Food Bloggers Recipe Swap: Honey Walnut Shrimp

This post is my second with the Food Bloggers Recipe Swap group and the first of the new year! So, Happy New Year everyone! Can I still say that? Has the shiny new promise of 2017 already lost its luster?

Anywho… By opting in for January, I committed myself to being assigned a blog, finding and recreating a recipe from that blog, and then sharing it with all of you, my dear readers.

I love the posting leniency afforded in this challenge. As long as I get my post completed by the end of the month, life is peachy! I don’t think the assignments are a secret either, and should I choose, I could search through the assignment list and figure out who is digging through my recipe index, but I won’t spoil the surprise. 🙂

This month I was assigned the blog Simply Delish Eats written my Luca. Luca’s story has some similarities as mine in that she lives in California, is from the south, and is proud of her alma mater. She works in the fashion industry – a land I hardly ever delve into. Seriously, I don’t even brush my hair! Not that that means I don’t appreciate good fashion, I simply admire it from afar and from the dreamland of Pinterest.

Luca has some great recipes on her blog and I actually stopped looking when coming face to face (face to bowl?) with her slow cooker queso dip. I immediately added the ingredients to my grocery list and made it for Auburn’s final game of the season. (We won’t talk about the actual game though…) I thought it’d be fun to photograph the dip in the slow cooker so when I reheated the leftovers the next day I did so in the slow cooker. And then I forgot about it. And it burned. And the already unphotogenic melted cheesy goodness was far from being camera ready.

That execution fail (to be clear, the queso was tasty!) was a blessing in disguise because I got the opportunity to make this Honey Walnut Shrimp. I’ve never had the dish at a Chinese restaurant before so I can’t speak to it’s “copy cat” qualities. But I can speak to its deliciousness!

img_5606With some immense luck, Firecracker tried one bite of shrimp! He never gave a clear indication as to if he liked it or not. We gave him a pair of chopsticks to make it more fun, and it kinda sorta worked. Like I said, he tried one bite. And then had a kid’s protein bar for lunch instead. Ah well. Win some, lose some, right?

I made a full pound of shrimp, doubled the walnuts, and kept the sauce amount the same. To be fair, I would have doubled the sauce had I enough mayo/sour cream in my fridge, it’s not like I was trying to cut calories or anything. I only had about a 1/4 C of mayo left in my container so I had to add some sour cream. A perfectly acceptable substitution, I think! One could probably use plain Greek yogurt, too, in a pinch. Good news: I wouldn’t have needed a double recipe of sauce, it was enough to perfectly coat the 1 lb of shrimp.

Luca used a boxed tempura batter. I couldn’t find any at the store, so I simply made my own.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/3 C brown sugar + 1 tbsp brown sugar, divided use
  • 1 C water
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided use
  • 1 1/2 C seltzer
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise (or combination with sour cream)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Steps:

  1. Place walnuts, 1 1/3 C brown sugar, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook 3 minutes. Drain and place walnuts on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  2. Pour oil into a wok or high sided skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and a wooden spoon placed in the oil bubbles.
  3. Make tempura batter: Whisk together flour, cornstarch, 1/2 tsp salt. Stir in seltzer.
  4. Coat shrimp in the tempura batter and then place in the hot oil. Cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. (I did this in 3 batches.)
  5. Make the sauce: Whisk together the mayo, honey, milk, remaining brown sugar and remaining salt until smooth.
  6. Place fried shrimp in a large bowl, gently toss with the walnuts and the sauce. Serve warm over rice. (Shrimp is best served same day.)

*This recipe is modified from Luca at http://www.simplydelisheats.com/recipes/honey-walnut-tempura-shrimp and Food Network Kitchen at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tempura-batter-recipe.html*

Honey Walnut Shrimp for Food Bloggers Recipe Swap from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Shrimp

We’re feeling pretty settled here in California (minus still not having Internet installed – this post comes from my WordPress app on my phone) and we couldn’t be happier with our home’s location. We live across the street from a park that Firecracker loves and the beach! 

We didn’t go to the beach very much when we were living in FL and now that we’ve got the boys we have some serious beach preparations to make before any real trips by the water happen. I want to get a tent so that Treat can stay in the shade and have space to crawl around. 

I can walk most places I need to go and appreciate not getting in the car daily. There are a lot of restaurant options in either direction about a mile away and we’ve enjoyed walking to dinner once a week. 

On one evening outing we found ourselves in a tiny vendors market. We stopped and talked to a man selling specialty balsamic vinegars and olive oils. Stuart took the bait and we tried some flavor combinations. We ended up purchasing a 4 pack including our choices of rosemary olive oil, Meyer lemon olive oil, original balsamic vinegar, and raspberry balsamic vinegar


The Meyer lemon olive oil has gotten a lot of love already. We immediately created a vinaigrette with the Meyer lemon olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar to dress a spinach salad with chorizo, glazed walnuts, caramelized onions, and strawberries. 

I also whipped together a chicken cream pasta dish by sautéing sliced chicken in the oil and butter. Then sautéing some mushrooms, onion, and broccoli in the same skillet. A deglaze with chicken stock and a little bit of cream created a very satisfying pasta dinner in next to no time. 

Our desire though was to use it with shrimp and that’s the simple recipe I’m sharing with you today. 

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb shrimp
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, cut in thirds
  • 4 baby Bella mushrooms, cut in quarters 
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced 
  • 1/4 C Meyer lemon olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp butter, cubed

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. Arrange shrimp and vegetables in the dish, either organize them or mix them up. 
  3. Top with the olive oil and dot with the butter. 
  4. Bake 20 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through. 


Blogger CLUE: Citrus Shrimp

blogger CLUE

After a month of endless desserts and party foods the Blogger CLUE crew and I are on the hunt for healthy foods to bring in the new year.

This month I was tasked with searching through Wendy’s blog, A Day in the Life on the Farm. As her blog name suggests, Wendy lives on a farm where she and her husband are fairly self sufficient. They raise chickens, turkeys, and pigs for meat, have hens for egg laying, and have fruit trees and gardens on their 12 acres of land. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Isn’t retirement supposed to be relaxing?!

I am very familiar with Wendy’s blog as I have worked with her in many events and blogging clubs. Surprisingly though I’ve not actually cooked anything from her recipe box. (She’s ambitiously tackled my Busia’s recipe for pierogi for a Secret Recipe Club post.)

I really wanted to return the favor of celebrating Polish cuisine and make her recipe for beet soup. I was pretty excited about it, too, and I don’t tend to get excited about soup. I went to the grocery store on a Sunday (something I tend to avoid). Kroger was packed! Post-holiday fridge-restocking was on everyone’s mind that afternoon many items were out of stock (I snagged the last carton of organic whole milk!). The missing ingredient that threw me into a tizzy was beets! How was I to make beet soup without beets!? Granted, there were some golden beets that looked pretty sad. I pushed my cart to a corner of the produce section, trying to be as out of the way as possible, and frantically searched through some of the other recipes I’d book marked from Wendy’s blog: between grilled mahi mahi, cranberry chicken, and spicy citrus shrimp, I decided on the shrimp.

This shopping curveball was a huge blessing in disguise. This shrimp dish is incredible! I served it over rice as dinner. It’s a perfect weeknight meal that I will be returning to. I had to swap the mango for pineapple due to allergies and the pineapple was my favorite part. I liked that the fruit wasn’t cooked with the shrimp, it was simply warmed through from the sauce, a perfect compliment to the flavors.

Citrus Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 12-14 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chile paste (I used Gourmet Garden)
  • 1/2 C diced pineapple
  • 1 scallion, sliced

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Pat shrimp dry and toss in the flour. Place in a glass baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, salt, and chili paste. Pour over the shrimp.
  4. Bake shrimp for 7 minutes. Flip the shrimp and bake another 7 minutes.
  5. Add the pineapple and scallions to the shrimp and toss to combine, thickening the sauce.
  6. Serve over rice.

*This recipe is modified from Wendy at http://adayinthelifeonthefarm.blogspot.com/2015/02/triplesbitesspicy-saucy-sexy-bites-for.html*

citrus shrimp for blogger clue from sew you think you can cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

Chipotle Lime Shrimp with Strawberry Salsa

They say you eat with your eyes first.

That must be true because viewing the stunning food photography by Jessica of How Sweet it is caused me to try this intriguing flavor combination: chipotle, strawberry, and black beans.

I admit, I added the black beans – the addition that really had my husband scratching his head. Instead of eating this Mexican Monday meal as tacos, we had tostadas. And tostadas call for refried beans to act as the “glue” that holds the meat and toppings in place. I didn’t think traditional refried beans would really be the way to go with shrimp so I opted for refried black beans. I’m very relieved to inform you that it worked!

I cut some serious heat from the original recipe and I still found it to pack on the spice. Because I freeze my chipotle in adobo in ice cube trays I never know until the cube thaws if I have just sauce, just pepper, or a combination of both. Jessica’s recipe calls for the sauce to be in the marinade – instead I had a pepper which I cut in half and tossed in the bag. This method is a great alternative if you don’t want too much heat but still want that smokey spice from the chipotle peppers. Additionally, I only used half of one (large) jalapeno instead of two whole jalapenos in the strawberry salsa – by all means, if you like it spicy add as much jalapeno as you like!

Chipotle Lime Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, halved
  • 2 limes (zest and juice)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Cook shrimp 2 minutes on each side. I did this on a lightly greased grill pan. If you cook the shrimp in a skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Serve shrimp with strawberry salsa (recipe below) in a taco with lettuce and cheese or as a tostada with refried black beans and cheese.

Strawberry Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried cilantro)
  • juice of 1 lime

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*These recipes are adapted from Jessica at http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/04/chipotle-lime-shrimp-tacos-with-strawberry-salsa-you-can-totally-preorder-my-book/*

Chipotle Lime Shrimp with Strawberry Salsa | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

My 2015 New Year’s Resolution of developing a new recipe every month is batting 100 right now. Sure, month 3 has only just begun, but you can’t get a perfect score if you don’t get the first two. (Or as my Grandpa Ray would say whenever we played cards, “You can’t win ’em all if you don’t win the first two.”)

In February my hand was forced. It was Ash Wednesday and there was a lot of snow on the ground preventing trips to the grocery store earlier in the week. I took stock of what I had in my freezer and pantry and decided to work on my original recipe! I did manage to get to both Ash Wednesday Mass and the grocery store so I could pick up some chow mein noodles to give my original stir fry a little somethin’-somethin’.

11008433_10102770035154211_4726077019926716777_nMy mother-in-law was visiting over the long weekend and thanks to the snow storm (I think it was Octavia?) Tilly got an extra 5 days with her grandson. Because of a bitterly windchill of -25 degrees F I took advantage of the situation and left the little man at home where it was warm. I have to say, as crazy as it sounds, I missed him terribly during Mass.

For Valentine’s Day we had Chocolate Kahlua Fondue for dessert and one of the dippers was pineapple (perfect combination). I used the leftover pineapple in my stir fry. I had cooked frozen shrimp in the freezer – I’ll have shrimp cocktail for lunch – which were also used. I would suggest using raw shrimp in stir fries so the shrimp doesn’t get too rubbery but in a pinch, it’s perfect! I wanted to go for the sweet and spicy combination that makes stir fries so popular so I added some Sriracha. To date I’ve always thought that there’s never enough Sriracha in recipes, so I used a full tablespoon. Being heavy-handed with the popular chili paste provided a great warmth to the dish, the perfect amount to slowly build with each bite. The acidity and sweetness from the pineapple combatted the spiciness quite beautifully.

An Original Recipe

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2″ piece of ginger root, grated
  • 3/4 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 6 oz chow mein noodles, cooked and rinsed according to package directions
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 scallion, sliced

Steps:

  1. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. When hot saute the onions and carrots. When the onions soften add in the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 60 seconds.
  2. Add the shrimp and saute until they turn pink and are completely cooked. Add in the pineapple and cook until warmed through.
  3. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, and Sriracha. Bring to a bubble and toss in the cooked chow mein noodles. Coat noodles in the sauce. Garnish with scallion.

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Shrimp and Grits

Today is Mardi Gras and I am better prepared for it this year! Last year I scrambled to find something festive to post. That ice cream was such a hit I even made it again this year with improved execution even! It’s amazing what a year in the kitchen can do to one’s intuition. As they say, “Practice makes perfect.”

But on to this year:

Instead of looking at doing something festive I decided to do something cultural. New Orleans has the biggest parties for Mardi Gras – celebrating for the entire week! Cajun and Creole cuisine reign supreme in southeast Louisiana. These popular food cultures include favorites such as beignets, gumbo, jambalaya, and po’ boys. I decided on shrimp and grits. There’s a little more work and takes more time than I’d typically do for a weeknight dinner, but the effort was absolutely worth it and the kitchen smelled amazing, too. We absolutely loved this dish and it made for great leftovers, too.

This dish makes 6-8 servings!

Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb shell-on, deveined shrimp
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1/3 C flour
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (6oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp creole seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 C milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C uncooked quick-cook grits

Steps:

  1. Make shrimp broth: Peel shells off the shrimp and put in a pot. Cover with 4 C water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Strain, pressing on the shells. Reserve broth and discard shells.
  2. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly until a light brown. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add in 2 C of the shrimp broth from Step 1. Scrape the bottom of the pan. Add in the Cerole seasoning, bay leaf, lemon juice, and Worcestershire. Reduce heat to low and cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a pot over medium-high heat, bring milk and 2 1/2 C of water, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in the grits. Cook 10-12 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp to the pot and cook about 10 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Add as much of the remaining shrimp broth as needed to reach desired consistency.
  5. Serve shrimp overtop the grits.

*This recipe is adapted from Angela at http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/creole-shrimp-grits*

Shrimp and Grits | Sew You Think You Can Cook

CIC: Lemongrass & Quinoa

CIC-header

I am pretty excited about this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge. While I didn’t vote for either of these ingredients, I’m glad they won. These two ingredients lend themselves towards healthy cooking, perfect for that post-holiday detox. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else made.

I actually found my inspiration during a search of ideas for my new Stir Fry Day Friday theme this year. Lemongrass shrimp. I reserved some of the flavoring mixture to mix into the quinoa. (I wanted to combine the two ingredients, not serve them together.) So if you don’t like or don’t want the shrimp, you can still have a beautiful, flavorful quinoa as a side to your protein of choice. You could even substitute chicken and keep the lemongrass flavor elements.

Lemongrass Shrimp with Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 C uncooked quinoa
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • zest 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp grated ginger
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste, to taste
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

Steps:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package direction. (General rule of thumb is 1 C quinoa:2 C liquid)
  2. In a small bowl combine lemongrass, lime zest, garlic, ginger, and chili paste. Set aside 1/3 of the mixture for the quinoa.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook shrimp 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Stir in 2/3 of the lemongrass mixture and cook one minute. Toss in the fish sauce.
  4. Mix the remaining lemongrass mixture into the cooked quinoa.
  5. Serve shimp overtop the quinoa.

*The shrimp recipe is adapted from Adam at http://unorthodoxepicure.com/2014/10/02/food-snob-chronicles-shrimp-the-real-chicken-of-the-sea-2/*

Lemongrass Shrimp | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.