Monday, May 26, 2014

Chili Rubbed Shrimp Tacos with Pico De Gallo and Cilantro-Lime Crema

Let's Get This Party Started!

Friends open up the windows, invite your family and friends, turn the music up loud, fill the ice chest with cold beer, locate a good porch wine, or better yet shake up a cocktail, it is officially BBQ season (or inside grill pan season). 

This is an easy to put together three-part recipe which includes a fresh pico de gallo, fresh shrimp marinated in a spice rub (ancho chile, garlic salt, coriander, oregano, cumin, and fresh ground black pepper) and a cilantro-lime crema sauce.  You can use flour tortillas or more authenic corn tortillas for a top notch warm weather meal.


Easily prepared on top of the stove in a grill pan

Chili Rubbed Shrimp Tacos with Pico De Gallo and Cilantro-Lime Crema
Serves 4
Recipe from Publix Aprons Cooking School

1 pound tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

16 jumbo shrimp (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 soft corn or flour tortillas

Add first 6 ingredients to a medium bowl, and toss to combine.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  Can be made 4 hours ahead.

Rinse shrimp under cold running water, then blot them dry with paper towels.

Place chile powder, garlic salt, coriander, oregano, cumin, and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix.  Add shrimp and toss to coat.  Stir in olive oil.  Let shrimp marinate in refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat a grill pan to high on medium-high heat.  When ready to cook, lightly oil ridges of grill pan.  Place marinated shrimp on hot grill pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side.  When done, shrimp will turn pinkish white and will feel firm to the touch.

Preheat oven to 300F.  Wrap tortillas in foil, about 15 minutes before serving, place tortillas in oven to warm.

On each plate, place one warm tortilla and top with 4 shrimp and desired amount of Pico De Gallo and cilantro lime creme (recipe follows).

Cilantro-Lime Crema

1/4 cup green onions, rough chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, rough chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blueberry Cobbler with Brown Sugar-Whipped Cream

 One of my very favorite things in the world to eat is fruit cobblers.

Did you know that cobblers are a distinctly American deep-dish dessert ?  Early American settlers did not consider fruit cobblers dessert? Cobblers were often served for breakfast, and it was not uncommon to serve them as a main course.  It was not until the late 19th century that they became primairly desserts.  What happened to the good old days?

A couple of pounds of blueberries, a little sugar, lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of flour and you got a rock n roll filling to lay under those fresh made biscuit tops.

Blueberry Cobbler with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream
Serves 8
Recipe from Bobby Flay


For the Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
3/4 cup light cream, plus 2 tablespoons to brush on top of biscuits
1 large egg
2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar or 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the Cobbler

3 pints fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream, very cold
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Biscuits

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheetw ith parchment paper or non-stick baking mats, or use a non-stick cookie sheet.

2.  Sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture, rubbing them together with your fingers or pastry cutter, until the mixture is crumbly and sandy.  Whisk the 3/4 cup cream and egg together; add to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together.

3.  Roll or pat dough out 1/2-inch thick on  alightly floured surface.  using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut into eight 2-inch circles.  Transfer to the prepared cookie sheet.  Brush the tops with cream, sprinkle with turbinado sugar, bake until barely colden brown and still undercooked, 10 to 12 minutes. ( The biscuits can be made up to this point a day in advance.  Let cool and store in airtight container.)

For the Cobbler

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch square baking dish.

2.  Mix together the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and flour in a large bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.

3.  Pour the mixture into he prepared dish, arrange the biscuits on top, and place the baking dish in the oven (put a rimmed baking sheet on a lower rack to catch any overflow.)  Bake until the mixture begins to bubble and the biscuits are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

4.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

For the Whipped Cream

1.  Whip up all he ingredients together until soft peaks form.  Spoon the cobbler into bowls and top with whipped cream.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Savoring the Seasons: Ribbon Summer Salad

This month's Clean Eating magazine had a section for summer side dishes with only three main ingredients, and a few pantry staples. The simplicity caught my attention.

The sweet melon, savory zucchini, thin sliced ham blended with a light viniagrette really make this salad come together in a special way.  It is a unique, easy to prepare salad that rocks the chart in delivering the fresh taste of summer.

Ribbon Summer Salad
Serves 6
Recipe from Clean Eating

2 zucchini, trimmed
1/4 lb. all-natural, thin, deli-sliced ham (no added nitrates)
1/4 cantaloupe, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried mint (note: fresh mint also works, but add it in at the end instead of mixing it into dressing)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

1.  Run a vegetable peeler lengthwise along the edge of each zucchini to make long ribbons.  Stack ham slices and cut into approximately 1x5-inch strips.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine zucchini, ham and cantaloupe.  In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mint, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over zucchini mixture and toss gently to combine.