Tag Archives: shrimp

Thai Balls

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is three days away. I spent this last weekend prepping for and enjoying “friendsgiving”, hosted by delightfulcrab + a bunch of awesome people. When you love food as much as we do, celebrating Thanksgiving once just isn’t enough.

Last night, I decided to savor the last few moments of the pre-holiday craze and make something non-traditional.  These Thai meatballs are perfect for any occasion. You could even serve them as appetizers during Thanksgiving or at your annual holiday party. It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year, and I couldn’t be more excited. Enjoy!

Thai Balls with Peanut Sauce

Adapted from The Meatball Shop Cookbook; Makes 2 dozen 1.5 inch balls

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pound ground pork

1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined, and roughly shopped

2 large eggs

3/4 cup fresh Thai or Italian basil, roughly chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped

2 thai chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1/2 bread crumbs

2 tbsp minced lemongrass or lemongrass paste

2 tbsp minced fresh ginger

juice from 1 lime

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp fish sauce

For the Garnish:

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 large carrots, julienned or grated using the large holes of a box grater

10 fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (including stems)

10 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

1 tsp sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

2. Combine the ground pork, shrimp, eggs, basil, cilantro, mint, chiles, bread crumbs, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and fish sauce in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

3. Roll the mixture into round, golf-ball size meatballs (about 1.5 inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

4. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165° F.

5. Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish. Meanwhile, to make the garnish, place rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, carrots, basil, cilantro, mint, peanuts, and sesame seeds in a bowl and toss to combine.

6. Spoon the garnish over the top of the meatballs and serve with toasted whole wheat Naan and peanut sauce (recipe below).

For the Peanut Sauce:

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

juice from 1 lemon

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp fish sauce

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and toast in the oil, stirring frequently, until fragrant and beginning to turn golden brown, about 1 minute.

2. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, fish sauce, and cayenne (if using). Whisk together until a smooth consistency is achieved. Add a few tablespoons of water to thin the sauce, if needed. Cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.

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Green Herb Shrimp with Eggplant Couscous

I have a long-time relationship with shrimp, and usually choose it over chicken. If you can find fresh local jumbo prawns from your local farmers market or Whole Foods, make sure you add it to your  shopping list.

This dish is great for entertaining, but also easy enough for a midweek dinner. I adapted this dish from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook, and chose it especially for the green herb citrus sauce. I like to make things that are versatile enough to recreate again and again. This sauce is no exception, you truly could serve it with anything.

Green Herb Shrimp with Eggplant Couscous

FOR THE HERB SAUCE:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

4 green onions, white and light green parts, trimmed

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 cloves garlic

2 anchovies (optional)

Juice of 2 limes

FOR THE SHRIMP AND EGGPLANT COUSCOUS:

1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cups diced globe eggplant (about 2 medium)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous

1/4 cups coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup diced feta cheese

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend until fairly smooth with a few herb flecks. Put half of the sauce in a blow along with the shrimp and set aside to marinate for 1 hour, reserving the other half of the sauce.

2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a cast-iron pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and saute until the edges are browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Cook the couscous according to the package insturctions. Transfer the couscous to a large mixing bowl and add the eggplant, the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the basil, red pepper flakes, feta, and vinegar. Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Cook the shrimp until they just turn pink, about 2 minutes maximum on each side; be careful to avoid overcooking them. Toss the cooked shrimp in the remaining herb sauce and serve with the eggplant couscous.

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Tropical Prawn Salad with Mango, Avocado & Charred Corn

This recipe was the product of a long day. You would think since I write all day at work, the last thing I would want to do is come home and write about food. It’s quite the opposite; I couldn’t wait to channel my energy from the day into a random, new and fun dish.

I love this summery salad because of it’s bright colors and fresh bite. The snappy prawns along with sweet mango, creamy avocado and crispy corn make this salad an everyday must. The best part about this salad: the corn component makes it hearty enough for dinner (but light enough so you feel great).

Tropical Prawn Salad with Mango, Avocado & Charred Corn

Serves 2

.5 lb fresh, peeled and deveined prawns

2 tbsp organic tamari sauce

1 mango, peeled and sliced into chunks

1 whole avocado, sliced into chunks

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

2 ears of corn, husks removed

2 cups butter lettuce, washed and sliced

2 limes

2 cloves of garlic

extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp sea salt

freshly cracked pepper to taste

1. Wash the shrimp with cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a bowl with tamari, a squeeze of lime juice, and a few dashes of pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side (you will notice a dark pink color and a little crispiness). Set aside, but do not wash the pan.

3. Heat the pan over medium-high heat, and add the scallions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and place the two whole ears of corn in the pan. After about 4 minutes, turn the heat down, and turn the corn over. You will notice a brown charr color on one side of the corn. Cook another 2 minutes, and set aside to cool.

4. Once corn is cool, cut off the cob. Combine corn, charred scallions (yes, even the crispy ones from the pan), butter lettuce, chopped mango, and shrimp in a bowl. Toss.

5. To make the dressing, combine lime juice (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper and blend until combined.

6. Add avocado to the salad, and drizzle dressing on top. Enjoy alongside a crisp Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite white and so great with food). Happy Friday! This is what I’m doing…stoked for the weekend.

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Gingery Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Red Quinoa and Cilantro Peanut Sauce

I have always had a thing for peanut sauce (seriously, I will ask for extra at Thai restaurants).

At first, the only peanut butter I knew was smashed between two pieces of bread (I didn’t care for jelly), so the concept of a savory sauce took some getting used to. My first peanut sauce experience as a child involved Thai chicken satay & lettuce wraps, and it’s been a favorite ever since.

This dish is a hybrid of the classic Thai interpretation, and is inspired by an unforgettable peanut sauce, which can be found in the Real Food Daily cookbook.

Gingery Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Red Quinoa 

Ingredients

3/4 lb large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

About 1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 orange bell pepper, julienned

1 red bell pepper, julienned

2 carrots, shaved into ribbons using a potato peeler

1 head of butter lettuce, washed and dried

1 cup of organic red quinoa, cook according to directions on package

1 bunch of cilantro for garnish and peanut sauce

1 cup of cilantro peanut sauce recipe (listed below)

1. Marinate shrimp ahead of time – at least 30 minutes in advance. Place shrimp in a large bowl, add a few dashes of soy sauce and freshly ground pepper. Stir. Make sure each shrimp is coated in soy sauce mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator.

2. Heat a large heavy bottomed sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil

3.. Add half of the diced onion and cook until soft, using medium heat, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add peppers, season with salt & pepper, and continue to cook until peppers are soft, another 15-20 minutes. Turn heat to low, and simmer the peppers and onions while shrimp are prepared. 

5. Heat a second medium sized sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil, and add remaining diced onions. Cook until soft, using medium heat, about 5-7 minutes. Add ginger and cook  for another minute.

6. Add marinated shrimp, and cook until shrimp are fully cooked – look for opaque skin and bright pink color.

7. Assemble lettuce wraps with layers of quinoa, peppers, onions, gingery shrimp, and garnish with carrot ribbon and cilantro. Top with freshly made peanut sauce. Yes, that just happened.

Cilantro Peanut Sauce (also known as Peanut-Sesame Dressing, according to RFD)

Ingredients

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup brown rice vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 tbsp water

2 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

1. Blend the peanut butter, vinegar, maple syrup, water, tamari, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

2. Add the cilantro and blend just until it’s finally chopped.

The dressing will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

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