Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

This is a thick and creamy chowder without all the added fat that chowders are usually prepared with.  Using a combination of chicken broth and low-fat milk lowers calories, and blending part of the soup helps thicken it.

Great flavor is achieved by sautéing lots of celery and onion in a small amount of butter till softened, then adding the flour and cooking to incorporate it.  Add the corn, diced potato, chicken broth and seasonings and cook until potatoes are tender.  Then about 1/3 of this mixture is blended in a blender and returned to the soup kettle along with the milk and shrimp.

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To make this a gluten-free meal, omit the flour.  The soup may be a tiny bit less thick, but still deliciously seasoned and filling.  This makes four generous servings with calorie count only 394/serving, and fat at 8g.

We love this soup, and summertime is the perfect time to make it with summer corn at it’s sweetest.  However I made it recently because I ended up with an opened package of frozen corn to use up.  Mr. D. suggested I make corn chowder, so that’s the back story of why I made it now.  Although frozen corn is not ideal, it still gave thickness and corn flavor that was satisfying.

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At serving time I added some chopped green onion, (green parts only) and chopped celery leaves for garnish.  A salty cheese would also be good sprinkled on top such as queso fresco, cojita or feta.  This will add calories and fat so be mindful of that if you are counting calories.

SHRIMP AND CORN CHOWDER

Yield:   Makes 4 servingsIMG_9182

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 3 medium or 4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepperIMG_9184
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch scallions, green parts only, chopped
  • celery leaves, chopped

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Directions:

1.  Melt the butter in a soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in the celery and onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften.

2.  Stir in the corn and potatoes, then stir in the flour until incorporated.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, thyme and bay leaves, plus 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook until potatoes test done.

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3. Remove bay leaves;  transfer about 1/3 of this mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.

 

IMG_9187 Return to a simmer, add the milk, and shrimp.  Reduce heat to low, and cook until shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes.  Season with additional salt if needed.  Soup may be thinned with additional chicken broth if it’s too thick.

4.  Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped scallions and celery leaves.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

 

SOURCE:  a major adaptation of a recipe from Cooking Light

 

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Spiced Shrimp with Peach Salsa

Spiced Shrimp with Peach Salsa

Spiced Shrimp with Peach Salsa

Back in the spring our church had a goods and services auction as a fund raiser.  A friend and I got together and offered a catered dinner for up to 6 people.   Two couples teamed up and bid on it, winning the bid.  The date chosen for the dinner was this past weekend.   We had a lot of fun planning the menu, shopping, cooking and then serving the meal.   This was so rewarding, and a great way to help out our church.

The menu we served consisted of several dishes that I have already featured here on the blog with the exception of this shrimp appetizer.  The recipe for it follows below.  The full menu was as follows:

Appetizers

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Garlic- Herb  Cucumber Bites

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Spiced Shrimp with Peach Salsa

Salad

Baby Greens with fresh pears, grapes and pistachios

and honey-balsamic dressing

warm rolls and herb dipping oil

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Entree

Greek Style Chicken Breasts with Herb Rice Pilaf

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Desserts

Jamocha Silk Pie

with whipped cream topping

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Fresh Pear Galette

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SPICED SHRIMP WITH PEACH SALSA

Yield:  Serves 8

Ingredients:

     Peach salsa:

  • 3  1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled peaches   (nectarines may be used, but don’t bother peeling them)IMG_8033
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

 

Shrimp:IMG_8037

  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1  1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

1.  To prepare salsa,  place all the salsa ingredients in a food processor, pulse 8 times.  Set aside.   If the bowl of your processor does not hold all the ingredients, divide in half and process in two batches,  adding the lime juice and salt to the combined batches at the end.

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2.  To prepare shrimp, combine salt, sugar, cumin, chili powder, pepper, and shrimp in a large bowl or zip-lock bag.  Toss gently to coat.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp mixture; sauté  4 minutes or until shrimp are done.  Serve with peach salsa.

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SOURCE:    A Carolyn Original

Shrimp-Mango Stir-Fry

Shrimp-Mango Stir-Fry

Shrimp-Mango Stir-Fry

Every time I make an Asian-inspired meal from Cooking Light, I wonder if this will be the one that’s a bit off, the one that doesn’t quite come together.  And without fail we sit down to something fabulous, in a way I hadn’t ever considered before.   By now I should know better, the folks who design recipes at Cooking Light magazine seem to always get it right.

This one was no different.  It looks like a very simple shrimp stir-fry with noodles, and it is really, but mango?  with shrimp?  Yes, yes, and yes!  Add some sliced peppers and onion, plus ginger and I find it hard to describe the complexity and absolute deliciousness of this dish.  I swear it’s the ginger that brings it all together, so please don’t leave it out.

Shrimp-ly Delicious!

Shrimp-ly Delicious!

This recipe is meant to serve four, but two of us ate it all, with no regrets.  It’s that good!!

The other good thing about it is that it can be made quickly like most other stir-frys.  Slice, chop, measure and mix all the ingredients in advance and once you turn on the burner, cooking commences and it’s done in a flash.

SHRIMP-MANGO STIR-FRY

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces uncooked rice noodles, or soba noodles

    A diverse mix of ingredients!

    A diverse mix of ingredients!

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup cubed peeled ripe mango
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Slice, chop, measure and mix before starting to cook.

Slice, chop, measure and mix before starting to cook.

Directions:

1.  Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Drain.

2.  Combine 3 tablespoons water and next 4 ingredients (through cornstarch) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Set aside.

3.  Combine red pepper, black pepper, and shrimp in a medium bowl; toss to coat.

4.  Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat.  Add  1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add shrimp mixture; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are almost done, turning once.  Remove shrimp mixture from pan.IMG_7695

5.  Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion, bell  pepper, and ginger; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Return shrimp mixture and juice mixture to pan.

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Add mango; cook 1 minute or until liquid thickens slightly and shrimp are done.

Add mango last.

Add mango last.

 

Sprinkle with basil.  Serve over noodles.  (I mixed mine right in with the shrimp mixture.)

Sprinkle torn basil on top.

Sprinkle torn basil on top.

 

I can't believe we ate the whole thing!!

I can’t believe we ate the whole thing!!

 

SOURCE:  Cooking Light Magazine

Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Chop, Chop, Chopped!   This is not about the T.V. show Chopped, but about a salad.  Where salads are concerned, “chopped” is the new buzz-word.

“Tossed” is the word most often associated with putting a great salad together.  A very enjoyable jumble of greens and vegetables comes out of this technique.  Then there’s the “composed” salad, a thoughtful work of art; leaves placed just so on the plate form a base, with slivers of vegetables, fruits, nuts and other delightful ingredients carefully arranged over them, with the dressing drizzled on like splatters of paint.

But the “chopped” salad is perhaps the most satisfying creation that can come out of a salad bowl.  All it takes is a sharp knife and you can cut lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, avocado, chicken, shrimp—anything you want—into a mixture of delectable morsels.  Coat it all with dressing and the whole thing becomes infused with flavor.  When you take a bite, the full impact of a chopped salad hits you:   each forkful has a snippet of all the ingredients.  You get the perfect bite every time.

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So get out your knife and cutting board for this crazy-good summer salad that features two favorites;  shrimp and avocado.  Healthy fats (avocado) and protein (shrimp) insures that you will be satisfied and all for less than 400 calories / serving.

The shrimp can be cooked outdoors on the grill, for an added smoky flavor that plays well with the bacon.  To me, this is the perfect meal to eat outside on the deck on a warm summer evening.  If calories are not a concern, you might want to add a warm crunchy roll or rustic bread with this salad.

 

SHRIMP AND AVOCADO CHOPPED SALAD

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill ( or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed)
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Puree the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Set aside while you prepare the salad.

Shrimp and Salad:IMG_7488

  • 1 pound raw shrimp ( 21 – 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup assorted cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 slices crispy cooked bacon, diced

1.  Preheat grill to medium or heat a grill pan over medium heat.

2.  Toss shrimp with 2 teaspoons oil, lime zest, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

3.  Grill the shrimp, turning once, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes, total.  Transfer to a cutting board.  Chop the shrimp into bite-size pieces.

4.  Combine lettuce, cabbage, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, avocado and bacon in a large bowl.  Add the shrimp and dressing;  toss to coat.  Season with pepper to taste.

Each serving is about 2  1/2 cups,  398 calories.

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SOURCE:   Eating Well

 

 

 

Shrimp Tacos with Corn and Avocado Salsa

Shrimp tacos with corn and avocado salsa.

Shrimp tacos with corn and avocado salsa.

Continuing with my meal solutions for an extremely busy week,  this is another meal that goes together quickly, can be made in parts, and supplies a lot of good quality nutrients —–

Tacos made with shrimp and a tasty corn and avocado salsa make a light and easy meal.  The shrimp are sautéed with garlic, cumin and coriander, and the salsa, made with corn, chopped tomato, red onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, avocado and lime, provides the perfect combination of flavors to compliment the shrimp.  Fresh corn is preferred, but frozen corn will work in a pinch.  You can also make your own taco corn tortillas, as described in the recipe notes, or use “store bought” ones.

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SHRIMP TACOS WITH CORN AND AVOCADO SALSA

Yield:   Makes 8 tacos,  ( 4 – 6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removedIMG_5212
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
  • 8 taco shells  ( or 6-inch corn tortillas–see notes, below)
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, or finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese

For the Salsa:

  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed, about 1 cup
  • 1 large, ripe tomato, seeded and chopped,  about 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

1.  Place the shrimp in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, garlic, cumin, coriander and Old Bay Seasoning.  Set aside.

2.  Combine the corn, tomato, red onion, jalapeño, lime juice and cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the avocado, taste and season again.  Set aside.   This can be made in advance and refrigerated until meal time.

Note:  If your corn is very fresh and tender,  you can use the kernels raw.  If not, place them in a shallow dish, cover and microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high.  If using frozen corn, be sure to thaw and blot away any excess moisture with a paper towel before adding to the salsa.

3.  Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp and sauté until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes.

To serve, spoon a portion of the corn salsa into the bottom of each taco shell.  Top with shrimp and a sprinkling of cheese.

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How to Make Your Own Taco Shells

Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Lightly brush or spray both sides of the 6-inch tortillas with vegetable oil.  Turn a 12 cup muffin pan upside down, fold the tortillas in half and position them between the muffin cups to support the sides in a taco shape.  Bake until crisp, 8 – 10 minutes.

SOURCE:   MyGourmetConnection.com

Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Shrimp and broccoli stir-fry.

Shrimp and broccoli stir-fry.

I really like to make stir-fries for several reasons:  they’re quick to cook, and they can be very nutritious with all the vegetables  you can add in to them.  Also they are a way to use up small amounts of ingredients you may have on hand, and you can vary the protein component every time you make it.

This week I made a stir-fry of predominantly broccoli and shrimp which are a popular duo.  But I also added scallions and carrots, all in a soy sauce base to round out this low-fat recipe.  Served over brown rice, it was quick, colorful, nutritious, and delicious, not to mention economical.   You can’t ask for better than that,  in my opinion.

STIR-FRIED SHRIMP AND BROCCOLI

Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients:

Not many ingredients.

Not many ingredients.

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar or 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1  tsp. sugar, or 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup thinly bias-sliced carrot
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice, preferably, brown rice
  • 1/4 cup cashews or sliced almonds, optional

Directions:

1.  Thaw shrimp if frozen.  Peel and devein shrimp  Pat dry with paper towels.  Set aside.

2.  In a small bowl combine water, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, and sugar; set aside

3.  Heat oil in a wok or a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir garlic in hot oil for 15 seconds.  Add broccoli, carrot and scallions.  Cook and stir for 3 minutes.  Remove vegetables  from pan with a slotted spoon.

Lightly cook the broccoli and carrots and set aside.

Lightly cook the broccoli and carrots and set aside.

4.  Stir soy sauce mixture.  Add to skillet; cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Add shrimp; cook about 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque.

Precook the shrimp and scallions and set aside.

Precook the shrimp and scallions and set aside.

Return vegetables to skillet; heat through.

Add everything back into the skillet or wok.

Add everything back into the skillet or wok.

Serve with rice and sprinkle with cashews or almonds, if using.

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Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

Here in the Northeast where I live, grits are not a regular staple of our diet, but when I travel South I always make it a point of having some, because I have grown to like them as a breakfast item with a little syrup and butter on them.  Serving them as part of my main meal is new to me.  However, since I had visitors from North Carolina, I decided to try to cook them a “real Southern meal”, and I had come across this recipe for grits served with nicely seasoned shrimp in a gravy to spoon over them.  Let me tell you right at the start that this was a big success, so I am very happy that I was adventurous enough to try this recipe.

Shrimp in gravy in a serving bowl.

Shrimp in gravy

In the detailed recipe below, I caution you not to use quick or instant grits.  They become very bland, and the texture is suspiciously like cream of wheat cereal–in my mind this is not a good thing!!!   The grits you want to use are stone ground.  They have a lot of texture and that makes all the difference.   The other key to success is to season the shrimp liberally with Old Bay and hot sauce, so they are very spicy.  If this is a problem for anyone ( me, for instance),  go light on the hot sauce, and serve more on the side for those who want to add more.  Although this was my first time making this dish, I know for sure it won’t be the last.  My guests and Mr. D. really liked it, and so did I.

Although I haven’t done this yet, I plan to use up the left over grits for breakfast, rewarmed in a skillet with a little butter to crisp up the edges.  Then serve with a fried or poached egg on top and some nice smoky bacon. OOOOOW, can’t wait for breakfast.  😀

SHRIMP AND GRITS

Yield:   4 servings

Season the shrimp with Old Bay, lemon juice and hot sauce. (pretend you see it.)

Season the shrimp with Old Bay, lemon juice and hot sauce. (pretend you see it.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. raw medium-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 1/2  cups coarse ground corn grits (such as Bob’s Red Mill)  Note: do not use quick grits, they become too pasty.
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large, or 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • black pepper, to taste

    Ingredients for the grits.

    Ingredients for the grits.

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 can ( 14 oz.) creamed corn
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, combine shrimp, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, and a few shakes of hot sauce (to your taste).  Let sit for a few minutes while you start the grits.

2.  Bring the 6 cups salted water to a rolling boil.  Gradually stir in the grits making sure they are well incorporated.  Reduce heat to very low, and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent sticking.  When they are thickened, turn off heat, cover and keep warm.

3.  Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bacon and cook until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towel to drain.

Cook bacon pieces till crisp.

Cook bacon pieces till crisp.

4.  In the drippings in the skillet, cook chopped onion over medium heat.  When onions become soft, add minced garlic, and cook till softened, about 1 minute more.

5.  Add shrimp and all its seasonings and cook about 3 minutes, turning until all are pink.  Remove contents of skillet to a bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving behind any liquid.

6.  Make gravy:  Stir scallions and 2 Tbsp. flour into skillet, stirring to make a paste,

Add flour to pan drippiongs

Add flour to pan drippiongs

slowly add the chicken stock, 1/2 tsp. salt and a little black pepper.  Cook and stir until this is slightly thickened.

Add chicken broth, bacon and scallions.

Add chicken broth, bacon and scallions.

Add the shrimp and bacon pieces back into this mixture,  keep over low heat just to warm through.

7.  Finish grits:  Stir butter,  cheddar cheese and creamed corn into warm grits. Stir to incorporate.  Return to heat if they need to be rewarmed a bit.

Shrimp in gravy in a serving bowl.

Shrimp in gravy in a serving bowl.

This is how I served my grits.

This is how I served my grits.

I served my shrimp and grits with green beans and a salad.

I completed this meal with green beans and a salad.

To serve:  Pour grits onto a platter or individual bowls.  Top with shrimp mixture.  Serve with additional hot sauce on the side.

SOURCE:  Southern Living Magazine

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Grilled Cilantro-Lime Shrimp

Grilled Cilantro-Lime Shrimp

Ever since making the salmon kebabs a few weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about adapting that recipe idea and using shrimp in place of the salmon.  Grilled shrimp on skewers seasoned with cumin and garlic, and finished with lime juice instead of the lemon.  I loved the look of the kebabs with the slices of lemon separating the chunks of salmon, so why not use lime slices with shrimp.

We loved this recipe with the shrimp.  Since I was using my grill to cook something else, while it was on I also cooked the shrimp, with plans for using them cold in a salad another day.  These would also be great served hot with a rice pilaf, and a big green salad.

These are nice served over a crisp green salad.

These are nice served over a crisp green salad.

CILANTRO LIME SHRIMP

Yield:   4 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 large, raw shrimp,  peeled and deveined
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2  tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water, 1 hour
  • 1 or 2 limes thinly sliced

Directions:

1.  Heat the grill to medium heat and rub the grates with a paper towel sprayed with olive oil spray.   Season the shrimp with garlic, cumin, salt and half the cilantro in a medium bowl.

2.  Beginning and ending with shrimp, thread the shrimp and folded lime slices onto 4 pairs of parallel skewers to make a total of 4 kebabs.

Thread shrimp on double skewers, separating each one with a lime slice.

Thread shrimp on double skewers, separating each one with a lime slice.

3.  Grill the shrimp, turning occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout, about 1 – 2 minutes on each side.  Top with remaining cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice before serving.

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SOURCE:   adapted from Bon Appetit

Shrimp Taco Dip

If you’re getting the idea that I made a lot of appetizers recently, you’d be right.  The holiday weekend brought with it invitations to two cookouts and when that happens I like to volunteer the same kinds of dishes to both events.  So it was appetizers and desserts that I brought to each cookout.

Shrimp Taco Dip with Tortilla Chips.

Shrimp Taco Dip with Tortilla Chips.

This particular appetizer was one that I found in a new cookbook that I got when I was on vacation last fall.  It fuses the flavors of a shrimp cocktail with a taco dip.  I must say that it turned out to be very popular and it disappeared quite quickly. I find that when I bring a dish to a gathering, I either forget to take a picture of it, or when I do remember it has already been half eaten, which is the case here.  So please forgive the lack of a decent photograph of this yummy dip that I served with reduced-fat baked tortilla chips. All the ingredients in the dip are on the low end of the calorie/fat scale so that I could enjoy  having some  along with everyone else.

Over half gone by the time I got to take this picture!

Over half gone by the time I got to take this picture!

I would also like to tell you about this cookbook that I found in a little gift shop when I was in North Carolina last fall.  It is one of a series whose titles all begin with the words, “Any Bitch can —”  with Bitch being an anachronym for Babe in Total Control of Herself  My book is called “Any Bitch can lose it”.  That is meant in a good way!

SHRIMP TACO DIP

Yield:   about 2 cups

Just a few ingredients go into this delicious dip.

Just a few ingredients go into this delicious dip.

Ingredients:

  • 8 – oz. less-fat cream cheese
  • 2 T. skim milk
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 2 T. Taco seasoning
  • 1  (4 – oz.) can tiny shrimp, drained, rinsed
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

1.  Mix the cream cheese and milk in a mixing bowl until smooth.  Stir in the chili sauce and taco seasoning, and combine well.

2.  Add in the shrimp, scallions, green pepper and cheese.  Stir to incorporate evenly.  Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

3.  Spoon into a serving bowl and surround with reduced-fat tortilla chips.

Shrimp Taco Dip with Tortilla Chips.

Shrimp Taco Dip with Tortilla Chips.

SOURCE:   Any Bitch can Lose it.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai with Shrimp

Pad Thai with Shrimp

Recently I was in the mood for some Thai cooking so I decided to make this dish that I had seen made on the Food Network;  Sandra Lee’s Money Saving Meals.  It is extremely easy to make and quite tasty, coming very close in flavor to what I have eaten at a Thai restaurant located near us.  It is the kind of recipe that is very flexible, leaving you lots of room for additions and substitutions.  For example instead of the shrimp you could use chicken or tofu,  add green peas for some additional vegetables and color,  use thin spaghetti instead of rice noodles, and add peanut butter to the sauce if you like more peanut flavor or leave it out completely.  The spice level can also be adjusted by using more or less chile sauce.

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This meal could be completely vegetarian by using tofu, and vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth called for.  Although the recipe’s yield is for  four servings, my husband and I ate all of it at one sitting.  It was so good, in fact, we devoured it.  I really like this recipe for its versatility and I am sure I will be making it again.

Recipe:   PAD THAI

Yield:   4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  (8-ounce) package rice noodles

    Having everything prepped in advance means this dish goes together in a snap.

    Having everything prepped in advance means this dish goes together in a snap. (Pretend you see 2 eggs here!)

  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chile sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 scallions,  thinly sliced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped, for garnish ( I did not use these.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and turn off the heat.  Add the rice noodles and let them soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain.

2.  In a wok or large saute pan, over high heat, add 1 Tablespoon oil.  When it is hot, add the eggs and cook until they are firm.  Remove them from the pan and let them cool a bit.  Roughly chop them and set aside.

3.  in the same pan, add the shrimp and sauté just until pink and cooked through. Set aide with the egg.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, chile sauce, lime juice, garlic, and broth.  Set aside.

4.  Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil to the pan along with the carrots, scallions, and bean sprouts and stir fry 1 minute.

Stir fry vegetables, then add noodles, shrimp and egg.

Stir frying the vegetables.

Add the reserved eggs, shrimp, noodles and sauce, stirring to coat everything completely.

Add noodles, shrimp and egg.

Add noodles, shrimp, eggs, and sauce.

Cook for another minute or so to warm everything through.  Serve garnished with peanuts and cilantro.

 A delicious and very enjoyable meal.

A delicious and very enjoyable meal.

SOURCE:   Sanda Lee’s  Thrifty Thai,  Food Network