Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Salad

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So with such heavy meals in the recent past, I opted to go for something on the lighter side – a salad. But, being me, I can’t eat lettuce and call it a day. I had to add some kind of protein, so for this salad, I went with shrimp. I made a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, so it seemed to make sense to also have cilantro-lime shrimp.

Vinaigrette Dressing (completely made up and based in no actual recipe):

  •  1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • Some finely chopped cilantro
  • Mix them all together in a bowl and viola

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Shrimp Marinade (also made up)

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Finely chopped cilantro

Instructions:

  • Mix the marinade and coat the shrimp evenly
  • Let the shrimp rest in the marinade for about 30 minutes
  • Skewer the shrimp and grill for a few minutes on each side (I don’t have a good grill for this, so I laid the skewers across a baking pan and put them in the broiler for about 8 minutes)

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Salad:

  • You can make your salad however you wish.  I used a spring mix and added grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and avocados
  • Add some dressing and toss lightly (Don’t put in too much dressing at first because it can become oily)
  • Add the shrimp and enjoy

Vanilla Souffle

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So to finish our anniversary meal, I made a vanilla souffle for dessert.  I’ve tried making a souffle once before, but it didn’t turn out so well, so I thought I would try giving it another shot.  I found an easier recipe to follow from Eugenie Kitchen. This one turned out pretty well I think. At the very least it was a lot better than my previous attempt.

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Ingredients

  • 4 ramekins
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp  sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • extra butter and sugar for ramekins

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Instructions

  • Prepare the Ramekins – brush the ramekins with room temp/slightly melted butter and then coat with sugar (pouring out any excess)
  • In a sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour (cook and stir for ~1 minute)
  • Remove the pan and stir in the hot milk
  • Put the pan back on the stove and bring to a boil, stirring often
  • Remove from heat and add the 2 egg yolks individually, stirring to combine
  • Transfer the sauce to a bowl
  • To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a bowl until you get firm peaks
  • Add the sugar slowly, while continuing to whisk
  • Add about one third of the meringue into the earlier sauce and whisk thoroughly
  •  Pour all sauce into meringue and whisk until combined
  • Spoon the mix into the ramekins and run a finger around the rim of the ramekins to help them rise straight
  • Bake at 390 degrees for about 15 minutes and serve immediately

Halibut with Lemon Butter

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So like I said yesterday, I would also post the halibut I made for Jenn for our anniversary. It was a halibut filet on a bed of wilted spinach and tomatoes.  It was topped with lemon butter and surrounded with fried shallots.  I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients and instructions for Lemon Butter:

  • Mix 1/2 stick room temp butter with 1tbsp lemon juice
  • Add a little salt, pepper, and lemon zest

Ingredients for halibut:

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice (I just squeezed a 1/2 lemon though)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced/smashed
  • Shallots cut into rings

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Instructions

  • Mix the EVOO, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic
  • Marinate and coat the halibut and let stand for 15 minutes
  • On med-high heat add EVOO to a saucepan and fry the shallots until crisp
  • In a skillet on med-high heat, take the halibut from the marinade and sear on both sides for ~3 minutes
  • Plate the halibut (I put it on a bed of spinach and tomatoes) and top with lemon butter
  • Surround with shallots and dig in!

Roasted Rack of Lamb

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Yesterday was mine and Jenn’s 5 year anniversary (no idea we’d make it that far), and in lieu of going out for a fancy dinner, as is usually the thing, we decided to cook (well I decided to cook).  We are going to Europe in a few weeks so we decided to keep it relatively inexpensive and tame at home for our celebration.  I had a hard time deciding what to make, but I ended up on a roasted rack of lamb for me and a halibut filet with lemon butter for her (which will be posted later). So here goes.

Ingredients (completely made up recipe)

  • Rack of lamb
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic

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Instructions

  • Score the fat of the rack
  • Salt and pepper generously
  • Add thyme, oregano, and minced garlic
  • Brush with olive oil
  • Coat lightly with bread crumbs
  • In a cast iron pan sear the rack of lamb on all sides over  high heat
  • Finish cooking by baking in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes
  • Let sit for 15 minutes and then devour it

Grilled Skirt Steak

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So tonight we had a friend over and I decided to grill a skirt steak (or 2). I topped it with a chimichurri sauce and paired it with broccolini and fried potatoes. Being an apartment with no balcony, I only have an electric grill that I use indoors. I still get a char on the meat, but not as good of a one as if I had a real grill, which I had to dump when I moved here 😦

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Steak:

  • Skirt Steak (I used about 3lbs, cut into smaller sections to fit on my grill)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup of Teriyaki Marinade (Bought from local market)
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Generously salt and pepper the steak. Then marinate in the garlic, teriyaki sauce, and soy sauce for about an hour.  Grill to desired temperature.

Chimichurri Sauce (recipe from here)

  • 1 cup parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsps oregano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wine vingear
  • 1 tsp sea salt (I used kosher b/c thats all I have)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (I added a little more)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I used less since the people I ate with don’t do spicy well)

Pulse the parsley in food processor.  Then add the garlic and oregano and pulse some more.  Transfer this to a small bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients. This ended up making a lot more sauce than I needed and I probably could have done with 1/2 of everything, but alas I will have to remember that for next time.

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That completed the steak. For the potatoes, I just pan fried them with red and yellow bell peppers and onions, and seasoned with salt and pepper. The potatoes were good and the peppers added a nice splash of color. Overall, I think the meal turned out pretty well and it was a hearty one at that. But of course we saved just enough room for dessert to finish the meal.

Scalloped Potatoes

I’m sure you have all been to the market and seen those bags of russet potatoes where its like $1.50/lb, or you can buy a 5lb bag for $4 or a 10lb bag for $5.  So obviously wanting the most bang for my buck, I always opt for the 10lbs, and to this day I don’t think I have ever finished all 10lbs before they went bad.  I’m Asian so most of my carbs come in the rice and noodle format, not so much the potato.  But since I bought a 10lb bag, what the heck, I’ll make some more potatoes.  This time I tried scalloped potatoes due to Jenn’s extreme, otherworldly, not quite sure how that happened love of cheese.  I followed this recipe and it turned out pretty well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper (didn’t have any so I used chili flakes)
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese, to sprinkle on top
  • paprika

Directions (b/c even men need them sometimes)

  • Thinly slice your potatoes (mandolin might be handy here)
  • Melt butter in saucepan, mix in the flour, and let it sit for a minute
  • Whisk in the cold milk
  • Season with salt and cayenne pepper
  • Cook until smooth, whisking occasionally
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the cheese (I used way more than a cup)
  • Place half of the potatoes in a greased baking tray
  • Pour half the sauce over the potatoes
  • Add the 2nd half of the potatoes and cover again with the remaining cheese sauce
  • Add extra cheese on top because obviously you would
  • Sprinkle with paprika
  • Bake at 350 degrees for an hour

The scalloped potatoes were obviously (not so obviously) a side dish to a pan fried chicken I made.  I seasoned bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with a mix of seasoned salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder and onion powder.  It was a mix that I got as a gift for attending my cousin’s wedding since they also like to cook.  After seasoning them, I pan fried them in some butter.  I like the skin-on thighs because I like the crispyness of the skin when I fry them.  So those two and a side salad completed the meal.  It was definitely on the heavier side, but it was delicious.

Asian Broiled Salmon

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So thanks to this blog, I decided to cook something that I never do – cook salmon.  Not because it is too difficult or anything, just for some reason I don’t cook salmon.  I guess I would sum it us as cooked salmon isn’t my favorite fish, and it’s not something I would ever order.  I usually only get it in sushi/sashimi form. But these are new days and new times, so I thought I would give it a try.

Ingredients (agin, measurements are complete guesses)

  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • chili flakes to taste
  • 1/8 cup of honey (more/less depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • Salmon filets
  • Green onions and cilantro for garnish

So I mixed the first 8  ingredients in a bowl and then I poured it over the salmon filets in a bag to let it marinate.  Let it marinate somewhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours.  Place the salmon filets on an aluminum foiled baking pan and broil on high for about 8-10 minutes.  Then I placed it on a bed of wilted spinach and garnished with finely chopped green onions and cilantro.  The green onions and cilantro definitely added flavor to it, so its not solely for looks.  In the end I was pretty pleased with myself and would definitely make it again (or shocker, maybe some other type of salmon…).  It was also one of the healthier meals I prepared considering my other posts lol.  Anyways, it was fun to venture out a bit and try something new and I am glad I did.  I hope you enjoy it too!