I've taken A LOT of heat over the years for my fearless nature in the kitchen and my style of cooking. A LOT. Plus, I've scared many a family member with my unique flavor combinations and ideas. Those fears are totally unwarranted if you ask me :)
Quite frankly, I still get teased from my dear older sister (please note the sarcasm in my typing LOL) when, years ago (I mean YEARS...like 20 plus), I used some maple syrup as an ingredient to marinate bratwurst in for a party we were having. Is that so wrong?
Now, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that those bratwurst were utterly delicious, and had I never told her what I'd used as my secret marinade ingredient that day, she would have been none the wiser and I would have actually received compliments from her (at least that's how my fantasy goes) on how delicious those brats were on that particular day. But...you don't know my sister!!! Well, at least a girl can dream, right?
That being said, I do believe I have a very good sense of interesting flavor combinations and am not afraid to mix things up in the kitchen. I absolutely love to play with my food and with the ingredients I have on hand in my fridge, freezer and pantry. Which is how this particular recipe evolved for last night's dinner.
Having started Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago, I wanted (and needed) to make something healthy and light so I took a big bag of cooked shrimp out of the freezer to thaw. From there, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew I'd come up with some interesting idea as the day progressed.
If you're a regular one of my readers, then you know that most of the recipes I come up with on my own aren't quite exact measurements (they're more like approximations) for what I used and how much. This recipe is no exception. I urge you to use my written recipe as a guideline and not an exact science. Be creative and you'll have much more fun!!!
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium size onion, minced fine
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bag thawed, shelled and divined cooked or uncooked shrimp (I used cooked)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
1 16 oz. jar of salsa (I used flame grilled veggie)
1 box (13.25 oz) whole grain pasta (I used rottini)
1 avocado, cut into a medium dice
salt and pepper to taste
-Thaw shrimp and rinse. Remove tails (optional) and keep cool until just ready to cook.
-In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and butter on medium heat.
-Add minced onion and garlic. Cook approximately 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and continue to cook an additional few minutes.
-Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, cook the pasta following the package directions and drain.
-Add the jarred salsa to the pasta and stir to completely combine. Cover and keep warm.
-Going back to the saute pan, add the lemon juice (remember to zest it first) to the garlic, onions and red pepper flakes and then add the shrimp.
-Cook only a few short moments on medium/low heat until the shrimp curl up a bit and turn opaque (if they're uncooked to begin with). Do not overcook.
-It is now time to add the cooked shrimp mixture to the pasta and salsa. Stir gently to combine.
-To the shrimp and pasta mixture, sprinkle the chopped parsley and lemon zest over top.
-Right before service, add your diced and chopped avocado to the top.
There now...take a few photos (or a lot, LOL) of your meal and enjoy!
My hope is that with this and others of some of my easy to follow recipes (and excessive amounts of photos), one day my sons can, and will, go to my blog to learn how to make simple dishes (like this) with easy instructions and fool-proof step-by-step instructions. Mind you, a visit to your mom's blog doesn't, and never will, replace a phone call to her (an old fashioned sentiment with a modern twist)... but now you can easily have a home cooked meal in your own kitchen (just like mama would have made you)!
Oh and before I forget...To my dear sister: The maple syrup didn't make it into this recipe but you never know when it will make another appearance. Probably when you least expect it. So... expect the unexpected, OK?
Wishing you all love, luck and warm family dishes. From my Kudos Kitchen to you!
Labels: avocado, healthy, light and fit, pasta, red pepper flakes, salsa, shrimp, whole wheat pasta