BARLEY/LEEK SOUP WITH PAN-SEARED SHRIMP

Kicked up my lunch to a satisfying and nutritious notch. Went with one of autumn’s popular vegetables, leeks. These sweet and subtle flavors were excellent to pair with barley.

PREPPING FOR LEEK AND BARLEY SOUP
PREPPING FOR LEEK AND BARLEY SOUP

Did it my way by adding other fresh/pantry ingredients like:

  • onions
  • carrot
  • celery
  • veggie bouillon cube
  • salt/black pepper
  • dried oregano
  • fresh thyme
  • veggie broth

After sauteing fresh veggies including leeks in a drizzle of olive oil, rinsed barley was added along with dried seasoning. Veggie broth and cold tap water were added along with a sprig of thyme.

Barley/leek soup simmered under low to medium heat until barley was tender. Then, this was pureed to a thick consistency. Barley/leek soup was topped with pan-seared shrimp with a garnish parsley.

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SPICY SHRIMP/BELL PEPPERS

It was the beginning of something succulent. Went with a seafood dish that made my taste buds leaped with joy. Decided on a spicy shrimp meal. Layered same on a bed of pureed mini bell peppers consisting of:

  • assorted colors(mini bell peppers)
  • jalapeno
  • onions
  • garlic

In a skillet, veggies were sautéed in a drizzle of olive oil. Made sure to season with a pinch of salt, black pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar and water. Then, this was pureed in food processor.

Served up spicy shrimp and bell peppers with whole grain linguine pasta with a few broccoli spears, and a garnish of finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley.

SPICY SHRIMP/BELL PEPPERS WITH WHOLE GRAIN LINGUINE/BROCCOLI
SPICY SHRIMP/BELL PEPPERS WITH WHOLE GRAIN LINGUINE/BROCCOLI

GRILLED SHRIMP/CHICKEN TENDERLOINS WITH FRILLS

When the temperatures are soaring on the outskirts, I’ve no time to be spending extended time on top of my stove. I often seek out quick, easy, and delicious meals. After all, I want to secure much-needed time to enjoy the summer.

Went with that in mind this afternoon and oh, look what I managed to turn out. Grabbed hold of my grill pan and made me a few grilled shrimp and chicken tenderloins. I needed to take them to another level.

So, I made a quick kale/parsley pesto and slathered some on my grilled chicken (lime flavored). Decided to reach for some of summer’s favorites in the form of mini bell peppers. Finely chopped up those assorted hues along with diced onions, a squeeze of honey, pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar and slowly simmered.

I couldn’t resist. If I’m indulging in shrimp, I’ve to have that ‘kick’. Thus, I added finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers to the mix. Oh, those dear shrimp were super-excited. With a squeeze of fresh lime, I layered  those juicy shrimp on a bed of Jasmine rice. And, of course, I added that spicy side dish of assorted mini bell peppers.

I was on cloud nine.

 

CREAMY POLENTA IN THE COMPANY OF SPICY GRILLED SHRIMP

The flavors, spices, and ingredients were ‘popping’ in my kitchen. Didn’t have to hop on a plane, bus or train to garner a Jamaican, Italian and Southern experience. With the aid of a few relatively inexpensive ingredients, I was able to turn out quite a mouth-watering dish.

My pantry yielded a pack of cornmeal for less than a $2.00. All I needed was a half of a cup to make a creamy polenta. Gave dish my Jamaican input of fresh coconut milk and added water with veggie bouillon, finely chopped onions, a pinch of nutmeg along with sprinkle of salt and black pepper.

After cornmeal slowly simmered in liquid to a thick consistency, I added a pat of butter and a little grated cheddar cheese to finish off the dish.

POLENTA SIMMERING
POLENTA SIMMERING

Decided to serve creamy polenta with grilled shrimp.

GRILLED SHRIMP WITH A SERVING OF SPICY SWEET PEPPERS
GRILLED SHRIMP WITH A SERVING OF SPICY SWEET PEPPERS

Topped grilled shrimp with serving of spicy sweet peppers which included, mini (assorted) peppers, finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper, vinegar, honey, and a pinch of salt/black pepper. A garlic spinach was also served.

AN ASIAN/ITALIAN TABLE #SHRIMP/VEGGIE STIR-FRY AND RISOTTO

As I prepared and cooked my Asian/Italian inspired meal, I felt like a true Food Ambassador. The United Nations would be proud of yours truly. Okay, now I’m going over the top.

But anyway guys, I was over the moon  with the combining of both my dishes. With the help of a store-bought Risotto:

PACKET OF RISOTTO
PACKET OF RISOTTO

I was able to pull off a tasty and delicious dish. It had in all the ingredients along with just the amount of sodium to my taste. I also added a few pieces of fresh broccoli spears to freshen up the creamy dish.

COOKED RISOTTO WITH FRESH BROCCOLI AND PARSLEY
COOKED RISOTTO WITH FRESH BROCCOLI AND PARSLEY

I allowed the five-spice powder to be a great player in my vegetable stir-fry.

CHINESE FIVE SPICES
CHINESE FIVE SPICES

With just a small pinch of the Chinese spice, I was able to transform my assorted vegetables to another exotic level.

STIR-FRY ASSORTED VEGGIES
STIR-FRY ASSORTED VEGGIES

On the side, I grilled a few small to medium size shrimp. These were then  flavored in a citrus butter sauce with bits of jalapeno peppers, capers and thin lemon slices.

ASIAN-FLAVORED SHRIMP AND VEGGIE STIR-FRY
ASIAN-FLAVORED SHRIMP AND VEGGIE STIR-FRY

Some white wine would have been perfect with these two dishes; however, I settle for what I had in-house, an inexpensive Merlot(Yellow tail) from Down Under. The Australians would be very proud. Salud guys!

WHO SAYS I CAN’T PLAY WITH FOOD? #RICE/CABBAGE WITH A HINT OF CURRY/CRANBERRIES

The other day, I felt like a kid again. I like to experiment and sometimes take my dishes to different and quirky level. What’s the worse that could occur? I just wouldn’t  try that again.My palate and I were in a colorful and odd place.

Well, that’s what I said to myself as I chopped a few wedges of cabbage to join some sautéed onions in a drizzle of olive oil.

VEGGIES BEING SAUTEED FOR JASMINE RICE WITH HINT OF CURRY POWDER
VEGGIES BEING SAUTEED FOR JASMINE RICE WITH HINT OF CURRY POWDER

I decided to go Mediterranean/Caribbean with my Jasmine rice of choice. I wanted a hint of color to my lily-white rice. After I sautéed and seasoned along my onions, cabbage and garlic, I added rice and allowed the grains to be coated with oil.

I was in culinary heaven as I watched my ingredients transformed to light yellow in appearance. I also added a sprig of thyme, and scallion. It seemed like I was going toss in the kitchen sink. But, I pulled back.

Rice was covered with lid under low heat after adding water. As soon as it came to a fluffy finish, thinly chopped bell peppers were added. I wasn’t finished. I desired a contrast, but cohesive in flavors and decided to toss in dried cranberries.

JASMINE RICE/CABBAGE WITH A HINT OF CURRY POWDER AND DRIED CRANBERRIES
JASMINE RICE/CABBAGE WITH A HINT OF CURRY POWDER AND DRIED CRANBERRIES

All the flavors played off each other. The curry wasn’t overpowering; but, provided a taste that reminded me of childhood and perhaps what would be served in a Mediterranean kitchen. The cranberries took it to another level. They gave a beautiful and contrasting tart-sweet taste to the dish that surprised my taste buds.

I served rice with  grilled citrus shrimp and vegetables along with a serving baked orange-flavored chicken wings. Fresh wedges of seasoned vine-ripe tomatoes completed my dish.

SHRIMP IN A CURRY/COCONUT SAUCE

Supper was a rather quick and easy affair. It’s so convenient when all the ingredients and culinary ‘players’ are at your finger tips. I allowed the stored coconut milk to jump-start my curry/coconut sauce. Milk was simmered on low heat for a few minutes with a sprinkle of curry powder. Sauce was then seasoned with salt, black pepper to taste along with crushed garlic, diced onions, bell peppers and finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers.

As soon as sauce arrived at the right consistency, seasoned shrimp was added to sauce. I made sure to keep an eagle’s eye out for my seafood as same only needed just a couple of minutes on both sides. Skillet was removed from burner and all the goodness from the sauce was soaked up by the shrimp.

Curry/coconut shrimp was served with some left-over steamed Jasmine rice along with some roasted pumpkin pieces and onions. Nature’s butter (avocado) became part of the whole dish. It provided a smooth finish and temper the spicy shrimp dish.

A SUMMER WRAP-UP #GRILLED AND SKEWERED SHRIMP

With summer on its way out I thought I would fire-up my in-door pan grill. And so I did with the sweet and crispy corn on the cob along with bell peppers and onions.

CORN ON THE COB, ONION AND BELL PEPPERS FOR GRILLING
CORN ON THE COB, ONION AND BELL PEPPERS FOR GRILLING

Corns were brushed with a little olive oil and added to piping hot grill so as to wake up the beautiful flavors within.

CORNS, AND BELL PEPPERS ON GRILL
CORNS, AND BELL PEPPERS ON GRILL

In no time, I got the other veggies into the mix.

SLICED ONION RINGS AND SCALLION ON GRILL
SLICED ONION RINGS AND SCALLION ON GRILL

After grilling I allowed corns to cool; then, I let my knife do the talking in removing the kernels from the cob. I also did a rough chop of all the veggies.

LOOSE CORN READY AND VEGGIES FOR COCONUT RICE
CORN READY AND VEGGIES FOR COCONUT RICE

Grilled veggies were tossed in with steamed coconut rice. Of course, I even got some skewered shrimp in on the action. With a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and black pepper, paprika, and crushed garlic, these were placed on skewers.

On a hot grill under low heat, shrimp were grilled for approximately two minutes per side.

GRILLED SHRIMP ALONG WITH LEMON
GRILLED SHRIMP ALONG WITH LEMON

Grilled skewered shrimp were served on a bed of coconut steamed rice with grilled corn and other veggies.

 

IT WAS A SEAFOOD KIND OF A MEAL #PAPRIKA AND CITRUS SHRIMP

I had a rather long day. And although it would have been just perfect to order delivery or eat out, I decided on neither. I just wanted to return to my nest and unwind. That meant unwinding with a sip of cocktail. Had a little left-over pinot noir on hand. And I put on a little soft rock and went to work in my kitchenette. It’s amazing what a few cloves of garlic,  vine-ripe tomatoes and citrus can do to you.

GARLIC, VINE-RIPE TOMATOES AND LIMES
GARLIC, VINE-RIPE TOMATOES AND LIMES

It was a simple, quick yet delicious and hearty meal. In less than thirty seconds I was able to whip up a grilled paprika and citrus shrimp over a bed of linguine pasta. I made sure to season shrimp with a sprinkle of salt, black pepper, paprika and crushed garlic. After removing garlic, shrimp was drizzled with olive oil and placed on grill pan for approximately two minutes on each side. Shrimp was then removed from burner and a combination of  freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice was added.

Whole wheat linguine pasta was cooked al dente style. I made sure to season pasta water generously as that was the ideal time to flavor pasta. Pasta was drained and a little water was reserved for an addition so to stretch the sauce. It was important that I had a firm pasta in order that I could finish the cooking process in the sauce.

In a hot skillet, under low to medium heat, olive oil was drizzled and roughly chopped onions were sautéed. Then chopped vine-ripe tomatoes were added along with crushed garlic. In order to expel the all the flavors and juices, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper were added along with a squeeze of lemon and lime.  Also, fresh thyme was added. Pasta along with reserve water were then tossed in and all ingredients were folded for a perfect finish.

Paprika and citrus shrimp was served over linguine pasta along with a garnish of fresh lemon/lime slices and parsley. Guys, I was super-happy as I puckered up to my citrusy dish. Now, if I could only find something to watch other than the re-runs.

SUMMER IS IN THE HOUSE!! #GRILLED CITRUS SHRIMP, ASPARAGUS AND ONIONS

When the days become long  and the temperatures sizzle on the outskirts, I want quick, easy and delicious. So, it was that in mind that I fired up my indoor pan grill and went to work on a seafood favorite of mind. Shrimp was marinated with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, black pepper, sprinkle of paprika, and crushed garlic.

I also made sure to do a quick blanch of my asparagus by boiling for approximately three to four minutes in salty water. Then, these were shocked in an icy bath to cease the cooking process. After drying with paper towel, they were brushed with olive oil and placed on grill along with sweet yellow onions cut in a circular shape. I made sure to season onions with pinch of salt and black pepper.

Close to the ending of the grilling process of the veggies, each shrimp was placed on grill after removing any remnants of garlic. Each shrimp was grilled for approximately two minutes on each side then brushed with a citrus and honey sauce. These were served on a bed of herb and citrus whole grain rice.

Shrimp dish was full of amazing flavors that provided a slightly sweet and of course tart taste to the dish. The asparagus and onions were cooked to perfection but still possessed a crispiness to each bite. The nutty and flavorful whole grain rice completed the dish because it also had a fresh herb(parsley) and citrus taste to the meal.