Lime Cilantro Shrimp

Lime Cilantro Shrimp

Cilantro is one of those things that some people love and some people hate. I’m a cilantro lover, no doubt about that, and these Lime Cilantro Shrimp are one of many reasons for that. The dish is fast to make — you can have a fresh dinner on the table in just a few minutes.

The preparation of the shrimp and the sauce is as simple as it can get. The shrimp is just sauteed in butter (or oil if you prefer) and the sauce is fresh lime juice and a whole mess of cilantro. That’s it. Nothing more complicated than that, but the shrimp is a dynamite main dish or perhaps a nice appetizer. And while the dish is simple, it’s also full of flavor and very satisfying. 

(FYI Folks, I took a small vacation last week, but we’ll be back at it at least until Labor Day.)

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Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad

Shrimp and Noodle Salad

Here’s a great way to refresh your day with a very nice shrimp and rice noodle salad. It takes only a little time to make and it has just about everything you can ask for — shrimp, asparagus, some carrots and some mushrooms, all done over the fantastic rice noodles. You really can’t beat this dish.

I believe the original for this came probably from the food channel, but for a number of reasons, I really didn’t have a grill handy, so I just simply gave the shrimp its bit of marinade and finished it in a very nice hot saute pan. Worked just as well as the grill, and unless you’re really into that smoked taste, I’d say they’re about equal. Like the man sometimes says: Use what you’ve got.

The rest of the salad is pretty easy.

 

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Shrimp and Curry Soup

shrimp and curry soup

Shrimp and curry soup is something that originally came from a New England and Soup Factory Cookbook, something I used for more than a number of good soups. And after trying it a few times and making some adjustments, it turned out to be as good a shrimp soup as I’ve ever tried. And while I tend to keep my own home made curry around, it works just as well with good ol’ curry powder from the grocery store. The main thing is to try the curry, adding more or less to suit your taste.

The secret here, by the way, is not the shrimp or the curry, but the wonderful way the soup uses okra, which adds color and otherwise just brightens up the whole soup. It’s amazing and really represents something new (for me) in a soup. Don’t even try making this without the okra.

Otherwise, while it looks like there is a lot going on here, there really isn’t much going on that you wouldn’t find in almost any good soup. 

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Spaghetti Nero with Pesto, Sausage, Shrimp

spaghetti nero

I’ve actually waited a long time to find a recipe I wanted to make with this spaghetti nero. It’s not that it’s ALL that hard to find, but you generally have to make a little effort to locate it, and even once you can get some at one store or another, it typically seems to disappear rather quickly (and often because it really doesn’t sell all that well, I’m guessing). That said, in the right recipe, it can be amazing. And that’s how this dish came to be.

FYI, if you’ve never had spaghetti nero, it’s made with squid ink in the pasta and basically, looks black as you might imagine. The squid ink adds a very subtle flavor, but not so much you’d really notice it, unless you were paying close attention.

The typical spaghetti nero recipe generally comes with a red (or possibly a white) sauce with shrimp, calamari and maybe some clams or mussels — essentially a seafood sauce. But I had some very good sausage I wanted to try, along with some good pesto, so this sauce kept the shrimp but otherwise, I decided to up the garlic and onions, add some mushrooms and used the sausage and pesto. The result was better than good and I can promise we’d have eaten twice what was on the plate, no kidding. It has just the perfect mix of flavors.

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Low Country Shrimp and Grits

shrimp and grits

My first exposure to grits, a staple in the American south, was less than pleasant. A teenager ona Florida vacation, I didn’t have the most adventurous palate to begin with, so when a puddle of porridge-like stuff appeared on the breakfast plate along with my bacon and eggs at an inexpensive roadside diner, I was none too happy.

I dutifully tried these grits and immediately understood where the name came from. Flavorless and gooey beach sand would have been a perfectly good description. No more grits for me.

And I stuck to that pledge for four decades (or so I thought), through many more trips to New Orleans, Atlanta, various places in Florida and South Carolina. I deftly skipped anything on a menu that mentioned grits.

Along the way, however, I regularly enjoyed Italian dishes that included polenta, blissfully unaware that grits and polenta were one and the same, though prepared differently. When I finally figured that out, I knew it was time to revisit grits.

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp Alfredo

lemon garlic shrimp alfredo

This lemon and garlic shrimp Alfredo is, believe it or not, a great Christmas dish around our house, in part because you can still get some very good shrimp this late in the year. And there really isn’t any reason I can think of to have a nice lemon garlic and cheesy Alfredo sauce just about any time of the year. Period.

The dish starts with a garlic lemony Alfredo sauce, which is nothing but butter, garlic, cream, a little lemon juice and zest, and cheese. And apart from waiting for the cream to reduce a good bit, there really isn’t much to make it. The shrimp I like to fry in some pancetta and (a little more) garlic, which takes only a little time, as well. (You can serve the pancetta with the shrimp or not — your call.)

Add a little fettuccine and your done. It’s a very nice, quick fix dinner or as a small plate for lunch.

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New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

If you haven’t figured it out by now, we really love a shrimp recipe around Discovery Cooking and this BBQ shrimp recipe is another of those New Orleans recipes that really lives up to the kind of things we really love — New Orleans and shrimp. You can’t really do much better than this. And best of all, it comes together in a heart beat. And, it’s also not really something I’d normally think of as New Orleans. But  it is, and it truly comes off well.

First of all — although it sounds like a barbecue, it really is a stove top dish, but with a real interesting sauce, made mostly from Worcestershire sauce and butter. A lot of butter for a shrimp meal. But believe me, it really does come off like a barbecue. I suppose you could even do it in a hot pan over an out door pit, but that seems like more trouble than it’s worth. This also make for a great appetizer, if that’s what you’re looking for.

In any case, give this a try. You’ll love that sauce, believe me.

Oh and yes, you can use more or less Creole spices and more or less garlic — to your taste.

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