Sriracha Lime Shrimp Salad with Asian Peanut Dressing

I love the Peanut dipping sauce served alongside spring rolls in Asian restaurants so much, it needs to make an appearance on other dishes. And in the summa-summa-summertime, I am always looking for ways to make salads interesting. This Sriracha Lime Shrimp Salad with Asian Peanut Dressing is light, fresh and flavorful, exactly what I want for dinner during a Texas summer.

 

 

Ingredients (serves 3-4):
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. honey simple syrup
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. sriracha
Zest and juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper

1 head romaine lettuce, sliced
4 oz. sliced red and green cabbage blend
1 cup shredded carrots
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
Asian Peanut Sauce – see recipe

Garnish:
Chopped cilantro
Chopped peanuts

Toss together romaine lettuce, sliced cabbage, shredded carrots and red onion. Pour Asian Peanut Sauce over the top and toss to combine. (Note: this intentionally makes a lightly dressed salad. If you like more dressing on your salad, you might want to make 1.5x or 2x the dressing.)

Peel and devein shrimp, place in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk together canola oil, honey simple syrup, chopped cilantro, sriracha, lime zest and juice (or pulse through a food processor) and pour over shrimp, coating evenly. Preheat grill pan (I love my red Le Creuset Double Burner Grill Pan) on medium low. Grill shrimp 3 minutes per side, until cooked.

Top salad with grilled shrimp, chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts. Enjoy!

Blackened Shrimp and Mango Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

The holidays are over and it’s the time of year to plan lighter meals. I love salad, but in order to be a meal they have to be big and hearty. This Blackened Shrimp and Mango Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is fresh, with tons of flavor and is so healthy! Mango and lime make this a go-to recipe during the summer, but it’s perfect any time of year you need a big healthy salad.

 

Blackened Shrimp ingredients:
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. blackening seasoning

Salad ingredients:
1 head romaine lettuce
1 mango, peeled and diced
½ red onion, diced
½ red pepper diced
½ cucumber, diced
2 tbsp. green onion, sliced

Vinaigrette ingredients:
Juice of 1 lime
4 tbsp. honey simple syrup
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, toss together peeled and deveined shrimp with olive oil, lime zest and blackening seasoning. Set aside until ready to grill.

Meanwhile, combine diced mango, red onion, red pepper, cucumber and green onion in a medium bowl. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and pour over diced mango mixture.

Preheat grill pan on medium-low and grill shrimp 2-3 minutes per side until cooked. Place romaine lettuce on a large serving platter, top with mango mixture and cooked shrimp.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp and Guacamole Tostada Bites

Grilled Shrimp and Guacamole Tostada BitesIt’s not difficult to tell what season it is by looking at the dinner table in my house. If winter can be characterized by sauces, soups and stews, summer is represented by fresh herbs, salads and anything topped with vegetable slaws. Maybe it has something to do with not having a bulky sweater to hide behind, or a lighter appetite in the 100 degree Texas heat.

If you’ve ever been to Z’Tejas, a restaurant in downtown Austin, you’ve probably tried their Grilled Shrimp & Guacamole Tostada Bites appetizer. Crunchy tostadas, topped with a big dollop of guacamole and perfectly seasoned grilled shrimp, served with a tangy vegetable slaw. They are what an appetizer should be – a bite or two to help entice your appetite – which makes them a great anytime appetizer, but even better summertime appetizer!

Since I’m making a big batch of these for a get-together, I used store bought guacamole to save time, but you can certainly make your own. Speaking of saving time, have you tried out a stove top grill pan? I bought a fire engine red Le Creuset Double Burner Grill Pan from the William Sonoma outlet a few weeks ago and I am in love with my new toy. I probably buy one piece of Le Creuset cookware a year to add to my collection, and I’m like a little-kid-on-Christmas kind of excited whenever I get a new piece. It’s large enough to use over 2 burners, so it heats evenly and I even did all 30 shrimp in one batch!

Grilled Shrimp and Guacamole Tostada Bites 2Ingredients (makes 30 bite sized tostadas):

Vegetable Slaw:
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 red pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
¼ cup shredded carrots
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

Garlic Lime Shrimp:
30 peeled and deveined shrimp small/medium shrimp (approx. 30 per lb.)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
Pinch crushed red pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. canola oil

30 tostada or pita rounds
1 pint store bought guacamole or see recipe for Restaurant Style Guacamole

Grilled Shrimp and Guacamole Tostada Bites 3To make the slaw:
In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sugar and lime juice until sugar is dissolved. Add in canola oil and set aside. Mix together diced red pepper, red onion, jalapeno, shredded carrots and cucumber. Pour dressing mixture over the top and stir to combine. Set in refrigerator for 20 minutes while preparing the shrimp to let the vegetables marinate in the dressing.

To prepare the shrimp:
Combine shrimp with pressed or minced garlic, lime juice, crushed red pepper and canola oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spray grill pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat on medium. Grill shrimp 2-3 minutes per side until cooked throughout.

Line tostadas on a serving tray. Top each tostada with a heaping teaspoon of guacamole and a grilled shrimp. Spoon vegetable slaw over shrimp, serving the rest on the side in a small bowl. Enjoy!

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits with creole

After moving to Austin 7 years ago, I quickly fell in love with this southern staple.  It’s spicy, savory, and makes a hearty brunch or dinner.  I use quick cooking grits (not instant, the ones that cook in 10-15 minutes are so much better!) to make this dish really easy.  Instead of cooking the grits according to the package directions, I substitute half of the water for milk, and add some fresh garlic and jalapeno to give it a kick.  This goes really well topped with my spicy Creole Sauce.

 

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1-1 ½ lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

To make the grits:

1 tbsp. butter
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
¾ cup water
¾ cup milk
¾ cup quick grits
2 dashes hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

baconPreheat a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium heat, until chopped bacon sizzles when added.  Cook until crisp, approximately 10 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.  Remove grease, reserving 1 tbsp. for cooking the shrimp (see instructions below).  Return the skillet to medium heat and add chopped onion.  Sauté for approximately 10 minutes until onion starts to look caramelized.  When caramelized, remove from pan and set aside with crisp bacon.

Meanwhile, mix flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  After peeling and deveining the shrimp, rinse in a colander and pat dry with paper towel.  Place dried shrimp in a bowl with the flour mixture and combine to give it a light coating.  This will give it a nice brown crust when seared in reserved bacon grease.

To start the grits, melt butter in medium saucepan on medium-low.  Once melted, add diced garlic and jalapeno and sauté until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.  Add milk and water, turning heat up to medium-high.   When starting to boil, add grits and simmer on low, stirring regularly.   Cook for approximately 10 minutes until desired consistency.  I like grits to have a decent amount of the water cooked out of them, so when you put a big scoop in your plate they hold their shape, like a scoop of rice or mashed potatoes.    Add salt, pepper and hot sauce and stir to combine.

shrimp

While grits are simmering, turn skillet back on to medium heat.  Add reserved bacon grease and place shrimp in a single layer and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes.  Turn the shrimp it the other side and cook another 5 minutes.  Add cooked bacon and onion to the shrimp and toss to combine.

 

 

shrimp and grits - no creolePlace a large scoop of grits in a bowl and top with shrimp.  Add Creole Sauce if desired and garnish with green onions.

Enjoy! shrimp and grits with creole sauce