, chopped up into small (1/4 in) pieces per PORTION.

4. Cook the bacon to your liking (I like mine just crisp)

4. Drain all the oil you can pour out of the skillet without losing the bacon pieces.  You should have the equivalent of a teaspoon per portion scattered around the skillet.  Sorry, this step is more of an art than a science.

5. Add the shrimp.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side in the bacon fat (YUM) and 1 minute on the otherside.

Final note! You want them just barely pink and curled.  If you let shrimp overcook, then they’ll be tough and rubbery.

May 26, 2009

Simple Chunky Guacamole inspired by Ellie Krieger

Posted in Appetizers tagged , at 10:53 pm by jenniec00ks

rocketsfood 006So back when the Houston Rockets were in the NBA playoffs, I promised my best buddy that I’d watch the game with him and make some “game” food to go with our beer (Shiner Blonde and New Belgium Sunshine Wheat). I tried a chunky guacamole in a restaurant recently and decided I liked it a lot better than a smooth creamy one. Here’s Ellie Krieger’s recipe which inspired me, but I adjusted the amount of ingredients to suit my tastes.  I also didn’t take pix the whole way through, but here’s the recipe.

So 2 big things about working with avocados – one is to work quickly and get some acid (lime or lemon juice) on them so that they don’t brown.  The second is that when you store guac or avocados, push the plastic wrap flat on the surface of the guacamole so that minimal air (oxygen is really what we’re concerned about) gets in.  Following these two steps allowed me to keep the guacamole fresh tasting for 2 full days!

3 small hass avocados – a little over a cup diced rather small – about 1/2″ pieces.

1/4 cup of red onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons of lime juice

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl just until their combined.  You can mash it together with a fork if you’re not as keen on the chunkiness as I am.  I served it with Tostitos Scoops.  I’d say this makes enough for about 3-4 people to snack on, triple or quadruple it for parties.

rocketsfood 013

Let me know what you think – I know there are many people who do guacamole *their* way that have a lot more ingredients than this.  I really like the clean taste of this recipe, but I also haven’t tried too many others.