IT WAS AN ITALIAN SURF/TURF AFFAIR #GRILLED EGGPLANT/SHRIMP AND ROASTED CHICKEN WINGLETS

It didn’t take me long to decide on what to prepare and cook for supper. You see, already I had tomatoes (vine-ripe/plummy) perched onto of my counter. With a quick stretch, I fetched my smooth and shiny eggplant along with olives, capers, onions, scallion. I allowed my cutting board and chef’s knife to do the talking and chopped they did.

PREPPING FOR HOME-MADE MARINARA SAUCE
PREPPING FOR HOME-MADE MARINARA SAUCE

In a small sauce pan, a drizzle of olive oil was added. Then, onions were sautéed making sure to season along with salt and black pepper, dried oregano, and basil. Tomatoes were then tossed in along with crushed garlic, chopped olives, capers, thyme, pinch of sugar and a splash of red wine vinegar. Sauce simmered on low heat until finished.

SIMMERING MARINARA SAUCE
SIMMERING MARINARA SAUCE

Eggplant was sliced and sprinkled with a pinch of salt in order to extract any bitter taste.

SLICED EGGPLANT READY FOR GRILL
SLICED EGGPLANT READY FOR GRILL WITH MARINARA SAUCE

After brushing slices of eggplant with olive oil, these were placed on heated grill pan for cooking.

EGGPLANT ON GRILL ALONG WITH MARINARA SAUCE ON SIDE
EGGPLANT ON GRILL ALONG WITH MARINARA SAUCE ON SIDE

Grilled eggplant slices were topped with fresh marinara sauce and feta cheese with a garnish of fresh parsley.

Seasoned shrimp was brought to room. Previously, this was seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and crushed garlic. Garlic was removed and shrimp was drizzled with a little olive oil. Shrimp was placed on grill for approximately two minutes on each side. Then each shrimp was brushed with a glaze made up of lemon, orange juice, honey and a pinch of salt.

CITRUS-HONEY GLAZED SHRIMP
CITRUS-HONEY GLAZED SHRIMP

Chicken winglets were seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, black pepper, crushed garlic along with a splash of soy sauce at least four hours beforehand. These were then brought to room temperature then placed on a foiled baking sheet for roasting.

Chicken roasted in oven at 380 degrees for approximately 40 minutes turning once. Chicken winglets were brushed with similar citrus and honey glaze. Then, an additional ten minutes were added at a temperature of 400 degrees.

COMPLETE DISHES WITH EXTRA MARINARA SAUCE FOR DIPPING ON THE SIDE
COMPLETE DISHES WITH EXTRA MARINARA SAUCE FOR DIPPING ON THE SIDE

WAIVE THE PLAIN MARINARA SAUCE #JAMAICAN RUM MARINARA SAUCE

Main ingredients for Jamaican Rum Marinara Sauce
Main ingredients for Jamaican Rum Marinara Sauce

Recently I purchased some fairly sweet and relatively inexpensive tomatoes in the produce aisle of my supermarket. For $1.99, I was able to nab five small goodness in a package.In the moment, I got a culinary idea so I grabbed another packet. Marinara was on my mind. It’s a simple sauce that is seasoned with herbs, garlic and other ingredients of choice.

It had been sometime since I made my own marinara sauce. Making my own has its advantages in that I’m able to control the consistency of my sauce. I like to keep it on the chunky side and add my own fresh and wholesome ingredients without the added preservatives that the store-bought version has. Not only did I wish to make my own marinara sauce, I wanted to input Jamaican white rum to take it to another level. That move provided quite a treat. It gave my sauce a slightly bold and even more succulent taste.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh tomatoes (8 sm)
  • Diced tomatoes (15oz) canned
  • Jamaican white rum (1/3 cup)
  • Onion (1/2 Large)
  • Garlic (3 cloves)
  • Thyme (1 tsp)
  • Dried oregano(1/4 tsp)
  • Dried basil (1/4 tsp)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Bell pepper (tbsp)
  • Olive oil (3 tbsp)
  • Sugar (1 tsp)
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Jamaican Rum Marinara Sauce simmering
    Jamaican Rum Marinara Sauce simmering

Method:

  1. In a stock pot, saute finely chopped onions and bell peppers in a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Season along with salt and pepper.
  3. Add crushed garlic cloves.
  4. Add rum and stir the ingredients.
  5. Proceed to add fresh tomatoes, and canned diced tomatoes along with sugar. The sugar will provide a balance to the acid in the tomatoes.
  6. Add the dried herbs and seasonings.
  7. Do taste test and add additional seasonings if needed.
  8. Allow sauce to simmer under low to medium heat for approximately 40 minutes or until sauce gather the right consistency you are okay with.
  9. A few minutes before completion, add fresh chopped parsley or any herb of choice.
  10. Add shredded or grated parmesan cheese (or any cheese of choice) after removing pot from heat.

I served my Jamaican rum marinara sauce on a bed of whole wheat spaghetti along with a spicy serving of  shrimp. I chose not to add cheese.

Spicy peppered shrimp with Jamaican rum marinara sauce on a bed of whole wheat spaghetti
Spicy peppered shrimp with Jamaican rum marinara sauce on a bed of whole wheat spaghetti

 

(EVEN THE KITCHEN SINK) – QUICK TERIYAKI SHRIMP,LEFT-OVER RICE/VEGGIE STIR-FRY

Sometimes, close to the end of the week, I realize I’ve not utilized all the wholesome perishables in my refrigerator. Part of the reason is that I’m tired and extremely busy. As you know, we pay big bucks for these supplies of fruits and vegetables. I’m not fortunate to have land space to plant my own veggies. Therefore, like many of us, I’ve to rely on those hardworking farmers at the farmer’s market or produce aisle at the neighborhood store.

I wanted a quick and delicious meal. I wasn’t in the mood to defrost and chop meat or poultry. Aha, that’s when I remembered that I had purchased a frozen bag of shrimp at my neighborhood Walmart. Walmart seems to be in every nook and cranny. But, I’m not complaining. Already, the shrimp was deveined, cleaned and ready for cooking. All that was necessary was to defrost. Then, I seasoned with salt, black pepper,crushed garlic and set aside.

I quickly went to work and visited the veggie tray of my refrigerator. I retrieved a piece of red bell pepper,carrots, celery, and perfectly green string beans.I smiled. I remembered those. They were slightly hidden under the carrots. I did a rapid julienne of these wholesome veggies along with onions and did a stir-fry in my hot skillet. Eh, I do believe I got that skillet from my dear sister. She’s always sending me kitchen gadgets. Hurray for Bev! Salt and pepper were added along with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I made sure to leave a crunch to my veggies because I hate soggy veggies. I added a little cooked brown rice to the veggies with a teaspoon of teriyaki sauce. I continued to fold all ingredients for a few minutes and pushed aside.

I then drizzled a couple teaspoons of olive oil in my skillet. Then, shrimp was added along with teriyaki sauce. The shrimp took virtually two minutes per side. I continued the stir-fry by combining all the ingredients and removed from heat. The result was an amazing dish that was flavorful and delicious. I could detect and taste all the wonderful ingredients from the teriyaki sauce. There was ginger, brewed soy sauce and other ingredients.The shrimp was cooked to my liking without being rubbery. The veggies came out and retained their crunch.

Guys, I do believe that dish was a winner. As always, be good to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates.