Orange-Chipotle Shrimp

Happy Monday, y’all!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  It’s Day 8 of the Paleo Iron Chef competition, and today’s not-so-secret ingredient is Shrimp.

To be honest, shrimp is not my favorite shellfish; I much prefer crawfish.  Actually, I much prefer scallops, but I’ve already used those.  😛  But shrimp is what we were given, so shrimp is what I made.  It’s best cooked very simply, as well as quickly since it will become tough and rubbery if overcooked.  Shrimp also takes a marinade very well, and stands up to assertive flavors, so that’s what I did with it.

It was chilly, rainy and gloomy this weekend, or I’d have skewered the shrimp and vegetables and grilled them, but it was delicious stir-fried in some ghee.  In fact, I was surprised how well the nutty, buttery flavor went with the citrus and smoky chipotle.  The Young One inhaled it.

Note:  The last time I opened a can of chipotle peppers, I pureed them in the food processor and froze them in an ice cube tray; I then bagged the cubes and stored them in the freezer.  One cube was approximately 2 tablespoons, so the recipe calls for one pepper, minced, with enough sauce to make the two tablespoons.

Orange-Chipotle Shrimp
Orange-Chipotle Shrimp
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle pepper, minced, with adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Whisk the orange juice and zest, chipotle peppers, honey, olive oil, cilantro and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss, coating well.
  2. Transfer the coated shrimp to a gallon ziplock bag and seal. Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Melt the ghee in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Stir fry the vegetables for 1 minute. Remove the shrimp from the sealed bag, discarding the marinade. Add the shrimp to the wok and stir fry until the shrimp is uniformly pink and the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Serve over grated cauliflower “rice” or steamed jasmine rice.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 202 calories, 7.8g total fat, 200.7mg cholesterol, 607.7mg sodium, 336mg potassium, 11.2g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 4.4g sugar, 21.5g protein.

 

Thai-Style Carrot Soup

Well, happy Sunday everyone!  Normally I don’t post on weekends, but I will during this competition if I am posting a new recipe.  Yesterday’s not-so-secret ingredient was Chicken and I submitted the Fig and Chevre Stuffed Chicken Breasts recipe.  It’s just so darn good, and I really didn’t think I could come up with anything to top it.  For now, at least.

At any rate, the not-so-secret ingredient for Day 7 of Paleo Iron Chef is Curry.  I didn’t even know about the competition when I made this a couple of weeks ago, but since I hadn’t posted the recipe yet I though it would be perfect.

We learned a lot when we began pressure canning last summer; one of those things was “Don’t parboil your carrots before canning or they will come out way too mushy to eat as a side dish.”  Fortunately, we froze about half of them, but I was still stuck with about 10 pint jars of mushy carrots.  A couple of those jars went into tomato-based dishes (carrots are a wonderful way to soften the acidity of tomatoes), but for the most part they’ve been languishing in the basement, collecting dust.

It wasn’t until we were on our way home for lunch one day and I was wondering what to serve with the fish I’d thawed out, since we had no leftovers, when I remembered those jars of carrots in the basement.  On the next shelf were jars of homemade chicken stock and I had some leftover Thai red curry paste in the refrigerator, along with a seedless English cucumber.

So was the Thai-Style Carrot Soup born.  It is excellent with fresh, locally-caught, pan-fried bass.

Note:  You can use two 15 oz. cans of organic carrots (drain one, and reserve the liquid from the second can), or simply cook 4 cups of sliced carrots, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid.  The curry paste I use is a brand I buy at our local Asian market, and includes nothing but chilies and spices.  If you only have access to the Asian section of your supermarket, the organic version of Taste of Thai curry pastes don’t contain sugar or other additives, but it’s been my experience it’s not very spicy – two tablespoons of the curry paste from the Asian market gave this soup quite a kick.

Thai-Style Carrot Soup
Thai-Style Carrot Soup
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 4 cups cooked sliced carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 large seedless cucumber, diced
Instructions
  1. Melt the ghee in a 2 1/2-quart enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, or comparably-sized stock pot, over medium heat. Cook the onion until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  2. Scrape the onion/curry mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add the carrots and water; puree until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Return the carrot puree to the Dutch oven and add the chicken stock, coconut milk and fish sauce. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the soup between six bowls and garnish with the diced cucumber. Serve immediately.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 247 calories, 19.7g total fat, 7.5mg cholesterol, 1287mg sodium, 512.3mg potassium, 15.4g carbohydrates, 4.2g fiber, 7.1g sugar, 5g protein

 

Savory Tomato Sorbet

Well, I’m late again today.  It’s the 20th of the month – and no, it makes no difference that it’s April 😛  No, it’s quarterly tax time, and I’ve spent my day cursing the individual governments of about 40 different states.

Fun times.

At any rate, there was also no thread over at the r/paleo Reddit board for Day 5 of the Paleo Iron Chef competition until this evening – and today’s not-so-secret ingredient is Tomatoes!  While considered a vegetable by most, tomatoes are really a fruit; they’re also an excellent source of potassium, calcium, and vitamins A and C.  There are around 7,500 varieties of tomatoes, and as an ingredient they’re extremely versatile – hot or cold, cooked or raw, tomatoes are delicious.

They’re also quite tasty frozen, as this sorbet proves.  Not at all sweet, it’s sort of like a spicy, frozen guacamole and is meant more as a palate cleanser rather than a dessert.

Beloved devoured it.

Savory Tomato Sorbet
Savory Tomato Sorbet
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, cored
  • 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Blend the tomatoes, tomato juice, water, 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, lime juice, hot sauce and cayenne in a blender or food processor until smooth. Push through a food mill; discard solids. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions. Spoon into a container with a lid, and place in the
  2. freezer until ready to use.
  3. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook the onion until tender and translucent, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Place in a blender and puree until smooth; strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Set aside.
  4. Slice the avocados thinly and divide among 10 small plates, fanning out the slices to form a flat surface. Sprinkle the avocado with lime juice and sea salt.
  5. Place 1 scoop sorbet on top of the avocado slices on each plate and drizzle with a teaspoon of the onion oil. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 128 calories, 11.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 109mg sodium, 406.4mg potassium, 7.6g carbohydrates, 3.4g fiber, 3g sugar, 1.6g protein

 

Shaken, Not Stirred

Day 4 of the Paleo Iron Chef competition is Salmon.  I decided not to prepare something new for this one, and submitted the Salmon with Grapefruit-Pink Peppercorn Glaze recipe – it’s such a wonderful dish.

So, this week’s Spin Cycle is all about cocktails.  I used to post a lot of cocktail recipes – it all started when this was a very young blog and I mentioned that my husband made me chocolate martinis and someone asked me to post the recipe for it.

So I did.  And because Beloved is as talented with a cocktail shaker as he is with, um, other things, asking him to make me something “fun” and posting the results here became something of a regular feature.

Alas, the days of sugary, brightly colored foo-foo drinks are (mostly) past us – when we drink, it’s mostly wine; if we order a cocktail while dining out, it’s usually a martini made with Hendrick’s gin.  But all of the recipes are still here, if you wish to peruse and make them.

May I suggest the margarita?  Cinco de Mayo will be upon us before we know it.

Hell, have two – you don’t need to remember what you did that day.

Beloved’s Deadly Margaritas

Bloodytini

Bora Bora Martini

Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini

Chocolate Martini

Creamsicle Martini

Hendrick’s Martini

Hot Toddy

Kitchen Sink Martini

Melontini

OH!-tini

Purple People Eater Martini

Raspberry Cosmopolitan

Red-Headed Stepchild Martini

Very Blueberry Martini

Avocado and Scallop Ceviche

And we’re on Day 3 of the Paleo Iron Chef competition!  I’m really loving the whole thing, not only because I’m doing reasonably well so far (but this early in, it could be anyone’s game), but because all of the wonderful recipes – I’ve gotten some really great ideas!  If you haven’t checked them out, you should take a minute to go peruse each day’s thread.

Which brings me to the voting – Lisa had asked if there’s anything y’all can do to help me along in the competition.  You can certainly vote if you’d like, not just for me but for anyone, but to do so you’ll have to register on the site.  Just so you know.  There were also some concerns voiced before the competition began that someone would have a bunch of people “outside the r/paleo community” come vote for them, giving an unfair advantage to one or two people and skewing the results.  I don’t want to be that person, so if you’re interested in registering and being a member of the community, which is really what it is, then please do.  I’d be grateful for the votes, and so would the other contestants.  If not, don’t feel compelled to; my feelings won’t be hurt a bit.

Anyhoo.  Today’s “not-so-secret” ingredient is Avocados.

Did you know that an avocado has 35% more potassium than a banana?  I didn’t!  Just add that to the list of their many health benefits.  I love them just because taste so freakin’ good.  I usually eat them as guacamole, or simply sliced and sprinkled with salt – usually as part of a salad.  And in a sense, that’s what this recipe is:  a light, yet rich, salad of scallops marinated in fresh lime juice, with fresh avocado and cilantro.

Popularized in Latin American countries, ceviche is basically any form of seafood marinated in citrus; the acidity of the lime juice essentially “cooks” the seafood, so you’re not eating something raw (not that there’s anything wrong with that), even if you aren’t applying any heat.  You can use fish, shrimp, whatever you like.  I happen to very fond of scallops; they are my favorite seafood, in fact, so a scallop ceviche it was.  And since avocados were the ingredient for the day, they went into the mix as well.

The result was delicious.

Note:  The recipe will serve 4 as either a first course or a light main meal, along with a green salad, or 6 as an appetizer.  If you can’t find brined green peppercorns, capers would be an excellent substitute.

Avocado and Scallop Ceviche
Avocado and Scallop Ceviche
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3/4 pound sea scallops, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 small limes)
  • 1/2 tablespoon brined green peppercorns, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/2 medium tomato, diced
Instructions
  1. Combine the chopped scallops, lime juice, peppercorns and sea salt in a large bowl, stirring well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. If the scallops have not become completely opaque after 4 hours, continue marinating until they do, checking after another hour.
  2. Once the scallops have finished marinating, slice the avocado in half, lengthwise, discarding the seed. Scoop the out the flesh, and dice it. Discard the skin.
  3. Drain the liquid from the scallops and stir in the diced avocado and chopped cilantro until well mixed, mashing the avocado slightly as you go. Divide the ceviche between four plates, top with the diced tomato, and serve.
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 146 calories, 7.2g total fat, 20.4mg cholesterol, 681.8mg sodium, 494.6mg potassium, 10.6g carbohydrates, 3.6g fiber, 1.1g sugar, 11.6g protein.