Tag Archives: Quick

Citrusy Corn Salad

23 Jun

Ah summer!  I love this season of picnics and barbeques.  In fact, we’re having a McG family celebration tomorrow, and I’ve been asked to bring my Mac & Cheese.  Some of you might find this recipe a bit heavy for a hot day.  Never fear!  I’ve got a refreshing, light dish for you.  This Citrusy Corn Salad is the perfect side to a burger or rack of ribs.  I also think it’s amazing served on top of grilled fish.

Citrusy Corn Salad (serves 2)

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 8-10 cherry/grape tomatoes
  • 1 lime (zest and juice)
  • 1 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Clean and cook 2 ears of corn in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  I like a firmer kernel, so feel free to cook your corn a bit longer if need be.  Ta-da!  That’s it!  You are finished with the stove.  Take a knife and run it down the side of each cob to cut off the kernels.  You should have honey comb-like wedges as seen in the picture above.  Separate the kernels and transfer to a bowl. 

Next take out your trusty cutting board and chop 8-10 tomatoes into quarters.  You’ll probably feel like a giant, but I think this is the perfect size to give another texture and some color to the dish.  Afterwards, zest a lime and then add the juice.  Add the salt and pepper and stir. 

Here’s the point where I’ll lose some of you.  Wait-come back!  Just hear me out.  I love cilantro and think it’s the perfect accent to the fresh citrus of the lime and sweetness of the corn and tomatoes.  I recommend you add a tbs of chopped fresh cilantro to the salad to finish things off.  I recognize that cilantro can be a polarizing herb (sorry Dad and Apres), but I like it so go on and add it. 

Now transfer your corn salad to a brightly colored bowl and pop in the fridge.  This can sit in there for a few hours, and this will allow the flavors to blend.  Now go grab a beer and get back to your party!

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Fresh Shrimp Tacos

30 Nov

Still feeling overloaded and bloated after all of the Thanksgiving indulgences?  Me too!  What if I said the three magic words?  Quick, fresh and simpleOh, and what if I threw in healthy,  for good measure.  Now we’re talking right?!

Shrimp Tacos (serves 2)

  • 1 lbs of fresh shrimp, peeled, de-veined and tails removed
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • juice and zest of 2 limes
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 cup salsa (optional)
  • 1/2 a cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 hard taco shells

Set out two plates with two taco shells each.  Divide your cheddar cheese and greens evenly into the four shells.  Then chop up your tomatoes, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Set aside. 

In a large bowl combine olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, and the juice and zest of your limes and lemons.  Mix and then add shrimp, gently mix shrimp and sauce together.  Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

Heat a pan over medium heat and pour in half of the bowl of shrimp.  Spread out shrimp in the pan so they cook evenly.  These little guys cook up very quickly, and will be finished when their tails curl in and they take on a light orangy-pink color (see the image above).  I find these usually take 1 and 1/2 minutes per side.  Once your first batch is cooked, transfer them to the first two taco shells.  Pour the sauce they cooked in over the top of the shrimp, and then use the same pan to cook second half of shrimp.  Once completed, transfer second batch of the shrimp to the last two taco shells. 

Top shrimp tacos with  tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro.  If desired, add salsa to the top of each taco.  Now that’s, whats for dinner! 

My tacos were delish!  I did have one misstep in the kitchen though.  I decided to assemble everything in tortillas (see image above) since I tend to prefer soft tacos.  Bad idea!  My tacos fell apart right away and were soggy yet delicious.  I recommend using the hard shells for these tacos.  Otherwise these are a hit!

My 10 Essential Ingredients

30 Oct

Whether you are an accomplished chef or a novice cook, everyone has a list of their must-have staples for the kitchen.   These are my 10 essential items that I cannot live without in my kitchen.

1. Fresh HerbsThese can add woodsy flavors in the background, or serve as a light, bright touch on the top of a dish.  I use a lot of rosemary, sage and thyme in the kitchen, so I generally purchase the poultry blend as it’s a cost-effective way to get all three.

2.  OnionsI love them sautéed in pasta sauce, caramelized on a pizza (or on anything), and fried on top of burgers.  I buy a these in bulk and store then in a dark, dry place.  Make sure you wash them carefully as they grow in the ground!

3.  Chicken, Veg or Beef StockThese stocks provide a depth of background flavor to any dish and all you need is a few cups.  Making your own stock is a long process, why not take a short cut?

4.  Red or White WineWine is perfect for de-glazing pans aka getting the browned yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.  It’s essential in risottos and excellent in sauces.  Plus a bonus sip or glass for the chef!

5.  ButterPaula Dean is no fool, and there’s a reason why she’s the butter queen.  Butter is an essential fat and I need it for both my savory and sweet creations.

6.  Garlic. Garlic is used in almost all cuisines from Italian to French and even Asian meals.  Plus who can resist that smell?  It brings everyone into the kitchen.

7.  Soy Sauce.  Soy sauce is great for marinades, stir fry, and I even use it in my satay sauce.

8.  Olive Oil.  Most if not all of my recipes start with a base of butter or olive oil.  It’s relatively healthy and can be used to cook meats, to finish salads, or in salad dressings.

9.  Lemons.  Again, I use these in a variety of savory and sweet dishes.  I love the citrus flavor with fish or chicken, and I frequently use the zest in my baked goods.

10.  Balsamic Vinegar or Balsamic Salad DressingPerfect with my favorite tomato and burrata salad or drizzled over roasted veggies.

What are your essential ingredients?