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25 Jan 2010 - 16:25
15 Jan 2010 - 18:53

Archive for September 2009

grilled peach and spicy gulf shrimp skewers

Friday, 18 Sep 2009 | recipe inside

It's the last weekend of summer, but I'm not ready to give up summer's fruity happiness.  A couple weeks ago we were driving through the Texas Hill Country and left giddy tire marks on the sticky asphalt when we saw this sign: "Fresh Peach Cobbler & Ice Cream!"  Despite our formula worthy u-turn, the stand had just run out of cobbler as we arrived, and after some pouting and requesting that they please search the premises once more for an errant piece of cobbler, we had to settle for a couple pounds of the juiciest most fragrant peaches I've had in a long time.  Tough, right?

I thought about making my own cobbler, but seeing as El Burrito has a marathon on Sunday, I'm trying not to tempt him with too many goodies that will throw his race off.  So we opted instead to make the peaches the focal point of our Labor Day BBQ and skewered them along with some red onion and spicy shrimps.  The shrimp were big and blue, caught the day before in the Gulf of Mexico. The marinade is hot yet fresh, the grill gives it some smokiness, and we paired it with a citrusy avocado mousse for cooling.

Shrimp are an excellent source of low fat, low calorie protein, as well as a good source of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.  You'll also get a good dose of vitamin C from the peaches and red onions, which provide a nice carb balance to the shrimp.

market herb watercress salad

Thursday, 03 Sep 2009 | recipe inside

Fresh herbs are so beautiful and plentiful in the summer, I am anxious to use them at every opportunity.  You’ve likely noticed in the few recipes I’ve posted that I liberally through in bunches of herbs in almost everything to give flavor without adding too many unhealthy fats—the other, more gluttonous flavor enhancer.  Usually however, the herbs are a sideshow to the main dish, used to complement and enhance flavor combinations. In a few dishes however, the herb is the dish. Think tabbouleh, and now, this refreshing market herb salad.  The headliners of this show are parsley, cilantro, and mint, with a supporting cast of tangy quickly pickled red onions, earthy raw watercress, and some creamy chickpeas (a.k.a garbanzo beans) and deliciously moist, salty feta for protein balance. 

Herbs aren’t famous for the nutritional profile, though cilantro, parsley, and mint are powerful antioxidants containing many vitamins and minerals.  They, along with the watercress and chickpeas, are good sources of iron, folate, and fiber. Watercress and parsley are also great sources of vitamins A & C.

I found some beautiful pre-cleaned calamari at the market, so I chopped them up, lightly dusted the rings in whole wheat flour and sea salt, and fried at high heat for a few seconds.  Now, I don’t like frying – it can get messy, it’s not very good for you, and disposing of the used oil is a pain. So just a quick drive-by frying here, the little guys were patted down pretty thoroughly afterwards and the result was not at all greasy, just some calamari rings and teeny tentacles with a little crunch.  I am firmly in the tentacle loving camp; I have an admittedly strange fascination with biting off each little tentacle and relishing its varied texture.  I recognize that many of you are intensely grossed out by the curly bits however, and as they are not integral to this summer salad, just leave them out but please don’t pass altogether.