Friday, February 28, 2014

Brussels Sprouts Tips

Brussels sprouts are notorious for wrinkling many noses as people say, "oh I don't like them". I was in that camp for quite awhile, until I learned how to cook them properly. . . with bacon. I mean really, anything cooked with bacon is good right? Since then I have graduated to other forms of preparations that don't include bacon. I found this little trick to help when sautéing and it works like a charm. 

Rinse brussels sprouts and remove any unwanted leaves. 

Cut each in half. Using the tip of your knife cut into the stem of each sprout. This will allow an even heating and cooking of your little veggie nuggets. 

Heat oil of choice in pan (I used coconut oil). Start process with cut side facing down, cooking on medium-high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also added lemon pepper and a bit of lemon juice as I sauteed. After a few minutes flip each to their back side (as pictured) and continue to cook for 3-5 min more. Your sprouts will be done when they have softened a bit and are slightly browned. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fresh Amazing Shrimp

I love to be outdoors. When I was a newlywed one of our first "disagreements" was about who was going to take care of the outside of the house and who was going to take care of the inside. You see, I grew up with a Dad who had a green thumb, and then some. One year he created a contraption so that he could sift all the rocks out of his garden. Some of you may be thinking- why?? I of course thought- genius!!! The soil in that little spot of the earth is so amazing, I could roll in it, and maaaybe I have, but that is another story. I also love to be in the kitchen cooking. So when I came across this recipe that combined two of my loves - being outdoors (grilling) and cooking I was sold. I feel like food cooked outside tastes better. Maybe it is the fresh air or the simplicity of the cooking method. Either way, it is a good thing. 

Then I made this shrimp. . . and I was on another level. Seriously the best shrimp I have ever made. I don't want to be one of those people who ruin a movie when they say "this is the funniest movie ever- I was crying laughing!". You then proceed to enter the theater expecting to be LOLing the whole time, only to be disappointed because you were just chuckling. (Thanks ticket taker man- I have still not forgotten you) But just take my word for it- this shrimp is amazing. I have made it many times, for various people and their reaction is the same: oh yum, mmmm, wow. If you are ready for a similar reaction, get your shrimp and skewers ready. You are in for a treat!

Fresh Amazing Shrimp
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp hot pepper sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached

In a mixing bowl combine oil, parsley, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Reserve a small amount of this mixture for basting later. In a Ziploc bag combine the rest of the mixture and shrimp. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 

Soak skewers in water for at least 15 minutes before using them so they don't burn up on the grill. 

Preheat grill on a medium-low heat. 

Thread shrimp onto skewers. Pierce the end near the tail and the other end near the head. (As shown on picture below) Discard marinade and Ziploc bag. 

BBQ shrimp for 3-5 minutes per side, until opaque. Be sure to frequently baste as you are grilling with the reserved marinade. 

Serve and enjoy!