Dinner in 15 – Sweet Chili Shrimp

IMG_3526.JPG “Mommy! Are we home yet?”
“No, my love. Do you see our house?”
“No, Mommy.”
“Then we are definitely not there yet, kid.”

6 hours of these questions, sibling arguments, and Frozen sing-a-longs and our trip finally ended. A small SUV is a very small space for a long weekend road trip. Our long weekend vacation was wonderful and culminated at a fabulous dinner with the best of friends last night (hello bacon wrapped chorizo stuffed dates- I will figure out how to make you.)

But after a long road trip that included a filling and tasty bbq lunch at 2, we just weren’t in the mood for a big dinner or for a lot of cooking. I couldn’t stomach fast food after such great food last night (The bbq place was actually very good, not your average bbq.) I pulled open the freezer and found I had a bag of frozen, uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp. And a bag of frozen edamame. Perfect.

Fresh is always better. Always. But sometimes you just gotta work with what you got. And I had shrimp.

So, here you go! 15 minutes from defrosted shrimp to on your plate, light and healthy dinner.

Ingredients
1 lb defrosted or fresh peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 tap minced garlic
2 tbsp canola oil
1/3rd cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1 bag of frozen edamame
Salt and pepper to season

Start by boiling 4 cups water on the stove for the edamame. While the edamame water is coming to a boil, heat a wok or skillet to med (350 degrees) and add garlic. Let cook until fragrant, just about 30 seconds. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook until pink and no longer translucent. When the water is boiling, cook the edamame 3 minutes and then drain. Season with sea salt.

Add chili sauce to the shrimp and keep tossing for a few minutes until well coated and heated through. Remove shrimp and serve with the seasoned edamame.

Gorgonzola and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Topped with Toasted Almonds and Strawberry Sauce

Gorgonzola and bacon stuffed grilled chicken with strawberry sauce
When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher read us a book called The Strawberry Girl.. Since I had just moved to Florida, I fell in love with it. It epitomized the Florida landscape, and the culture, which was just as new to me. So, I have always associated strawberries with Florida. And while strawberries are picked here in February, I always seem to associate them with summer.

As summer peaks here in August, as noted by the recent 100F degree days with 90% humidity, I felt like tonight needed to celebrate the summer goodness. So, I took a favorite summer salad of mine and turned it into a delicious main course.

Continue reading Gorgonzola and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Topped with Toasted Almonds and Strawberry Sauce

Shrimp ‘n Grits

IMG_3324.JPG A little spicy. A little creamy. A little salty. A little feisty. Shrimp ‘n grits have a lot of personality. This version is inspired from a dish from a place called Austin’s in Metarie, LA, just outside New Orleans. When I ordered shrimp and grits, I discovered it sat on a bed of creamed spinach. Delectable!

So, tonight, a weeknight, the first day of the new school year with a ton of “to dos”, I thought about how good that dinner was and grabbed a bag of frozen shrimp out of the freezer and thawed them quickly under running water. With 3.5 cups of salted water coming to a boil on the stove, I patted the shrimp dry and seasoned with Cajun seasoning from the spice cabinet.

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Next, I chopped up a clove garlic.

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Time to fry the bacon!

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Slowly add 3/4 cup of grits to the pot of boiling water, reduce heat to low and summer for 15 mins.

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After it’s fully cooked, add at least 1 cup of shredded cheddar. At least 1 cup. You can add 3, I love cheese!!

After the bacon is crisp, remove it to a plate with paper towels to drain. Remove all the grease but two tbsps and add 1 pat of butter. Add garlic and cook on med low until fragrant, about 1 min. Turn it up to med. Then add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 4-5 mins. Add the bacon back in.

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Add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 2 tbsps of lemon juice and spinach. I used a package of frozen spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry), but would much preferred to use a few cups of fresh baby spinach. Finally, add about 1/4 cup cream cheese, just to bring the spinach together. It just adds that perfect texture to the mixture.

To serve it, spoon the grits into a bowl. Then add the shrimp mixture on top. Finally, add a dash of hot sauce over the entire dish. Serve immediately.

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I licked the bowl with my fingers, Hubby got seconds and no, I didn’t even try it on my kids. They have my childhood taste buds and eat only 5 things. No reason Mommy and Daddy can’t have good food!

Kitchen tales from a working mom.

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