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
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.

Independence Day Weekend Frolic!

Adult Beverages Moscow Mule IBe Calm. Eat. Drink. Carry On.

Dancing Off the Wall People! Bidding you a Happy Celebratory Weekend. Last evening, The Don and I began our weekend in the Finest of Style! We delightedly were guests at a swelegant dinner party…think: Bogue Sound, grandest host(s), finest home and art ever, totally glam dinner tables, perfect roses, beautiful guests…

and thank you for allowing me to elaborate…

The five course dinner progressed over three hours of convivial, diverse, and “self evident” conversation. Consider this; a minimum of 6 china patterns, 4 crystal patterns swooped up from travels around the globe, impeccable linens and white glove service. Don’t sweat it for me; I was in love with the entire envelope of activity. There was magic dancing around in every detail. The second course was lobster, paired with hand cut chips…impeccable. I’m going to BEG for the recipe, but in the interim, if you have lobster on hand for the Fourth…her ’tis my take on lobster salad –  A couple of years back we were with our family at the Cape for a few marvelous days with incredible seafood markets… so, td and I mixed this up for dinner while the youngsters and grands were driving in from Boston. In case you don’t have last night’s recipe, I’m hooking you up here with this:Lobster Salad

(a pic of salad, sans roll, extra avocado and an extra claw to boot!)

Meat from 2 boiled lobsters, chopped in large pieces
5 slices cooked bacon, chopped
4 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
1 avocado, cut in chunks
2 tomatoes, cut in chunks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 Tbs celery leaves, chopped
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs chopped fresh chives
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs butter
4 long split rolls

Combine mayo, celery, celery leaves, basil, chives, and lemon juice in large bowl.
Add in lobster, bacon, avocado, and tomatoes.
Toss gently.
Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat.
Split rolls and toast inside part in butter about 2 minutes.
Place lettuce leaf inside roll.
Top with lobster mixture.

Now for all of you who went out boating today…I hope that your spines realigned!  Nod to the Carteret County Weekend Crew!

PS…this is a HUGE PS BTW! I am officially relaunching this blog next week as I hope that you will rejoin me, or join me for the first time around, beginning NOWI promise; it’ll be a visual scrapbook.  Welcome.


Orange Basil Halibut

Simmering in Skillet ©PEGhardee

Simmering in Skillet

Happy F.R.I.D.A.Y. Really trying extra extra hard to eat slim and healthy meals with the Gobble Gobble Day approaching in a steady stream of speed! So this is what td and I are having tonight. And then tomorrow we are headed to the Pirates game, Military Appreciation Day, where we will be a part of their first ever card stunt.( AND a flyover…I can barely contain my enthusiasm; and Brenton and Mary Beth will be home to join us in this most excellent celebration. Pics of tomorrow’s game to follow, just for the shear enjoyment of the Pirate Nation Fanfare…It is truly unparalleled. Just wait!! AND G, M, and L will be in NC tomorrow morn as well from Boston…for 8 (count it…eight) whole entire days and nights. Yippee!

2  halibut fillets
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
12 baby carrots
12 spears asparagus, ends trimmed, sliced into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
12 basil leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs chopped dill
2 t olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.



In small bowl, stir together orange juice, orange zest, basil, garlic, and dill.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in skillet.
Salt and pepper one side of halibut.
Place this side down in skillet and sear 1 minute.
Turn fillets over.
Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add vegetables and orange juice mixture.
Simmer 6 minutes covered.
Remove lid and stir vegetables around.
Cook another 3 minutes uncovered until vegetables are tender and fish is cooked through.
Cut fillets in half lengthwise.
Divide fish and vegetables among 4 plates.
Garnish with dill, basil, or orange slices.
Serves 4.

Chipotle Shrimp and Grits



I began prepping this outrageous dish by christening my new Vermont Farm Table cutting board…compliments of my dear niece and her new husband! Yep, they were married in fine Vermont style this past weekend. Two great families merging with lots of special friends there to share in the excitement and festivities. So very happy for sweet Suz and her Chad! Oh, did I mention Chad owns 2, yes two, restaurants in Waterbury and Stowe. Um hum. That’s what I’m talking ’bout! Cooking is in our blood, making that cutting board oh so special. So, cheers and chow down on some goodness here.

This is what you’ll need:

2 Tbs butter
1 onion, chopped fine
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cracked black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs minced canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup old fashioned grits
6 oz gouda cheese, grated
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound large shrimp, cleaned
Cilantro for garnish

Grits steaming in the skillet.

Grits steaming in the skillet.

Shrimp and Grits Baking Sheet

Adjust oven rack to middle position.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Melt butter in deep skillet.
Add onion, salt, and pepper.
Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and chipotle chiles.
Cook 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Stir in water and cream.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Slowly whisk in grits.
Reduce heat to low.
Cook, whisking frequently, until grits are thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat.
Whisk in cheese, and eggs.
Divide grits mixture evenly between 4 individual casseroles.
Place 6 to 7 raw shrimp on top of grits.
Bake until shrimp are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and place casseroles on dinner plates.
Garnish with cilantro.Shrimp and Grits New

BLAT (Bacon Lettuce Avocado Tomato) Lobster Roll

Fresh from Breakwater Fish and Lobster Market

Fresh from Breakwater Fish and Lobster Market in Brewster!

I gave myself an A+ this special evening! A few weeks back the Hardee/Yelle family found themselves in a villa at the lovely Ocean Edge Resort, located in the darling Cape Cod village of Brewster (more on that sweet place later!). Friday night we cooked in, a virtual feast actually, including this local lobster. Since the Yelles moved to Boston I’ve become hooked on addicted to lobster rolls, enjoying at least one each and every visit. So I decided to make my own this time around, with Marc’s most capable assistance. We all decided that it deserves at least four Michelin Stars! Stay Calm and Dig In.

I KNOW! It looks too good to be real. I promise it is tho.  ©PEGhardee

I KNOW! It looks too good to be real. I promise it is tho. ©PEGhardee

Meat from 2 boiled lobsters, chopped in large pieces
5 slices cooked bacon, chopped
4 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
1 avocado, cut in chunks
2 tomatoes, cut in chunks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 Tbs celery leaves, chopped
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs chopped fresh chives
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs butter
4 long split rolls

Combine mayo, celery, celery leaves, basil, chives, and lemon juice in large bowl.
Add in lobster, bacon, avocado, and tomatoes.
Toss gently.
Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat.
Split rolls and toast inside part in butter about 2 minutes.
Place lettuce leaf inside roll.
Top with lobster mixture.

Of course you may delete the roll if you are watching your carb intake. Simply serve the lobster mixture on a bed of lettuce, as I did here! PS…sorry the pics aren’t terrific. They were taken with td’s phone!

A bit of extra avocado AND a claw on the side!

A bit of extra avocado AND a claw on the side!

Mahi with Charred Tomatoes

Entree Seafood Mahi and TomatoesBeing in the kitchen and cooking serve as my creative outlet. I like to concoct on the fly so keeping a good variety of items in the fridge and pantry is handy. I’ve just learned that Captain Jim’s (my favorite seafood market 80 miles east and on the coast) delivers to Greenville every other week. Since I stopped eating beef in January, this is a very happy discovery for me. So last weekend I got to pick up and then freeze a dozen, yes 12, freshly caught mahi steaks. TD is in Chapel Hill for a continuing ed conference; hence, I was flying solo last night. So…I thawed a mahi fillet and searched the fridge for what else was on hand. I had a few mixed tomatoes and fresh dill. So here’s what I did. Literally 12 minutes from start to stop. A mere 250 calories to boot (yes, I researched it)! Thank you. I’ll have two please. Licking my lips yet again!

4 6oz mahi fillets
1/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 t olive oil
Pint mixed color cherry or grape tomatoes
1 Tbs chopped fresh dill

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
Add butter to skillet and swirl to evenly coat pan.
Add fish to skillet.
Cook 1 minute.
Flip fish to other side.
Add wine to skillet.
Cover skillet with lid and reduce heat to medium low.
Cook 7 to 8 minutes, until cooked through.
In small skillet heat olive oil over high heat.
Add tomatoes and cook 3 minutes shaking skillet, until lightly charred and tender.

To plate:
Place fillet on each plate.
Spoon cooking juice over fillet.
Top with tomatoes.
Garnish with dill.


Curried Shrimp

b037bYesiree, we just returned from Istanbul “not Constantinople”. (More on the trip coming soon; this is just to whet that appetite!) The Spice Market was spectacular. It was extremely difficult not to just pack up an entire kiosk and run away with everything. The curries were particularly beautiful…proof is in the pics! Consumed quite a bit of that Asian influence spice while we were there, and talked the chef at Tugra Palace into sharing this one with me, best I could understand his heavily accented English that is. But hey, I don’t speak ANY Turkish!b037c

Entree Seafood Curried Shrimp II

1 lb cleaned shrimp
3 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/4 t salt
Dash paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
1 Tbs curry powder
3 t ketchup
1/4 cup sherry

In a large skillet make a sauce over low heat whisking together the butter, flour and milk for approximately 3 minutes.

Stir in salt, paprika, pepper, and curry and continue to cook, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and smooth.
Add ketchup, sherry and shrimp.
Turn heat to medium and continue to cook with lid on until shrimp is cooked, approximately 4 to 5 minutes, turning often.

To serve:
Place a mound of rice on each of 4 plates.
Spoon shrimp and sauce on top of rice.
Garnish with parsley.

Shrimp, Corn and Watermelon

This is a pure orchestra of flavors and textures combining to make amazing, crisp music in your mouth. Makes me want to run hug this darling fellow, right now. Thanks Lou, who cut this out of the WSJ’s Slow Food Fast section of her paper for me.

Entree Seafood Shrimp Corn Watermelon1 lb large shrimp, cleaned
3 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 t minced garlic
4 Tbs chopped fresh basil, divided
1/8 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn
1 1/2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
3 cups cubed watermelon
Small Brie wheel, cut in wedges, rind removed

In small bowl, toss shrimp with 2 Tbs olive oil, garlic, and 2 Tbs chopped basil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Set aside to marinate.
Cook corn in boiling water 6 to 8 minutes, until tender.
Drain and place corn in bowl of cold iced water for 1 minute to cool.
Dry corn with towel and remove kernels with sharp knife.
In medium bowl, toss together corn, remaining oil, remaining basil, and vinegar.
Add watermelon and toss gently.
Heat skillet over medium high heat.
Add shrimp mixture and cook 2 minutes per side, stirring often.
Remove from heat.

To plate:
Spoon corn and watermelon mixture on to plate.
Top with a few shrimp.
Place a wedge of Brie on the side.
Drizzle shrimp and Brie with a bit of sauce from skillet.

Serves 4.

From Chef Joseph Lenn, “The Barn” at Blackberry Farm.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp in Gazpacho

Served in my Grandmother Corbitt's antique Rose Medallion China, Kinda nice to have this!

Served in my Grandmother Corbitt’s antique Rose Medallion China, Kinda nice to have this!

1 Recipe Gazpacho, prepared and set aside

20 medium shrimp, cleaned
1Tbs olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1 t minced garlic
1/4 t blank pepper
1/8 t salt

Combine all above ingredients in large mixing bowl.
Heat large skillet over medium high heat.
Add shrimp mixture.
Cook 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until shrimp is pink.

Pour Gazpacho in to bowls.
Add 5 shrimp to each bowl.
Garnish with a lemon slice.
Serves 6.

Simple Shrimp Gumbo

The good folks from Louisiana wouldn’t dare to pass this off as gumbo. I mean it doesn’t even contain okra; it’s just a simple mish mash. We don’t always have to be rigid and follow the rules, right? I’m taking my cooler to AB tomorrow and returning Monday morning with fresh shrimp from Atlantic Beach Seafood Market! Mmmmm. Come on in, friend! We’re making Gumbo Tuesday night!

Entree Seafood Simple Shrimp Gumbo I1 lb large raw shrimp, cleaned
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbs Cajun seasoning*
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Entree Seafood Simple Shrimp Gumbo IIPreheat oven to 400°.
In large bowl, toss together everything.
Prepare 2 foil pouches.
Divide mixture evenly between both pieces of foil and seal.
Place pouches in baking pan.
Cook 25 minutes.
Open pouch and taste rice for doneness.
If necessary, close pouch and return to oven 5 more minutes.
Pour mixture into serving bowl, or divide evenly among plates.
Serve immediately.

*I like Paul Prudhomme Salt Free Seasoning

Serves 4.
260 Calories per serving…Fewer than most Lean Cuisines and way better.