just me

Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Shrimp Veracruz

In Seafood, Vegetables on June 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm
shrimp veracruz

Summer isn't hot enough. This dish makes it hotter!

One of my favorite Latin dishes is shrimp Veracruz, but I never order it because when I eat Mexican food, I’m always after salty chips, sour cream, and tons of cheese. This dish, however, is actually healthy! Really! And it’s soooo good.

As always, it’s customizable too. Mr. Gorilla doesn’t really like things spicy, so I only used one jalapeno, and I took out the seeds. If you want more heat, use as many jalapenos as you dare, and leave the seeds in. Go ahead, I dare you. If you think you’re such a tough guy, use Habaneros instead. But really, don’t go over the top with the spicy. There is such a beautiful melange of flavors here, you really don’t want to overpower it with heat. Melange. Like that?

Shrimp Veracruz

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, pressed

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped

1 cup vegetable broth

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped

cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, oregano to taste

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon water

1/3 cup cilantro


Combine shrimp, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl, toss to coat. Don’t use your hands if you have a paper cut. You’ll see. Let it soak while you’re chopping the other stuff, about 15 minutes. Unload the dishwasher if you have extra time, showoff.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute onion and pepper for 3 minutes. Add garlic, then saute until tender.

Add the jalapeno, broth, tomatoes, spices, and simmer on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Taste it every so often, and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Dump in the shrimp, juice and all. Mix the cornstarch and water, and add that too. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the shrimp are done.

Stir in cilantro, reserving a few sprigs for garnish.

Serve over rice.

I told you it was good!


Coconut Lime Shrimp

In Seafood on June 14, 2010 at 11:16 am
coconut lime shrimp

Better than a restaurant!

So, okay. I was grocery shopping at a store that I normally don’t go to, and they had whole coconuts for $1.50. Really? I seem to remember them being like, five bucks. I guess there’s a coconut surplus. Anyway, I love coconut, so I bought one without any clear idea as to what I was going to do with it.

I got it home, where it sat on the kitchen counter for a few days until I caved and decided to break it. The breaking actually went pretty uneventfully, and I was able to separate it from the shell without a problem, which never happens. I even peeled it alright. Then I grabbed a chunk to chew on, threw the rest in a bag, and stuck it in the fridge where it remained for about a week. I simply forgot it was there.

One day, I opened the fridge and wondered what the heck was taking up so much room – aha! – the coconut. What in the world am I going to do with it? So, believe it or not, I got out the peeler and actually shaved my own coconut. Really. Mr. Gorrilla’s dad was here, and he couldn’t believe it. Neither could I. I mean, really. But I figured I would be more likely to use it up that way, and I was right. It wasn’t two days before I was grinding it up to make coconut shrimp because I love it and it’s easy and delicious. Right? Right. Try it – you can use pre-shredded coconut though.

Coconut Shrimp


1/2 pound shrimp, peeled/deveined

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup flour

1 egg, beaten

2 cups GROUND coconut (run the shredded coconut through the food processor)

1 tablespoon bread crumbs

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 red bell pepper sliced thin

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 can coconut milk

dash fish sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

red curry powder to taste

2 tablespoons chopped basil, several whole basil leaves


Combine shrimp, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, saute the pepper and onion for about 5 minutes, keeping everything moving.

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, and curry powder, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a separate pan, (yeah, this is a two-frying-pan meal), heat oil for shallow frying over medium-high heat.

Drain the shrimp. Combine the coconut and breadcrumbs in a bowl (the breadcrumbs help the coconut stick better).

Dredge each shrimp in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in coconut. Drop the shrimp in the oil and fry until golden, about 3 minutes. Work individually, and don’t crowd the pan. I said don’t! Drain the shrimp on paper towels until they are all done.

By this point, your sauce should be nice and thick. Stir in the basil. Now you can taste it, but try not to melt where you stand. We don’t need a puddle of cook all over the kitchen floor.

Spoon the sauce over rice, and place the shrimp decoratively over the sauce. Now, isn’t that lovely?

Shrimp Scampi

In Seafood, Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Perfect for a quick summer meal.

There are so many different versions of shrimp scampi out there , yet every restaurant seems to turn out the same oil-laden mess. Why is that? I set out to find the definitive scampi recipe. I looked at Italian chefs and seafood chefs. I looked at food blogs, company websites, and restaurant “cheater” sites. Know what I found? The basic recipe is the same, and the differences come from the individual cook.

Some people aren’t great with cooking shrimp. Others are afraid of high heat, so too much fat gets absorbed. Some people use breadcrumbs. Yuck. The one thing that most of the recipes have in common is that it is cooked on the stove and finished in the oven. This requires an oven-safe saute pan, which I do not have. So what did I do? Oh, come on. You know me. I made my own recipe!

I took the basic elements of shrimp scampi and reformulated it so it can be cooked entirely on the stovetop. It turns out a lot less oily, and the cornstarch does wonderful things to the garlic. It does have a nice sauce though, so serve it with a nice crusty bread. Ready?

Shrimp Scampi


2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons white wine

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined

1 stick butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons parsley

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

grated parmesan for topping


This is so quick, if you blink you’ll miss it. Ready? Here we go –

Combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper, and wine in a large bowl. Add the shrimp, toss to coat, and let sit for about 10 minutes.

In a large pan over mediem-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil.

Press the garlic into the pan, add the parsley, and cook a minute or two or until the garlic is almost golden.

Add the lemon juice and the shrimp mixture, and cook until the shrimp are no longer translucent.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for about five minutes. Top with the parm, serve over pasta. Done.

See how easy that was? And how awesome? Yeah.

Fettuccine San Remo

In Pasta, Seafood, Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm
fettuccine san remo

This is an awesome end to a hot day.

So, my cousin got married in New Orleans awhile back, and I couldn’t make it because of stupid school. I could never go anywhere because of stupid school, and now that I’m out of stupid school, I can never go anywhere because of stupid work. I’ve had exactly one vacation since I was twelve, and that was two years ago.  Somehow I have managed to keep from slitting my wrists.

Anyway, my mom brought me back a souvenir – guess. A cookbook! Yeah! It’s great. It has recipes for shrimp creole, gumbo, beignets, oysters Rockafeller, and all the awesome dishes New Orleans is known for. When I came across the one for Fettuccine San Remo, I had to wipe my drool from the page, so I made it.

Unlike many of the recipes in this cookbook, this one does not have twelve thousand ingredients, it does not need to simmer for six days, nor does it involve buying sixteen pounds of crawfish. It does, however, involve shrimp, scallops, and garlic, which are some of my favorite things. It’s a light, refreshing dish, yet still flavorful. It’s also very quick and easy to make, which is great for when it’s too hot to stand over a stove.

Fettuccine San Remo

(from “Cookin’ in the Big Easy” from the Keepsake Cuisine Series)


1 pound fettuccine, cooked and drained

1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined

1/2 pound sea scallops

1 can chopped clams, drained

2 ounces fresh basil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups fish stock or clam juice (I used chicken broth and it came out fine. My idiot grocery store has NOTHIN!)


pine nuts (I used pecans because pine nuts are $7/oz. around here)


Saute garlic in oil for one minute.

Add the shrimp and scallops, and cook for about 4 minutes.

Add clams, herbs and stock, and maybe a bit of salt and pepper if you’d like.

Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Serve over pasta and top with nuts.

See how easy that was? Do your self a favor and serve it with a nice, crusty loaf of bread to sop up the broth. It is considered undignified to lick your plate.

Thai Red Curry Fish and Shrimp

In Fish, Seafood on March 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Coconut milk makes everything better!

I love Thai food so much! Really, anything that involves coconut milk is tops on my list. Whenever the Mr. and I are discussing the possibility of takeout, I always mention Thai, and he always says no. He’s afraid of it. He thinks it’s all so spicy that it will blow his colon clean out the back of his shorts. I try to tell him that they’ll make it as spicy or as mild as you want it, but he doesn’t believe me.

I decided to prove it to him instead. I figured if he came home from work and the only edible thing in the house was red curry, he would have no choice but to try it. And he did. And loved it. Of course. I made it pretty mild, using only a tablespoon of curry paste, but feel free to add more if you’re adventurous. If you’re new to red curry, start with one tablespoon and taste it, and gradually add more until the heat is at your perfect level. See? Customizable, once again!

Thai Red Curry Fish and Shrimp


2 tablespoons canola oil

2 cups chopped bok choy

14 ounces coconut milk

1 tablespoon (or more) red curry paste

2 tablespoons brown sugar

dash fish sauce

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 6-ounce Mahi fillets

4 tablespoons dried basil


Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add bok choy and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, over medium heat, combine coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Simmer gently, stirring frequently, until thickened – about 5 minutes.

Stir bok choy into sauce. Empty sauce into a bowl and set aside. Keep using that same pan.

Coat fish and shrimp with basil, and saute over medium heat until shrimp is no longer translucent, and fish flakes easily with a fork.

Add sauce back into pan, toss to coat, remove from heat.

Serve over jasmine rice.

Close your eyes as you ride the dream that is red curry. Go ahead, drink the sauce…