Spicy Gazpacho with Lime Shrimp

Gazpacho with Lime Chicken

Gazpacho is a raw, cold soup made with the freshest tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers you can lay your hands on.

This version is spiced up with jalapenos and seasoned with cilantro and limes.

Not only is it a Spanish classic but it’s one of the most refreshing, no-cook, summer soups I know of.

You can serve gazpacho as an appetizer shooter-style or kick it up to main dish status with the addition of grilled shrimp or chicken marinated in lime and cilantro.

The silky base of the soup is made of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper and jalapeno pureed along with stale bread, olive oil and lime juice.

For serving it’s topped with diced vegetables, croutons and in this case, shrimp.

It’s super fast to make and can be made ahead of time, the flavors only intensify further when allowed to mingle overnight. Eating it right away isn’t a bad idea either! It has addicting qualities.

Even with the addition of chile peppers it has thirst-quenching, cooling properties that make it the perfect soup for hellish  weather.

Gazpacho with Lime Chicken
Spicy Gazpacho with Lime Shrimp
(adapted from Food Network Magazine)
bamboo or metal skewers
Juice of 3 limes, divided, plus wedges for serving
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
sea or kosher salt and freshly black pepper
1 pound shrimp, cleaned, tails removed
1/2 cup large-cut croutons or cubed stale bread
4 large tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 bell pepper (any color), stemmed, seeded and diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced, optional

1. Soak bamboo skewers in water. Meanwhile mix the juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon of cilantro, salt and pepper to taste in a shallow dish; add shrimp and turn to coat. Marinate for 1/2 hour.

2. Crush half of the croutons and set aside. Soak remaining croutons in 1/4 cup water about 5 minutes, squeeze out the water and add to blender along with tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and jalapenos. With the motor running, drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add 2 cups ice and blend until smooth. Stir in half of the cilantro and the remaining lime juice; season well with salt and pepper.

3. Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until pink and opaque.

4. Divide the soup into bowls. Serve garnished with shrimp, the remaining tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, cilantro and the crushed croutons. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with lime wedges.

(Serves 3-4)

Gazpacho with Lime Chicken

I’m sending this to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays and linking to Heather of Girlichef for Two for Tuesdays: Celebrate Real Food.


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Shrimp Po’ Boy with Remoulade

Shrimp Po' Boy with Remoulade

This is my version of a Louisiana favorite! Pan-fried shrimp piled high on French Bread and smothered in some of the most unbelievable remoulade I’ve ever tasted. Really. The remoulade makes the sandwich unforgettable. It’s a recipe I adapted from John Besh’s My New Orleans. I love it so much I could drink it. I can’t get it out of my mind.

At first glance the remoulade seems like it would be ‘heavy’ with the base being equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream. A bevy of flavorful ingredients like Dijon mustard, garlic, onion, lemon, paprika, and cayenne cause it to take on an entirely new character. Akin to the nectar of the gods. Seriously. I’m all about the remoulade. No amount of raving can be enough. If you take nothing else away from this post you must make it! It’s a delicious dipping sauce for any type of fish, vegetable or fritter. Especially fried. You will be searching for things to dip in it…and when you run out of things you just might dip a spoon in it. Not that I would.

The mere sound of this sandwich sings of indulgence…hot, crunchy, sweet shrimp on chewy, toasted French baguette drenched in a cool yet spicy remoulade with cold, crispy lettuce leaves…a strange and surprisingly delicious combination!

Shrimp Po' Boy with Remoulade


Shrimp Po’ Boy with Remoulade
(by Reeni)(makes about 2-3 Po’ Boys depending on size)
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Cornmeal
1/4 cup Cornstarch
Creole or Cajun Spice Mix or Cayenne Pepper, optional, a few dashes
1 pound medium raw Shrimp, cleaned, tails off
Canola oil, for frying
French baguette, cut lengthwise into rolls, toasted/grilled
1. In a large shallow dish combine the flour, cornmeal, corn starch and seasoning.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with enough oil to generously cover bottom of the pan.
3. Working in batches dredge about 1/3 of the shrimp with the flour mixture. Fry until browned on one side and flip over to fry on other side. Alternately you can deep fry them if desired.
4. Serve on French Bread with remoulade, lettuce and tomato, if desired.
Shrimp Remoulade
(adapted from My New Orleans by John Besh page 348 )
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons Onion, finely minced
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Hot sauce, optional
Sea Salt
Whisk everything together in a medium bowl, season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until serving.


Shrimp Po' Boy with Remoulade

I’m sending this to the lovely Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays round-up.

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Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Noodles

Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Rice Noodles

A Thai inspired soup recipe with shrimp and noodles, one of my recent favorites and new go-to soup! It’s fast, healthy and completely delicious!
The creamy coconut broth is laden with flavor. It’s rich and sweet with little hints of spicy heat and citrus. All equally balanced so no one is overpowering. The broth is made by combining chicken broth with coconut milk and is flavored with ginger, green chile peppers, lemongrass, kaffir leaves, lime and cilantro. (If you don’t have access to lemongrass or kaffir lime substitute additional lime juice and lemon zest.)
I customized it and turned it into a main dish soup with the addition of rice noodles. And fresh corn straight from the cob. Because I adore the flavor of corn with coconut milk. It brings out the natural sweetness in the corn even further. The noodles give it a substantial feel and pair perfectly with the succulent shrimp and fresh, crisp corn.
Aside from all that this is a fairly quick soup to make. I suggest that you get all your ingredients chopped and prepped ahead of time because the recipe moves quickly, cooking time is 20-25 minutes.
I bet it will become a favorite in your house too!

Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Rice Noodles

Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Rice Noodles 
(adapted from Coastal Living)

4  cups Chicken Broth
1 – 15-ounce can Coconut Milk
1  tablespoon Fish sauce (optional)
1 – 2-inch piece fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
1  to 2 Serrano or Jalapeño chiles, diced
2 Corn Cobs, Kernels removed (1 + 1/2 cup)
1  stalk Lemon Grass, cut into 1-inch pieces*
2  to 3 Kaffir Lime leaves*
12 ounces Rice Noodles or Fettucine Pasta
2  tablespoons Lime Juice
1/2  pound Shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces Cremini or Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced ( I omitted)
2  tablespoons Cilantro leaves, fresh, chopped
1/2 cup Green Onion, 1/2 – 1 inch pieces

1. Combine first 6 ingredients and, if desired, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile cook noodles according to package directions.

3. Stir lime juice into soup. Add shrimp, and simmer 10 more minutes. Discard lemon grass.

4. To serve add rice noodles to bowl and ladle soup over top. Add mushrooms, cilantro and green onion. Serve with lime wedges.

* Substitute 2 additional teaspoons of  Lime juice for Lemon Grass and 1 teaspoon Lime Zest for  Kaffir leaves.

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Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Rice Noodles

There’s only a few more days to get in on the current Burger Club challenge with my special guest host: Kim of Stirring the Pot!

I’m sending this to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays round-up!

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Avocado and Feta Salsa with Marinated Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Skewers

Avocado and Feta Salad with Marinated Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Skewers

A bright and beautiful Avocado Feta Salsa recipe served with marinated grilled chicken and shrimp. The salsa mingles the fresh flavors of sharp Feta cheese, buttery avocado, juicy grape tomatoes, crisp corn, slightly pungent red onion, and aromatic basil. It is lightly dressed in lemon and extra-virgin olive oil and allows the vibrant flavors to shine brightly. Summer on a plate.

The chicken and shrimp are simply marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and thyme. They grill up juicy and tender picking up the subtle flavors of the marinade. Eaten together they make a tasty, complimenting trio that is texturally pleasing to the eyes and mouth. Light, clean and healthy. Food that makes you feel good.

The salsa is quite versatile. For lunch the next day I mixed what was left of the shrimp right in with the salsa. Delicious! The salsa on its own or in combination with the chicken or shrimp could also get stuffed into pitas, served over salad greens or be gently tossed with cooked pasta and additional dressing.

 Enjoy my version of surf and turf!

Avocado and Feta Salsa/Salad with Marinated Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Skewers

Avocado Feta Salsa with Marinated Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Skewers
(by Reeni)

1/2 to 1 Lemon, juiced*
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Avocado, diced
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
4 ounces Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced in half moons
1/2 cup Cooked Corn, chilled
Sea or Kosher salt and Fresh Black Pepper
6 large Basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade** or thinly sliced

1. In a small mixing bowl whisk 1/2 lemon, olive oil and mustard.

2. To a separate medium bowl add avocado, tomatoes, Feta, onion and corn. Pour dressing over top and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add additional lemon juice if needed and garnish with basil.

3. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving to allow the flavors time to develop.

Marinated Chicken and Shrimp Skewers
2 Lemons, juiced*
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Oregano
2 large boneless, skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 pound Shrimp, cleaned and deveined
Bamboo or Metal Skewers

1. A few hours before serving whisk all ingredients except chicken and shrimp together. Divide evenly and marinate the chicken in refrigerator. Store the remaining marinade in refrigerator.

2. A half hour to an hour before cooking skewer the shrimp and marinate them in the marinade you set aside earlier. Soak bamboo skewers in water.

3. Grill the chicken until juices run clear or an internal temperature of 165 – 174 is reached. When the chicken is almost cooked grill the shrimp skewers on each side. They are done when they turn pink.

4. Let the chicken sit for five minutes, then slice and serve with the salsa over top followed by the shrimp.

*Microwave for ten seconds and then roll against counter using the palm of your hands to get the most juice.

**Stack the leaves, roll them up then cut across the rolled leaves with a sharp knife to make thin ribbons.

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Avocado Feta Salsa: 5 servings/175 calories per serving

Avocado and Feta Salsa/Salad

I’m sending the Avocado Feta Salsa to Priya of Mharo Rajasthan’s Recipes for her Vegetable/Fruit Event: Avocado!

I’m also sending this to Nithu of Spicy Tasty to enter in her Sizzling Summer Contest.

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Vietnamese Herb Salad Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Vietnamese Herb Salad Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

This is a Vietnamese recipe for fresh and vibrant Spring Rolls filled with cellophane noodles, shrimp, cabbage, green onion, cilantro, basil and mint. The filling is flavored with nuoc nam sauce and rice vinegar and the rolls are dipped into a spicy peanut sauce made with peanut butter, chile peppers, garlic, ginger and more nuoc nam sauce.

Nuoc nam is a Vietnamese condiment and a staple in their diet. It is made from fish sauce, sugar, chile peppers, garlic, rice vinegar and lime juice. It has elements of sweet, salty, sour and spicy. It is a crucial flavor in both the spring rolls and the peanut dipping sauce.

These can be served as is or fried. I pan-fried these in a minimal amount of oil just long enough to get a little crispy skin to them. These really have a wide range of flavors and textures that will compete for your attention. There is the brightness of the herbs mingled with a little bit of sour, sweet, spicy and salty among soft noodles, crisp cabbage and succulent bites of shrimp that are dotted throughout the filling. The dipping sauce is really something special and so completely irresistible you will be tempted to eat it with a spoon. Not that I did that. I’m just saying.

I’m sending this to the very lovely Joanne of Eats Well With Others for her Regional Recipes: Vietnam round-up.

Vietnamese Herb Salad Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce


Vietnamese Herb Salad Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
(adapted from Vietnamese recipes)

2 ounces Cellophane Noodles
3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 tablespoon Nuoc Cham Sauce (recipe to follow)
1/2 pound medium Shrimp, cleaned, cooked and finely chopped
1 cup shredded Cabbage
2 tablespoons Green Onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon Thai Basil, chopped
1 tablespoon Mint, chopped
8-10 Rice Paper Wrappers

Peanut Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons Peanut Oil or Vegetable Oil
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 small red Chile Pepper, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Nuoc Cham Sauce (recipe to follow)
2 tablespoons Peanuts, crushed

1. Soak the cellophane noodles in a bowlful of hot water to cover for 5 – 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and rinse in cold water. Cut noodles with scissors to an inch or two in length and toss with vinegar, nuoc cham sauce, shrimp, cabbage, green onion and herbs.

2. Soak 1 rice wrapper at a time in warm water for 30 seconds and set it on a flat surface. Place a little of the mixed vegetables and noodle filling on it. Roll up tightly, folding in the sides to enclose the filling. Continue until all ingredients are used.

3. To make the peanut sauce combine all ingredients except peanuts and whisk. Mix in peanuts.

4. To serve, slice each roll on the diagonal, then arrange one half over the other. Serve the dipping sauce separately. To pan-fry heat a 1/8 to 1/4 inch of vegetable or peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry on both sides 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Slice in two diagonally and serve with peanut dipping sauce.

Nuoc Cham Sauce
(adapted from Vietnamese recipes)

1/2 cup Palm or Brown Sugar
1 cup Hot Water
1/2 cup Vietnamese Fish Sauce (I used Thai fish sauce)
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Lime Juice
2-5 Red Chilies, finely chopped
2-5 cloves Garlic, finely chopped

1. Add the sugar to a medium sized bowl and pour the hot water over it, stirring until it is completely dissolved. Add all the other ingredients, stir well and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

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Vietnamese Herb Salad Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Check out the next Burger Club Challenge hosted by Kim of Stirring the Pot!

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Easy Shrimp Pad Thai

Easy Shrimp Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of my favorite go-to dishes when ordering Asian take-out. I taste tested this dish all over town and back again and there is only one place that makes it the way I like love it. It happens to be the place I first fell in love with Pad Thai. It didn’t matter that the ingredients were a total mystery to me… Aside from the obvious. Despite my love I have never been the least bit tempted to make it for myself until I saw Bobby Flay go head to head in a Pad Thai Challenge on his Showdown series. It was then that the Pad Thai mystery was solved and I learned exactly what went into making traditional Pad Thai. And enough useful tips that I felt confident enough to tackle it at home.

 My Pad Thai recipe is made with flat rice noodles, bean sprouts, garlic, red chile, egg, shrimp and a special sauce. That’s the secret. The secret to making a really good Pad Thai. It’s in the sauce. Rather than adding the sauce ingredients separately to the wok the sauce should be made first. Made and tweaked until it’s just the way you like it. I want the sour flavor of the tamarind to dominate the sauce. The very same flavor that caused me to fall in love. Not too sweet and not too salty.

My recipe as listed tastes and looks exactly like the take-out I buy. It didn’t take much work for me to figure out the recipe. Just a little adjusting of my initial sauce and using those ‘obvious’ ingredients I mentioned earlier. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Easy Shrimp Pad Thai
(adapted from Food Network and Chez Pim)

Pad Thai Sauce

1 cup frozen Tamarind Pulp, thawed, unsweetened (found in the Spanish frozen section of your market)
2 tablespoons Thai Fish Sauce*
1/3 cup Palm or Brown Sugar

In a small sauce pan combine and simmer all ingredients over low heat for five minutes. Remove a spoonful, cool and taste. Too salty or sweet? Add more tamarind. Not salty enough? Add more fish sauce – a little bit at a time. Too sour? Add more sugar – a little at a time. Heat through again.

*If you don’t like fish sauce omit and add salt – start with a 1/4 teaspoon and season to taste.

To make 2 servings of Pad Thai:

4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 dried red chiles, crumbled without seeds or stems (found in the Mexican spice section of your market)
4 ounces Rice Noodles, soaked in hot tap water for a half hour (can also use Fettuccine pasta)
1 and 1/2 cups Bean Sprouts
1/2 cup water, you don’t need to use it all
Pad Thai Sauce
2 eggs
1/2 pound Shrimp, medium or large, cleaned and tails removed
4 tablespoons Peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons Garlic Chives or Green Onions, snipped with a kitchen scissor
Lime wedges, for serving

1. Assemble all your ingredients because the recipe moves fast, including 2 large spoons or spatulas for stirring.

2. Heat the oil in the wok or a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and chiles stirring, add the rice noodles and bean sprouts, stirring to separate the noodles, add a little bit of water if they stick together. Add 3 or 4 ladles (soup ladle) of sauce. Continue stirring until noodles looks soft and bean sprouts are wilted.

3. Move the noodles up the sides of the wok and add more oil if needed to cook the eggs. Crack them into the center and in the eggs. Push the noodles over top of the eggs and allow to cook for a minute, then stir the eggs and noodles together. Push the noodles to the sides of the wok, if using a skillet remove to a plate or bowl and set aside.

4. Add more oil if needed to cook shrimp, add shrimp and stir with 3 or 4 more ladles of sauce. Continue stirring until shrimp just start to curl and turn white. Add noodles back in and stir until everything is well combined, adding more sauce if needed.

5. Serve immediately with peanuts, garlic chives and lime wedges.

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Easy Shrimp Pad Thai

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Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and Peas

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and Peas

This is a lightened up recipe for Alfredo sauce tossed with Spaghetti, shrimp and Peas. Most alfredo sauces call for using all cream; here I’ve swapped out some of the cream for whole milk. A little bit of cream goes a long way. This still retains that rich and creamy texture and flavor that I love alfredo for but without the heaviness.

Traditional Alfredo sauces don’t use cream or milk; they are made of butter and Parmesan. Outrageous amounts. Two sticks per pound of pasta and 2 or 3 cups of Parmesan! This makes even the full cream recipe appear tame in calories!

This comes together quickly and is perfect when your short on time but want a hot, delicious home cooked meal. You can even replace the shrimp with leftover cooked chicken or steak and the peas for broccoli, cauliflower, spinach or whatever vegetable you have on hand. Cooking the vegetables right in the water with the pasta saves time and spares a pot from being dirtied. You can also use cooked frozen shrimp: just be extra careful not to over cook them.

Nothing says comfort more than a plate full of pasta tossed in a creamy sauce! Throw some succulent shrimp and sweet peas into the mix and you have a satisfying and complete one-dish meal.

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp & Peas
(by Reeni)

12 ounces Fettuccine or Spaghetti
1 cup frozen Peas
1 and ½ cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for serving
1 pound medium-sized Shrimp, deveined with tails off
Freshly cracked black pepper
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish, optional
lemon wedges for serving, optional

1. In a large stockpot, cook pasta and peas in plenty of boiling salted water according to package directions to al dente.

2. Meanwhile make the sauce. Heat milk and heavy cream over low-medium heat in a deep saute pan. Add butter and whisk gently to melt. Slowly simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Sprinkle in cheese and whisk to incorporate. Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp curl up, stirring often. Remove from heat.

3. Add the drained pasta and peas to the shrimp sauce and toss. Season with black pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve with Parmesan cheese and lemon wedges.

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Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and Peas

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