Tag Archives: Shrimp

Summer picnic on crack

A little while back I wrote about “summer picnic,” Nadia’s favorite dish of grilled shrimp and asparagus (abd sometimes other random grilled meats and veggies) with toasted bread. We recently started limiting our bread, pasta and sugar intake, so instead of the bread, I just upped the veggies and the meat.

I purchased the asparagus, red bell pepper and corn from casinoin.us the Laguna Niguel Farmers Market. The chimichurri on the shrimp, the beer-marinated chicken and chorizo Argentino came from Puerto madero in Santa Ana.

Everything was finished with a spritz of lemon.

Everything was totally awesome.

20130823-201913.jpg

Fire up the grill for a delicious ‘summer picnic’

fatdude_summerpicnic1

It’s been a while since I’ve used my grill, but a recent trip to Northern California inspired me to come back home and clean off my backyard bad boy for another summer of good eats.

The lunch I made for my buddies up north was inspired by Nadia’s favorite grilled dish of mine, “The Summer Picnic.” We call it that because I made it for her one summer night and the name stuck.

Basically it’s grilled shrimp, grilled asparagus and some bread.

I pierce the shrimp twice, through the head and near the base of the tail, to make the skewers easier to flip. As far as shrimp go, most would say sustainable is best, but it’s also pricey. You get the best bang for the buck at Costco, where the shrimp in the meat/seafood section are huge. I think I paid about $18 for 24 large shrimp. But they’re also farmed … so is the majority of the rest of the shrimp you and I are likely eating though, so I dunno.

Finally, I’ve read that it’s better to buy frozen than fresh in most cases. Unless you’re buying at Pearson’s Port (or sometimes Santa Monica Seafood), most of the shrimp you purchase is frozen on the ship at sea. The market then defrosts it to display it, so what’s the point? Lately, I’ve switched to frozen Northern Chef wild caught baja shrimp, 40-60 count in a 1 lb. bag for about $10 at Sprouts.

Omit the bread to save on the carbs, but if you plan on using it, you can serve it fresh or grilled. French is best, but you can also use italian. Slice the baguette or loaf into slices, and if grilling, brush lightly with olive oil (or garlic/herb-infused olive oil) and cook on the grill very briefly. Watch it close, because it burns quick!

What’s great about these ingredients is that you can tweak them different ways to keep it interesting. Here are some variations:

fatdude_summerpicnic2

-Wrap the asparagus pre-grill in bacon or post-grill in prosciutto.

-Throw some sausage on the grill too! My favorite is the pork sausage at Puerto Madero in Santa Ana/El Gaucho in Anaheim. Just like the bacon/prosciutto idea above, it’s not the healthiest idea, so save it for a sporadic treat. Finish with a drizzle of chimichurri, also available at the market (I like to leave off most of the oil and just use the herbs instead).

-Par-boil some halved yukon gold potatoes for about 12 minutes, until nearly fork tender. Finish face down on the grill, turning 45-degrees once in the cooking process. The chimichurri also works great here, or toss with a tablespoon of melted butter (plus sauteed shallots, a lot of garlic and parsley, if you’d like). Salt and pepper to taste.

-Other vegetables would also work here–spring onions, ramps, broccolini, brocolli rabe. We just alway use asparagus because it’s so yummy.

-Finish the veggies and the shrimp with a solid spritz of fresh lemon juice and fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Stretching your pesos: Fat Dude’s Mexican Fiesta, Part 7—Shrimp fried Mexican rice

mexican_shrimprice_1

This is the last post of my “Stretching your pesos” series, which I essentially wrote because I made too much chicken for Nadia’s cousins and I had to figure out what to do with it.

On a small scale, the series taught me to use my leftovers to their full extent. And that’s important to do, considering people in this world are starving while Americans waste 33 million tons of food annually, according to NPR.

I only had a few shrimp, some Mexican rice and pickled red onion in the fridge by the end of this experiment, and I wanted to mix it up a bit, so I took inspiration from Orange County’s Dos Chinos food truck which fuses Asian and Mexican cuisines.

Enter: Shrimp fried Mexican rice.

I found the blueprint at Epicurious:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup leftover pork, chicken, or beef, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed (plus any leftover vegetables you have on hand)
  • 4 cups cold cooked white or brown rice (In this case Mexican rice, recipe here)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The recipe makes four servings, but here’s a couple of ways to make it a little healthier if you aren’t using leftovers like I was: Use 2-3 cups of rice, so each person has less than 1 cup, with 1/2 cup per person being the target–and go brown rice; use low-sodium soy sauce. You can also reduce the oil, but this rice does need to crisp and you’re at less than 1 T per person. Try using 2 T, and add a tablespoon if necessary.

mexican_shrimprice_2

Follow the link above for the full step by step, but the method is fairly simple and the result far less greasy than any box of takeout I’ve ever brought home.

You start by cooking the egg and the scallions with some of the oil. Then the meat and veggies get tossed in the pan and scrambled around. The rest of the oil goes in to crisp up the rice and you wrap it up by adding a mixture of soy sauce and water to flavor the rice.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime, and dig in.

Stretching your pesos: Fat Dude’s Mexican Fiesta, Part 6—Oregano-lime shrimp salad with jicama and corn

mexican_shrimpsalad_1

If you’ve been following along with our improvised Mexican menu, you’ll be happy to know we’re coming to the end of our south-of-the-border marathon. I’m happy to say I used nearly every last component in my fridge until there was nothing left–therefore maximizing the dollars I spent to throw a small family party.

I had a bunch of iceberg lettuce and an ear of corn in the fridge, plus shrimp left in the freezer. With these ingredients I figured there was a salad to be made. The only thing I needed was jicama from the store and it was go time.

For the shrimp: I used 5 large shrimp per person. To season them, marinate the seafood in the juice of 1 lime, salt, 1 clove of garlic, minced, and 2 T of Mexican oregano. Sautee the shrimp in a pan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until they turn from translucent to white.

For the salad veggies: Shred the lettuce, cut the jicama into strips and cut the corn from the cob. You can eat the corn raw, or bring a pot of water to a boil, turn off the heat, and bring the corn to temperature in the pot–with the cover on–for about 5 minutes.

To finish: Toss the shrimp and veggies together with a dash of salt and a good squirt of lime juice. That’s your dressing. Plate each salad and garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of cotija cheese.

Stretching your pesos: Fat Dude’s Mexican fiesta, Part 3—Poached shrimp and cotija-lime corn

mexican_shrimp_1

We wanted to add some variety to our list of Mexican leftover meals so I picked up a couple pounds of shrimp at the market to throw in the mix.

I knew I wanted to use the reserved braising liquid from when I made chicken tostadas to poach the shrimp in, and later reduce into a sauce to finish the dish. As always, devein your shrimp if they need it. Better yet, buy your shrimp from a place that will do it for you.

mexican_shrimp_3

I turned the braising liquid into a poaching liquid by straining it and adding the juice of 1/2 a lime, plus black pepper, garlic and bay leaf. To poach the shrimp in the liquid, bring it to a boil, reduce to medium and toss in the shrimp.

mexican_shrimp_4

Start the reduction by adding a cup of the braising liquid to another pan and cook over medium-high until nearly all of the liquid is gone and the reduction lightly coats the back of a spoon.

Time the reduction and the shrimp so they come to temperature about the same time.

When you plate the shrimp, arrange in a row and add just a drizzle of the reduction across the shrimp. You’ll need to add a spritz of lime to the mix to balance all the salt that was concentrated when you reduced the braising liquid.

For the corn: Use a pot with a lid that is large enough to hold the amount of corn you want to use. I used 1/2 ear per person. To cook the corn, bring enough water to cover the corn to a boil, then remove from the heat, add the corn to the pot and cover for at least 5 minutes. That’s it. Add a light coating of butter or sour cream, cotija cheese and cilantro.

Week 31, Meal 2: Sea soup

I’m a Bay Area boy, so you know I love my seafood. Some of my earliest memories are spending time with family, shoveling clam chowder into my mouth from a mountainous bowl made of bread.

The second soup of our trio isn’t a creamy soup like my old favorite, but the smokey shrimp broth (which you make yourself) and sweet shreds of crab and fragrant slivers of fennel make this one unforgettable.

Here’s Week 31, Meal 2: Shellfish and tomato soup with grilled baguette. Continue reading Week 31, Meal 2: Sea soup

Week 28, Meal 3: Bayou scrimp

We’ll wrap up Week 28: Southern Comfort with a Louisiana favorite, a wonderful bowl of gumbo.

Now, I’ve had darker, thicker versions–butter and flour loaded stews of seafood and pork  that soothe the soul and fill you up. Chef Brian’s Fat Dude version preserves all of the great flavors of this Southern staple but lightens it way up so it’s easier on the waistline.

Here’s Week 28, Meal 3: Shrimp gumbo. Continue reading Week 28, Meal 3: Bayou scrimp

Week 28, Meal 2: Classic shrimp ‘n’ grits

Of all the stupid walls I built up around food, my preconceived hatred of grits has to be the stupidest one.

Seriously, grits are essentially cornmeal pudding, smooth and creamy, but totally filling (just like polenta, though one is yellow corn and one is white corn from what I Googled) — and polenta/grits have quickly become a food I totally love. That being said, I admit that Week 28, Meal 2: Shrimp and grits is the first time I’ve had the dish and it’s everything I was hoping it would be.

Chef Brian’s version features a spicy shrimp gravy punctuated by salty bacon, the slight burn of jalapeno and a nice kick of cayenne pepper. It’s a dish so good that you’ll want to lick the plate after you’re done.

Feel free. I won’t tell.

Continue reading Week 28, Meal 2: Classic shrimp ‘n’ grits

Week 27, Meal 1: Mean green shrimp curry

I joked on the Fat Dude Facebook page recently about how I thought green curry paste only came in jars from Trader Joe’s. But the fact that this recipe calls for making Thai green curry paste from scratch reminded me of how far I’ve come in the kitchen.

I used to rely on boxed items as side dishes and pre-marinated meats for the grill or the oven. Now, I freaking make curry paste, and dishes using ingredients I’ve never even heard of before (Thai eggplant, wut?!).

For the first meal of Week 27, Chef Brian serves up a plate of vibrant Asian comfort cooking. Here’s Week 27, Meal 1: Shrimp green curry. Continue reading Week 27, Meal 1: Mean green shrimp curry

Week 27: Thai-m for Thai

Chef Brian’s put out quite a few ethnic menus in the past–Italian, Mexican and Vietnamese dishes come to mind most–but one country he’s left alone until now  is Thailand.

“It kinda surprises me that I haven’t done any Thai menus considering I love it so much, but now is as good a time as any,” he wrote to me.

True, this blog was born at a Thai restaurant–in many people’s opinions one of the best, if not the best in the country–yet we’ve failed to bring some of  those flavors into the Fat Dude kitchen.

No longer. Here’s what’s cooking:

Week 27, Meal 1: Shrimp green curry

Week 27, Meal 2: Tom Kha Gai

Week 27, Meal 3: Grilled catfish with Thai tamarind-chile sauce over cabbage slaw

The seafood recipes make two portions and the Tom Kha Gai soup recipe makes four portions. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 27: Thai-m for Thai

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...