Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lemon Dill Shrimp and Corn

When is the last time you took a romantic trip together? When I ask that of others, I usually get excuses that always include the "we can't afford to" line. Here is today's romantic tip:
Go on a camping trip together. 

Why camping? It doesn't cost much. There is no tv, computers, and other distractions. You have just the two of you and nature. I admit I am a bit of a snob. I don't like to camp on the dirt. So we camp on the water. Staying over night on a boat under the stars is magical. If you don't have that, get a tent. Time spent camping is magically romantic. 

Now on to today's fabulous recipe. 
I love my fish market. Fresh and wild caught makes a huge difference. Yes it costs more, but you are not putting a previously frozen mushy shrimp in your mouth. Instead you get firm, rich shrimp. If you can find a local fish store that serves fresh caught fish. Do it! I got these extra large wild caught Mexican Shrimp at my local fish market and they were so firm and wonderful!

This dish is tangy and sweet. The perfect summertime dish. Don't remove the shells! It holds in the marinade and also adds a lot of flavor. Wait to remove them until you eat them.

Lemon Dill Shrimp and Corn
adapted from Andrew Zimmern

For the shrimp:

1 pound medium-sized, Pink, Mexican or Ecuadorean shrimp
1 bay leaf
1/2 tbsp. lightly crushed black peppercorns
1 lemon, cut in quarters
2 ears sweet corn kernels, cut from the cob
1/2 cup very thinly sliced green onions
1 fresh hot serrano
2 sprigs fresh marjoram
For the vinaigrette :
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. minced dill
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar -or- stevia
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

First make the vinaigrette. Add all ingredients to a bowl or measuring cup and stir until combined.

I think it is really important you use fresh non-gmo corn for this recipe. 80% of all corn out there is full of pesticides and is pretty much tasteless compared to good old organic corn. Know your source!

Cutting the corn off the cob is easy. Just use a really sharp knife like so...
Then you end up with this...
Butterfly the shrimp using a small serrated knife, make a shallow cut, just enough to remove the vein in the shrimp. Keep shells on. Rinse with cold water.

In a large sauce pan, place the shrimp in just enough water to cover.

Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, and the quartered lemon, squeezed.
Bring to a boil over moderately high heat.
The second it starts boiling, add the corn, marjoram, chile and stir once, stir again and remove from heat.
Drain immediately, discarding hot water/bay leaf and spill remaining contents into a serving bowl.
Fold in the green onions.
Pour the vinaigrette over the corn/shrimp.
Let stand for 10 to 12 minutes at room temperature, tossing occasionally.
Remove the marjoram sprigs, season and serve 
Here is what it looks like once the shells are removed.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Szechuan Peppercorn Salmon

The hubby and I are eating healthy. That means several things; 

Fish three times a week.
Participating in Meatless Monday.
Eating only local non-gmo produce.
No processed foods, instead more fruits and nuts. 
Whole grains only.
It is working really well for both of us. He is lucky to have a personal chef of course. I am so very blessed to have a Man that is always willing to help, even when weightloss and health are involved. Most of the time, the people in your life are the ones that sabotage you. My tip today: Help your significant other be the best person they can be. If it is exercising together, eating right together, skipping dessert together, or whatever it may be.

I am blessed to live very close to a fresh fish market. It is about 8 blocks away, the perfect walk. If I go there and back it is about 2 miles. They have fresh local caught fish as well as imported fresh fish. Always wild caught and never full of dies or chemicals. If you are in San Diego, I recommend stopping by The Fish Market
Today's recipe was so good. If you like heat, this is for you! We love heat. You can adjust the chili sauce up or down depending on your tolerance for heat. I served this over my zucchini confetti salad. It worked perfectly. The cool crisp veggies were a great contrast to the heat. 

Szechuan Peppercorn Salmon
adapted from Nicole's Nutrition

2 8 ounce filets of Salmon
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 tsp szechuan peppercorns, ground 
2 Tbsp. greek yogurt 
4 Tbsp. roasted red chili paste 
pinch of salt
Optinal chopped chives for garnish.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. 
Mix your marinade. I used my mini food processor to grind the peppercorns. 

Place your salmon in a baking dish and coat with marinade. 
Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked medium-well.
Serve with your favorite veggies.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries

Today's romantic tip is a simple one. UNPLUG! Spend one evening each week with the phone, computer, tv, and any other distraction, turned off. For my husband and I it is always Sunday night. Do it! You will be surprised how much closer it brings you together. 

It happens a lot. It is the end of the weekend. My husband and I are both dreading the busy week ahead. So we just decide to snack on what is in the fridge and pantry, instead of making a huge meal. This usually consists of a lot of raw veggies and fruits and a big glass of wine. 

This time I needed some comfort food. I of course was excited to find 3 potatoes in the pantry. French fries immediately swirled in my mind. My ultimate comfort food. Sadly I am on a strict no fried food diet right now. Never fear! I decided to make these baked garlic Parmesan fries instead. They were just as good, if not better! 

Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries
3 russet potatoes
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 TBSP garlic powder
1/2 TBSP onion powder
1/2 TBSP sea salt
1/2 TBSP parsley

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Peel and slice your potatoes. It is important you cut them the same size so they cook at the same rate. 
Rinse off and place in a large ziplock bag. 
Add oil to the bag. Seal and shake to coat the potatoes. 
Add in the remaining ingredients to the bag. Seal and shake until coated. 
On a baking sheet or stone lined with parchment paper, place your coated potato slices. 
Bake for 30 minutes, 15 minutes, then turn over for the remaining 15 minutes. 
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chicken Saltimbocca Ravioli

When is the last time you thought of every single thing that makes your love your partner? Do you tell them often? It is so easy to just dwell on the negative and not the positive. I would like to encourage you to write down everything you love about your man or woman. Keep it in a place you can look at it often. Dwelling on the positive, puts your relationship in a positive place. 
Romantic Tip: Make a list of everything you love about him or her.

Now I have a great new original recipe for you. 
Sometimes I make a wonderful dish that just does not picture well. This is one of those dishes. It just looks like a plain bowl of ravioli. This is no ordinary ravioli! It is filled with the Italian dish Chicken Saltimbocca. Rich prosciutto, Fontina Cheese, sauteed mushrooms and roasted chicken reside inside these scrumptious noodles.

Chicken Saltimbocca Ravioli
For the noodles:
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil

For the filling:
Salt and pepper to season chicken
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1/2 lb free range chicken
4 slices of prosciutto
6 oz. fontina cheese shredded
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
6 oz sweet Marsala
6 ounces chicken stock
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
splash of heavy cream or half and half
pinch of ground sage
pinch of black pepper
Olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping.

First prepare your noodles. 
Place flour in the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer. Mix egg and olive oil together and pour into the center of your flour. 
Process with the dough hook until all the dough comes together. 
Separate into 4 balls and wrap with cling wrap, or place in a large ziplock bag. Place it in the fridge to rest for 1 hour. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Season your chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. 
Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into pieces.

Roll out your dough into several large sheets. 
Add 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP butter to a pan and add in the sliced mushrooms and saute until soft. Set mushrooms aside.

Add all but 2 ounces of Marsala wine wine to pan to deglaze the pan, allow alcohol to cook off for a minute then add the chicken stock, pinch of sage, pinch of black pepper.

Reduce heat and continue to cook while sauce is reducing. Once sauce has started to reduce add in cream and mix well. Take the butter and coat it in flour pressing flour into the butter and add to the sauce.
As the sauce begins to thicken remove from the heat. This is your ravioli sauce. 

Place chicken, chopped up prosciutto, mushrooms and shredded fontina in small round portions on top of a rolled out noodle dough. 
Repeat until you have used up all your noodles and ingredients. 
Place another noodle on top and get all the air out. 
Cut into shapes.
I use a ravioli cutter, but you can even use a knife if you aren't worried about how pretty it is. 
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. 
At this time add in the remaining Marsala wine to the ravioli sauce and bring to a simmer.
Add your prepared ravioli's to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes. 

Serve topped with the ravioli sauce and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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