Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Georgie's Oriental Shrimp Kabobs

2/3 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup olive oil or peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 clove garlic, crushed
Fresh lemon juice
1 lb. raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
3/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, stemmed
1/4 lb. bacon, cut into 2" lengths
Cherry tomatoes
Onion wedges
Zucchini wedges
Bell pepper wedges

In a large bowl, combine sherry, soy sauce, oil, ginger, lemon zest and garlic.
Sprinkle a little lemon juice over shrimp.
Place shrimp in bowl with marinade.
Refrigerate no more than 1 hour.
On metal skewers, alternate shrimp with vegetables and bacon.
Grill on BBQ over medium heat, turning frequently and basting with marinade until shrimp are pink (approximately 6-8 minutes).

Excellent with rice pilaf.

Note: I like to add cubes of chicken and steak to the kabobs and I prefer to use a Bermuda (purple) onions rather than a white. I recommend partially frying the bacon ahead of time to insure that it gets completely cooked by the time the kabobs are finished (plus, we like our bacon crispy!).

I'm not sure who the contributor was, but this recipe (which I've always thought of as "Georgie's Oriental Shrimp Kabobs") is an adaptation of Oriental Skewered Shrimp from Even More Special, A Contemporary Collection of Recipes from the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties, Inc. (1986). I first discovered it a dozen or so years ago, when Rod and I were visiting my Uncle Rick and Aunt Georgie in Durham, North Carolina. Georgie served these delicious kabobs for lunch one afternoon and was kind enough to share the recipe with me. The original calls for shrimp, mushrooms, bacon and water chestnuts, but at some point I made a few modifications to add more veggies (and drop the water chestnuts, which I don't particularly care for). It's been a family favorite ever since.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Strawberry Cobbler

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 cups fresh strawberries, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, chilled

Beat 1/4 cup softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer.
Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating well.
Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing well.

Combine 1 and 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.

Add to butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Spoon half of the batter into a greased 8" square baking dish.
Arrange strawberries on top, cut side down.
Cover with remaining batter.

Combine 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Cut in 1/4 cup chilled butter with a pastry blender until crumbly.
Sprinkle over strawberries & batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

Yield: 8 servings (Yah, right. 6 is more realistic!)

Note: I used a round deep-dish ceramic pie plate instead of the 8" square pan. I also put a cookie sheet on the oven rack below the dish to catch the juices. This is so easy and SO good! I'm going to try it a couple more times with blueberries and peaches. Mmmmmm.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Grilled Chicken Tacos

Click on photo to enlarge

1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup lime juice (2 medium limes)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper

6 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves
Corn tortillas
Lettuce, shredded
Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, grated
Diced tomatoes
Sour Cream

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish or large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Cover or seal, and chill 1 to 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade.

Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat for 12 minutes (6 per side). Remove from grill and cut chicken into thin strips.

Just before serving, wrap tortillas in damp paper towel and steam in microwave for 45-60 seconds.

Top warmed tortillas with sliced chicken, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. Garnish with extra cilantro, if desired.

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Shrimp with Feta Cheese

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1 lb. large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 green onions, chopped (include some of the tops)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup clam juice
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
Angel Hair Pasta

Prepare pasta according to package. Keep warm in covered pot until shrimp mixture is ready to add.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and lemon juice. Sauté 2-3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp from skillet.

Heat olive oil in skillet and add onion, cooking until just tender. Add wine, clam juice, and garlic. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomato and heavy cream; simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in shrimp, oregano, basil, and parsley. Sprinkle with feta. Gently toss with cooked pasta.

Serve with crusty French bread and crisp salad.

Note: I used dried herbs since I didn’t have fresh. Also, I used Atheno's Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Feta. (It comes crumbled or solid - I buy the solid and cut it up so it doesn't fall apart quite as much as the crumbled) Tasted great!

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Salmon Pasta

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8 oz. farfalle pasta (bow-ties)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pesto
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 lb. fresh salmon fillet, boned, skinned and julienned
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3-4 green onions, sliced with some tops
1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon capers (optional!)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges

In a large pot, cook pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain, return to pot and toss to coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons pesto. Cover to keep warm.

While pasta is cooking, dust salmon with flour. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add salmon and onions; sauté for 3 minutes. Add wine, cream, capers, dill weed and parsley. Simmer to reduce and thicken sauce, about 5 minutes.

Add salmon mixture to pasta and toss gently. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a warm serving dish. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Delicious with Caesar salad and garlic/rosemary bread.

Notes: I had a package of Seabear Wild King Smoked Salmon that I combined with some leftover cooked salmon. I didn't need to dust the salmon with flour (since it was already cooked), but went ahead and sprinkled a couple of tablespoons into the sauce to help thicken it a bit. We don't care for capers and didn't miss them. I didn't have any parsley, so I left that out as well. (I assume the recipe calls for flat-leaf "Italian" parsley and not the curly variety.) Next time around, I think I'll add a couple of tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice to the sauce. Some blanched asparagus tips and sautéed mushrooms would also be a nice addition.

Recipe adapted from San Juan Classics Cookbook

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Marinated Chicken Wings

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup salad oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 whole chicken wings, tips removed and wings cut at joint

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for marinade. Marinate chicken for approximately 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line large shallow baking dish with foil and arrange chicken in dish. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Baste and turn every 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven and transfer to a serving platter.

Serve hot or cold.

Yield: 32 pieces

Excellent with White Barbecue Dipping Sauce

Note: I made this for an appetizer for a dinner party and it was a huge hit. I made it again (for the photo-op) for dinner one night, but left the wings intact since my husband loves the tips. I also turned the heat up (350) during the last 30 minutes so the wings would get a little crispier.

Recipe from the San Juan Classics Cookbook (purchased at the Griffin Bay Bookstore in Friday Harbor, WA.)

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White Barbecue (Dipping) Sauce

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. coarse ground pepper
1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. horseradish (optional)

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Chill for two hours.

Keeps in 'frig for up to one week.

Note: This is absolutely delicious on wings! I suspect it's good on just about anything! I don't care for horseradish, so I left it out. This makes a lot (1 3/4 cups)! I cut the recipe in half and still had plenty left over.

Recipe from Southern Living Magazine (May 2007)

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Black Bean Salsa

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2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (17-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 large avocado, peeled and chopped
½ purple onion, chopped
1/8 to ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
3-4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Garnish: Avocado slices, fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Cover and chill.
Garnish, if desired, and serve with Fritos or tortilla chips.

Yield: 6 cups

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