Scampi with some fresh squeezed lemon

To be honest, I am quite unsure of the last time I had made a shrimp scmapi myself- I’ve had it out to eat at places or in the past when visiting my parents but making my own- hmmm, at least before I started blogging.

I started off with some uncooked shrimp (26-30 count per pound variety) and I took them out of their shells and placed on paper towel to get rid of some of the extra water weight. I then put them in a large bowl, zested 1 lime (yes a lime, not a lemon), tossed in some ancho chili powder, a little bit of salt, and some cilantro and mixed together.


In a medium pan, I heated up 3 teaspoons of butter and 2 of olive oil. While slowly heating I diced up a couple of garlic cloves (4 or 5) and tossed this into the now hot butter/oil mixture. I sauteed the garlic for a minute or two and then tossed the shrimp in on top. I let them cook for a few minutes and then added in 1/3 cup of Rose wine (did not have a bottle of white open but this is just as good). I then simmered this mixture until the shrimp turned pink.


Separately, I had a pot of water boiling and had tossed in some thin spaghetti. Once the spaghetti was ready i drained it out and tossed the shrimp/sauce mixture into the pot. I then squuezed the juice out of two lemons and tossed in about 1/2 cup of fresh diced parsley and mixed it all together.


As you can tell, the wife was happy, so scampi was a success.



Playing with my drinks

So lately besides the normal food kick, I’ve been playing around with some different cocktails, trying out some different flavor combos as well as trying some various shooting styles and lighting.


In this case, I went with a cranberry based cocktail with hints of citrus/orange and also some coconut. I was also in the mood of playing with some harsher lighting with a darker backdrop for the overall mood.


Overall, the drink itself was quite tasty. I think first time through maybe a tad too much coconut but overall a good combination of flavors.

In regards to the shooting aspects, that aspect is still up for debate. Any comments and criticisms are always welcome. Can never stop learning and gaining different perspectives.


Broiled Flounder with a Pineapple-Shrimp Topping

Fish is such a great meal due to its versatility and the fact that in most situations it does not take all that long to prep or cook. I decided in this case to go fairly simple and stuck to having some broiled flounder.


So, the flounder was simple enough. I poured a little olive oil into the dish and tossed in the filets. Since I wanted to make it a little citrusy, I poured in some orange juice. I then sprinkled on some ancho chile powder and some smoked paprika and put in the oven.


While that was in the oven, for the topping I diced up some fresh pineapple and put into a pan. I added in some soy sauce and heated on medium. After that was cooking for a little bit of time (and to soften it) I then added in some “salad” shrimp (the small ones they sell to put in a salad. I then cooked this all together until the juices were slightly thickened.

As a side, I sauteed some asparagus in some truffle-infused oil along with some salt and pepper.



Time to relax… Grapefruit Margarita


Time to relax... Grapefruit Margarita

After a long day, I wanted something a little different so I went with a grapefruit margarita. Since I had grapefruits in the refrigerator all I needed to do was juice one, add in the tequila, triple sec, squeezed half a lime, added in some ancho chili powder, and shook it with some ice. Added a nice gold sugar rim and was ready to drink.

Simple Oven Roasted Fish and Asparagus

Since I am in the moving process (official day of loading up the UHAUL and trekking over to Jersey is Wednesday) so at the moment not going into any in depth cook/baking ordeals. I thought this was a good one to show because of how easy it is to do, it tastes, good, lots of options, and you can make a nice presentation with it.


This can be done with just about any fish imaginable, but since I had some Wolffish left in the freezer, that was what I went with. Simple enough, start off with some olive oil in the dish, I squeezed in some lemon, swirled the fish around to coat it. I added some salt and pepper and placed a few lemon slices on top. On the sides of the fish I threw in some asparagus spears. Then it was bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or so. Near the end, I tossed on some shaved Grana Padano and baked a little more.



Wolffish with some Crab and Asparagus

Not too long ago on one of my trips through Trader Joe’s, I had stumbled upon a fish that I do not typically see all too often- Norwegian Wolffish. The last place I recall seeing this on the menu was a while back at BoneFish Grill where they have it with creamed spinach, etc.


For my liking, I had taken the filet and stuffed it with a combination of crab meat, flaked asiago cheese, salt, pepper, and some lemon juice. I then pan seared it in some oil on both sides and baked on low heat.

In a small saucepan, I chopped up some fresh horseradish, added some basil, rosemary, crabmeat, and olive oil and sauteed for a few minutes. I then added in some heavy cream and made into a sauce to top the fish off.


Next on the menu was the side dish. I went a tad out of the box on this and utilized both asparagus as well as “smoked bacon.” The smoked bacon is not bacon like grocery store style but actual slab piece of pork put into a smoker- really does not need to be cooked at all. I wrapped the asparagus in the smoked bacon (after I had peeled the asparagus) and cooked until tender. I then removed the asparagus, diced the pork into smaller pieces and added some citrusy accents to then pour over the asparagus.


Overall, a nice combination of flavors having the strong flavors of the horseradish and asiago with the fish and crab and some citrusy and salty combinations paired with the asparagus.




Soon to come—crab cakes with the extra crabmeat 🙂

Coconut Shrimp

With the Summer season nearing a close, I figured it would be a nice time to try something a little tropical. In this particular case I went ahead and made some homemade coconut shrimp.


Hours before even doing anything on the side of cooking, I made a marinade mixture of lemon juice, lime juice, ancho chile pepper, salt, and cracked pepper. I let the shrimp marinade for about 6 hours. Initially to the shrimp, I put them in a bowl, added flour and mixed good until a nice coating and the outside of the shrimp were on the dry side. I then took a few egg yolks, some shredded coconut, some bread crumbs and combined with the shrimp until a nice thick coating was on the shrimp. In a large pan, I poured in some grape-seed oil and brought to high heat. I then tossed in the shrimp and cooked on both sides until browned.


Though it is hard to see because of the bowl, as a side dish I made some Kaniwa, which is a South American grain close to quinoa. I put them in simmering water, added some butter, some diced up mango, salt and pepper and cooked until the water had fully soaked in. I placed a layer of the kaniwa in the bottom of the bowl. I then placed a thin layer of savoy cabbage and finally topped with the shrimp.

As a sauce, I took some mango I had diced up, added some sugar, some lemon juice, some balsamic vinegar, some white wine and brought to a simmer. I then covered and let simmer for about 10 minutes. At this point, the mango was soft enough I could mash it with a spoon to make a thick mango puree.