Tag Archives: shrimp

Roasted Shrimp & White Bean Salad

2 Aug

This is a fantastic light – but satisfying –  salad that we tried for the first time last night. J added some lemon juice to it to brighten the flavours of the dish, which I think was a great touch. I’m generally not a huge fan of watercress, but I really liked it in this dish. Great summer salad, but would be good year ’round.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 lb large shrimp, peeled & deveined
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
8 fresh sage leaves
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 – 14 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tb red wine vinegar
10 oz watercress
1 tb lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. On half of a foil-lined sheet, arrange the shrimp in a single layer. On the other half, place the bacon pieces. Drizzle everything with olive oil; season the shrimp with salt & pepper. Sprinkle the sage leaves over the entire sheet.
3. On a second baking sheet, place the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
4. Place both sheets in the oven. Cook the tomatoes until they burst, roughly 12 minutes. The shrimp and bacon will likely take a few minutes longer (roughly 15).
5. In a large bowl, place the watercress and beans. Add in the tomatoes and their accumulated juices and toss to mix. Then add the shrimp, bacon and any remaining liquids to the mix. (Use your judgement: you don’t want to add all the rendered fat back into the salad, but some of it.)
6. Add in the red wine vinegar, lemon juice and a little more olive oil. Toss to mix and serve!

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Belize 2012: Day Three – Adventurin’!

8 Mar

Finally! It’s climbin’ ruins day! Time to clamber over history…in a good way. We got up at a reasonable hour so we could have some breakfast. After a rather large breakfast the day before, I thought I’d go for something a little lighter. I had a look at the menu and decided on the continental breakfast: a fruit plate with toast, butter & jam. Seeing as I don’t generally eat all that much in the morning, especially earlier in the morning, this sounded about right. The waiter explained that each breakfast came with a fruit bowl – even the continental option. Did I still want the continental, he asked. Sure, I responded. No one else at the table was going to have as much fruit as I would, so I figured we could just share.

Our small fruit plates arrived, with pineapple, orange segments and bananas. Lovely way to start. As we sipped our coffee, the larger plates arrived one after the other: eggs with refried beans, pancakes and then mine. This was, without hyperbole, the largest plate of fruit for one in existence. Ever. None will be larger. It was filled with papaya, bananas, pineapple, kiwi, starfruit, oranges, apple slices, grapes…it was endless. I wish I had thought to bring my camera to breakfast so I could take a picture of the absurdly portioned plate; alas, my brain does not engage until I’ve had some coffee. By the time everyone was finished their breakfast, I was only halfway through. Don’t get me wrong: the fruit was fresh and delicious. No human could eat it all, though. Maybe a little less fruit, a little more toast. Live and learn.

My in-laws dropped us off at the hand-cranked ferry that takes you the short distance across the river and we began our long, steep, hot climb that would take us to Xunantunich. We were under the impression (okay..I was. J was totally right on this one) that you had to walk up the hill to get there – an impression that was shattered as several cars whizzed past us in all their air conditioned glory.

Just the beginning.

Fortunately for us, we have young legs and a lot of determination. We paused briefly to pay the inexpensive entrance fee and were mildly horrified to find out there was more hill to climb before reaching our final destination. The man in the booth looked amused at our horror and clarified that we only had a few more minutes of walking to do and sent us on our way. As unexpectedly tough as that initial walk was, it was completely worth it when we came around a corner and saw this:

Temple at Xunantunich.

Folks, it is a long way up there. Once you reach the summit, however, the view is absolutely breathtaking. It feels like you can see the entire country. It’s nothing but rolling green hills dotted with the occasional house. Spectacular.

The view from on high.

We hung out at the top of the temple for quite some time, soaking in the view and imagining what it would have been like to have lived as the Mayans had (what if you were a Mayan ruler afraid of heights?), we decided to make the trip back down. My friends, the descent was far more frightening than the ascent, I must tell you. Deciding that my life was more important than my dignity, I took a few of the steps on my butt. I think J found this a little ridiculous considering I’d been swinging my legs over the ledge at the top a few moments earlier…

We spent the rest of the day scrounging up some lunch of tamales stuffed with chicken, swimming at the infinity pool…and eating dinner. It’s a tough life on vacation. J and I both opted to have the black lentil soup with sausage and fry jack and the shrimp & fish combo served with a jalapeno cream sauce. To. Die. For:

After a long day of climbin’ and eatin’ we headed off to bed to dream of ancient civilizations and their fish. My dreams are a little weird.

Belize 2012 – Day One: Ready for it All…Right After a Nap.

2 Mar

3:30am comes really, really early these days, especially when you’ve got to take on Pearson International Airport half an hour later. It helps to know that you’re headed on vacation to a beautiful country where friends, family and food await you. Last year’s day of departure was a total gong show; this year, a relatively painless experience. Most of the first flight was spent asleep or blankly staring at the seat in front of me. J and I were travelling with his aunt and upon arriving at the Miami airport we decided to go in search of breakfast. While I generally loathe the Miami airport and it’s ability to turn normal, reasonable people into shoving, rude, insane jerks, I must admit that they have a great selection of restaurants. We popped into a Tex-Mex place that had a surprisingly good huevos rancheros plate, served with warm flour tortillas. Beats a McD’s breakfast sandwich any day.

Two hours later we were on our way to my adopted country, Belize. My in-laws were waiting for us at the airport and took us off to the house they had rented in Belize City. After a quick clothing change (there is no place for pants while on vacation, as far as I’m concerned), I sat down with my in-laws to catch up. “Are you ready for a beer?” my mother-in-law asked. Oh, how absurdly ready I was.

The sign you've officially arrived

This light, cold beer was exactly what I was craving after 11 hours of travelling and to accompany it, she had some chicken tamales for us to inhale. What a welcome!

Beer and late-lunch taken care of, we went to visit some of J’s relatives, including his 97-year old great aunt who is an inspiration to anyone who meets her. We only stayed for a brief visit as it was pretty close to dinner and we didn’t want to disrupt anyone’s routine. Additionally, we were pretty exhausted and were very much ready for a nap.

And since we were on vacation, that is EXACTLY what we did: dropped our bags on the floor in our hotel room and fell dead asleep for an hour. Naptime was proceeded by a nice, hot shower. Feeling much more human, J and I headed to the Baymen’s Tavern in our hotel (Belize City is not a place to explore at night by yourself). We ordered a couple of beers and J went for the fried shrimp platter while I opted for the grilled snapper – both with rice & beans and coleslaw. When in Belize, you’ve gotta get the rice & beans. It’s different everywhere you go but always delicious.

There is nothing – nothing – like fresh seafood. The fish had a great flavour from the grill and was cooked perfectly, served with a lemon & garlic butter sauce on the side.  More of this, please:

Grilled snapper, rice & beans, coleslaw: standard Belize fare.

Seafood cravings temporarily fulfilled, we took a little tour around the hotel grounds. There’s something about dipping your feet in a pool that’s instantly relaxing. We returned to our room and sat on our balcony, breathing in the salty night air. Champagne was delivered to our room (part of the package we booked) but we were too wiped to enjoy it. No matter: we had plenty of other nights to enjoy it! Off to bed we went like responsible adults, knowing we had a long trip ahead of us into the mountains the next day.

Next up: road-tripping with the in-laws.

Shrimp & Mango over Soba Noodles

27 Aug

You want to make this. Trust me. It’s got lots of different textures, it’s easy to make, it’s healthy and it’s delicious.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1tb canola oil                               
1 mango, sliced thinly
1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 orange pepper, sliced thinly
handful of snow peas
12-16 shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 c roasted peanuts
1/4 c chopped cilantro
2 packages of soba noodles

Sauce

1 lime, juiced
2 tb soya sauce
2 tb hoisin
1 tb oyster sauce
1 tb rice wine vinegar
2 tb ginger
1 ts sesame oil
1 ts hot sauce

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce.
2. Boil a pot of water for the soba noodles and cook to the directions on the package. (Usually two minutes tops.) Drain.
3. Heat up canola oil in a wok or large pan to medium-high heat. Add peppers & shrimp, cooking for 1 minute.
4. Add in mango, snow peas and peanuts. Cook 1 minute.
5. Add in sauce and drained noodles. Cook another minute until all ingredients are coated with the sauce and shrimp are pink.
6. Serve and top with cilantro.

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