SMOKED SHRIMP TACOS WITH ROASTED JALAPENO SALSA

To make this simple recipe, you’ll need a smoker. If you don’t have one, use the same rub on the shrimp and grill it. I am not too wild about liquid smoke, and would rather omit that component than include it in the rub, but if you have a brand you are fond of and know how much to use, go for it. The Roasted Jalapeno Salsa was published last week on Mimi’s blog, and I made it on the same day I read it. I just knew we would love it. Beware, it is spicy!

SMOKED SHRIMP TACOS WITH ROASTED JALAPENO SALSA
(from The Bewitching Kitchen and Mimi’s blog)

for the dry rub:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp hot chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed

Heat the smoker to 200F with mesquite, oak, or pecan wood.

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the dry rub. Pour the rub over the shrimp and make sure everything is well coated. Add the shrimp to the smoker and smoke for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with the salsa, and your favorite toppings.

ROASTED JALAPENO SALSA
(slightly modified from Chef Mimi)

6 large jalapeños
4 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 generous bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Start by preparing the jalapeños. Remove the stems, then slice them vertically around the core of seeds. Discard the seeds and stems. Roughly chop the jalapeño slices and place them in a medium-sized bowl. Chop the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds, then place them in with the jalapeños. Toss the mixture with the oil and salt, then place it in a baking/roasting dish. Roast until vegetables are caramelized, about 30 minutes.Place the roasted jalapeno-tomato mixture with the cilantro and other ingredients in a food processor and pulse, until the desired texture.

ENJOY!

to print the recipes, click here

Comments: I made the salsa around lunch time, kept it in the fridge and brought to room temperature as I prepared the shrimp. Everything was ready then in less than 30 minutes, perfect weeknight meal. The shrimp turned out juicy and tender, with a nice flavor from the dry rub. And the roasted jalapeno salsa went perfectly with it. But if you are not into spicy food, this is definitely not for you. My Dad, the pepper-addict, would be proud of me! The shrimp is actually quite mildly flavored, so consider just serving it with a store-bough mild salsa if you prefer.

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GINGER-DILL SALMON

I get disappointed when pictures do not do justice to a recipe. You will have to trust me, this salmon was like an explosion of flavors and textures, even if it looks a bit “messy” on the plate. It is actually supposed to be just like that. The husband found the recipe in The New York Times, in an article highlighting favorites of their food editors. I can see why.

OVEN-ROASTED GINGER-DILL SALMON
(slightly modified from The New York Times)

1 salmon fillet, skin-on 
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 tablespoons finely chopped dill
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, scrubbed and finely grated  
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 blood orange (or additional regular orange)
2 oranges
6 small radishes, cut into thin wedges
1 avocado
Flaky sea salt, for finishing (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil.  Pat the salmon dry, then place on the tray skin-side down and season with salt and pepper.


In a medium bowl, stir together the dill, ginger and olive oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Spread half of the dill-ginger mixture over the top of the salmon. (Reserve the remaining dill-ginger mixture.) Bake until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.  

As the salmon cooks, cut off the top and bottom of the two types of oranges and remove the segments. Squeeze the peels into the remaining dill-ginger mixture to get out any juice.  Transfer the fruit and any juice on the cutting board to the bowl. Add the radishes, season generously with salt, and stir gently to combine.


Break the salmon into large pieces, and divide across plates with the citrus salad. Peel and pit the avocado, then quarter lengthwise and add to plates. Season with salt. Spoon the juices from the bowl over top, and season with black pepper, another drizzle of olive oil, and flaky sea salt, if using.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The husband is the seafood cook in our home, but every once in a while I venture into his domain. This was quite spectacular, even if I say so myself. We loved the contrast of the hot salmon with the cold citric salad. Perfect for a warm Summer evening. I highly, highly recommend it.

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GRILLED SHRIMP WITH PARSLEY OIL OVER BLACK RICE NOODLES

This goes to the OMG FILES. Everything worked great together, and the husband went crazy for it too. He kept saying this is restaurant-quality meal. Top-notch restaurant. I must say that for something so simple to put together, it is amazing how tasty it was. The parsley oil stole the show. Think pesto, but lighter. You can use regular pasta, but there’s something about the texture of a rice noodle that worked even better with the shrimp.

GRILLED SHRIMP WITH PARSLEY OIL OVER BLACK RICE NOODLES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the shrimp:
1 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 pounds Jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 to 1 tsp Tajin Mexican seasoning
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Make the parsley oil: coarsely chop the parsley and place in a food processor. Add the lime juice, olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Process to a paste. Reserve.

Make the shrimp: whisk the grapeseed oil with Tajin seasoning. Add the shrimp and toss to coat well. Season lightly with salt. Grill the shrimp until cooked through, around 3 minutes per side, depending on how hot is your grill.

Serve the shrimp with the parsley sauce spooned all over it.

for the noodles:
(adapted from Joanne’s blog)
12 oz cherry tomatoes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp brown sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
black rice noodles (I used this brand)

Heat the oven to 425F. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes with the olive oil, cumin, sugar, lemon zest, salt, and a grind of black pepper. Toss to combine, then transfer to a baking dish. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until it starts to get brown at spots.

Cook black rice noodles according to the instructions in the package. Toss with the roasted tomatoes, making sure to incorporate all the juices that accumulate in the baking dish. Serve alongside the shrimp.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I am not too fond of grilling shrimp. If using a skewer, it is best to use two so that they don’t move around, but assembling that leaves me exhausted just thinking about it. So this time I went with a grilling basket, which is something usually maneuvered by the husband. He always does sea bass or red snapper using that gadget. I am quite impressed. Both by the husband and the gadget.

I sprayed the grid with a little olive oil, added the marinated shrimp, closed it, and placed on the grill. The shrimp cooked like a dream, perfectly juicy. Flipping them over midway into the grilling time was a breeze. Grab the basket by the handle, flip, and you are done. Granted, washing the basket is a bit of a hassle, but overall a small price to pay.

I hope you try this meal, either the whole thing or at least the shrimp component with that amazing parsley oil. We are still talking about it…

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MAHI-MAHI IN THAI-CURRY SAUCE

This is another example of a “lightened-up” version of a classic that worked so well I could not wait to share! Two ingredients are absolutely mandatory: red curry paste and fish sauce. I realize that opening that bottle of fish sauce requires a little psychological preparation, but it is worth it. Just hold your breath as you measure the amount. Actually, I do have a very sharp sense of smell, so it could be less of a problem for you.

MAHI-MAHI IN THAI-CURRY SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste 
1/2 cup unsweetened light coconut milk 
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 mahi-mahi filets, cut in chunks
smidgen of olive oil + squirt lime juice + salt + pepper to season fish
fresh cilantro leaves
lime zest for serving

In a medium pot over medium heat, whisk together the curry paste, coconut milk, and yogurt. Bring to   a simmer and cook, whisking until the mixture is smooth, but don’t let it boil too hard. Add the fish sauce, sugar, and water; stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for a couple of minutes, cover and remove from heat. Reserve.

Season the pieces of fish with a tiny bit of olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. I just squirt a very small amount of oil to lightly coat the pieces, no need to measure. Use a light hand. Same goes for lime juice, salt and pepper. Reserve.

Heat a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the oil and heat until it is shimmering. Add the bell pepper, and mushrooms, and cook until the vegetables are starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Then add the fish and sauté for a few minutes. Pour the curry sauce into the skillet and heat it through. Serve the curry over rice, garnished with fresh cilantro and a little bit of lime zest, added right on the plate.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was such a delicious meal! It had that feel of “eating out” which… come to think of it we cannot do that often, as our little town does not have a Thai restaurant. It is probably my favorite type of food, but I can only enjoy it when we travel. You know travel, right? That act of leaving your home with luggage, stepping on a plane and landing in a totally different spot? Yeah. It’s been a while.

We enjoyed it over white rice. I added a bit of lime zest on my serving, and to my taste it was perfect. You can use a squirt of lime juice or omit it altogether, but if you have the same passion I do for all things citric, go for the zest. It packs a nice little punch of flavor. The only thing you need to be careful about is not boiling the sauce too hard. Because it has less fat than a regular recipe, it tends to separate a bit.

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FENNEL-RUBBED SHRIMP IN LIGHT COCONUT SAUCE

Nothing comes together faster than a meal involving shrimp. Or sea scallops, for that matter. But in this neck of the woods it is a rare, very rare event to find dry scallops, whereas good quality shrimp is always available. For this preparation, instead of using a full can of coconut milk (so common in recipes everywhere), I opted for full-fat yogurt with a touch of light coconut milk. Worked wonderfully well. Tasty but considerably lighter.

FENNEL-RUBBED SHRIMP IN LIGHT COCONUT SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 + 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground Kashmiri chiles
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 to 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/3 cup cashews, toasted
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup light coconut milk
drizzle of honey
dried mint, to taste (optional)

Combine the ground spices and salt in a bowl, add the shrimp and mix to cover it with spices. Refrigerate for 30 min to 1 hour, if possible, but you can start cooking right away. Mix the yogurt with coconut milk and honey, reserve.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp, cook, stirring them for a couple of minutes. Add the yogurt-coconut mixture, and cook in low-heat until shrimp is fully cooked and the sauce reduces a bit. Add the cashew nuts, dried mint (if using), and serve..

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I am calling this dish “Fennel” shrimp because it was the flavor that came through more obviously, at least for me. If you like more heat, add more pepper, or add a touch of cayenne. I love the flavor of Kashmiri pepper, so that’s what I used. If you are like me, and twist the nose at dried mint, I suggest you give it a try. I lost my dried mint snobbism after reading about it in Middle Eastern cookbooks. It has a permanent spot in my pantry now.

Shrimp in light coconut sauce over white rice. So simple, and so satisfying! My kind of dinner!

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