Low Country Shrimp & Sausage “Boil” (It’s Baked!)

I can’t really remember where I found this version of the classic Southern recipe. I had jotted down the ingredients on a piece of paper that rattled around in my purse for weeks.  But I finally made it, and it was crazy good and so easy.

Rather than boiling you roast everything in the oven.

Ingredients

1 lb. baby red potatoes, halved
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

1 lb. shrimp peeled and tails removed
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1″ pieces
4 ears of sweet corn, shucked and cut into three inch pieces
1 bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces (not traditional but I love peppers)
1 1/2 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning

6 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder
lemon wedges

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place potatoes in a big bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they’re quite soft when you poke them with a fork.

In the same large bowl, toss shrimp, sausage, corn, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning until everything is nicely coated. Add to baking dish. (I used a rubber spatula to get every last drop out!)

It will be pretty crowded, but that’s totally fine. Just spread things out a bit, and bake another 12 – 15 minutes, until the pepper is a little softened and the shrimp looks done.

Stir garlic powder into melted butter and drizzle over the whole pan. Serve with wedges of lemon.

So quick, easy and delicious. I’m going to try other vegetables – perhaps zucchini or eggplant? Everything tastes wonderful in this dish.

Note:  I looked up a recipe for Old Bay Seasoning (Food.com has a pretty highly rated one) but it uses a million ingredients, and makes an awful lot.  But if you really want to make your own, here is the link: https://www.food.com/recipe/old-bay-seasoning-copycat-189447

Baked Crunchy Shrimp Tacos

Another great recipe from MelsKitchenCafe.com that I’ve been wanting to try. All the stars aligned last night and Maya and I made it for supper. It was amazingly good and really very easy. Kumy gave it his highest praise, “you should make this for guests.” Agreed and hopefully someday soon…

I checked the garden for ripe tomatoes(surely by now, right?)but alas – nothing but green tomatoes, so I substituted a can of Rotel tomatoes for the diced tomatoes. If you do use Rotel, go easy on the jalapeno.

INGREDIENTS

Tomato Sauce Mixture:
1 can Rotel tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp ketchup or BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
Pinch black pepper

1 tsp olive oil
1 pound large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, tails removed and cut in half, and well-drained

2 Tbsp olive oil
10 6-inch corn or flour tortillas
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (I ended up using part Swiss and part
Cheddar.)

Toppings:
shredded romaine lettuce
diced avocado
lime wedges
chopped fresh cilantro
salsa or hot sauce
sour cream (optional)  

Turn oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the tomato mixture in a medium bowl. Heat a frying pan and add the teaspoon of oil. Let it get nice and hot and then add the tomato mixture. Cook for 5-6 minutes until tomatoes are softening.

Add shrimp and cook another two minutes. Remove from heat. (The shrimp will finish cooking in the oven.)

Meanwhile, spread oil generously on two baking sheets and place tortillas on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Spoon a couple spoonfuls of the shrimp mixture in a row down the middle of each tortilla. Bake for 7-10 minutes one sheet at a time.

Remove from baking sheet and fold gently in half. Fill with toppings as desired.

So good – the tortilla is warm and crunchy with the coolness of the lettuce and cilantro!

Note:  Mel didn’t add sour cream, but I love a little sour cream with a big squeeze of lime in it, so we did.

Shrimp and Sausage Skillet Corn

shrimp-and-sausage-corn
Another tasty recipe from Southern Living, that’s easy and pretty quick. I made some substitutions based on what I had on hand. I like the idea of using sweet corn as a “starch”.  You could substitute almost any protein for the sausage and shrimp, and it would still be good.

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp butter
5 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup whole milk ( or 1/2 ‘n 1/2)
4 oz. cream cheese
(Or sour cream that accidentally froze, was thawed, drained and whipped. Just saying.)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp green onions (originally called for 2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped)
1 tsp olive oil
8 oz. any kind of sausage, cut into 1/2″ slices (I used smoked sausage and some other kind of sausage which was frozen.)
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
1 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Little more salt and pepper

Heat butter in a cast iron skillet.  Add onions and cook for 5-6 minutes until nicely softened and starting to brown just a bit.  Add corn and cook another couple of minutes stirring frequently.

Add milk, cream cheese, salt, black pepper. and green onions.  Stir and cook for a minute or so. Remove from heat, and cover to keep warm.

In another frying pan, heat olive oil and saute sausage for 5-6 minutes.  when cooked and browning just a bit, remove to the top of the  corn mix – keeping some of the drippings.

Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on the shrimp and saute in the hot drippings for 3-4 minutes, until pink and cooked through.(If the shrimp is frozen, it will probably release water. Just scoop the shrimp up and save the “broth” for another time.)

Toss on top of the corn and sausage mixture, and sprinkle with parsley.

Quick and good!

Thai Salmon Red Curry

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Salmon by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

We love the Mae Ploy Curry pastes, and the red Curry Paste is used in one of our favorite Thai dishes from a wonderful local Thai restaurant, Red Salmon Curry.  Salmon works out beautifully in this curry, but you could really use any firmer fish.  The Red Curry Paste is pretty spicy – so go easy on it the first time.  Love the heat?  Go for the full 1 1/2 Tablespoons! Serve with rice.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup mushrooms, halved
1  to 1 1/2 Tbsp Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste (use less if you don’t like it too spicy!)
1 cup cauliflower florets
1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in slivers
1 can coconut milk
1/2 can water
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 to 1 lb salmon fillet, skin removed and cut into 1″ pieces
Fresh lime juice (1/2 lime)
toasted cashews (optional)
fresh basil (optional)

In a large, deep frying pan, heat oil and saute onions for 3-4 minutes until softened.  Add peppers and saute another couple minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue sauteing 3-4 minutes until the water has released and partially dried up.

Form a well in the middle of the veggies and add a little more oil.  Add the curry paste and saute lightly for a minute or so.  Stir to combine with all veggies.  Add cauliflower and ginger and stir again. Add coconut milk, water and fish sauce.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add spinach and salmon and cook 3-4 minutes, or until salmon pieces are pink through.
Serve with rice, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice on top.  Sprinkle with cashews and fresh basil if using.

Skip the salmon for a vegan version.  You can use other vegetables if you have them.  If using a stiffer veggie like carrots or potato, cook them in boiling salted water for several minutes until they are just about done, and then add them with the baby spinach.

So, so good!

Shrimp, Tomatoes & Spinach in Tuscan Butter Sauce

This is based on Lena Abraham’s Tuscan Butter Shrimp recipe on Delish.com. We absolutely loved it and I will definitely make it again and often!  I did add more shrimp and spinach, because we really love them both.

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups baby spinach (can use a spinach/arugula mix)
1/2 cup half n half (or heavy cream)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced, or 1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season shrimp all over with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering but not smoking, add shrimp and sear until underside is golden, about 2 minutes, then flip until opaque. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add butter. When butter has melted, stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are beginning to burst, then add spinach and cook until spinach starts to wilt.

Stir in half and half, Parmesan and basil and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.Return shrimp to skillet and stir to combine. Cook until shrimp is heated through, and check the seasoning. Garnish with more fresh basil if you have it.

You can serve it over some nice fresh pasta, or just have it as is, more like a stew.

Lemon Poblano Shrimp

Picked up some beautiful Poblano chile peppers from a farmer’s market while on vacation, which had great flavor and color. Poblanos are a mild, sweeter Mexican pepper and you could substitute red bell peppers if you can’t find them. But if you can get Poblanos – try them. They really add amazing flavor

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 fresh Poblano chile peppers, seeds and ribs removed, diced
1 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Juice of 2 large lemons
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 12 Tbsp butter

Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium size pot. Add peppers and saute 3-4 minutes. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and shrimp and saute for 7-8 minutes until the shrimp is pink.

Add butter, lemon juice and Cilantro and saute another minute until warmed through. Check seasonings.

Serve over hot rice. Super quick and so good – Kumy loved this dish!

Southern Shrimp & Grits Casserole

shrimp-with-gritsThis recipe was in the latest Southern Living Magazine and is a real keeper. Of course I tweaked it a bit (lightened it up a little) but in general I followed the recipe pretty closely. It’s pretty rich but so delicious. In fact I went in and grabbed a little spoonful of it from the dish in the fridge and it was good – even cold from the fridge! Like I said – it’s a keeper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9 x 12 baking pan.

Ingredients for Grits

4 cups whole milk
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or one clove garlic, crushed)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Heat milk in a large saucepan until just starting to boil. Add grits, butter and seasonings and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring constantly, until grits are softened and mixture has thickened. Take off heat and add beaten egg and cheese, stirring in well. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan, smoothing as needed and then cover and bake 35-40 minutes. Cook longer if you want the edges browned a bit.

Ingredients for Shrimp Sauce

1 cup chopped bacon, or turkey bacon (add 3 tbsp olive oil if using turkey bacon)
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1/2 cup flour
1 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley)
1 heaping teaspoon dried thyme, or 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sliced green onions

In a large saucepan, saute bacon until crisp and remove. Pour out all but 3 Tbsp of bacon drippings or oil. Add onions and peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Have all the rest of your ingredients ready, because you will be stirring constantly from here on out.

Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds, then add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes, then add broth and seasonings. Cook a couple minutes more until warmed through.

Spoon the shrimp mixture over the grits, then sprinkle with reserved bacon and green onions.  Serve warm.

Shrimp with Orzo, Tomatoes, Dill, Lemon and Feta

Great dish for supper last night! I found the original recipe here, but made some changes:  I swapped out celery for fennel, lemon juice for lemon zest and dried dill instead of fresh, because it’s what I had.  It was supposed to also be baked for 8 minutes at 450, but it cooked just fine right on the stove.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb shrimp, peeled
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups celery, in bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
1⁄8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1⁄2 lb orzo pasta
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cup pitted kalamata olive, halved if large (small is fine intact)
1 1/2 Tbsp dried dill weed
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2⁄3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
5 ounces feta, coarsely crumbled, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Dry shrimp with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Add shrimp and cook 1 1/2 minutes per side, turning once. Remove to a plate, and turn heat down to medium.

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to pan, and add celery, garlic, chili flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Cook for several minutes, stirring frequently to keep the garlic from burning.  Stir in white wine and let reduce for a minute or so.

Add orzo, garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, olives, dill, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Add chicken broth, stir again and return shrimp to skillet.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Cook for 8 or 9 minutes until Orzo is cooked to al dente. If it seems to be getting too dry, add a little more chicken broth. Check seasonings.

Serve immediately, with feta sprinkled on.

Note:  you may want to cut the tomatoes in half, as they got very, very hot and kind of exploded into tomato napalm in our mouths.

Spicy Garlic & Lime Shrimp

We made these last week on vacation and they were so delicious! I found the recipe on Food.com and we had them with rice and some other vegetables. (Can’t remember which vegetables, I can only remember the flavor of the shrimp!)

2 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, crushed or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
24 large shrimp (about 1 pound) peeled with tails on. (Can use fresh or frozen.)
1 lime, halved

Seasoning Mix:

3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp onion powder

Blend seasoning mix in a small bowl. If shrimp are frozen, wash them in cool water until they’ve thawed fairly well and you can peel them.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir well, then immediately add the shrimp.

Squeeze the juice of the lime over the shrimp, and dump all the seasoning in and blend quickly to coat all sides of the shrimp. Cook shrimp 5-8 minutes stirring from time to time until they start to brown. Cook both sides.

Serve with fresh lime wedges.

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

I love when dishes come about like this.  I looked at what we had in the fridge, entered those items into google and added “recipe” to the end.  Google brought me a lovely recipe from Giada de Laurentiis, which was close enough. The original is listed as above.  Below is what I actually made.

1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 lb linguine pasta, cooked
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 giant cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup mushrooms, halved
1 lb. large shrimp, thawed in cool water if frozen
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of one large lemon
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 big handfuls arugula (probably 4 cups)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup shaved parmesan

Cook pasta in salted water if not already cooked. (We had leftover pasta we just dunked in hot water for a bit.

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil. Add onions and cook until somewhat softened, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper and cook until shrimp is done – about 4-5 minutes. Drain pasta, saving some of the pasta water. Add pasta to the frying pan, along with the arugula. Toss to combine and wilt the arugula. If it seems too dry, add a couple of spoons of the pasta water.  Top with fresh parsley and shaved parmesan.

Serve. Come back for seconds. Bring bread to clean the frying pan out, then sigh wistfully because every golden drop is gone.