Tag Archives: shrimp

Food Matters Project #40: Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula

Apologies for the little delay here with our Food Matters Project post! We’ve been focusing on house projects: adding a screen door, a composter for the backyard, and we also made a new batch of beer. It was a productive and relaxing weekend- those are the best (best of both worlds). And during some down time, we made this weeks dish!

This week’s host is Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Check our her version: Shrimp-Grapefruit Stirfry with Fennel. This was a great recipe from the Food Matters Cookbook, something I probably would not have chosen, but now I’m glad I tried this flavor profile. Take a peek what other Food Matters Project participants did here.

When my parents were visiting us a couple of weekends ago we were talking about scallops. The first time my parents met Sam, we took them to Zaytinya– a José Andrés restaurant, specializing in Turkish, Greek and Lebanese dishes. When my parents were choosing their orders, Sam insisted that they try the scallops with a yogurt-dill sauce and sugar snap peas. My Dad was a bit hesitant at first, but did order this dish- and he loved it. He loved it so much, that while my parents were visiting, my Dad mentioned that those were the best scallops he every had- nothing has compared in the last 3 years!

Since that conversation, we’ve been craving scallops and decided to swap the shrimp for them in this recipe. There are a few changes as well- no fennel, it’s not my favorite, and we added more heat. And rather than serving it over rice, per Mark Bittman’s suggestion, we opted for a salad option, and served it over a bed of arugula.

Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula

Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 449)
Servings: 2

Since Sam was in charge of this dish, it was a bit spicy with 2 habañeros. We recognize that not everyone has that kind of a pallet. Instead, I would recommend one of the following choices: 1) using only 1 habañero; 2) using jalapeño(s)- you can even deseed them; or 3) using regular peppers, red would show up beautifully in this. Feel free to serve this over pasta or rice.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 habañeros, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 green onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
2 grapefruits, peeled, segmented and chopped (juice included)
1 lb fresh scallops
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Coat a pan in olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the habañero, ginger, green onions, and garlic. Allow them all the sweat for about 2 minutes. Then add the soy sauce, lime juice, and grapefruit- sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Finally, add the scallops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Then remove from heat, serve scallops and sauce over a bed of arugula.

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Honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand Pt 2

Check out what we ate during our honeymoon in the first post about Phuket.

While we were on our honeymoon, we spend one Sunday evening exploring the Phuket Weekend Market.  It’s a night bazaar which includes goods (you can find everything there) as well as foods.

For those who have been to Bangkok, apparently it resembles the markets there, and another name for it is Talad Tairod (the literal meaning: Car Boot Sale).

Of course, food interested us the most.  What can you eat here?  Everything in various forms: fried, deep fried, boiled, steamed, crushed, chilled, rolled and fermented.  We walked around and tried a little bit of everything- not much need for writing, the photos will say it all!

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Yes- those are fried bugs…

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Angry birds!!!

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Some giant shirmp!!!

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Lots of sugar cane juice to sip on!Phuket 2 Phuket 1

Honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand Pt 1

As I mentioned, Sam and I recently got married…and then we went on the best honeymoon ever!

Having traveled extensively for work, I had a gazillion miles on my United account, which led to us purchasing tickets to Phuket, Thailand– paradise!

Since this is a food blog, I’ll start with the food aspect of the trip, I hope you all enjoy! (and get a chance to visit one day)

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Our first layover (I know, sounds crazy!) was in Narita Airport in Japan- since it was a bit of a wait, we opted for a mid-night snack of some veggie sushi.

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Our second layover was in Bangkok, Thailand.  We landed at 11:30pm there, and it was a 12 hour difference from DC.  So this delicious Spicy Beef Noodle Soup was either an early lunch, or an amazing midnight snack!  After that we got to spend a fun 4 hours on very hard benches- the joys of international travel?

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Part of our flight itinerary was on Thai Airways– which we loved!  This was breakfast- small and delicious (food even on a 1 hour flight- crazy!).  On the return flights we got to experience lunch and dinner, and we were given real silverware, so I guess not all airlines use plastic!

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Of course the first night we got to our hotel, I had to have Thai Curry.  It is my absolute favorite dish in any Thai restaurant- so I had to have the authentic version.  It was delicious!  The dish was light, but had all the flavors of curry, coconut and seared vegetables.

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One day we visited the city of Phuket, and wanted some lunch- we found this diner, and loved the food!  I ordered some curry tofu, fried spinach, rice and a fried egg.  It was simple, but light and tasty.

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Sam ordered Beef and Lettuce.  We thought it’d be more like lettuce wraps, but it was chopped lettuce, cabbage and carrots- with the beef on top.  Cilantro garnished this dish.

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This was actually the appetizer, but it got there at the end- veggie spring rolls!

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As we meandered the streets of Phuket, we came across a bar (this is a story in itself), and also tried a new beer which we had never seen sold in the US.  Thai beers are typically lagers- the oldest and most known is Singha, and recently Chang has become more well known.  A local beer was Phuket– it had a slight sweet honey flavor.

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There was a breakfast buffet in our hotel which we indulged in every morning.  One of our favorite ways to finish breakfast was with passion fruit.  We had first tried it on a trip to Dominican Republic about 2 years ago- there it was tart, the Thai version was slightly sweet.

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Walking distance from our hotel, there were some smaller huts which sold food.  Towards the end of our trip we wanted to remember the real Thai cooking: Spicy Vegetable and Shrimp (red Thai peppers, onion, green onions, shrimp, bok choy).

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I had to have one last curry dish (they were so great!).  This was a Yellow Curry with onions, green peppers and basil.

Thailand 8    We spent one day biking in the villages of Thailand, but when we stopped for lunch we had this amazing Shrimp Laksa.  Our bike tour guide told us how this is definitely a favorite with the locals, especially when it’s extra spicy!

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And this is us- happy married, flying back to the U.S. via Bangkok.  Although at this point we only made it 6 out of the 24 hours of travel time, we had an amazing stay in Phuket!

I’d love to tell you all more about our trip, what would you like to hear?  I will have a post about the Thai Market we visited, and our scuba diving adventures!  Anything else?

Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew

I am very lucky cook, pretty much anything I make, Sam eats.  And about 9 times out of 10 he’ll tell me how great it is.  Then the 1 times out of 10, he’ll swear that was the best thing he’s ever eaten.  See, aren’t I lucky?!?

This was one of those 1 out of 10 meals that we both loved.  It had so much flavor, and it wasn’t too fishy.  This is definitely on the list to re-do!

When I picked up the June/July 2012 issue of Saveur, I noticed it had an article about the cuisine in the Amazon by Neide Rigo (the photos were done by James Oseland).  Since I have never been in this part of the world, I was interested to read about what people ate there.  And the pictures looked so delicious, I had to try at least one of the recipes.

The article focuses on the author’s visit to the Brazilian island of Marajó.  The trip alone took her 2 days from São Paulo: she took a flight, a taxi ride, then a 3-hour ferry ride, a car ride through the jungle, and lastly, a barge.  That was one long trip!

Marajó is the largest island surrounded by freshwater, anywhere in the world.  It’s about as big as Switzerland, and it’s located where the Amazon pours into the Atlantic Ocean.  The advantage to the location is that fishermen can catch saltwater or freshwater fish, it all depends on the time of day and the tides.

The islanders were introduced to beef and diary by the Dutch, French and Portuguese colonizers who brought cattle and African slaves with them in the 17th century.  The current cuisine is a result of 400 years of intermarriage of Europeans, Africans, and native Brazilians.

The afternoon that the author arrived on the island, she was served this delicious soup.  We had eaten the soup just plain, per the recipe below.  Neide’s stew was accompanied by sweet plantains, rice, stewed red beans, pickled chiles, a salad of lettuce and tomatoes, cassava and fresh juices to drink (pineapple, papaya, and white soursop).  If I’m ever near the Amazon, I would love to stop by for a visit, until then, I have this soup to savor!

Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew (Moqueca)
Adapted from: Saveur (June/July 2012, Number 148, pg 66)

We used tilapia in this recipe, although catfish and halibut were recommended- feel free to swap for any firm-fleshed white fish.  The soup also has a mixture of peppers, but if you prefer bell peppers use those.  Lastly, I used vegetable broth, but if you have fish stock that would be perfect (probably use about 1 cup).

1 1/2 lb tilapia (or catfish, halibut- or any firm white fish), cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 lb shrimp
6 garlic cloves, minced
juice from 2 limes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups mixed chopped peppers (jalapeños, bell peppers, chili, banana)
2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup light coconut milk (1 can)
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1-2 cups cooked rice

In a large bowl, mix together the fish, shrimp, 6 cloves of garlic, lime juice, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Set aside.

In a large pot heat up the olive oil, and then add the onion.  Cook until the onion is translucent, for about 5 minutes.  Then add the garlic and peppers, cook for another 3 minutes.  Next, stir in the tomatoes and cook until they are broken down, for about 5 minutes.  Add vegetable broth and coconut milk, bring to a boil.

Finally, drain any liquid from the fish and shrimp mixture, and add into the pot.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the fish and shrimp are cooked.  Sprinkle in the basil and cilantro, stir well.  Serve over rice.

Heat Wave: Shrimp Gazpacho

I’m not sure where everyone else is living, but here in DC we’ve had a couple of hot days.  The kind of hot that you just want to sit in an air conditioned room, eating and drinking cold foods.  I’ve got just the soup that will keep you cool when the heat wave gets to you!

I’ve mentioned previously that I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain.  While I was there over the summer, it was hot- so my señora made a gazpacho quite often to cool us down, and fill us up.  Although it wasn’t my favorite at first, I learned to love it and have eaten many bowls every since.  Check out other soups we’ve made that can be eaten cold: cucumber gazpacho, tomato soup with basil, and roasted vegetable soup.

Tomatoes are starting to pop up at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, so I’m taking advantage and buying some every week.  It’s really hard to resist all of the beautiful colors, and amazing taste!  The better tomatoes you use (ex: heirloom) the flavor will be more intense!

Need other meal ideas to keep you cool this summer?  Check these out: rum raisin ice cream, colorful slaw, tomatoes with basil & mozzarella, Sam’s summer pasta sauce, and the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market Summer Salad.

Shrimp Gazpacho
Fifth Floor Kitchen original
Serving: 4 large dinner (6 lunch/sides)

If you do have a grill in your home, I would utilize it and grill the veggies rather than roasting them in your oven (won’t get as hot!).  Also, feel free to change the number of each vegetable- if you prefer more corn, add it in, or don’t include it.  This is one of the reasons I love soups, so easy to change them to your taste!

5 tomatoes
3 corn on the cob
3 red bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
about 1 lb shrimp, peeled/cooked
2 tbsp chives, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

On a cookie sheet, spread out 3 tomatoes, corn on the cob (husks off) and the red bell peppers.  Once the oven is preheated, put the veggies into the oven for about 30 minutes.  Turn each of the vegetables over onto another side about every 10 minutes.  Once they are done, allow them to cool off.

Once everything has cooled, add the tomatoes to a food processor.  Then cut off an inch off of the point side of the corn, and set it down on a flat surface.  Grasp the stalk end holding it vertically over a cutting board, and carefully slice downward over the cob cutting off the kernels.  Then add the corn from 2 of the cobs into the food processor, add the other corn kernels to a big bowl.  Lastly, chop off the end of the pepper with the stem, and add the pepper to the food processor.  Processes all of the vegetables until they are pureed (to your liking of consistency), then pour everything into the big bowl with the corn kernels.

Chop the remaining 2 tomatoes and add them to the large bowl.

In a medium saucepan, heat up the olive oil.  Then add in the onion, allow it to cook until it is translucent.  Add in the garlic and carrots, cook for another 5 minutes.  Finally, add in the veggie broth, and allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Allow the broth mixture to cool, then add it to the food processor.  Puree it until the consistency is smooth.  Add the liquid to the big bowl filled with the other ingredients.  Sprinkle in the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, mix well.  Lastly, add in the shrimp.

Place in the fridge and allow it to cool for at least an hour (although, the colder the better).

Once you’re ready to serve, ladle out the soup into bowls and garnish with chives.