Karli’s Shrimp Marinade

My good friend Karli Freeman is a fellow foodie, Facebook enthusiast, and beef aficionado. Here’s a recipe she created for shrimp “and the kitchen sink…”

From Karli:

This all cooked up really quickly, using only ingredients I had in my house. I keep frozen shrimp in the freezer for quick pastas, etc. I also LOVE those tubes of lemongrass and red pepper paste because I can’t use up a whole bundle of fresh stuff, but these tubes store in the fridge for a while!

As a side note, I’m doing Weight Watchers and this meal totally fit on the plan. Shrimp is very healthy and by only adding a little olive oil, butter and skim milk, the overall meal was pretty healthy (and super filling!)

I don’t really do exact measurements (what fun is that??), so I’ll just guess below.

Thawed, raw shrimp (peeled, de-veined)

Marinade:

Lemongrass paste (I can find this in a tube near the fresh herbs), maybe 1 Tbsp

Red Chili Pepper paste (found in the same area) 1 Tbsp

Lemon Juice 2 Tbsp

Garlic Pepper—quite a bit—I like the look of the pepper flecks on the shrimp

Olive Oil, maybe 1 Tbsp

Coarse Salt, sparingly

Ground Ginger, maybe 1 tsp

Ground Cumin, maybe 2 tsp

Chalula Hot Sauce, a few dashes

The marinade shouldn’t be runny, more like a paste that coats each shrimp, adjust the liquid ingredients accordingly. I marinated them for about 20 minutes. I’m sure they would have been even better had I not been starving (thereby rushing them).

To cook the shrimp, I’m sure you could skewer them and grill them, but I just sautéed them in a med-hot pan.  The olive oil from the marinade made it so that I didn’t need to oil the pan first.

I also made some quick-cooking polenta and mixed in a little bit of butter, skim milk, cheese (Mexican blend) and chopped green chilies. I served the shrimp on top of the polenta and had a side of black beans with lime juice and jalapenos. It was a nice spicy dish, but it wasn’t overly hot. You could adjust the amount of red chili paste and chalula to tone it down a bit.

It went well with a light Rose I already had open.

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“One-Pot” Salad

When looks don’t matter, I make “one-pot” salad with Tupperware or the generic Ikea plastic container set I picked up for $5 back in September. All-in-one, I combine lettuce (straight after washing is okay – use the lid to drain excess water) and desired ingredients with dressing, place lid on tightly and shake it… like a Polaroid picture! Divide among plates or bowls, and serve.

Salad

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Fat Tuesday Dinner with David – Feb. 24, 2009

In honor of Fat Tuesday and my memories of New Orleans eating, I made a super quick version of red beans & rice. To spice up the classically Cajun dish – without actual spices (we’re a heartburn house) – I combined rice, beans, corn and Aidells Chicken Apple sausage.

Preparation couldn’t have been easier; rice from the rice cooker, frozen corn in the microwave, and organic red beans from a can. Just heat the sausage in a saute pan until warm throughout (about 10-12 min.), add the beans and turn the heat down to medium-low for about 5 minutes until heated. Combine with corn and rice, and serve.

I recommend seasoning with butter, salt, and pepper; but David had his with a little yellow mustard.

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Dinner with David (and Ashley) – Feb. 22, 2009

Given my earlier concerns about what to make on a rainy Oscar night, I decided to go for something slow and steady. Thanks to the Big Oven iPhone app, I found an apparently Bolognese cooking technique to braise pork tenderloin with milk and other household ingredients. I ended up finding this recipe for Milk-Braised Pork from “The Unemployed Cook.” I made a few modifications – so here are my notes below:

  • I used 1% milk instead of 2% – other recipes call for whole milk (and other cuts of pork, for that matter).
  • Don’t turn the heat down too quickly after you cover the browned meat with milk. I lost the boil and had to turn the heat back up to get it to simmer, which resulted in a mess of a stovetop!
  • The first time I boiled the milk down it seemed to take a lot longer than a half hour (suggest medium-high).
  • Pour the sauce over the meat – and mix in a cup’s worth in mashed potatoes, like I did!

The meat was incredibly tender, and delicious with creamy mashed potatoes.

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Raiding My Fridge

It’s a rainy Sunday and the Oscar red carpet pre-show begins around 3 p.m. How can I avoid leaving the house while still cooking up something decent for dinner? My fridge contains lettuce, tomatoes, eggs, chicken apple sausage, and a variety of condiments and cheeses. Oh, and there are potatoes, sourdough bread, and olive oil in the pantry…

The pork tenderloin that’s been sitting in my freezer for five months is another (questionable) option. I found this helpful guide from Real Simple that told me it’s still safe to eat.

Tonight’s menu TBD, but will likely involve pork.

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Ghosts of Dinners Past

My go-to dinner and multi-night meal when the going gets tough:

1. Burritos with ground turkey (night 1), taco salad (night 2)

Quick and simple: brown a package of ground turkey, add 1 taco seasoning packet (or diced onions for lighter flavor) and water, simmer. Then heat tortillas with wet paper towels, or taco shells, in microwave until pliable (2 minutes). Fill with favorite toppings: shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, black beans, etc.

On the second night, use the leftover meat to make a delicious taco salad with same ingredients, plus salsa or ranch dressing.

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Cheese, Vermont-style

I’m shameless when it comes to cheese (more on that, here). I’ve been obsessed with macaroni and cheese for as long as I can remember. So I was pleasantly surprised when my coworker Martha brought me two slabs of Cabot Cheddar from Vermont. Sharp enough for snacking throughout a busy work day! And I’m sure that cheddar will turn into dinner (or at least an appetizer) for David.

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Dinner with David – Feb. 19, 2009

I love to cook, but I don’t have a lot of time to plan out my menus (especially during the week). The purpose of this blog is to recap what I throw together on busy weeknights or lax weekends, so I can inspire others and archive my successes.

My debut dinner recipe: Leftover egg noodles (a well-spent $4 from The Pasta Shop, sold at San Francisco’s Ferry Building Farmer’s Market) with sauteed bell peppers (added Wednesday night!) and ground turkey meatballs (added tonight, see below).

I first learned how to make homemade meatballs from Everyday Food and it’s really pretty simple once you learn the principles (ground turkey or beef, bread crumbs, egg). For tonight, I combined:

1 package Foster Farms Ground Turkey – Lean

1 Thomas English Muffin, crumbled by hand

1 egg

Salt and pepper, to taste

Topped with:

2 tablespoons, Capellino Pesto Pine Nut Sauce

After combining the first four ingredients in a bowl by hand, I shaped 1-inch meatballs and put them in a pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. It took about 10-15 minutes of flipping the meatballs until browned throughout, then I mixed them in with the leftover pasta, plus pesto sauce. The result was delicious!

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