Monday, September 26, 2011

Luscious Southwestern Baked Shrimp

Have you ever been haunted by a recipe that you couldn't locate?
Oh, the heartbreak!
I had a pound of shrimp yearning to be prepared like my friends K&J's favorite shrimp, but I couldn't remember their recipe.

I had some extra limes on hand, as well as a half-bunch of cilantro, so I went to work creating a version that was simply luscious in it's own right. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Luscious Southwestern Baked Shrimp
1# large shrimp, peeled
juice of one lime
1/4c olive oil
1 chopped tomato
2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
3/4 t. salt, ground pepper
1/2 t. Old Bay Shrimp Seasoning (or your favorite southwest or cajun seasoning)

Simply mix all ingredients together and let marinade 15 minutes.
Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees in a 9" x 13" glass dish.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Serve over brown rice, pasta or julienned and sauteed zuccini, making sure to drizzle with the juices.

P.S. I found the recipe. . .

K&J's Shrimp Recipe
1# large shrimp, peeled
2-3 T. chile oil
2-3 T. olive oil
2-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
a handful of your favorite cheese -- feta, gruyere, or chevre

Simply mix all ingredients together and let marinade 15 minutes.
Bake 5 minutes at 450 degrees on a cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with cheese, and return to oven for 3 minutes to melt cheese and meld flavors.

Serve over brown rice, pasta or julienned and sauteed zuccini, and enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cindy's Cashew Cheese

Deprivation is the mother of culinary invention.
I'll admit, I am prone to pout on occasion when I feel deprived over my inability to tolerate gluten or dairy. But, as this basic cashew cheese recipe has developed, I've learned to love its versatility, taste and creamy texture. It's a delicious indulgence!

Create a batch of this delicious, ricotta-textured "cheese" to use on pizzas, in lasagnas, as a base for a dip, or to mix with a marinara or pesto sauce for a dreamy, creamy sauce. Freeze most the recipe in 1/2 cup containers to pull out as you crave.

Cindy's Cashew Cheese
3c. raw cashews, soaked in water overnight in the refrigerator
3/4 c. water
4 teaspoons dry sherry
7 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Soak the cashews in a large bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight.
Rinse and drain the cashews.

Combine all ingredients in blender (the Vitamix blender works best, but a regular blender will do). To begin, mix at a low speed, then increase to the highest speed setting, and mix for about 3 minutes until you have a consistent, creamy texture.

You may use a food processor, but you will have a more textural, granular "cheese".

Add less water (1/2 c.) for a thicker, cream cheese-like texture. Add more water (1 c.) for a creamier dip.

The "cheese" will thicken as it sits overnight. If you wish to freeze portions for later, place the containers in the freezer the next day.


Monday, September 12, 2011

(Not) Aunt Pauline's Bean Salad Recipe

My Great Aunt Pauline was a wonderful cook, poet, and craftswoman. Her bean salad recipe often accompanied many of our church potlucks growing up.

As I felt autumn approach this week, I craved the sweet-tart flavor of her recipe, but wanted to use some of our garden kale and green beans, without so many canned products and with less sugar. I think my Great Aunt Pauline would have approved -- my family sure did.

(Not) Aunt Pauline's Bean Salad Recipe
1 can navy beans
1 large bunch kale (or greens from 6 beets)
Two large handfulls of green beans (about 1 pound)
Half of a small red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 c. sugar (or less, to taste)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Wash and drain navy beans. 
Cut the tough spine from the kale (put it in your compost bin) and slice leaves thinly.
Steam beans until crisp-tender (about 5 minutes), and cut into 1" pieces.
Combine last 6 ingredients and pour over bean, kale and onion mixture. 
Toss well and refrigerate.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Garden Beet Salad

One of the best things about our summer garden are the rows and rows of glorious beets! I'm the only one in my family to be this passionate about the ruby roots, so I often enjoy this entire recipe myself, and enjoy the summer bounty for days.

Garden Beet Salad
6 medium beets (scrubbed, with 1" of stems attached, skin and tap root still on)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon agave syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

Wrap beets in foil, place on a cookie sheet, and roast beets in a 400 degree oven for an hour, or until tender. I like to drizzle them with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme before sealing their foil pouch.

When cool enough to handle, slice off root and stem ends, slip the skins off, slice in quarters, then into 1/8" slices. Toss beet slices with remaining ingredients.


If you can tolerate dairy, this recipe is fabulous with a sprinkle of chevre cheese.