Shrimp on the Cob

shrimp, chorizo & corn salad

let’s get corny

So, remember a few weeks ago when I said I wasn’t giving corn any love? I feel bad about that. I’m not saying my guilt lead me to search for a summery recipe that included corn, but I’m not saying that didn’t happen either. But what I am saying is that the combination of shrimp, chorizo and corn is quite wonderful. Sriracha, that glorious hot sauce from the other side of the globe, really kicks this salad up a few notches. And the fact that the whole thing is ready in 4 minutes makes it perfect for a lazy summer night when you don’t feel like cooking but still want something tasty for supper.

Shrimp, Chorizo & Corn Salad
3/4 lb of large shrimp, peeled
1 ½ links of chorizo, sliced
2 cups of corn
1/3 cup of green onions, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons of Sriracha hot sauce
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
24 grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup of chopped basil, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine the shrimp, chorizo, corn, green onions, Sriracha, garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Add the tomatoes and basil and toss to combine.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the shrimp mixture to the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are cooked through. Off the heat, stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice and season to taste with pepper. Garnish with additional green onions and basil and serve.

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Ragin’ Cajun Shrimp

pan-fried cajun shrimp

bon temps

So, these shrimp aren’t really filled with rage. They’re actually quite happy because they’re filled (covered?) with tasty Cajun spices. They’re perfect for a quick appetizer or, if paired with a salad and a side dish, make for an easy supper. Perhaps a supper you can eat while watching a TV show about vampires and werewolves and fairies down on the bayou. If you’re into that sort of thing. Best of all — there’s no deep fryer required.

Pan-fried Cajun Shrimp
– ½ to 1 lb of shrimp, peeled & deveined
– ¼ cup of flour
– ¾ teaspoon of Cajun seasoning plus ¼ teaspoon
– Pinch of salt
– ¼ cup of milk
– ½ cup of breadcrumbs
– 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
– 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
– Tabasco hot sauce
– Olive oil
– Half of a small lemon, cut into wedges

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, Cajun seasoning and salt. Pour the milk and the breadcrumbs into two separate shallow dishes. Dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture, then dip into the milk and then into the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to a large non-stick skillet and heat on medium-high. Add half of the shrimp and cook 2 minutes on each side, or until done and golden brown. Place on a paper towel-lined plate. Continue with the remaining shrimp, adding more oil if necessary.

To make a tasty dipping sauce, whisk together the remaining Cajun seasoning, mayo, Worcestershire sauce and a few dashes of Tabasco. Place into a small ramekin.

Plate the shrimp along with the dipping sauce and the wedges of lemon. Squeeze some lemon juice over the shrimp right before serving.


Super Shrimple

chili-lime shrimp

super simple spicy shrimp

Here’s an incredibly simple recipe for spicy, saucy shrimp. No joke, it can be on your plate in less than 10 minutes. That’s not counting the time it takes you to peel and devein your shrimp, of course. It goes great with just some crusty bread, which is perfect for soaking up the sauce. But it would also be nice served with rice, or even as a tasty appetizer.

Chili-Lime Shrimp
– 15 shrimp, peeled & deveined
– ½ cup of diced scallions, plus more for garnish
– 1 teaspoon of chili powder
– Juice from 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
– 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
– Cracked red pepper
– Salt and pepper
– Olive oil

Heat a skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and chili powder, and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Off the heat stir in the lime juice and butter. Season to taste with cracked red pepper, salt and pepper. Plate and top with additional scallions.


Here Fish ‘n Chippy

fish fry? fish bake!

I’m not sure if it was all the Guinness I drank last week, or all the Guinness-inspired recipes I saw, but I’ve been in a pub state of mind. And what’s the best pub food around? Fish and chips. There’s nothing better than some battered and deep-fried pieces of fish served with salty fries and a ton of tarter sauce. But you know what’s not so good about them? That greasy-gross feeling that comes afterwards. You people know what I’m talking about. So, when I found this recipe for a baked version, I knew I had to try it. The secret ingredient is crispy rice cereal – go Rice Krispies! – which gave the fish that typical crispy, flakey, airy texture. I was really surprised how great it turned out. And once I loaded them up with tarter sauce and the baked fries, it was just like being at a pub. I bet the pint of Guinness had something to do with it, too.

Baked Fish & Chips
For the chips:
– 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled
– ¼ cup of vegetable oil
– ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
– Salt

For the fish:
– 1 ½ lbs of boneless, skinless cod (or similar white fish), cut into 4-inch pieces
– 4 cups of crispy rice cereal
– 2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning
– 2 eggs, lightly beaten
– Salt and pepper
– Cooking spray
– Tarter sauce (see my homemade recipe here)

Heat your oven to 450º.

Using a mandolin or by hand, cut the potatoes into ¼ inch-thick sticks. Place in a large bowl of cold water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain the water and repeat for another 10 minutes. Place the potatoes on paper towels, cover with additional paper towels, and allow to dry for 10 minutes. Return to the potatoes to the large bowl and toss with the oil and cayenne. Spread the potatoes evenly on a large baking sheet and bake until brown and crisp, about 25 to 30 minutes, turning once. Season the chips with a sprinkle of salt.

For the fish, lightly crush the cereal by hand in a shallow bowl (don’t pulverize every piece, you want some finer and larger chunks) and then season with Old Bay and salt and pepper. Dip the fish into the egg, and then roll in the cereal. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Place the fish on top of the wire rack and bake until crisp and just cooked through, about 12 to 14 minutes. Serve with the chips and tarter sauce.


I Sea Scallops

come closer, sea scallops

So, maybe you forget yesterday was a certain “holiday.” Or, perhaps you just like eating a fancy dinner now and then. Either way, these sea scallops in a buttery wine sauce are for you. Much like shrimp, scallops are actually incredibly easy to make. They only take a few minutes to cook up – but be careful not to let them burn or cook too long, because then you’ll end up with rubbery scallops, and nobody wants that. The sauce comes together just as quickly, and once it’s poured over the scallops, your fancy meal is ready to eat.

Scallops in Buttery Wine Sauce
– 6 to 8 large sea scallops
– ½ cup of white wine
– 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage
– 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme
– 1 ½ tablespoons of butter
– Lemon juice
– Salt and pepper
– Olive oil

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Heat some olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and sauté about 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a platter, cover with foil and set aside.

Add the wine, sage, thyme and a ¼ teaspoon of salt to the pan. Stir to loosen the bits from the pan. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and season with pepper and a splash of lemon juice. Divide the scallops evenly on plates and spoon some sauce over each one. Then eat.

I placed the scallops on a bed of brown rice pilaf, which went great with the buttery sauce. I served them along side some Brussels sprouts sautéed in olive oil and bacon drippings, and lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and sprinkle of red pepper flakes.


Crabby Patty Cakes

not-so-crabby crabby patties

While making clam chowder a few days ago, I used Old Bay to give it that classic, seafood flavor. And it struck me: what else can I make with this awesome but under-used seasoning? Then I took a closer look at that little yellow tin, and printed on the side was a recipe for crab cakes. A-ha!

I know it probably seems like a weird time of year for crab cakes – something I picture eating along with fried clams and hot dogs at a seafood shack not trimming the tree in your reindeer sweater – but, why not? It’s a nice change of pace from the figgy pudding or whatever holiday foods you might be eating.

This recipe is based on Old Bay’s, but I added a few things of my own and used less of some. I also whipped up a quick tartar sauce for dipping, which made these light, fluffy and flavorful cakes even better.

Crab Cakes
– 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
– 1/3 cup of finely diced leeks
– 4 slices of white bread
– 8 oz of crabmeat, chopped
– 2 to 3 tablespoons of mayo
– 1 egg, beaten
– 2 (heaping) teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning
– 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
– Olive oil
– Unsalted butter
– Pepper
– Vegetable oil (for frying)

In a small pan, heat some olive oil and butter on medium. Add the celery and leeks and cook until soft. Pulse the bread in food processor until they turn into crumbs. Then in a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, crab, mayo, celery, onions and lemon juice. Season with Old Bay and pepper.

Heat a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Form the crab mixture into patties and fry until golden brown on both sides and are cooked through. Let them cool on a paper towel-lined plate, then eat.

tartar sauce'd

For homemade tarter sauce, combine 2 parts mayo, 1 part dill relish, a bit of lemon juice and season to taste with Old Bay and pepper. Makes for a nice summertime treat on a wintery day.