Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grilled Coconut Curry Shrimp

Summer is flying by, faster than it ever has, I think. I have a huge backload of recipes to be entered into MasterCook, and photos to be attached to the recipes, then posted here but I just cannot find the time. So, until I do, I will have to be content with popping in here as often as I can and posting some quick, simple summertime recipes.

It is a rainy morning and, as I anticipate being able to pull weeds easily when I am able, it's nice to sit inside and write.

I was on a forum yesterday afternoon and one of the threads was about a coconut and curry grilled chicken recipe that received some great reviews. Because I do not have ready access to that particular magazine, I took the idea and played with the ingredients. I used shrimp instead of chicken and the result was delicious. Tender, grilled shrimp (marinated in coconut milk, lime, and green curry paste) served over coconut-infused whole wheat couscous. I also skewered and grilled some red and green bell pepper and red onion to serve on the side. The curry paste gave it heat, about to my tolerance level (although Jack said that it could have been spicer), and all of the exotic flavors just made this one of my new-favorite summer recipes.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Grilled Coconut Curry Shrimp

Recipe By: Vicci
Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

4 ounces light coconut milk
1 large garlic clove -- crushed
1 small lime -- juiced and zested
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon green curry paste
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
12 ounces large shrimp -- peeled and deveined

4 ounces light coconut milk
4 ounces water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup couscous

1 tablespoon chopped Thai basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Mix coconut milk through ground pepper in a covered plastic container. Add the shrimp and marinate for 1-2 hours.

Prepare grill.

Boil water, coconut milk, and salt. Stir in coconut extract, then couscous, stir once more, cover, and steam for 5 minutes.

Thread shrimp on skewers (reserve marinade), spray with cooking spray, and grill for about 3 minutes per side, or until firm and opaque.

While shrimp cooks, place marinade (should be about 1/3 - 1/2 cup) into a glass measuring cup. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch and microwave at full power for about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, stirring every 15 seconds or so, until thickened. Add a few drops of coconut extract, if desired. Set aside.

Divide couscous between two plates, place shrimp on top (remove from skewers), drizzle sauce over, sprinkle with basil and cilantro.

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Per serving: 429 Calories (kcal); 9g Total Fat (4g Saturated); (19% calories from fat); 42g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 259mg Cholesterol; 525mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grilled Ouzo Shrimp

I’m a grillin’ fiend these days. The weather is warm and I have been using the stove as little as possible lately.

One of the recipes that I have tried recently which has been transferred into my “must repeat” file for this summer is Grilled Ouzo Shrimp, found in Cuisine at Home magazine.

Because I didn’t have ouzo, I used Sambucca (an anise liquor). I bought this, oh, maybe 20 years ago and over the years have slowly used it for one thing or another. When I was getting the recipe ingredients together I was happy to note that there was only just enough liquor to make the marinade. After it was gone, I would have some more room in the cabinet. I didn’t realize how much we would like this shrimp recipe and, as a result, I now have to buy more.

Easy, easy, easy prep—mix a few ingredients together (only two require any work, and that’s mincing garlic and thyme), add the shrimp, marinate for a half hour, skewer, and grill. These turned out to be absolutely delicious, tender with a pleasantly sweetish flavor that we both enjoyed very much.

I didn’t have cherry tomatoes, and used small tomatoes which I halved and skewered separately. As a side, I made an orzo, vegetable, and feta salad which complimented the shrimp perfectly. Again, this will definitely be a repeater this summer!

Grilled Ouzo Shrimp

Don’t marinate the shrimp longer than 30 minutes. The citrus juice in the marinade will literally cook the shrimp, making them rubbery.
Makes 10 skewers.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup ouzo or anise liqueur
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 lbs. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cherry tomatoes (Note: Be sure the tomatoes aren’t larger than the shrimp. Otherwise, the shrimp won’t come in contact with the grill.)

Whisk together oil, ouzo, honey, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, and thyme in a bowl.

Add shrimp, cover and marinate 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Thread shrimp and tomatoes onto skewers; grill until shrimp are cook through, about 15 minutes.

Cuisine at Home Issue 75

Monday, July 6, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Dip

I love making dips and spreads which can be quickly put together, chilled in the cooler for a while, and easily taken on the boat as a healthy snack.

This black bean dip absolutely rocks in every one of those prerequisites. When you start out with a can of refried beans (lowfat, of course), it's simple!

And even though it is good with refried black beans, I have also made it with refried pinto beans. I use Bearitos brand lowfat refried beans, and am consistently pleased with the results.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Spicy Black Bean Dip

Recipe By: Vicci

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 can refried black beans -- lowfat
6 ounces salsa verde -- (salsa made with tomatillos, not green chilies, as the main ingredient)
1/3 cup chopped scallions
3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 large avocado -- chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice

Break up the canned refried beans in a medium bowl, add the salsa verde, and mix well.

Add scallions through salt and combine.

In a separate bowl, toss the avocado with the lime juice.

To the bean mixture, gently fold in the avocado (with any accumulated lime juice), tomatoes, and cilantro. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with crackers of baked tortilla chips.

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Per serving: 186 Calories (kcal); 16g Total Fat; (69% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 963mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 3 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

I never have figured out how much this recipe makes, so the nutritional info is for the whole bowlful (maybe 6 generous servings???)

If I ever have any leftover, I think that I would like to spread a nice amount in a (lowfat, whole-grain) flour tortilla, add more tomatoes, lettuce, maybe shredded zucchini, lowfat cheddar, and eat as a wrap for a quick lunch. Perhaps I should just start to make a double recipe... ;)