I think this is the first time I’ve ever made a dish that involved the use of skewers. I had to locate them at my local grocery store, and you know what? They’re not easy to find. Logic told me to head straight to the utensil and disposable pan aisle, but they weren’t there. Next, I hit the meat section. No dice. “Why not try the picnic and summer bar-b-que section,” you ask? I’ll tell you why… they’re not there!
Nope, the skewers at my local grocery store are located in the fresh seafood section, so if I had started grabbing up my ingredients with the pound of fresh shrimp I needed to make this meal, I could have saved myself approximately fifteen minutes of super-valuable “Gary time.” Of course, I could have also saved it if I just asked any employee in the store where to find skewers. But I don’t do that. It’s true what they say about us. We don’t like to ask for directions.
Side note – later in the day while playing DVR catch-up, I was watching Sandra’s Money Saving Meals, with cooking’s “bad seed,” Sandra Lee (She’s blond! She’s sweet! She’ll cut your throat and have the knife cleaned and back dicing carrots before you hit the floor!).
Sandra, it so happened, was preparing her own little skewer snack and just had to point out that any good chef of course has a bounty of skewers just lying around the kitchen waiting to be employed. Yeah, that made me feel good. Sandra… she really likes to rub your nose in it.
This is a recipe I found over at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, posted by my cyber ally, Penny. She lives with her husband in a beautiful summer cottage on Lake Lure, North Carloina, where she raises vegetables in her own garden, creates awesome dishes, and posts eye-popping pics of her lake and its surroundings that lead me to remember my single trip to the Tar Heel State for a television pilot in 1997. Some really beautiful scenery there (check out the blog – the pics really do not disappoint).
Penny seems to have it all, but she never shows off, unlike that snooty money-saving Sandra Lee who’s just busting to tell you that her pork tacos were made for ten cents less than yours.
I think I have some issues.
Anyway, my praise for Penny and her food blog are genuine, but if my flattery also garners me an invitation to relax on a dock awash in the laurel-scented Lake Lure breeze with a plate of salmon tarragon cakes or a grilled pizza or two, I’d happily fake a tapeworm to get out of work and sneak on off to N.C. for a week or two.
Check out the fantastic recipe after the jump
Penny has been checking in at Tv Food and Drink for a number of months now, and she always sends me words of encouragement, tips and all-around general Southern hospitality. Plus, this recipe was a fantastic success, though one of my mangos fell apart in my hands (over-ripe), so the salsa, though still good, may have suffered from a lack of sweetness. Not a fail in any sense, thought the finished mixture didn’t quite give off the golden yellow zip of hers.
Lesson learned – “Always have a back-up mango.” My new Facebook status.
Grilled Herb Shrimp from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, small-diced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 pounds jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled (tails left on) and deveined
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (2 onions)
- 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 ripe mangos, peeled, seeded, and small-diced
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves
First, the shrimp…
Combine the garlic, onion, parsley, basil, mustards, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add the shrimp and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals, brush the grilling rack with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking. Skewer the shrimp – 5 or 6 to a skewer. Grill the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. (I don’t have a grill, so Penny suggested the broiler. Mine took about 2 1/2 minutes on each side for perfection. If you’re going to use a broiler, just check it every thirty seconds or so).
Now, the salsa…
Saute the olive oil, onions, and ginger in a large saute pan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are transluscent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the mangos; reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the orange juice, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and jalapenos; cook for 10 more minutes, or until the orange juice is reduced, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the mint. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.