Ceviche de Camarón

Another childhood favorite! Ceviche is one of those foods that has always seemed (to me) so fancy and exotic, when really it’s incredibly fast and easy to make. Honestly, other than playing the waiting game while the shrimp were marinating this dish took me… maybe 30 minutes total? Fast and easy – I like it! Haha, ease of operations aside though, ceviche basically screams summer to me whenever I taste it, see it, or think about it. Probably because of lots of fond memories eating it at summer holiday parties, but also because it’s packed with the brightness of citrus and spicy kick from cilantro that fly you to a clear watered, white sandy beach where you have no cares in the world.  Which is maybe just me (food REALLY speaks to me), but I hope you enjoy it just as much!

1 Pound Fresh Shrimp (Deveined)
1 Orange (Zested and Juiced)
4 Limes (Zested and Juiced)
1 Teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Tomatoes (Deseeded and Finely Chopped)
½ Red Onion (Diced)
½ Jalapeño (Deseeded and Diced)
2 Tablespoons Cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Rinse and clean the shrimp in a colander under cold water before cooking. Fill a medium sized sauce pan with water to about an inch to the top, bring water to boil over high heat.

2. Once boiling, bring the heat down to medium high and add the shrimp to cook for 3 minutes.2015-08-09 14.24.07

3. While the shrimp are cooking create an ice bath in a large mixing bowl by filling it with ice and cold water. Once the three minutes have passed immediately drain off the hot water and shock them in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.

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4. When the shrimp have cooled enough to touch begin peeling them. If you are planning to serve the shrimp whole, be careful to leave the tail on the shrimp. After all the shrimp have been peeled drain off the cold water and set them aside.

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5. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the fruit juices, zests, Red Hot, and sugar.

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6. Fold in the tomato, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro until well combined.

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7. Depending on how you want to eat your ceviche you may add in the shrimp whole or cut into thirds. Traditionally my mom serves hers as an appetizer so she leaves the shrimp whole with tails on, arranges five or six in a margarita glass, and drizzles the marinade over them. I served my ceviche as a taco topping so I cut the shrimp into thirds for more bite size pieces when guests put them on tacos.

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8. Add your shrimp to the marinade and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill in your refrigerator for a minimum of four hours.

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ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

Rotini Garbanzo Salad

This is by far my absolute favorite type of salad. I can’t exactly remember when my mom started making this, but ever since it’s been my standard food request for birthdays, visits, and really any food oriented event at my parents’ house.  Yesterday, some friends and I went to Goat Rock Beach for climbing and picnicking so of course I jumped on the opportunity to bring this. My love knows no bounds. So I prepped the salad and a mojito watermelon dish (recipe here) the night before because both seemed to be bright, filling pick-me-up dishes – that wouldn’t bog us down or make us sleepy for a day outdoors.

Salad

4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
2 Cups Barilla Gluten Free Rotini
1 (15-ounce) Can Garbanzo Beans
1 ½ Cups Combination of Grape and Komato Tomatoes (Diced)
¾ Cup Sweet Red Onion (Diced)
½ Cup Fresh Basil (Chopped)
¼ Cup Fresh Mint (Chopped)
¾ Cup Red Wine Vinaigrette
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Depending on whether you’d like the salad to be vegetarian or not, start by bringing the chicken or vegetable broth to a boil on high heat in a large saucepan. Once the broth is boiling add the rotini and cook according to the box instructions for al dente pasta.

2. While the rotini is cooking, dice the onions and tomatoes and add them to a large mixing bowl.2015-07-31 21.15.30

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3. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans under cold water in your sink. Add the cleaned beans to the bowl of onions and tomatoes.

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4. Chop the herbs and add to the bowl as well.

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5. Once the rotini is finished cooking, drain off the vegetable broth and add the rotini to the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.

6. Toss the salad with the red wine vinaigrette until well combined and place in a covered container. Chill for at least 20 minutes before serving.

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Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Teaspoons Honey
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and honey to a medium mixing bowl. Using a whisk, blend the ingredients until fully incorporated together and the vinaigrette comes to a smooth consistency. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.

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The recipe is inspired by Giada De Laurentiis Orzo Salad – enjoy! (PS more pictures of Goat Rock Beach coming in the next post)

ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

Lemon Garlic Asparagus

Here’s another quick and easy recipe for when you’re lost on the side dishes front! This is very similar to my simple green beans, but instead of keeping the veggies warm you shock the asparagus immediately after blanching to stop the cooking process – which is actually my favorite thing about this recipe because the asparagus turn out awesomely crisp and fresh. Because honestly the worst thing you can do to yourself is eat overcooked asparagus.

1 Bunch Fresh Asparagus
Water
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
3 Cloves Garlic (Pressed)
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Start by cleaning and cutting the ends off the asparagus.

2015-07-02 17.24.58 2. Evenly distributed the prepped asparagus across a shallow pan with a lid, I used a sauté pan, and add enough water to just cover them.2015-07-02 17.28.22 3. Cover with a lid, and set them on medium high heat until the water comes to a light boil. While waiting for the asparagus to come to a boil create an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. When the water in your pan begins to boil pierce one of the asparagus with a fork to make sure they are cooked – it should be crisp, but easy to stick your fork into.

2015-07-02 17.36.12 4. Drain the water from the pan and put the asparagus into the ice bath to stop them from cooking further.

2015-07-02 17.37.14 5. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.

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2015-07-02 17.45.54 6. Pat the asparagus dry and place them in a covered serving bowl. Toss the asparagus on the dressing and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.

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ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

Simple Buttered Green Beans

The other day my friend Zak and I were talking about his desire to learn more quick and simple recipes for everyday meals.  I hadn’t ever given this problem much thought because, coming from a very food oriented family, I learned tons of easy recipes by helping out in the kitchen before dinner. Now that I think about it though, the things I ate growing up really are the things I default to cooking when I’m feeling lazy and not up to looking up a new recipe. Sadly, I haven’t given many of these foods the credit they deserve on my blog. And really it is a shame because I don’t cook extravagant meals every night, nor do I run to restaurants or fast food joints – most of the time I can be found rummaging through my refrigerator until I find some staple ingredients and make something I would’ve eaten at supper with my family. So here’s to the simple recipes I know and love (and that hopefully you’ll love too!)

Simple Buttered Green Beans

1 Pound Fresh Green Beans
Water
½ Tablespoon Butter
½ Packet Goya Salad & Vegetable Seasoning

Start by cleaning and cutting the ends off the green beans. Once prepped add the green beans to a shallow pan with a lid, I used a sauté pan, and make sure to have them distributed evenly across the pan.

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Add enough water to just cover the green beans, cover with a lid, and set them on medium high heat. Honestly, I’m not sure what to call the cooking method we’re about to embark on next. I suppose it’s a combination of blanching and steaming so… blaming? At any rate, keep the green beans on medium high heat until the water begins to boil.

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Once the water is boiling pierce one of the green beans using a fork. It should be crisp, but easy to stick your fork into. If the green beans are undercooked, re-cover them and continue to cook on medium heat. After five more minutes of cooking check back and they should be good to go.

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Drain the water from the pan. Add your green beans back to the pan as well as the butter to melt. Once the butter has melted add in the Goya seasoning and toss everything together until well combined.

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And there you have it, simple green beans for days when you want to make a meal fast.

ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

Let’s Cook: Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with “Delta” Sauce

Before I learned of my gluten intolerance my favorite fast food was Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen fried chicken. I remember going there after volleyball tournaments with friends and family to counteract all the exercise we’d put hours and hours into beforehand, seriously happy times. So since one of my best friends, Arenia, is in town we decided to try our hands at making a Popeyes-esk fried chicken recipe from the blog The Way Food Should Be. Since neither Arenia nor I can do gluten, we altered the recipe to be gluten free and guys I’ll be honest… it was freaking delicious.

Instead of posting the recipe I’m going to post pictures of each step and allow you to check out Malcolm Bedell’s post here.

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As always, here are the changes I made to the original recipe. I used my go to gluten free flour, King Arthur’s All Purpose Flour, to substitute for wheat flour. The batter turned out great; it stuck well to the chicken and had a nice crispy finish. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re thinking of battering up some delicious gluten free fried chicken after reading this post. The only other change I made was to the egg wash. I used Frank’s Red Hot sauce and only added half a cup because I had some guests would weren’t super keen on spicy food. Although the chicken was spicy, I’d definitely recommend using the full cup of hot sauce for the egg wash if you love spicy foods. Also I’m going to have to go buy the recommended hot sauce (Texas Pete) to try out sometime because I felt the Frank’s Red Hot added a bit too much acidity where there should have been a smoky, pepper flavor to the chicken.  So do feel free to substitute flour, but think about the underlying flavors in your hot sauce before throwing it into the egg wash.

What else can I say? This recipe makes cooking Popeyes-esk fried chicken fairly simple and straightforward. I’d recommend using a thermometer while cooking to keep an eye on your oil temperature. And don’t be discouraged from trying this out if you don’t own a deep fryer! A deep pot will work just as well, I used my cast iron Dutch oven and the world did not explode. The end result came out moist, crunchy, and spicy – basically everything you could ask for in a piece of fried chicken! I’ll definitely be making this whenever I get a craving for Popeyes from now on. So approximately once a week, honestly I owe Bedell a life debt or something for coming up with the recipe. (^-^;;) And before I finish, I owe a big big big big huge thanks to Arenia, whose blog you can check out here, for all her help cooking and to everyone reading – I hope you enjoy!

ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia