My girlfriends were coming for the weekend so I wanted to make them something super delicious … it was chillier than we expected it to be this weekend, so I decided a nice pot of hot soup would be just the thing.
It did happen just perfectly … two of my friends were staying in a camper and when they showed up at my house on Saturday, it was just about lunchtime plus they were quite chilled and hungry so the soup warmed them right up and filled our bellies before we went out to see the sights. I was so happy because they all raved about the soup and the two who don’t like things too hot & spicy said it was just right. Whew!
Shrimp & Tomato Bisque
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 – 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup Chardonnay or other white wine
- 2 garden fresh tomatoes + 2 roma tomatoes (about 0.7 lb), peeled and chopped
- 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
- 1 cup mixed vegetable juice such as V8 (or tomato juice)
- About 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- About 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha (or other hot sauce … use more or less depending on how spicy you like your soup)
- 2 cups fat free half & half
- 1 lb shrimp, fresh or frozen
- To garnish: freshly shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs
- Peel and chop the garlic and mix it with the olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside to let the garlic infuse into the oil while you chop the rest of the vegetables.
- Once you’ve chopped all the vegies, heat a saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and pour in the garlic and olive oil, then add the celery, onion and carrots and sautee until the onion is soft and translucent. If the vegetables get dry before the onions are soft, add the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add the flour and stir to coat all the vegetables.
- Add the wine (if you haven’t yet added it!), tomatoes, broth, juice, herbs, seasonings and Sriracha and stir well to mix. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the tomatoes break up and you have a nice thick soupy mixture, about 20 – 30 minutes or so. Using an immersion or regular blender, puree the soup. (If you have a blender with a glass carafe, let the soup cool a bit before pureeing it to avoid cracking the glass.)
- Pour the soup back into the saucepan and add the half and half and stir to mix, then add the shrimp. Cook over medium low heat just until the shrimp is hot and cooked through. Serve hot, garnished with shredded cheese and fresh herbs if you like, with some flatbread or Naan on the side.
with fresh grape tomatoes, goat cheese & pinons
If I had to choose one favorite pizza topping, this would be it. Shrimp, pesto, and goat cheese with fresh tomato and pinons are such an elegant combination of flavors, and if you have pizza crusts (or english muffins!) and pesto on hand, they are so quick and simple to put together.
I made these little mini-pizza crusts for the party last weekend, but we didn’t actually eat them at the party. I served some to my friends at the “after-the-party” party, though, and they were very well received. And now my daughter is loving having the little mini-crusts on hand. I’ve made her mini-pizzas for dinner a couple times this week already. I think this mini pizza craze might become a regular thing at my house. They are even better than the individual-sized crusts I normally make because they’re minis! Small, bite-sized food is just so fun.
When the basil is rampant, I make pesto & freeze it so I always have some on hand. I pretty much always have some pizza crusts in the freezer too.
Pesto Shrimp Mini Pizzas with Grape Tomatoes, Goat Cheese & Pinons
The great thing about these pizzas is you can pre-make everything and keep it in the freezer, so you can have little gourmet pizzas on the table in no time.
- Pre-made mini pizza crusts (recipe below) or English muffins … or a regular-sized pizza crust if you want to make this as a bigger pizza. You could certainly do this as a grilled pizza too …
- Pesto (my pesto recipe is here)
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Frozen, pre-cooked shrimp, thawed
- Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Pinons (pine nuts)
Spread the pizza crusts with pesto and crumbled goat cheese. Top with lots of shrimp and mini tomato halves. Sprinkle with pinons. Bake at 400 for about 10 – 12 minutes or until the nuts are toasted and light brown and the pizzas are good and hot.
Beer Pizza Crusts
- 1 cup beer (I used Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat this time)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Put all ingredients into the bread machine and put it on the dough setting. When the dough is done, divide it into 24 balls of roughly equal size. I did this by cutting the dough in half, then cutting each one in half again, then each piece into three and then cutting each of those into half. Use cornmeal on your work surface to keep the balls from sticking. Shape each ball into a disc shape, set on a flat pizza peel or cutting board dusted with cornmeal, cover with a towel and let rest about 5 – 10 minutes. Then gently stretch each one into a slightly larger disc, cover and let rest until they have risen to the desired size. Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes or until a light golden brown in color. You can throw them in a bag and freeze them at this point and pull them out as needed for snacks or dinner.
This recipe was featured at Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen Seafood Frenzy Fridays.
Calling this a shrimp dip is a little misleading because it’s got SO much more than shrimp in it … there’s bacon, and asparagus, and grilled corn cut off the cob, sweet onion, Havarti, Gorgonzola and cream cheese, greek yogurt, some seasonings of course… and then, to give it a little summer heat, some Sriracha sauce. It’s like a taste of summer in every bite.
Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip
- 1/3 cup roasted asparagus, chopped into small pieces
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 1/4 cup light cream cheese
- 2/3 cup fat free greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup cooked corn (I cut the kernels off a cob we had cooked on the grill, but thawed frozen corn would be fine too)
- 1/3 cup cooked, chopped shrimp (tails removed)
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning (if you don’t happen to have any, you can make your own with this recipe)
- 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cooked, chopped lower-fat bacon
- 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 – 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or more (add more or less according to how spicy you want the dip)
- Heat a frying pan up over medium heat till it’s hot, spray with cooking spray, and sautee the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and soft. If the mixture gets dry or starts to “burn”, add a splash of wine, then cook until the liquid from the wine has disappeared.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix the onion/garlic with the rest of the ingredients until it’s all thoroughly mixed. I started with the cream cheese because the heat from the onions will melt the cheese and make it easier to blend with the rest of the ingredients, then added the other things one by one.
- When I started cooking, I really meant this as a hot dip, but I ended up eating it cold because it’s SO hot outside … but really more because I was soo hungry by the time I finished it that I didn’t want to wait for it to bake. So hey, if you want, you could put this in an oven-safe baking dish and bake it up till it’s all hot and bubbly … or serve it cold with toasted pita chips, crackers, baked bagel chips or tortilla chips. Or vegies. Vegies always make good dippers.
- Garnish with a shrimp and some snipped green onion or chives.
It was also featured at Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen’s Seafood Frenzy Friday.
I came home from yoga last night wanting noodles. Badly. It was a power yoga class and she worked us hard … I could tell because my legs were sore already. So it was clearly time to make the Pad Thai I’ve been wanting to make. A while ago I had found these beautiful brown rice noodles with a Pad Thai recipe on the back. I THOUGHT I had also picked up some bean sprouts, but discovered rather quickly that I hadn’t. I had already shredded a bunch of carrots and chopped up the greens, though, so I thought to just add in some onion.
I do not claim this to be truly authentic Pad Thai (the Pad Thai police would surely come and get me!), but oh it was delicious. This Pad Thai soothed my craving for noodles and Thai food all in one fell swoop.
Shrimp Pad Thai
This recipe serves 2 – 3 people. If you have bean sprouts, just cut down the amount of other veggies to add in some sprouts. Pad Thai does usually have bean sprouts in it … I was just out of them!
For the sauce:
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon Hoison sauce
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 4 oz. brown rice noodles (1/2 the package)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 Tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
- 1 cup medium shrimp
- a splash of white wine
For the top:
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Chopped peanuts
- Chopped green onions
- Mix up the sauce ingredients in a bowl, adjusting the amount of sugar and Sriracha to your liking. The spicy heat will get soaked up by the noodles, so I would recommend making it a tad hotter than you think it should be. Set the sauce aside.
- Put some water on to boil for cooking up the noodles.
- While the water is cooking for the noodles, whisk the egg in a bowl and add a teaspoon of water. Scramble it in a frying pan or wok sprayed with cooking spray very briefly … take it out of the pan while it’s still wet. It will finish cooking when you add it back into the hot noodles. Speaking of noodles: are they done? Drain and set them aside.
- Clean out the egg from the frying pan (unless you are a neat scrambler … I always have some egg residue when I scramble), heat the pan to medium heat, and add the oil. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and spinach and sautee for a minute or two, then add the shrimp and sautee until the onion is limp and the shrimp turns pink. If the pan gets a little dry, add a splash of white wine and cook till the wine evaporates. Add the noodles and the sauce and stir to mix everything up. The noodles might not want to mix in too well, but that’s okay. You can put the “extras” on top of the noodles when you serve it.
- Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, and chopped green onion.
So of course I had to make some pasta with my new love: Asparagus White Bean Pesto! I tossed in some fresh shelf mushrooms my dad gave me, but you can use any mushrooms of your choosing. I chose Rotini because the ridges in the little swirly pasta will “catch” the pesto nicely, so it won’t all slide off of the noodles. It is a tasty, healthy meal that is fancy enough to serve to company, but quick enough to have any weeknight.
Asparagus Pesto Rotini with Shrimp & ‘Shrooms
If you have the pesto pre-made, this meal takes about 15-20 minutes to put together. If you don’t, it might take another 15 minutes to make the pesto. This makes two servings.
- 2 servings (about 7 oz.) rotini pasta (I recommend using whole grain or high fiber pasta of some kind … it will keep you energized longer.)
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped asparagus
- 1/2 – 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 heaping cup of shrimp (I used frozen pre-cooked shrimp, but fresh is even better)
- 1/2 cup Asparagus White Bean Pesto (recipe here)
- For the top: Freshly shredded parmesan, toasted Pine nuts, and fresh basil
- Boil the water and cook the pasta. While the water is heating, chop the asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic.
- When the water begins to boil, add the pasta and heat a frying pan up for sauteeing the shrimp & vegies. Spray the pan with cooking spray, and when it’s hot, put in the asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic and sautee just a couple minutes, then add 1/4 cup of the wine. Cook a few minutes or until the asparagus is starting to look a little cooked (but still bright green), then add the shrimp and the rest of the wine and cook a few minutes longer or until the shrimp is cooked and the asparagus is crisp-tender. (It only takes a few minutes.)
- By now the pasta should be about done. Test it to see if it is. If it’s not, remove the shrimp/asparagus mixture from heat, and wait a minute or two. When the pasta is done, strain out the water, then return the pasta to the pan. Add the pesto and asparagus/shrimp mixture and stir until everything is mixed up well.
- Serve topped with a few toasted pine nuts, a bit of freshly shredded parmesan, and basil leaves for garnish.
This is a #pastalove post!
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Yes, you DO have time to cook! This is faster than fast food and WAY healthier. You can have it on the table in under 15 minutes.
The “magic” in this recipe is the Super Simple Thai Peanut Sauce. If you make some of this up and keep it in your fridge, you can have delicious meals in minutes … if you haven’t made it yet, go do it! Click the sauce picture for the recipe … the sauce itself will take you maybe five minutes to make. It’s super simple.
I don’t claim that it is truly “authentic” Thai food, but it tastes amazing … and if you are a busy working mom who’s starved for Thai food like I am, with no Thai restaurants anywhere within hundreds of miles, well, then I think it’s okay to take some shortcuts.
Okay, now that you’ve got the sauce done, all you have to do is …
1. Cook up some noodles. I used Angel hair pasta. Angel hair is beautiful and fast, and I love the delicate-ness of the noodles! You can use whatever noodles you like, though. (For SUPER expedient gourmet meals, have some noodles pre-cooked in your fridge, then just warm them up when you need a quick delicious meal.)
2. While the noodles are cooking, steam some veggies. You can use whatever vegies you think would go well with Thai peanut noodles. I used broccoli and carrots. Here’s my quickie tricky method for doing that in the microwave. Put your fresh or frozen veggies in a bowl. Add a bit of water to the bowl. Just a splash; you don’t need a lot. Sprinkle the vegies with a little salt and pepper if you want. Cover it with a plate. Stick it in the microwave. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Take the veggies out and check them. Are they crisp tender? If not, stir, cover, and microwave a bit longer until they are crisp tender. Strain the vegies, or use a fork to remove them from the bowl.
3. Optional! Heat up (or cook up) some shrimp or leftover meat. I’ve tried this with leftover grilled chicken and also with tiny frozen (thawed) shrimp, but I also think it is just wonderful without meat at all.
4. Toss the noodles and vegies (and meat or shrimp, if you’re using them) with the noodles and about 2 tablespoons of the sauce per serving. Top with chopped roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro leaves and serve.
Post #5 of 5 in my Five Favorite Things for my Five Thousand Foodie Friends series …
I made my daughter a plain cheese one and she ate the WHOLE thing. Holey moley girl! I think she’s going through a growth spurt again because I could only eat about half of mine. She eats like crazy when she’s growing.
First I got the dough started in the bread machine. I used my beer pizza dough, the same one I used in the thai chicken pizza. Recipe for the crust is here.
Then I got to work on the sauce.
Homemade Pizza / Pasta Sauce, Two Ways
- 2 small onions
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
- 1 quart of canned tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped roasted eggplant (I know what you’re thinking: Eggplant? Trust me … it thickens the sauce and gives it a nice buttery taste. Spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil and roast in the oven at 400 for about 5 – 10 minutes or until it’s soft. Use the tender little ones if you can find them. If you have a big one, peel it first before you roast it. I had some that I froze last summer so I used that.)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt & pepper & fresh herbs to taste (I didn’t use anything but the Italian seasoning and my daughter said it was delicious just like that!)
- 2 – 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (to your taste)
- Fresh basil & oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt & pepper to taste
Peel the onion and garlic, chop the onion into large hunks and put in a food processor or handi chopper with the garlic to chop it finely. (Or chop it the old fashioned way, with a knife.)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet pan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and sautee for about 5 – 10 minutes until the onion is very soft and starting to sweeten/caramelize. Add the wine and cook until the liquid from the wine has mostly evaporated.
Add the tomatoes and eggplant and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid from the tomatoes has cooked down and the sauce is getting to be about the consistency of a tomato sauce. You don’t have to stand over it stirring the whole time, but you do want to make sure you stir it fairly often.
Put the sauce into a blender and blend till smooth. It will turn out this lovely orangey red color.
Now you have a choice. You can make one or both of the sauces. I divided mine up in half so I could make my daughter her Italian cheese pizza and me my spicy Cajun one.
So for the Italian sauce, I added Italian seasoning and asked my girl to taste it. She said it was perfect just like that (and I agreed).
For the cajun version, I added cajun seasoning, some fresh basil and oregano, some smoked paprika, and then just to kick it up a little more, some cayenne and a bit of salt.
Now it’s time to assemble the ‘za!
Cajun Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Jambalaya Pizza
- Pizza crust, pre-made or fresh (I used my beer pizza crust and made this on the grill … see this grilled thai pizza post for the crust recipe and grilling instructions)
- Tiny shrimps … I thawed some frozen ones
- Andouille sausage, sliced thin
- Bell pepper, chopped (or sliced)
- Red onion, sliced or chopped
- Jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional … if you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a pepper-head … I like things VERY spicy)
- Smoked gouda cheese, shredded
- Italian blend of shredded cheese
- Oregano leaves, for garnish … I think some chopped green onions would go well on top too.
Slather the crust with the cajun sauce, then sprinkle with the toppings and top with cheese. Cook the pizza in the oven or the grill till the cheese is melted and bubbly, then top with fresh oregano leaves and … it’s time to EAT!
I’m thinking some of this Cajun Lemonade from La Belle Cuisine would be fabulous with this spicy pizza …
Post #2 of 5 in my Five Favorite Things for my Five Thousand Foodie Friends series …
I have to combine some of my favorite things or I’m not going to fit them all in five posts!
I am quite taken with appetizers … little bites … dips … party food! Also I looove seafood … although I don’t cook it that often, since we are quite land-locked and it is difficult to get good seafood here. Unless you count walleye, silver bass, northern pike … THAT is quite attainable in these parts. But I made an exception for this special occasion and splurged on some seafood. Shrimp and crab … ah yes!
This yummy dip also features wine. And cheese. Another two of my foodie flavor loves. And a few veggies, because veggies and I are buddies too.
Let’s put this all together, shall we? Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you … it’s really quite a simple dip. You will be popping it in the oven to heat up in no time … it’s also great as a make-ahead-and-pull-it-out-and-bake-at-serving-time dip.
Hot & Cheesy Seafood Spinach Dip
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Chardonnay (or other dry white wine)
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup frozen spinach, thawed, with the moisture squeezed out of it
- 1/2 cup white beans (great northern or cannelini beans)
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 oz. light cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup freshly shredded Romano cheese (or other sharp, hard cheese like Parmesan)
- 1/3 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese (or other soft, melty cheese like Swiss)
- 1 Tablespoon (or more) of fresh snipped dill weed (or 1 teaspoon of dried dill)
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 6-oz. can of crab meat, drained (or 4.25 oz. of fresh crab meat)
- 1/3 cup of pre-cooked shrimp, chopped fine (I used medium frozen shrimp, but you could use any size … if yours are fresh, pre-cook them a little before adding them)
Toppings: a bit of extra shredded Romano and/or gouda cheese, some crushed crackers or breadcrumbs, and some chopped fresh chives and/or dill
- In a frying pan or cast iron skillet, cook the onion, celery and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent and soft. Add the wine and worcestershire sauce and sautee until the liquid evaporates. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the spinach, white beans, light mayonnaise, and light cream cheese. Whir until well pureed and everything is a fine paste. If the mixture is too thick, add the lemon juice as well and maybe even the yogurt.
- Now in a medium-sized bowl, mix the sauteed veggies, the pureed mixture, and the remaining ingredients except for the toppings.
- Spray an oven proof bowl or small casserole with cooking spray and pour the dip into the bowl. Spread it with a spatula till it’s flat, then sprinkle with extra cheese and crushed crackers or bread crumbs.
- Bake at 400 for 10 – 20 minutes or until everything is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Top with the fresh chives and/or dill before serving. It is good to put a shrimp on top to clue everyone in on what they can expect from this luscious dip!
Serve with crackers, toasted pita or bagel chips or vegies. (You can also put it in a mini-crockpot at a party to keep it warm.)
This is even better if you make the dip ahead of time and let the flavors meld overnight (or longer) in the fridge, then pull it out, top it and bake it just before you serve it.
This recipe was shared at Midweek Fiesta, Cast Party Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked Whole Foods Recipe Swap, Tastetastic Thursdays, Full Plate Thursdays, Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Fabulous Fridays, Weekend Potluck, and Strut your Stuff Saturdays.
This is a quick, easy, healthy, delicious and fancy shmancy looking appetizer that could easily morph into a dinner, if you skipped making the little cups and served the shrimp mixture over rice or even rolled it up into a tortilla, burrito-style.
The cups are simply tortilla triangles sprayed with cooking oil and baked.
You could fill the pretty little cups with just about anything your little heart desires … I just happened to have some black beans, shrimp, salsa, cilantro, and lime juice on hand, begging to be used in something delicious …
Spicy Shrimp, Avocado, & Black Bean Bites
- Large flour tortillas (white or whole wheat or whatever flavor you like)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery, leaves reserved
- 2 -3 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
- 2 Tablespoons white wine
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen shrimp
- 1 cup of cooked black beans
- Juice of half a lime
- 1/3 cup of your favorite salsa (I used my kiwi, kumquat, & mango salsa)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Avocado, peeled and cut into little chunks and/or shredded cheese if you like
Cut the flour tortillas into 6 triangles. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and wedge one tortilla triangle into each muffin cup. Spray the tops of the tortillas with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the tortillas are golden brown and crispy.
Now, make the filling:
- Chop the onion, celery and garlic, reserving the celery leaves for later.
- Spray a cooking pan with cooking spray, heat over medium high heat till hot, then add the onion, garlic and celery and saute briefly. Add the white wine and saute for a few minutes or until the wine dissipates and the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the shrimp and black beans and saute a few minutes longer until the shrimp is cooked through. Add the salsa and lime juice and stir everything together just briefly till it’s all good and hot.
- Stir in the reserved celery leaves and most of the cilantro leaves, reserving some for garnish.
- Spoon a bit of the filling into each tortilla cup, garnishing with avocado, cilantro, and cheese (if desired). I tried it both with and without the cheese and it is good both ways.
You can make the filling ahead of time (like I did) and assemble these babies right before serving.
My mom gave me one of her beautiful white eggplant. The first time she gave me one, my foodie sister was there and she looked at me and said, “the white ones are perfect for stuffing.” Ever since she said that, every white eggplant I meet seems to cry out to me to stuff it with all sorts of deliciousness.
One of my foodie friends suggested stuffing it with shrimp and bechamel sauce. I had fully intended to do that with this one, but I am feeling too lazy today to make a bechamel sauce. So I just did a quick sautee, swirled in some cheese and went with that. I didn’t have as much shrimp as I really wanted to use, but still it turned out lovely. Yes, a white wine bechamel sauce would be heavenly, with some freshly shredded parmesan and nutmeg. But not today.
Today is my lazy Sunday. And this was my lazy Sunday lunch. And it was beautiful and delicious, just like this.
If you’re wondering what those dark spots are, they are a couple basil flowers I tossed on just before I baked the eggplant. You might want to toss on the flowers (if you have them) AFTER you cook the stuffed eggplant. Just sayin’ …
Shrimp, Basil & Bacon Stuffed Eggplant with Swiss and Goat Cheese
- 1 eggplant, about 6 inches long (so once you scoop out the inside, you have about 1 1/2 cups of eggplant–if you have a larger or smaller eggplant, just adjust the other ingredients up or down)
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1/4 c. chopped onion
- 1/4 c. chopped bell pepper
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 – 1 cup of chopped shrimp (I only had 1/2 cup, but I really wanted more shrimp in this!)
- 2 – 3 slices of lower-fat bacon, fried crisp, drained and chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese (Asiago, Romano or Parmesan would be nice mixed in as well)
- 1 oz. goat cheese
- 2 -3 T. of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 -3 t. of fresh oregano leaves
- Shredded swiss or parmesan cheese and/or breadcrumbs
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the insides so you leave about 1/4 – 1/2 inch shell.
- It should look something like this when you’re done:
- Take the removed eggplant flesh and chop it up into small pieces.
- Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium high heat until it starts to warm. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then swirl around the olive oil in the heated pan. Add eggplant, onion, garlic, and bell pepper and sautee until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the shrimp, bacon, and tomato and sautee just about 3 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheeses and herbs.
- Fill the scooped out eggplant shells with the lovely mixture you cooked up.
- Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and top with shredded cheese and/or breadcrumbs.
- Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted or the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
- Serve hot, with fresh basil leaves for garnish (and the basil flowers, if you happen to have some!)
This beautiful dish goes so well with a nice glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
By the way, stuffed eggplant are the perfect make-ahead convenience food! You can wrap them in plastic wrap or foil and freeze for later. When you need a quick meal, pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw for a while, then bake at 350 until it’s heated throughout. They microwave nicely, too, just make sure to cook them long enough to get the center good and hot.
This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Eggplant Bloghop.
When I volunteered to do a guest post for Kelly at Eat Yourself Skinny, I didn’t know what life had in store for us.
My Aunt Hazel had a heart attack last week. Our family had a rough week.
So I made this for you Hazel. Rest in peace. We will miss you.
I asked my daughter tonight whether we should do burgers (I mean real MEAT burgers … ) or shrimp tonight, and she requested shrimp. She loooooooves shrimp. And crab legs. I haven’t cooked crab legs at home … that’s one of those things that I would rather have served to me at a restaurant. But shrimp … THAT you can cook at home. Deliciously.
This is a great way to make “breaded” shrimp without all the fat of deep frying the shrimp because you bake it! It’s fast too … It was Gina at Gina’s Skinny Taste that suggested that you could do this with shrimp! I have breaded and baked fish this way, but for some reason hadn’t thought of “breading” shrimp this way. It’s delicious … if it wasn’t for my kids (who don’t like nuts), I probably would have added some nuts … a few toasted pinons or almonds would be so GOOD in this … Ah well. It’s was super-yummilicious just like this.
Because the shrimp take a little bit of work, I wanted simple sides with it. So I served it with angel hair pasta tossed with a little Basil-Lime Pesto and a simple mixed green salad with some cantaloupe and a tequila-lime vinaigrette I had made for some previous dinner.
Let’s look a little closer at those shrimp, shall we?
Well, maybe just a bit closer …
Are you hungry yet? Let’s get started!
Herb and Parmesan Crusted Shrimp
- about 1 lb. large shrimp
- 3/4 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
- about 1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan (or asiago or romano) cheese
- 1/2 t. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 t. tarragon
- 1/2 t. dill
- 1/2 t. Red Robin Seasoning (or seasoned salt)
- 1/4 t. granulated garlic
- freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- 1 egg (you can substitute 2 egg whites or use egg beaters if you like)
- Prepare your side dishes. Once the shrimp is done, you will want to serve it right away!
- If you are doing this in an oven, preheat to 450 degrees F. I use a convection toaster oven ( … so no preheating needed)!
- Coat your baking pan with cooking spray.
- Mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and spices in a good-sized bowl for dipping.
- If the cheese shreds look too lengthy for breading (mine did!), whirl them in your food processor or handy chopper for a few seconds.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg (or egg whites or eggbeaters) till it’s well mixed and a bit frothy.
- Dip a shrimp or two or three in the egg first (to coat), then in the crumb mixture, flipping to coat each piece. I like to set the shrimp in the breading and use my fingers to “bury” it in the crumbs. Then carefully lift it out and set it on the baking dish. This makes for very messy fingers and I find myself rinsing them off a million times, but it’s fun AND it gets a little extra of those lovely crumbs on the shrimp. (You can also double dip your shrimp if you want extra breading–put them back in the egg mixture, then in the breading again.)
- Set the shrimp pieces on the baking tray, leaving a little space between them. Admittedly, mine were not spaced all that well.
- When you’ve finished dipping all the shrimp, spray them liberally with cooking spray.
- Bake at 450 for about 6-7 minutes. At this point, you should go warn your eaters that it’s almost time to eat!
- Flip the shrimp, spray with cooking spray, then cook another 3-5 minutes on the other side.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges and your delicious side dishes.
Oh yes! About that salad …
I was desparate for something quick to throw together to go with this shrimp and my girl had just cut up an entire cantaloupe into chunks for munching on. I had never put melon on a “green” salad before and I’ve got to tell you it was SO delicious! All it is is mixed organic greens with a few hunks of melon and sprinkled with Cooking Light’s Tequila Lime Vinaigrette on top. Oh so simple and oh so sweet! The dressing is even sweet, too, so even your children would like this (you could make the dressing without the tequila for them). The sweetness of this fresh melon salad with the salty herbed breaded shrimp and the garlicky angel hair pasta was just SO perfect!
Here’s the dressing recipe again so you don’t have to go look it up:
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- Dash of salt
- Toss all ingredients into a food processor and whir till blended. Or you can just whisk them all together in a bowl, but the food processor will chop up the cilantro really nicely. I used watermelon-infused tequila (made by soaking watermelon cubes in tequila for several days). Cover and chill until ready to use.
This recipe was shared at: Recipe of the Week: Seafood
I have long loved shrimp and pesto pizza and since I have this asparagus, I wondered what would it be like with asparagus? It was lovely, garlicky, scrumptious, mmmmm ..
I like to use my bread machine to pre-make individual pizza crusts. One recipe makes 6 individual pizza crusts. I pre-bake them till they are just light golden-brown, and they freeze so nicely, so it’s easy when you’re busy to just toss on a few toppings and throw in the toaster oven and ta da! homemade dinner in just a few minutes.
So back to the shrimp and asparagus pizza-deliciousness:
- New York style pizza crust (make your own or use a store-bought pre-made pizza crust)
- Shrimp, peeled, cooked, and chopped
- Asparagus, cleaned and chopped
- Vidalia onion, chopped
- Garlic clove(s), peeled and chopped
- Pinot Grigio, or other white wine
- Shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
- Goat cheese, crumbled
- Tomato, chopped
- Pinons (pine nuts)
- Fresh basil leaves, chopped
- With a butter knife, thinly spread a layer of pesto on the pizza crust.
- Spread a layer of shrimp evenly over the pesto.
- Coat a saucepan with cooking spray. Heat to med-high heat. Sautee the asparagus, onion, and garlic briefly, then add a splash of wine, cover, lower heat and cook until asparagus is crisp-tender.
- Sprinkle the pizza with the sauteed asparagus mixture, then top with the cheeses.
- Add the tomatoes and pinons on top of the cheese.
- Bake at 425 degrees F. for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cheeses are melted and bubbly.
- Before serving, sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.