Warm Shrimp with Melon and Feta

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OK, Just call me a dichotomous  mess! I loathe the heat, humidity and glaring sun of the summer months. Actually, when May rolls around, I begin praying for the relief of October’s cool deliciousness. HOWEVER, I do enjoy the voice and soul of summer’s culinary treasures…shrimp being at the top of my favorites! p to the s…we enjoy shrimp 12 months of every year thanks to Captain Jim’s who delivers straight from the coast to G’Vegas every other Saturday of the month! I mean it’s just outrageously appropriate people! Just taking heart and getting it “done” completed…finished…anything besides “done”, please!

1 recipe of Lemon Dressing (below)
1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, cleaned
1 Tbs Salt and 1 t pepper to season shrimp
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs chopped shallots
2 heads frisée, or spinach, torn into pieces
1 medium honeydew, cut into small cubes
8 oz feta, crumbled
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint

For Dressing:
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of whole lemon
1 Tbs honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 t black pepper
Combine all ingredients in glass salad dressing jar and shake well.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
In 12 inch skillet, heat 2 Tbs oil over medium high heat.
Add shrimp.
Cook 1 minute.
Turn heat to medium.
Add shallots, and cook 2 more minutes, until shrimp are pink.

In large bowl combine frisée and Lemon Dressing, and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Divide among 4 plates.
Top with shrimp, melon, feta, and mint.

Fairy Bread

Fairy Bread ParkerFairy Bread has been a popular children’s birthday treat for generations in Australia. Simple as can be. So as you prepare for the Memorial Day weekend and the onslaught of family members, you may want to try this special and yummy treat!
Simply spread softened, room temperature butter on fresh bread (That acts as the glue). Top with any sprinkles or colored sugar desired…or let the children decorate their own! That’s what we did in the RockDamKitchen a couple of weekends ago. My grands LOVED making it and eating it! “Art doesn’t always fit in a frame”…nor do sprinkles! PS It was a sugary mess on the kitchen counter! Enjoy.

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Strawberry Brunch/Tea Sandwiches

Brunch Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches.jpgYummy…All the Way Down the  Throat. No joke. This is a total software update for your palate…and speaking of which; it totally looks like the palette for a still life…calling Kristin!! Since strawberry season is in full swing here, I’m taking it straight to the kitchen. Hope that you do the same. With the marinade in this recipe, any strawberry will work if you live in an “off berry season”!

1 cup thinly slices strawberries
1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 t honey
Pinch of salt and pepper
Vegetable cream cheese, room temperature (I prefer light)
Bunch baby arugula
8 slices white bread, edged, and cut in half

Toss together berries, balsamic, honey, and salt.
Let sit 30 minutes, then drain.
Spread cheese on all bread slices.
Season 8 bread halves with salt and pepper.
Layer strawberries across these halves.
Top with arugula.
Top with remaining bread slices.

Makes 8 tea sandwiches.

Rosé Poached Strawberries

It was a great day in ENC (that’s Eastern North Carolina!) yesterday…perfect for picking fresh strawberries! Yep, those Beatles said it accurately; strawberry fields forever. So i went right out and picked a bunch of the sweetest little (and big) jewels around. Talking about home grown…as good as it gets just got better!  Follow me all the way to this tasty treasure. Try it. You will want it daily!  Strawberry Fields II

Dessert Rose Poached Strawberries
2 cups rosé wine
2 Tbs honey
2 thyme sprigs
1/2 vanilla bean pod
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
Thyme leaves for garnish

In saucepan, bring rosé, honey, and thyme sprigs to boil.
Reduce heat to medium.
Cook until syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Split vanilla pod in half lengthwise; scrape seeds into wine mixture.*
Add pod to mixture as well.
Stir in berries.
Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes. (Mixture will not come to simmer.)
Remove from heat.
Pour into bowl to cool completely.
Discard vanilla pod and thyme sprigs.
Serve over what you desire and garnish with thyme leaves.

*If you don’t have a vanilla bean, just add a generous Tbs of good vanilla extract.

Can be served over yogurt or oatmeal for brunch.
Excellent for dessert over ice cream.
May use raspberries, blackberries, or any combination.

Triple Citrus Shrimp Taco

Hola mi Amigos! Cinco de Mayo is quickly approaching and we’re orchestrating like a symphony here. This is the best little taco north of Mexico. Hell, it’s the tastiest little jewel you’ll serve Saturday the 5th. Let the Mexicans celebrate their army’s unlikely victory in the Battle of Pueblo in 1862 (not to be confused with their Independence Day celebrated in September); and we shall celebrate our love of margaritas and all things delicious that go down oh so smoothly!

Southwestern Shrimp Tacos
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbs minced fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbs Asian seasoning
2 t firmly packed light brown sugar
2 t lime zest
2 t lemon zest
2 t orange zest
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
6 crunchy taco shells
Head of leaf lettuce
Guacamole
Sour cream
Cilantro, chopped

In medium bowl, combine oil, thyme, Asian seasoning, brown sugar, zests, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Add shrimp and toss to coat.
Preheat skillet to medium high.
Toss in shrimp and cook 1 1/2 minutes on both sides, tossing until fully cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.

To serve:
Place leaf lettuce inside taco.
Layer with shrimp and guacamole.
Place sour cream on side of plate.
Sprinkle all with cilantro.

PtotheS…this shrimp recipe is excellent served over a bed of rice or orzo, with a side of sauteed asparagus.

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

IMG_4037Taking a little mental trip back to my time in Thailand. Call me lazy…I’m finally getting around to completing my photo book of this trip that was fourteen months ago! All of the treats that we enjoyed keep popping up in my noggin as I pour over the hundreds of photographs. This recipe is based on a chicken soup that Chef Ohm of the Anantara Riverside Resort taught us. As we cooked by his side throughout the afternoon, along with a splash or more of champagne…he uttered some nice sayings like “remember that a recipe has no soul on its own; you bring the soul to it.” And Chef Ohm brought it folks! Sharing the soul and love; just sharing it.

Soup Thai Chicken Coconut Soup II

Ingredients:
3 Tbs sesame oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 medium carrots, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
2 t fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans light coconut milk
2 Tbs red curry paste
3/4 t salt
3/4 t black pepper
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
2 Tbs smooth, light peanut butter
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 green onions, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Fresh cilantro leaves
Salted peanuts, chopped

Directions:
In large saucepan, heat sesame oil over medium heat.
Add chicken, carrots, and celery.
Cook and stir until vegetables are softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes, coconut milk, curry paste, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Add edamame; cook 10 more minutes.
Stir in peanut butter.
Stir in spinach, green onions, and lime.
Cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Place in soup bowls.
Top with cilantro and chopped peanuts.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
Serves 8.

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A sampling from our private cooking class with Chef Ohm. Yummy!

Bacon and Egg Bánh Mì

Cooking around the globe…my favorite passion! Last February we chased our culinary dreams (and a few very fine golf courses for the don!) to Vietnam. The darling gal pictured here was our guide throughout the charming town of Hoi An, their market, and the Red Bridge Cooking School. Sensory overload is a total understatement! IMG_4455 (2)One easy take away was the Bánh Mì; that’s Vietnamese for bread, more specifically the baguette, which was introduced by the French during the colonial period in Vietnam. Unlike the traditional French baguette, the Vietnamese baguette is made with rice flour, making it airier. In Vietnamese cuisine, Bánh Mì is typically made into a sandwich, commonly including pickled daikon radishes, carrots, cucumber slices, cheeses and cold cuts of choice. I mixed it up a little bit here! But first, a couple of fun market images…

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And since I’m hooking you up with an egg Bahn Mi recipe, here’s our Market egg lady!

4 large carrots, shredded
6 whole radishes, sliced
6 slices jalapeño peppers, diced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
6 slices bacon
4 crusty French bread rolls, split open
1/2 English cucumber , thinly sliced, lengthwise
4 eggs
Bunch fresh cilantro

Brunch Bacon and Egg Bahn Mi
Preheat broiler.
In medium bowl, toss together carrots, radishes, jalapeños, vinegar, and sugar.
Cook bacon and remove to plate to drain and cool.
Cut into halves.
Arrange bread cut side up on baking sheet.
Drizzle with bacon grease.
Top with salt and pepper.
Broil until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
Top one half of each bread roll with cucumber slices.
Top with bacon halves.
Top with veggie mixture.
Cook eggs in skillet with remaining bacon grease.
Top veggie mixture with eggs.
Top with cilantro.

P to the S…I made this with sausage, since there was no bacon in my fridge. I also spread a bit of ricotta (flavored with fresh lemon juice) and additional veggies on the other side of the bread, just because!