Chimichurri Shrimp with Zoodles

Okay. So here’s the deal. You don’t have to use shrimp. I mean, it’s delicious that way and I highly recommend it, but, much like politicians, you have alternatives. You don’t have to follow the rules : )

So skewer some veggies if you’re all veganastic. Have a shellfish allergy? Boneless, skinless chicken breasticles. Just don’t like shrimp? The ways of your people are strange to me, but shove something else on some skewers and go on with your shrimpless self.

The second best thing about this dish is zoodles. Zoooooodles … (it’s super fun to say.) I have a spiralizer, and you should, too, but I have to admit I tend to buy these already zoodlized from the grocery store. Some would say I’m lazy. I prefer the term “efficient.”

Whatevs. Get ready for delicious : )

Ingredients:

Chimichurri:

  • 1 small lemon, seeds removed
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeds removed (give it away, give it away, give it away now)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed
  • A handful of fresh parsley (I mean, it doesn’t need to be a gigantic handful… just a good grasp and rip)
  • 2 garlic cloves (or more. I’m not saying I use more … but I do.)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (did you know that you should only get olive oil in tins or in dark dark bottles? It’s totally a thing.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Give the lemon a good squeeze into a food processor. I like to do it through a mesh thingy-dooly (I’m sure it has an official name) because no matter how hard I try, I miss a seed, and then I reach in to try to get it and stupidly don’t remove the blade and then … well, you get the picture.) Throw in all the other stuff, too. Blend until the sauce has a coarse but smooth appearance.

Shrimp (or chicken or veggie skewers) and zoodles

  • 2 lbs peeled raw shrimp
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • A dollop of the chimichurri
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 lbs zucchini (unless you did what I do, in which case, you can probs get by with a pound and a half. Or so.)

There’s a couple ways you can do this. I don’t grill out very often, but I have a cast iron grilling pan I use for things that should be grilled. You can also just saute the shrimp or chicken.

If you go the outside grill route, you’re on your own. (You can do it!) If you grill inside, throw down the olive oil and put your skewers of whatever you went with on the grill, then brush with some of the chimichurri. When it’s done on both sides, throw the asparagus on with some salt and pepper and let it get delicious. If you go the saute route (this is the way I always go) throw the shrimp in a lovely skillet with the olive oil and the chimichurri, cook it until it’s pink, then remove and cook the asparagus.

(By the way, asparagus was never actually in the recipe until the last time I made it. You’re welcome.)

Finally, the zoodles. I’m assuming you zoodlized and they’re amazing. Mine are super amazing too. (I almost broke a nail opening the container. Cooking is dangerous.) Some people like to quickly saute the zoodles, but I keep them raw. You’re going to put hot stuff on them anyhoo, right? Toss them with most of the chimichurri. (Reserve a couple spoonfuls to spoon over the top.)

Serve the shrimp and the asparagus over the zoodles. Enjoy : )

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Nana’s Potato Soup

This. Soup. Is. Perfect.

Buttery, peppery and delicious, this is a thinner soup than you likely imagine potato soup should be. It is also incredibly simple and very Pennsylvania Dutch. Sadly, I cannot eat it anymore … but YOU can : )

I’ve always had trouble with the rivels. Mine either come out too dense, which makes them super hard, or they just fall apart in the soup. My daughter, Amanda, definitely has the making of this soup down, though.

Pepper is the key to this soup. Coarsely ground black pepper. Mos def have that on the table.

Ingredients:

Soup:

  • 2-3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced (I added that. I’m pretty sure celery was never a part of Nana’s recipe.)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter

Rivels:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it is coming to a boil, “chip” the potatoes into the pot. (I don’t really know if that’s a technique. I just know I watched Nana and Mama stand over the pot with a potato in one hand, a paring knife in the other, chipping pieces of potato into the pot.)

Saute the onions and celery in a little bit of butter or bacon grease, if you have it. (This is a step I added, too. Pretty sure they just tossed the raw onions on in there.) Once the onions have begun to carmelize a bit, add them to the soup.

Make the rivels. Put the flour and a bit of salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the egg and stir with a fork until all the flour is moistened and it begins to stick together. Pull off small pieces of the mixture and drop into the boiling soup.

Add the butter, salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Italian Wedding Soup

As a child, I would stare distrustfully into the steaming liquid Mama set before me. There were things floating in it…green things, eggy things.

And then there were meatballs. Those … I could trust.

Now, the entire bowl appeals to me. This seems like a special occasion soup, though it shouldn’t be. The word wedding is in the name and perhaps that is why it has always seemed rather elegant to me.

I think I’ll make it on a Tuesday.

Ingredients:

Balls of Meat:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (these days, I skip this ingredient cuz I’m all low-carby)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated romano cheese (I cannot stress loudly enough or in a bold enough font…it is imperative that you use romano. Preferably Pecorino. And don’t grate it until you’re about to use it.)
  • Salt (eh, I don’t measure)
  • Oregano (sames)
  • Pepper (yup)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Soup:

  • 3 quarts fresh chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • A nice handful of chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs

Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs. Really mush it all together. Use your hands, not a spoon. Shape into 1 inch balls and pop them on a baking sheet. Stick them in a 325° oven while you’re getting the soup all soupy.

In a hugical pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the meatballs and cook for 30 minutes or so, then add the spinach. Let that cook for about 10 minutes. While you’re waiting, beat the eggs in a large measuring cup with a pour spout. Or just in a bowl if you don’t have something large with a pour spout. (But seriously, the pour spout’s where it’s at.) When they seem sufficiently chastised, drizzle them verrrryyy sloowwwly into the soup, stirring constantly.

Serve immediately with more freshly grated romano.

 

Spicy Horseradish Sauce

Ahhh, condiments. I adore condiments. Especially when they can be twisted and tweaked and turned into dips and such.

This one fits nicely into my keto world, so I whip it up every now and then to brighten up my raw veggie consumption.

As you can see, this packs a bit of a punch. Not for the faint of heart, as they say. However, if you’re having some allergy issues or you feel a sinus headache coming on, this could clear it right up : ) Toss some ginger in there and you can go all anti-inflammatory, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard (I use Coleman’s.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Mix all that shiz together. Cover it. Let it chill. Then use it. Sandwhich spread, with cooked meats, as a dip. Whatevs. You do you, boo boo.

Cucumber Dip

I should really have titled this blog post “cucumber everything.” Because … cucumber.

heart cucumber

~le sigh~ (I sigh in French. Really.)

My love affair with the cucumber is long and storied. (There’s a sentence you don’t want to Google, by the way.) I love them basically any way you can get them, except pickled. They’re honestly the most refreshing things ever and they taste amazing in so many things I consume.

Like gin.

My favorite bar (I’m looking at you, Original Empire,) is awesome. They’re soooo good to me. The second I hit the door, one of the bartenders peels off and heads to the kitchen to get some of the cucumber they prep for salads to put in my really simple drink: gin, club soda, and cucumber. Refreshing, low carb and amazing. They shake it for me. Cuz I’m extra.

drink cucumber

This dip also contains one of my favorite ingredients: horseradish. I put a measurement on it, but I can promise you I don’t pay any effin’ attention to it. : ) I just glump a glob of it up in there and start stirring.
Ingredients:

  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp horseradish (yeah, right.)
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped (umm … don’t really measure that, either.)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (dude, really mince the hell out of it.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper.)

(Wow. I’m really all parenthetical girl, aren’t I?)

So. Here are the super-complicated and very important instructions:

Mix it all up. Stick it in the fridge. Eat it with cucumber slices.

Boom.