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

zucchini flower sea bass

Friday, 07 Aug 2009 | recipe inside

I grew up eating zucchini flowers. In Spanish they are known as "flor de calabaza" and are sold in large bouquets that you don't feel timid about using. Quesadillas, soups, whatever.  Elsewhere however, whenever I've found them for sale, they are handled and priced like precious jewels.  Sometimes it annoys me, other times it makes me nostalgic, always it makes my mouth water. I love their gentle flavor.

I found them at the Union Square Greenmarket the other day as I was heading home in the late afternoon. The market was closing down and one stand had discounted all their produce in an attempt to sell out before heading out of town.  Score!

Feeling lucky about my market deal, I wanted to try something new.  The last time I was in Italy, I had some outrageous ravioli in a zucchini flower sauce and started riffing on that, but with Mexican flavorings.  I was also making some pea pod soup, and decided to use some of the broth as a base for this sauce.  Good call, it gave the sauce an amazing depth of flavor that water or basic broth just couldn't achieve. However, it's not realistic to always have pea pod broth on hand, so I suggest making this with a basic vegetable broth unless you have the time and inclination to go all out.