Chili Lime Shrimp Salad

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There is nothing like fresh shrimp, straight from the coast. It is hot here on North Carolina–not as hot as usual, but it is definitely summer. This salad is another in our summer series of foods that will help you stay cool and healthy in the hot weather. I love shrimp salads, but I don’t like a lot of mayonnaise on a hot day. This salad uses lime juice to keep the salad flavorful and interesting, but not heavy. I may try this again with some butterfly pasta and make a shrimp pasta salad version of this. Soooo yummy!

The original version of this recipe came from Gina’s Skinny Recipes (here). I added some fresh cucumber and some fresh corn to the mix (who doesn’t love shrimp and corn?) as well as some smoked paprika to the dressing. I also added more lime juice and left out the cilantro because I have not acquired a taste for it. All good! The version below is my version, but you could alter this to suit your own tastes!

Wondering where to buy your shrimp? Before you head out shopping check THIS past SOLE Food Kitchen post on why local shrimp is important!

Chili Lime Shrimp Salad (serves 4 as a main dish)

  • 1 lb. shrimp
  • 1 medium tomato, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup fresh corn (about 1 ear)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Peel and devein shrimp. Put shrimp in a deep sauté pan, cover with water and poach for 2-3 minutes, until shrimp is pink and opaque. Drain and let cool.
  2. While shrimp is cooling, mix lime zest, juice, oil, paprika, salt and pepper together. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except avocado. Pour dressing over all and carefully stir the salad so all ingredients are coated with dressing.
  4. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  5. Just prior to serving, add the avocado and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and correct if necessary.
  6. Serve chilled.

Other shrimp dishes:

Pasta with Shrimp, Green Beans and Tomato

Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp

Pasta with Shrimp, Asparagus and Mushrooms

Local Shrimp Pad Thai

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Seafood Casserole

A steamed tail-on shrimp.

I wanted to post this recipe yesterday, but I was pulled into the swirling vortex of holiday shopping known as “the mall”. It was exhausting, but I did finally finish up the last bits of Christmas shopping on my list. I did do a good amount of local shopping, but I couldn’t avoid the mall entirely. I need to plan better next year.

This seafood casserole is a passalong recipe from a volunteer at a previous job. I’ve made it every Christmas Eve for the past 12 years and it has become part of our Christmas tradition. It is very good, very rich and not what I would call healthy food. This year, we are using as many fresh, local ingredients as we can, including all of the seafood.

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound scallops
  • 1 pound raw shrimp
  • 1 pint shucked oysters (you can omit if you really don’t like them)
  • 1 pckg. frozen fake Krab
  • 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 8 oz. pckg. cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs or crushed butter crackers
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon for serving

1. Cook rice according to directions. Stir in egg and 2 Tbsp.of the parsley. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, stirring occasionally. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
3. Stir in 1/2 tsp. of dill and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl.
4. Wipe skillet clean. Pour 2 cups of water in the skillet and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Add scallops and poach until just opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove scallops and add to the bowl.
5. Poach shrimp in the liquid for about 3 minutes or until pink. Remove shrimp to the bowl.
6. Poach the oysters in the liquid for about 2-3 minutes. Remove oysters and add to the bowl.
7. Reserve 1 cup of the poaching liquid and discard the rest. Wipe the skillet clean.
8. Chop the Krab into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl.
9. In the skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Do not let flour brown.
10. Gradually whisk in reserved poaching liquid and milk. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Whisk in cream cheese, remaining dill, salt, pepper and thyme and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth.
11. Stir sauce into the seafood mixture along with remaining parsley.
12. Line bottom of a greased 13 x 9 baking dish with the rice mixture.
13. Pour seafood mixture on top of rice. (At this point, you can cover and refrigerate up to 2 days)
14. Mix bread crumbs or crushed crackers and 2 Tbsp. butter. Sprinkle over the casserole.
15. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until heated through and topping is golden and crunchy. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Grilled Swordfish with Bacon Onion Marmalade

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Yes, yes, we are putting bacon onion marmalade on everything these days. It’s so darn good and we have plenty from the batch we made last week, so we are trying it out on all kinds of food. Not dessert. Well, not yet, anyway 🙂

I love any kind of fish or seafood, but this fresh, line-caught swordfish from our North Carolina coast was hands down the best fish I have ever had. EVER. Thanks to Locals Seafood for providing impeccably fresh, local fish, clams, scallops, shrimp and crabs. They have truly revolutionized how we buy and eat our seafood. These swordfish steaks were thick, which kept them from getting dried out on the grill, plus the grilled skin added a wonderful crunchiness that was to die for.

This recipe is unbelievably simple. It showcases fresh fish at it’s best. When you have something beautiful and fresh, why muck it up with a lot of unnecessary ingredients? Keep it simple and let the star be on stage.

Grilled Swordfish with Bacon Onion Marmalade (serves 3-4)

  • 2 large swordfish steaks, about 1 1/2″ thick
  • 1 or 1 1/2 cups Balsamic vinaigrette dressing (see below or use your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup Bacon Onion Marmalade
  • Kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Put the swordfish steaks in a glass pan or in a large zip loc bag. Add the vinaigrette, turn steaks to coat, and let marinate for about 20 minutes. I put my pan on the counter so the fish comes almost to room temperature (I find food grills better that way), but if that makes you nervous, pop the fish into the refrigerator to marinate.
  2. Preheat your grill.
  3. When grill is hot, remove fish from the marinade and wipe off excess with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Cook fish at medium high on the grill for 4-4.5 minutes per side. Let rest for about 2 minutes.
  5. In a pan or in the microwave oven, heat the bacon onion marmalade and set aside.
  6. Top each fish steak with a few tablespoons of bacon onion marmalade and serve immediately.
  7. Lick your plate.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I used peach flavored white balsamic)
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  1. Blend all ingredients together with a whisk or an immersion blender.

Not sure about grilling fish? Here are 4 easy grilling tips:

  1. Keep your grill hot. Starting with a hot grill will help your food from sticking.
  2. Dry your protein before grilling. Marinades are great, but pat your meat or fish dry before grilling. Why? Because if your protein has a lot of liquid (like a marinade) on it, you will spend your grilling time steaming your food as the liquid evaporates instead of grilling your food. Cooking will take longer and your food will not have that wonderful seared exterior. A light brush of olive oil is ok, but nothing more than that.
  3. Add sauces at the end. If you are using a barbecue sauce, add it in the last few minutes of grilling so the sugars caramelize, but don’t scorch.
  4. Let your protein rest. Letting your meat or fish rest after grilling gives the protein time to redistribute moisture and relax. The end result is a moister, more tender meal.

 

Why You Should Buy Local Shrimp

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We’ll be coming into shrimp season again soon! Here is a repost from our Year of Healthier Living blog about the dangers of imported shrimp.

I love good shrimp, especially over grits or in pasta. Living in a state that produces shrimp for the rest of the country, I used to think that most of my shrimp was caught within a two-hour drive from my home. Checking grocery store sourcing, though, I found that most of it is imported. Imported!! Shrimp comes from 120 miles away, but it’s imported from Asia??? Now we get all our seafood local, thanks to Locals Seafood. I recently read a report that has me even more convinced that local shrimp is the way to go.

The article is from Mother Jones Online and it proclaims that “Shrimp’s Carbon Footprint is 10 Times Greater Than Beef’s”. Say what??? I thought grain fed South American beef was the worst food in regards to carbon footprints, but apparently not. Highlighting Taco Bell’s $2.79 shrimp taco and Red Lobster’s “Endless Shrimp” feasts, the article focuses on America’s love of cheap, plentiful food and the practice of farm raising shrimp in Asia. Twenty years ago, 80% of the shrimp Americans consumed came from wild domestic fisheries, with an additional 20% imported. Today those percentages are flipped, with more than 90% of the shrimp we consume coming from outside the U.S. and mostly from shrimp farms throughout Asia.

Why is that bad? Well, to read about it, apparently these foreign shrimp farms are increasingly built on former mangrove forests across Asia. The devastation of the mangroves is huge. Mangrove forests are biodiverse fisheries, where many species lay their eggs and where young fish can develop in clean waters. The cutting down of these mangrove forests results in “fetid dead zones” that are devoid of life except for what is farmed there. Mangroves are also rich in carbon. When the mangroves are destroyed, that carbon is released into the atmosphere as global warming gas. And since the farms can only be used for about 5 years until the water is too toxic and laden with pesticides, viruses and antibiotics, these shrimp factories are not at all sustainable.

So, what is a shrimp lover to do? Well, first, back away from the shrimp taco and all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet, because the odds are good that those shrimp came from someplace pretty gross. And then buy U.S. shrimp, which are plentiful and which will support jobs in fisheries here. Domestic shrimp may be more expensive when measuring by the dollar, but they are less costly in terms of the environment and your own health. Now I just need to find a good recipe for shrimp tacos!

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