Shrimp with Roasted Tomato and Feta

Seriously, how good and tasty does that picture look?

Here lately, I’ve been on an extreme shrimp-kick. A new grocery story (H-E-B) has opened in our area and I am impressed with their fresh seafood counter. A couple of weeks ago, I hit the mother-lode when they had jumbo and colossal shrimp on sale when you bought three or more pounds. The man behind the counter was very nice and wrapped the shrimp in one-pound packages for me. I was delighted when I found this recipe that combines shrimp with another favorite ingredient of mine: grape tomatoes. My parents in Kentucky grow an amazing garden every summer and my Mom keeps a grape tomato plant in an old whiskey barrel on the patio…there is nothing sweeter than a tomato right off the vine. Dee-lish-yum!

To add color to this already-colorful dish, I recommend using red and yellow grape tomatoes. You could also use red or yellow roasted bell peppers. If you like it extra spicy, thinly slice a jalapeno pepper and add to the baking dish – YIKES!!!!!

2 pints grape tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Crusty French bread, sliced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place tomatoes and garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in a 13×9 baking dish, tossing gently to coat. Bake 15 minutes. Stir in shrimp and peppers. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink. Toss with parsley, feta cheese, and lemon juice. Serve immediately with warm bread.

*Recipe courtesy of Southern Living magazine, December 2010


Brown Sugar-glazed Pork

I am a gigantic fan of pork tenderloin. Buy the delicious white meat at Sam’s (or other bulk discount or club store) for cheap and I swear it’s some of the best meat you can put on a plate. There’s absolutely no waste, so you get exactly what you pay for (one reason I never order a T-bone steak at a restaurant, too much weight is wasted on that darn bone….bring me the meat!!!)

In my opinion, pork tenderloin should be cooked medium rare and no more. Overcooked meat, whatever kind it is, disturbs me. Consider tenderloin a blank canvas and play around with different spices and sauces. Begin with a good coating of olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper – the rest is up to you!

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup Wircestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Season 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 pounds) with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning often, about 20-25 minutes. Brush with the sauce mixture during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

*Recipe courtesy of Real Simple magazine, August 2010

Garlic Oven Fries

My husband, Kevin is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy…if he has meat and potatoes on his dinner plate, he’s a happy guy. I’m always looking for new recipes to try because roasted potato wedges are popular at our house. Play around with the seasonings; this recipe is a great foundation. Bon appetit!

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 medium; cut into 1/2-inch-thick sticks) with 4 smashed garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast at 425° F, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 35-45 minutes.

*Recipe courtesy of Real Simple magazine, August 2010

Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze

Place four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillet on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Rub the salmon with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chili pepper. Roast at 400° F until opaque, about 12 to 15 minutes.

*Recipe courtesy of Real Simple magazine, August 2010

Bourbon Molasses Vinaigrette

Bourbon and molasses, does it get any better than this? I think not! Serve over tender greens (such as Bibb lettuce) with crisp vegetables. I suggest using only the best bourbon money can buy: Kentucky bourbon, of course!

4 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
6 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a blender or food processor, puree the garlic, mustard, molasses, bourbon, vinegar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Once the mixture is smooth, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while still blending to emulsify the dressing.

*Recipe courtesy of Kentucky Monthly magazine, September 2009

Cheesy Chick Appetizers

Don’t be stressed about phyllo dough – if you have never used the thin sheets of pastry rest assure it’s not as scary as it seems. I made these delightful, crispy appetizers for a Tapas Party at a friend’s house and they were a big hit. Of course, with my allergy I had to substitute the regular cream cheese and melted butter with my soy-based products. I also omitted the walnuts (yuck!).

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and paprika (or cayenne, if you like it hot) and you have an instant winner. I am thinking about having friends over for New Years, this is a wonderful finger food option and can be prepared ahead of time. I might consider substituting the chicken with shrimp or crabmeat, to make it a bit more festive.

3/4 cup roasted chicken, chopped
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 chopped green olives
1/4 cup garden vegetalbe cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
9 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
cooking spray
melted butter

Mix together the chicken, mayonnaise, olives, cream cheese and walnuts. Unwrap phyllo dough and unroll it. Cover with a damp kitchen towel.

Place 1 sheet of dough on a clean surface and spray with cooking spray. Top with 2 more sprayed sheets. Gently cut the dough with scissors or a pizza cutter to make 3 long strips. Then, cut the strips in half. Place a tablespoon of chicken and cheese mixture at the end of one strip and roll it up like a flag, making a triangle. Press the ends to seal. Repeat the process until all phyllo dough and mixture is used.

Place triangles on an ungreased baking sheet; brush with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

*Recipe courtesy of Kentucky Monthly magazine, February 2010

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