Sunday, April 19, 2015

Shrimp, Bean and Corn Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing

2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled
1 lime
2 T minced garlic
1 T olive oil
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
2 cups corn (frozen or cooked and removed from cobs)
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, cut into small pieces

1/2 bunch cilantro (about 1/2 cup packed)
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp honey

Lightly toss raw shrimp with juice from one lime and minced garlic.  Let marinate in fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add shrimp to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, making sure to turn over shrimp on all sides to allow to sear.  Do not overcook.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Combine beans, corn, tomato in a large bowl. 

Blend all ingredients for dressing in a blender or food processor.  Remove lid and scrape sides until fully blended.  Pour dressing over bean and vegetable mixture.  Add shrimp and toss all together.

Top with avocado pieces and serve.  Makes 6 generous portions as a main meal or plenty for a side dish at a party.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pacific Snapper with Cilantro Lime Oil

Pacific Snapper or Rockfish is commonly found on the Northern West Coast, and therefore pretty easy to come by in my neck of the woods.  You can substitute any of your favorite fish with this recipe including Red Snapper (preferred over the Pacific or Rockfish variety), Grouper, or any kind of trout.

2 lbs fish
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use a vegan brand)
2 jalapeños
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro

Cilantro lime oil
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
Juice from one lime
1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh parsley
Salt to taste

Cilantro Oil: Place all ingredients into blender or food processor and mix on high until well blended. Stop and scrape sides and repeat as needed.  Add additional olive oil as needed.  Scoop into a small dish and refrigerate if made in advance. Otherwise, set aside to serve at room temperature. 

Slice jalapeños in half lengthwise and remove stems. Place seed side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Place under the broiler for several minutes, until peppers begin to blister and blacken.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Once cooled, remove seeds from jalapeños and place in a blender or food processor, along with mayonnaise, garlic and cilantro.  Mix until well-blended, stopping to scrape sides as needed.

Spread mayonnaise and pepper mixture over top of fish fillets. 

Place in 375 degree oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Drizzle cilantro oil on top of fish and serve.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Crab and Shrimp Étouffée

Étouffée: Pronounced (ay-too-fay) is a French word that translates in English to "smothered" and you'll love how this rich blend of cajun spices, shrimp and crab smothers your favorite white rice and pleases your taste buds.  You'll find this dish on every menu in New Orleans and I've been dying to try to make it ever since I returned from a visit there a few weeks ago. I read several recipes and pulled all the things I liked from each into this one here.  You could easily adjust this to meet your personal spice-o-meter and use any combination of shrimp, crab or the more common New Orleans version, crawfish. Since crawfish isn't too easy to find in my Northwest neck of the woods (or ocean), I opted for crab and shrimp.

5 T butter
6 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 large onion, diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 green pepper, diced with seeds and veins removed
2 T flour
3 cups chicken or seafood broth
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup red wine
1 to 3 T cajun spice mix (such as Emeril's or Old Bay)
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 oz lump crab meat
4 cups cooked white rice
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in large stock pot. Add garlic and sauté. 

Known as the "trifecta" of cajun cooking, combine the onion, celery and green pepper and add to the garlic and butter.  Continue sautéeing until onion becomes translucent.

Push vegetable mixture aside in the pot and add additional 3 T butter to cleared area of the pot.  Once melted, add flour to the butter and mix together until a thick paste begins to develop. 

Add a little bit of the chicken broth to the butter and flour paste, mixing together well to avoid any lumps forming. Add up to 2 cups of the broth, mixing together the vegetables into a thick serve. Add tomato sauce, wine, cajun spice blend (to taste) and thyme.  

Bring to a boil.  The mixture should start to thicken. Continue cooking and add as much of the remaining broth as needed. You want the mixture to stay thick, but not so thick that any lumps begin to form. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes to allow the flavors to fully blend together. 

Meanwhile, begin cooking the rice.

When rice is almost done, add the raw shrimp and the crab to the broth mixture. Cook just until shrimp is pink. 

Scoop rice into a mold such as a round tea cup or a pyrex custard cup. Invert cup of rice into a large bowl. 

Pour étouffée over rice and garnish with fresh parsley.

Dietary considerations:
Gluten free: substitute with almond flour or cornstarch instead of wheat flour
Dairy free: substitute butter with Earth Balance Vegan Butter

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Chicken Stew or Pollo Arvejado

Everyone always asks me what Chilean food is like and there is almost always an underlying assumption that food from Chile is spicy.  Wrong. Very few Chileans (and I know many) that I know, are fans of hot spicey food and this dish is a perfect blend of flavors used in many Chilean meals. Pollo Arvejado is a very typical, and easy, Chilean recipe.  I usually only have about a 30 minute window to cook in on an average weeknight and this one can be done in that time.

2 T olive oil
4 chicken breasts, cut in half or in thirds; most Chileans will use chicken thighs, but I prefer the leaner cut
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
4-5 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 cups, cut up in bite size pieces)
2 large carrots, cut into bite size pieces
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
1 cup frozen green peas

Heat oil in large skillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chicken pieces. Cook chicken breast in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side until slightly browned.  

Add chopped onion and garlic cloves to browned chicken and cook additional 3-4 minutes or until onion becomes translucent.  Be sure to move the onion around the chicken so that it allows the onion juices to form around the meat pieces. 

Mix cumin and paprika together in a small cup or bowl.  Add potatoes and carrots to the skillet and sprinkle with cumin and paprika mixture. 

Pour wine or chicken stock into pan. Cover and cook for approximately 6-7 minutes.

The dish is ready when the liquid has reduced in half and the chicken is no longer pink in the inside. Add frozen peas to the pan in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking.