Lime Shrimp with Corn and Avocado

IMG_8249 (2) IMG_8233 IMG_8228 (2)All I can say is Wow!!!!  I cooked about a lb.of beautiful shrimp and I wanted to use it in a delicious light salad incorporating some fresh corn and avocados. This salad has some of most favorite ingredients in it.  I used fresh corn, fresh tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion, and shrimp! Limes are the secret ingredient here because they add all the flavor to this super light dressing.  This has got to be one of the healthiest most delicious salads.  Totally not fattening but filling because of the shrimp , corn and avocados. If you’re into these ingredients this is a must go to for summer entertaining. Light and Fresh , low in calories and so so easy to make.

If you like cilantro I would chop some up and add it, but a lot of people hate it so much I chose to not add. I removed all the seeds from the jalapeno and probably used 3/4 of a large one. One small seeded jalapeno is perfect and not hot at all. Be careful handling the peppers and the seeds,  I’ve taken to wearing surgical gloves to cut up the peppers.

This is a perfect summer salad, just don’t add avocados till you’re ready to serve,  everything else can be assembled ahead of time. I put together in the morning of the day I was serving and then added my avocados right before I served. This is what I did.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb. cooked shrimp (after cooking it should be 1 lb.) I then cut it up into smaller pieces. I probably cut each shrimp into 4 pieces. Remember I used under 10’s. So that’s 10 shrimp to a pound. You want the shrimp pieces to be bite size but not too small.

1/4 cup chopped red onion

3 cobs of fresh cooked corn ( just put cobs in boiling salted water, bring to a second boil and remove and plunge into an ice bath) let corn cool and remove kernels from cobs.

2 limes-juiced , I use my juicer to juice because it’s tough with limes and you need as much lime juice as possible from 2 limes. I squeezed a third lime over at the end, but it’s probably not necessary. The citrus helps keep avocado from turning brown as well.

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

a few grinds on the pepper mill–to taste

I put in about 1/2 pint of small grape tomatoes, but you can eyeball if using larger tomatoes, I didn’t want tomatoes to over power the other outstanding flavors –if you prefer you can cut tomatoes in 1/2. I sometimes do this if I am not using the small grape tomatoes.

2 avocados–sliced and cut into cubes

1 small-medium jalapeno–seeded and minced

*a handful of chopped fresh cilantro if you love it

Directions:

  • We Cook shrimp- peel and de-vein or buy it cleaned and de-veined whichever works best for you. I like cooking my own shrimp but you can certainly use a “cooked shrimp” readily available in most markets. I cut shrimp up into bite size pieces but not too small.

Cook corn and allow to cool down. When corn is cooled completely down I cut kernels off.

In a separate small bowl, place chopped red onion, lime juice, olive oil and salt and a little black pepper. Whisk together .

I placed Shrimp, Corn, Jalapeno and Tomatoes into a large bowl. About an hour prior to serving I poured the lime juice combination over the bowl of Shrimp.

Mix well and allow to sit and marinade. You’ll want to mix a few times before adding avocados to circulate the marinade.

Taste for Salt and Pepper but it should be good.

I added the 2 Avocados right before serving and squeezed a little more lime over it, probably not necessary but I did. If you’re adding the cilantro go ahead and add it now.

That’s it–perfect summer salad.

A Real Deal Blueberry Cobbler

I recently found this recipe and realized it was a combination of 2 separate recipes–one for the blueberry filling and one for biscuits. When combined, this is a true cobbler and not a crisp. Yum!

Make it for company and at least six people so you have a teensy bit left over , these leftovers are just amazing the next day and hard to resist eating !

Use fresh blueberries which are in abundance now and if you want to make this in the winter and blueberries aren’t around you can always use frozen blueberries. It’s almost a must to serve this with vanilla ice cream, as it complements it so well! If you’d like, you can make this a day ahead for sure, I’ve even frozen it. It comes out perfectly. Now is the time to try and bake this delightful dessert with all of the beautiful blueberries out there.

Ingredients:

1 pound blueberries or 3 1/2 cups – obviously fresh is best but if you want you can use frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot

2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)

1 cup all -purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar ( you can use turbinado (raw ) sugar as well ( divided)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk ( don’t use fat free, if you must, use 2%) I prefer whole milk in baking or low-fat buttermilk always works.

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup boiling water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the blueberries in an ungreased but sprayed ( I always use Pam to help with the clean-up) 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with cornstarch
and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and the butter.

Stir until just combined ( shouldn’t be smooth) then drop mounds of dough onto the blueberries.

Pour boiling water over the dough and fruit. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the blueberries are bubbly. 45- 60 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. If you are preparing ahead , either frozen or in fridge, take out of freezer or fridge and bring to room temperature, I then put in oven till it starts to bubble.

Should serve 8

Chopped Vegetable Salad

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRenderI was having a dinner party and thought this would be a perfect addition to my menu. It contained fresh  vegetables and a salad all in one! Perfect side dish served right along with dinner. Of course you can add a protein and make this the meal which would be ever so perfect. Perfection in a bowl. This is what I did and what veggies I used, feel free to use the vegetables you would love. These were the quantities that worked perfectly though. I won’t lie it took some prep for this and a good idea would be to chop a lot of the veggies ahead of time and have them ready. Avocado and lettuce must be added right before serving though. Dressing and veggies can be made ahead of time .

*I served as a side dish and it was generous for about 6 -8 servings , if you’re using for a main probably 4-6.

*Original Recipe from O Magazine–I made a few changes

Ingredients:

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 garlic clove–minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt plus a little more to taste at the end

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste at the end

1/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil

Salad:

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces — about 1/2″

2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces

3 ears of corn, cut kernels off cobs

1/2 pint small cherry or grape tomatoes cut in 1/2

2 ribs celery, cut into small pieces , about 1/2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into small pieces , also about 1/2″ size

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1 head romaine , chopped

1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, garlic, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Lastly, whisk in the oil slowly. Set aside.

When water comes to a boil, add cut up green beans and carrots to boiling water and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add corn and cook a couple of minutes more. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water, let veggies completely cool down. I let them sit till they were completely cool. Give vinaigrette a quick whisk, and add veggies to the bowl. Add in the tomatoes, celery , bell pepper and onion and toss well. Set aside and let marinate for at least 1/2 hour. I probably let it sit in marinade for about an hour.

Right before serving, add chopped romaine, avocado and parmesan . Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. Toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately.

Farmers Market to Table Gazpacho

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Delicious fresh vegetables from the local farmers market went into this gazpacho. This time of year you must take advantage of the awesome selection of fruit and vegetables at your local farmers market. In Colorado there is so much local produce it would be a pity not to . I bought the tomatoes , cucumbers, peppers, garlic and red onion all from our local farmers market. Whole Foods also sells many local products which is so amazing. I don’t want to preach and there are so very many foods that I am particularly fond of that come from very foreign shores ( shrimp for one) . It’s just quite the thing to put food on your table from your own garden or at least from one within 100 miles of where you live. Farm to Table . Simply put it’s the best .

Ingredients:

1 cucumber or 2 – 3 Kirby size cukes, halved and seeded , but don’t peel . If not Kirby cukes you can use a hothouse cucumber. Go organic, because you are eating the peel.

2 yellow bell peppers, cored and seeded. Of course you can use red bell peppers, but not green.

4 tomatoes , use what you can find. I went to local farmers market for mine . If you use plum tomatoes use 4.

1 red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced or throw them into the food processor along with vegetables

3 cups Spicy V8 or use regular tomato juice

1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno depending on how spicy you like it, remove seeds from jalapeno

* cilantro, chopped is a nice touch for garnish

*avocado cut up is also nice garnish

*shrimp is also a nice garnish

Directions:

I cut up cukes, tomatoes, bell peppers and red onions into app. 1 inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor with steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not make baby food, don’t over process.

After each vegetable is chopped up combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic ( if you haven’t already) , juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. It’s a good idea to chill for a while, the longer it sits the more the taste develops.

The second night I added shrimp and avocado.

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My Best(est) Pasta Salad

MY Bestest Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 small box of fusilli pasta*

1 small container of crumbled feta cheese — however much you like -suit your taste

3 cloves garlic

1 can of black olives– you can use none or 1/2 can as many as you like

1 pint of grape tomatoes (if you can get different colors, that is perfect; if not red is just fine)

1/2 cucumber (preferably hot house or small Persian ones; if use Persians, then use 2)

7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white vinegar (I use a white wine vinegar. Champagne is my favorite go-to as opposed to just plain white vinegar.)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 red pepper and 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced (you can use as much or as little as you like and you can also use one whole of either but don’t use green)

a handful of fresh basil (roll it up and use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut it up)

2 tablespoons of fresh chives 

Cook pasta in a pan of salted water and add the 3 cloves of garlic. Cook al dente and drain. Put the garlic  aside for the dressing abd put the Pasta in a bowl to cool off.

In a New Bowl :

Cut the tomatoes, cukes, peppers, and black olives into small pieces. Give the herbs a rough chop and add to bowl. Mash cooked garlic cloves on a wooden board and add a little kosher salt, add to this bowl. Add oil, vinegar, and a little more kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add feta cheese to the mixture, then and add pasta. Mix it all up with large spoon.

Let it sit in fridge, mix before serving, and let it sit out at room temperature for at least an hour before serving. Should be room temperature. Mix it well from bottom , and add salt and pepper to taste.

*if fusilli not available, use small shells, elbows, gemelli, etc. They’re all equally good. I like the fusilli b/c cheese and dressing sticks to pasta well.

Watermelom Cucumber Salad–Perfect Summer Salad

This is a most delicious salad and a departure from the usual fare of lettuces etc. Sweet and Savory and very refreshing . Simple to pull together and easy to make. Of course you can substitute or add other items if you’d like such as olives, arugula , basil etc. This is how I did it and we all totally enjoyed it!!! The salad is a rather loose recipe and can be adapted very easily to other ingredients and your own particular tastes.

It really is the perfect Summer Salad. The saltiness of the feta and the sweetness of the watermelon make for a perfect summer salad.

Ingredients:

1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1″cubes or melon balls.

1 shallot finely chopped

1 chunk of Feta Cheese– I like to cut my feta cubed but crumbled could work as well. Feta is usually a greek style cheese made with sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. I prefer a block even though I know crumbled is more convenient. The block is usually sold in a brine and that will keep the feta moist and crumbles tend to be dryer. They all taste good though so buy what you prefer. I often buy Bulgarian Feta which is rather firm and cuts and crumbles easily. Look for it. Also French Feta sometimes–check out the assortment in the cheese section of your market. And of course Greek Feta is probably the most preferred. Salty and tangy the way feta should be. Cut or Crumble your choice.

4 Tbsp. Torn Fresh Mint — more for garnish –I love Mint but some people really don’t you can substitute Basil or nothing if you’d lke

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 persian cucumbers — I buy the small ones and cut into small cubes

1/4 red onion sliced thinly

1/3 cup Pistachio Nuts — I chop them gently — obviously no shells –you can omit this all together if you don’t like them for a nut free salad

 

Vinaigrette:

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

3 small cloves Garlic–finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 Teaspoon dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a small bowl whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Directions:

Combine the watermelon,1 finely chopped shallot, and mint in a large bowl with the 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil . Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and toss to combine. Transfer to fridge and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Remove from fridge and add the cubed feta, cucumbers, red onion slices and pistachios. Toss to combine. I transferred to a serving platter , drizzled with the vinaigrette and served with extra pistachios and extra mint. 

You’ll want to use a slotted spoon for serving.

 

 

 

Simple Cole Slaw

I love Cole Slaw and it is such a simple thing to make to add to any bbq or meal. It is especially good in the summer when we all love cold salads. I like it all year round. It’s a great side dish to almost any meat and I really like it with roast chicken.

It’s super easy if you buy the bags of pre -shredded cole slaw. If you want to do it yourself you can just cut a whole cabbage in half and remove the core, wash , drain, dry and shred in the food processor or by hand. I just picked up 2 bags of Cole Slaw available everywhere in the produce section. You’ll need about 8 cups. I used 2 bags about 16 ounces.

This is what I did.

Ingredients:

For app. 8 cups of cabbage/cole slaw mix

1/2 cup mayo

2 Tablespoons Apple CiderVinegar

3 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt and more to taste

1/4 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper and more to taste

Mix dressing in a bowl with a whisk is best.

Start slowly adding dressing to coleslaw mix in a large enough bowl to continue tossing. I added a little bit at a time and kept mixing till it was completely saturated with the dressing.

Then I refrigerated it till we were ready to eat and gave it a good toss and tasted for Salt and Pepper before serving!

Enjoy!

 

 

Shrimp and Orzo in One Pan

This recipe is from the NYT Cooking blog courtesy of Ali Slagle and a big thanks out to her . I always read the NYT Cooking it’s really got the most amazing recipes and some of the best chefs out there participate. This recipe caught my eye because of our love of Shrimp. It served 4  and we had a salad I might add some more orzo cooked seperateley but with whatever stock you used for cooking it to add a little more heft to the dish.

I also made  changes which just worked out best for me. That’s the beauty of cooking you can make changes which better suit you. However the recipe is perfect as is. I used a very large shrimp but you can use whatever size suits you and your budget. I used an under 10 Mexican White Shrimp. If you’re buying ask them to clean and de-vein them — Joel did mine.

It’s a spin on a scampi.

It’s rather yummy! Thanks to Ali Slagle for a great recipe. Original recipe is on the NYT Cooking website. I made changes to suit me.

Ingredients:

1 – 1 1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and de-veined

4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Zest plus 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice–1 average to large size lemon

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes– obviously optional if you don’t like the pepper

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

4 Garlic Cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup orzo

1/3 cup dry white wine

2 cups boiling water, seafood stock, or chicken stock–I used Chicken

3 Tablespoons Finely chopped Parsley

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir together the shrimp, 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, the lemon zest, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and half the minced garlic.

In a medium skillet sprayed with cooking spray, add the butter, the remaining oil and garlic and heat over low to medium heat. Don’t burn the garlic. When the butter starts to bubble, add the orzo and another 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook by stirring around the pan as often as possible, toast the orzo in pan for about 2 minutes, adjusting the heat so as not to burn the orzo or the garlic. Carefully add the wine to the pan and stir in until it is absorbed for another minute or so. Stir in the chicken stock , reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the orzo is al dente, probably another 12- 15 minutes. This would be a good time to taste for salt and pepper .

Add the shrimp ( see photo) put them in a snug even layer on top of the orzo, cover and cook until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. This will all depend on the size of your shrimp. Remove from heat and let sit, covered for another few minutes till you’re ready to serve.

I poured the lemon juice over the finished shrimp — placed on a platter and sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Serve and Enoy!

Super Easy Peach Cobbler

I had some amazingly delicious peaches and knew that there was no way they were getting eaten so I figured I’d make a Peach Cobbler or a Peach Crisp. Now I have other recipes @cookingwithcandi but I also happen to be in possession of a box of yellow cake mix in my pantry and wanted to use it. So for those of you who don’t feel comfortable messing around with flour and the likes of that — this one’s for you. No judging here and this was very delicious and simple as could be.

Ingredients:

6 – 7 Ripe Peaches

3 cups Water

3/4 cup Sugar

1 9 ounce box Golden Yellow Cake Mix — doesn’t matter what brand

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray of your choice.

Peel and Slice Peaches. Add peaches to a medium sized pot and add the 3 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over medium low heat until the peaches are soft. 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and strain peaches and while you’re straining do so into a bowl so you can reserve app. 1/2 cup of the strained liquid from the peaches. Then add strained peaches to the prepared baking dish. Add 1/2 cup of the liquid from the peaches and pour over the peaches.

Sprinkle with boxed cake mix .

Top cake with 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Using a butter knife, make swirls in baking dish to combine some of the dry ingredients with the peach juices below.

Drizzle melted butter

Bake for app. 30-35 minutes till golden brown and set.

Serve with Ice-Cream.

 

Chicken Fajitas on the Grill

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IMG_5593.JPG Wow–Fajitas on the Grill and the best part is there were no pots and pans to clean up! Cooked in Aluminum Foil Packs right on the grill! They call them Hobo Packs.

Very quick prep and delicious ingredients. Feel free to substitute whatever peppers you would prefer. This is what I did.

Last night there were 4 of us so I used about 2 lbs. of chicken but kept everything else the same and it worked out just fine!

You’ll need heavy-duty aluminum foil for the grill.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken tenders–you can 1/2 them lengthwise into thin strips or leave them whole which is what I did. If you can’t find tenders use a cutlet and cut into thin strips.

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick (approximately)

1 poblano chile or serrano chile whatever you can get. Stemmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips. I used both .

1 Red Bell Pepper–cut into strips lengthwise

1 Yellow Bell Pepper –cut into strips lengthwise

*you can really use any peppers that you’d like–these are the ones I used Shishito Peppers would be wonderful as well.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper- you’ll need to be fairly generous with the salt –I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill.

4 -6 fresh oregano sprigs–at least 1 in each packet–I used 2 in each packet.

1 lime, thinly sliced crosswise

Warm flour or corn tortillas, sour cream , guacamole and salsa and some hot sauce for serving. I used small tortillas but any kind will work out nicely. This is a very easy Summer Meal.

Directions:

Cut up all the veggies, onions and chicken and light the grill, I had the grill turned up high , it should be medium to high. I put it to high to pre-heat and then lowered to a more medium – high, if you are unable to do this step just check on them after 12 minutes to make sure the bottom isn’t burning.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken, onion and all the peppers with the olive oil and cumin seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again.

Arrange 4 14 inch sheets of heavy duty foil on a work surface ( see pics) app. 14 inches don’t get the ruler out. Just eyeball it, it needs to fit a pile of veggies and chicken. Last night I increased the chicken so we had about 6 packs.

Pile the chicken and veggies evenly on one 1/2 of each foil sheet and top with the oregano and lime slices. Fold the foil over the ingredients and pinch the edges to seal.

Place the foil packets on the grill, close the lid and cook over moderately high heat until the chicken is cooked through, anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes.

Open the packets and serve with warm flour fajitas, sour cream , guacamole, salsa and hot sauce.

*Packets can be made a night ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!