Tangy Thai Grilled Shrimp

Tangy Thai Grilled Shrimp
Makes 8 appetizer portions

Make sure you have plenty of these because they’re addictive! Try them with Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. “The lime in the recipe works nicely with the citrus fruitiness in the wines, and the salty and sweet flavors balance the spice, allowing it to work with the wine,” says Peter Mondavi Jr.

2 pounds large raw shrimp in shells (deveined shrimp called “easy peel” work well for this dish)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2” piece of gingerroot, grated
4 serrano or jalapeño chiles, including seeds if you like it hot, seeds scraped out with the side of a spoon if you don’t
6 green onions, with tops
1/2 cup cilantro, lightly packed
grated zest from one lime, green part only
juice from the zested lime
1/4 cup Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup Thai fish sauce or soy sauce
1/3 cup honey

Peel the shrimp if desired, although shrimp marinated then cooked in the shell are more succulent and flavorful.

For the marinade, finely chop the first six ingredients, or pulse them together in a food processor until minced.  Stir in the remaining five ingredients.  (Marinade can be prepared a few hours ahead and refrigerated.)

Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinade for dipping. 45 minutes-1 hour before grilling, coat the shrimp with the remaining marinade, loosening shells a bit to allow marinade underneath. Stir gently after 30 minutes.

Heat grill. Lift shrimp from the marinade (discard the used marinade) and drain.  Grill shrimp on both sides over high heat until they are evenly pink on the outside, about 2 minutes per side.   Spoon the reserved marinade over the shrimp.

For more info, visit website: http://www.charleskrug.com/



Sarah’s Holiday Tuna Casserole

This is not just a tuna casserole…the addition of broccoli and beets just elevate this casserole to a more festive meal offering.  You can add canned or frozen peas too.

Sarah’s Holiday Tuna Casserole

1 pkg egg noodles, boiled 7 minutes and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk or just fill empty soup can with milk
2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
1/4 bar softened cream cheese
2 cans tuna, packed in water, drained
1 can sliced beets, drained
1 pc green bell pepper, cut in chunks
1/2 lb broccoli, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese  for topping

In a large skillet, heat soups, milk, ranch dressing mix, fish sauce, condensed milk, cream cheese until cream cheese is melted.  Mix in tuna, veggies, and cooked noodles.  Cover with lid.  Bake in preheated 400 F oven for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top and serve while hot.  Serves:     6  Great accompaniments:  garlic bread and salad

Pad Chae: A Leap Day Experiment

Scheduling this food experimentation on this leap day…Happy Leap Day everyone and Happy Birthday to all member of the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.  I took a chance on this recipe…sort of taking a leap of faith…am not sure, I don’t know, if combining pad thai and jap chae would work.   Here’s the recipe first….

Jap Chae yam noodles tossed with pad thai sauce…what a fabulous combination of a stir-fry meal, and  it works!

Pad thai sauce:
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup fish sauce (patis)
3 tablespoons tomato catsup
2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate (available in Asian aisle)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

8 to 12 oz Korean Dangmyun (sweet potato starch) dried noodles
1 – 2 medium carrots, sliced julienned
2 – 3 cups shredded cabbage
handful of dried shiitake mushrooms (wood ears) or black fungus strips, about 1/4 cup, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs, beaten
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 lb shrimps, peeled and deveined
1 – 2 cups fresh bean sprouts

Garnish:  fried garlic, sliced spring onions, lime wedges

Combine pad thai sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Cook on medium-low heat until well combined and sugar is dissolved.  Taste and feel free to add more Sriracha or vinegar.  Set aside.

Cook Dangmyun noodles in boiling water until transparent, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to colander to drain, then rinse thoroughly under cold water.  Roughly cut with kitchen scissors.  Toss in 2 tablespoons of the pad thai sauce.  Blanch the sliced carrots and shredded cabbage in the boiling water and drain, about 2 to 3 minutes.

In a wok or large skillet,heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and scramble beaten eggs (cut in small pieces with turner).   Remove cooked eggs from wok.  Pour remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and add chopped onion and minced garlic, saute until done.  Add prepared shrimps and cook until shrimps turn orange or pink.    Transfer shrimps to a plate and set aside.  Add bean sprouts and rehydrated mushroom strips and stir fry until heated through, then push to sides.  Pour pad thai sauce in center of wok and let it boil.  Add drained noodles and toss well to coat with sauce .  Mix in scrambled eggs and blanched vegetables and thoroughly combine all ingredients.   Transfer to serving plate and garnish with desired toppings.  And yes, serve hot!

My hubby liked it a lot, I loved it, it was better than eating pad thai noodles that got too soft and mushy (always happens when you make big batch of pad thai).   The taste — oh yum, I skipped on sesame oil flavors (from Jap Chae) and the coarsely chopped peanuts (from Pad Thai), so it would be more of a new dish.  Enjoy!

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BOB Recipe: Barbecue Shrimp

from:  Grassland
Product:  Salted Butter

BOB Recipe:  Barbecue Shrimp

1 lb butter
3 lbs. medium to large shrimp
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons shrimp boil spices
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

Wash the shrimp in cold water – do not remove the shells.  Drain well.  Melt the entire pound of butter in a 9 x 13 inch or larger oven pan.

Stir in the mustard, shrimp boil spices, and Worcestershire sauce.  Add the drained shrimp and stir to coat with the butter sauce.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Shrimp are cooked when they have turned a bright red and most of the butter sauce has disappeared.

Salmon with 5 spice powder and Sauteed Green Beans

Bold 5 spice flavors in this one….and it’s super yummy!

1 pack (1 lb, 4 or 5 individually-wrapped) frozen skinless salmon fillets
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon Chinese 5-spice powder

Green Beans:
1 lb fresh green beans, washed and ends discarded
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
juice of calamansi (native lemon), or juice of half lemon

Remove plastic wraps and place salmon fillets on a square pyrex dish; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the salmon fillets.    Turn  to coat fillets with marinade.  Cover with a plastic wrap and leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake in preheated 400 F oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes (flip the fillets after 5 minutes baking time) or until salmon flakes easily with a fork and is a lighter pink in color.

Meanwhile, saute green beans in sesame and vegetable oil until just cooked (still crispy).  Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of calamansi juice.

Transfer cooked fillets to individual serving plates.  Serve with sauteed green beans and cooked white rice.

Salmon with Crumb Topping and Herb Mayonnaise (Shared Recipe)

Thanks Corrine Fay!

Classic Recipes for Contemporary Living
By Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
MLC Publishing; 2009
ISBN: 978-0984116331

A Well-Seasoned Kitchen Cookbook Chronicles a Mother-Daughter Culinary Journey with Memory Loss

Sally Clayton and her daughter Lee Clayton Roper were known among friends and family for their effortless style and smart sensibility when it came to cooking and entertaining. So when Sally began to suffer from the effects of osteoporosis and early-stage memory loss, Lee decided to engage her in the kitchen, both as therapy and to preserve her mother’s cherished recipes. Sally and Lee would test and taste recipes together and their time in the kitchen led Lee to begin writing A Well Seasoned Kitchen (MLC Publishing, 2009) with Sally.  Sadly Sally passed away as the book entered its final phase and Lee completed it in her honor.  A portion of all proceeds are donated to the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter.

“I dedicated this book to my late mother, whose grace, remarkable style, and strength serve as inspiration in my life.  My mother loved to cook and entertain and A Well-Seasoned Kitchen is my way of sharing her passion with other home cooks.”

“In developing this cookbook, Mom and I concentrated on the type of dishes we liked best – – simple and delicious recipes for everyday and easy entertaining, most of which can be made partially or entirely ahead.  Mom did not like to spend hours in the kitchen and neither do I.”

Lee and Sally believe that food is the foundation for the family table where a shared meal allows us to reconnect with family and friends. A Well-Seasoned Kitchen is more than just a cookbook, it is a treasury of ideas, menus, and beloved meals collected by a woman who showed her love for family and friends by cooking and entertaining.

Living Now Book AwardThe delicious, easy, and beautiful dishes like Tomato Basil Bisque, Rack of Lamb with Nut Crust, Green Beans with Lemon-Butter Sauce, and Pavlova (recipe below) helped A Well Seasoned Kitchen win the 2010 Gold Medal for Cookbooks from the Living Now Book Awards.The book features menu suggestions that are perfect for entertaining any time of the year

Until now, this cookbook, featuring 186 tested recipes with menus and full-color photos by renowned food photographer Laurie Smith, has been available only in Colorado, where Lee resides, but due to the overwhelming success of the elegant recipes and heartwarming stories, A Well Seasoned Kitchen has gone national. The book that is so popular in Denver is now available through all major online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and in stories in Kansas City, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Knoxville, Memphis, and Little Rock. More cities and retailers are being added this year.

About the Authors

Sally and Lee were everyday home gourmet cooks who had always been ahead of their time.Lee Clayton Roper and Sally Clayton

Sally earned cooking credibility as one of the first to add a food processor and microwave to her gadget repertoire long before most had even heard of them. Originally from Kentucky, Sally was raised in a home with parents who frequently entertained and a mother who loved to cook. Interestingly, Sally didn’t start cooking until after she was married. Despite that, she made an effortless leap from meatloaf to Boeuf Bourguignon and quickly earned a reputation as a talented cook and gracious hostess among friends and family.

Sally’s culinary courage inspired Lee to hold her first dinner party at the tender age of 16. Today, Lee regularly finds opportunities to host family and friends for casual dinner parties with beautiful tablescapes, creative menus and scrumptious meals taking center stage. With any cooking-related questions, friends and family often turn to Lee for her unending kitchen inspiration and encouragement.

Lee frequently conducts cooking classes and cooking demonstrations, is regularly featured on local broadcast stations and cable networks as well as at culinary events throughout Colorado, and she is currently producing a mother-daughter cooking show for rocky Mountain PBS that will air in 2012.

Salmon with Crumb Topping and Herb Mayonnaise
Serves 6 to 8

Mom and I have both been serving this salmon at dinner parties for years. It is very easy as all the prep work can be done the day before. Without fail, every time we serve it, someone asks for the recipe. Sure enough, a couple of months later we are at someone else’s dinner party eating this salmon!

Herb Mayonnaise

1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup mayonnaise


1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 to 2 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 pound salmon fillet (in one piece)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow baking pan large enough to hold the fish.

To make the herb mayonnaise: in a medium mixing bowl, stir together the parsley, cilantro, onions, vinegar, garlic, oregano and peppers. Stir in mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the crumb topping for the salmon: place the parsley, Parmesan cheese, thyme, lemon zest, salt and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped and mixed together. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and mix in breadcrumbs (we like to do this by hand).

Place the salmon skin side down in the prepared pan. Pat the breadcrumb mixture over the top. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the bread crumbs. Bake fish until desired doneness, around 20 minutes. Serve with mayonnaise mixture on the side.

Make ahead: The mayonnaise and crumb mixture can be made the day before, covered and refrigerated. Bring both to room temperature before using.

Will make the Pavlova recipe and share with you too soon!  

Fried Tuna-Turnip Cakes and Spaghetti Sides

White at the bottom and a light to deep purple band on the top, these turnips (peak season from October to March each year) are most often snubbed by buyers at the produce section.   Me, included.   When hubby picked up 3 turnips from our last visit to “Caputo” because he likes eating them, I had to be honest with him I have zero knowledge about turnips.  He grinned, “I eat ’em raw or include in salads”.  Really.   But 3 days passed, I still see those sad turnips untouched and already losing a bit of their smooth waxy skin.  So I had to give these neglected turnips some “rough justice” (favorite line from my favorite TV judge, Judge Millian).  But I had to do a bit of “research” first to make sure my turnips dish would be truly delish-iousness.

Turnips 101

1.  Small turnips have sweeter and tender flavor.

2.  To clean, simply scrub with a vegetable brush under running water and peel with vegetable peeler.

3.  Raw turnips will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator crisper.

4.   Boil turnips with a potato in the water to counter the bitter flavor in the turnips.

5.    Blanch turnips first before freezing them.  Blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water and drop them into a bath of ice water to stop the cooking.    You can freeze them for up to 9 months.

And how did I use those lonely turnips?  Recipe follows.

Fried Tuna-Turnip Cakes
You have got to try this for a meatless meal.

1 turnip, pared and sliced in 1/2″ slices
2 cans (5 oz each) Tuna in Water, drained well
1 large egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
Enough oil for frying

Cook turnip slices in boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain well; transfer to a mixing bowl  and mash with a fork.  Stir in tuna, flour, egg and black pepper.  Mix well with a fork.  Using an ice cream scooper, make tuna-turnip cakes and place in heated oil.  Flatten slightly with spoon or back of ice cream scooper.  Fry until golden in both sides.  Transfer to paper towel-lined platter.  Serve with tartar or cocktail sauce.

Spaghetti Sides
This is my go-to side dish to pair with my turnip-tuna cakes.

1 package (16 oz) spaghetti, cooked al dente, drained
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet or wok, combine cream cheese, canned soups, butter/margarine, milk and parmesan cheese.  Cook until sauce boils; lower heat. Stir in cooked spaghetti and toss well to coat.   Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle more grated parmesan cheese.


Pan-fried shrimps and creamed asparagus

Pan-fried shrimps and creamed asparagus
This is fast and easy, and just another good stand-by dish for all those days when you really don’t feel like cooking.

1 lb (20 to 25 pieces) frozen easy-peel deveined shrimps, thawed and peeled
1/4 cup (approx) Italian salad dressing
1 bundle fresh asparagus, washed and woody/tough ends removed
1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoons whole milk

Add Italian salad dressing to shrimps; stir well.   Set aside to develop flavor.

Steam asparagus:   Arrange cut asparagus in microwaveable steamer with about 1/3 cup water.  Zap for 5 minutes.   Drain.  Set aside.

Transfer shrimps and marinade into a large skillet with about 1 tablespoon heated oil.  Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, until shrimp turned pink,  on both sides.   Move the cooked shrimps to the side of the skillet.  Empty a can of cream of chicken soup on the skillet.  Stir in 2 tablespoons milk to thin the sauce.  Add drained steamed asparagus  and toss with creamy sauce.  Cook until just heated through.  Transfer creamed asparagus onto a serving platter and top with pan-fried shrimps.

And what’s for dessert?  That will be another post…enjoy!

TERIYAKI (with fresh orange) SALMON

Mirin, or Japanese sweet rice wine, is a key component of teriyaki. Then there’s the soy sauce, spices (ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and mustard, etc), sesame oil, sugar (honey, brown or white sugar and agave nectar). These days you see updated teriyaki recipes include orange juice, pineapple juice, or even lemon juice. When I make Teriyaki Chicken thighs or breasts, marinade with pineapple juice is my choice. With skinless salmon fillets, I like it marinating in a teriyaki marinade with fresh orange juice. No need to buy bottled teriyaki sauce, you can easily make your own.

TERIYAKI (with fresh orange) SALMON

1 pack (4 individually-wrapped) skinless salmon fillets

vegetable oil, salt and pepper

Teriyaki Marinade/Sauce:

1/3 cup soy sauce

freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

2 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey or agave nectar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Combine the teriyaki marinade ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Place salmon fillets in a square pyrex dish. Sprinkle both sides with vegetable oil, then season with salt and pepper. Pour boiled marinade over salmon fillets, turning to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

Bake in preheated 400 F oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes (flip the fillets after 5 minutes baking time) or until salmon flakes easily with a fork and is a lighter pink in color. Transfer to individual serving plates. Serve with cooked white rice and your favorite coleslaw.

These (TUNA CAKES) are a few of my favorite things

Simple me…simple things.

Looks easy to me…it’s in my “to do” list of things.

They’re scrumptious…who will say no (not me) to these things.

And most of all, cheap!…omg, it ranks top in my favorite things.

It’s dinnertime, and I don’t feel like chopping more veggies (I already have a coleslaw waiting for a pairing in my fridge), slicing meats (I’m not really feelin’ vegan, but it’s time to say no to meats tonite), cooking pasta al dente (Spaghetti, fettucine, linguini, macaroni, oh please, It’s not Giada moment tonite).

Search (physically, not virtually)…look (just a quickie one, I aint’ movin stuff now)…pantry…cupboard…lo and behold…2 cans of tuna.

Promising…but no tuna casserole for me, not even tuna fettucine. Ok, I got it now! Tuna cakes, yes, and I could finally use the remaining cup of grated zucchini in my freezer. First things first, I defrosted grated zucchini, then transferred to sieve to drain off excess moisture.

Have you had tuna cakes lately? My easy recipe will make you want to do these tuna cakes soon, really tuna cakes are a few of my favorite things!


2 cans tuna, drained well

2/3 cup plain bread crumbs (plus extras, about 1/3 cup for dredging, if desired)

1 cup finely grated zucchini

1 medium onion, chopped finely

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 large egg

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Old Bay seafood seasoning

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons cooking oil

Mix all together (that’s so easy!) in a medium bowl. Divide into 4 portions and shape into thin patties. You may want to dredge in extra bread crumbs (if you got extra, if not, you can just opt for naked tuna cakes). Refrigerate 1 hour. Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Cook cakes, 4 to 5 minutes each side until nicely golden brown. Serve with Louisiana seafood sauce (i love this sauce!) and coleslaw. Finish with a scoop of your favorite ice cream (go ahead and drizzle with caramel topping, indulge!).

Coleslaw recipe, but of course, here it is…


3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise

1/4 cup sourcream

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup well-drained canned crushed pineapple

1/4 cup raisins or craisins

1 carrot, peeled and julienned

1/2 large green cabbage, finely shredded

Combine. Chill well before serving.