Camarones Entomatados (Shrimp in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp. I cannot get enough shrimp. I could eat them in the morning, I could eat them in the dark, I could eat them all day long. That was kinda corny, wasn’t it? I didn’t promise musical abilities or poetry, I can cook, that’s the gift the muse saw fit to bestow upon me. It’s a good gift, I’m not complaining.

Back to the shrimp business. They’re good for you, they’re easy and quick to make. They are INCREDIBLY delicious, don’t you think? I love shrimp, did I mention that already?

Camarones Entomatados (Shrimp in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

1 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1-1/2 tsp Jugo Maggi (or Worcestershire)
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper
4 green onion sprigs, finely chopped
1 small serrano pepper, finely diced
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped
Cooking wine/sherry
1 avocado, cubed

Season the shrimp with the oregano, cumin, Maggi, about 1 tbsp olive oil and S&P and set aside for a few minutes while you chop the rest of the ingredients.

In a medium-sized pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium. Add 2/3 of the green onions and serrano, cook until the onions soften a bit, be careful not to burn the onions. Add the tomatoes and cook them for¬† a few minutes, they’ll begin to soften. Add the wine, about 2/3 cp, and allow it to come to a boil to get some of that alcohol to burn off. Lower the temperature and simmer them down for about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Add about 1 tbsp of butter and olive oil to the same pan, heat  to medium high and brown the shrimp, you may need to do this in batches. Once the shrimp are browned, add the tomato mixture and the avocado, stir it in, cover and turn off the heat. Allow it to steam in for a few minutes before serving.

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

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Más tomates!

I do love tomatoes. In Panama, my sister and I used to eat them like fruit. I remember how flavorful they are when picked just right. Slightly tart and sweet, always juicy. YUM! I love the different varieties: cherry, grape, here recently I’ve been introduced to raisin tomatoes. Tiny little things, filled with flavor. I haven’t tried the infamous heirloom tomatoes yet, what can you tell me about them?

Moving on. My previous post was for a tart¬†I saw Chuck Hughes prepare, today¬†I’m bringing you a variation on that tart. As much as I liked the original, I kept thinking of other ways to enjoy it. I happened to have some avocados ready to go, and they were the primary source of inspiration. This time the flavors come a bit further South of the border. I also switched to puff pastry instead of phyllo sheets.

Tomato & Avocado Tart

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cp queso fresco, shredded
3/4 cp queso Oaxaca or Monterrey Jack, shredded
1 avocado, peeled & thinly sliced
4-5 Roma tomatoes (or whatever you have around)
Cilantro leaves, torn
Sea salt & black pepper

Preheat oven to 400¬į. Use a rolling pin¬†to stretch out the pastry, just enough to make sure it covers the bottom of the pan you will bake it in. I used a tart pan, but a baking sheet would also work. Place the pastry sheet on the bottom of the pan, pulling some of the dough up the sides to create an edge.

Brush on the mustard, then top evenly with the cheese, make sure you cover th entire surface. Next lay the avocado slices across the bottom.

Slice the tomatoes to about 1/4-inch thick and top the avocado with the tomato slices. You can overlap them, if you’d like. Tear a few cilantro leaves and spread them around. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground¬†pepper.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the puff pastry is nicely golden brown. Allow it to cool for just a few minutes before serving.

Oh yeah, baby.

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

Spicy Garlic Avocado Soup

I picked up a Cooking Light magazine a few days ago and, as I usually do, had about 8 recipes I wanted to try out after browsing it for about 10 minutes. This one caught my eye right away, I mean, garlic, avocado and seafood. Duh! I will try it as listed, but I didn’t have all the ingredients, specifically the shrimp. Improv time.

Spicy Garlic Avocado Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1-2 serrano peppers, halved
3 tbsp garlic, crushed (about 10-12 cloves)
1 cp white wine
6 cps chicken stock
1-1/2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3/4 cp heavy cream
Sea salt
1/8 tsp saffron strands, crushed
1 avocado

In a medium stockpot, heat up the oil and add the onions and peppers. Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, then add the garlic and stir it in very well.

Add the wine and allow it to cook down until it has almost evaporated, then add the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and lower the temperature enough to keep it simmering, this part will take about 30-40 minutes. The liquid will reduce by about 1 or 2 cps.  Once it reduces a bit, turn off the heat and strain it reserving the broth.

Rinse the same pot and you will make a roux. Add the butter, once it has melted whisk in the flour and continue to cook it over medium heat. It should remain light in color, do not allow it to brown. Cook it for about 3-4 minutes before slowly adding about 1 cp of the reserved broth. Make sure you’re whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Once you’ve incorporated the some liquid into the roux you can add the rest of the broth, cream, saffron, and check the seasoning. Allow it to simmer for about 3-5 minutes, allow it to thicken a bit.

Peel and seed the avocado and chop it into cubes. Pour a bit of soup into a bowl and top it avocado cubes.

Note: The original recipe included the use of shrimp and fish and stock made from the shrimp shells. I really liked this with the chicken stock, and I pan seared  pieces of fish fillet and added them just before serving.

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

I heart avocados!

They’re the perfect shade of green. They’re creamy. Tasty. Healthy. Pretty. I just love ’em! They don’t even need much of an introduction, if any at all. This is a simple little recipe you’re sure to love as much as I do.

Avocado with Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette

1 avocado (preferably Haas)
1 onion, sliced (a sweet variety would be perfect)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper, ground

Add the oil to a skillet and heat it over high temperature. Add the onions and stir until the onions begin to change color.

After they begin to brown, lower the temperature to medium and keep stirring every so often. It is best if you cook the onions at a lower temperature to avoid burning them. When they’re all evenly colored and wilted, turn off the heat and transfer the onions and oil to a small bowl.

While still warm, add vinegar and season with salt & pepper. Stir it very well. This can be made ahead, just make sure to take it out of the fridge at least an hour before serving.

To serve, peel the avocado and remove the pit. You can either slice it or chop it. If you decide to slice it like I have, place the peeled half on a cutting board and cut slices into it. Do not slice all the way to the top, this way you can spread out the slices to make it look pretty. Drop a dollop of the onion mixture over the avocados and drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette over the slices.

Delicious! Enjoy!

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

Mas chicken!

There’s a reason for it. I will tell you about it this weekend, I hope. I made another chicken breast dish. A few days ago you saw my post for Chicken Cordon Puff. Today I’m sharing my take on a BLT, if you were to sub the L for C and the T for A and you don’t serve it on bread.¬†It is a Bacon Chicken Avocado Roll.

OK, it’s nothing like a BLT, but I did use bacon. Oooh¬†did I use bacon. I hope you like it! If you’ve read¬†previous recipes (you better have been!), you’ll notice that this recipe is almost identical to the process I described for the Chicken Cordon Puff. I decided to include detailed steps here again for your convenience. I hope you don’t mind repetition too much.

I should say that I prepared both recipes the same evening. Getting the chicken breast ready took me less than 1 hour from start to finish. That includes, butterflying, marinating, trussing and stuffing 4 breastesses. Not bad at all, it would probably take about 20 minutes to prepare 2 breasts for either recipe.

Bacon Chicken Avocado Roll

2 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
1/2 cp Italian dressing (salad dressing)
2-4 slices bacon, thick cut
1 avocado, ripened
Cooking twine or toothpicks

First you will need to butterfly or split the breasts in half and even them out. Place the thickest side of the breast closest to you. Make sure you’re working with a very sharp knife. Place your hand over the breast and guide the knife into the flesh. Your goal is to thin out the breast so that the thickness is all pretty even. Carefully work the knife through the breast, making sure you don’t go all the way through. You’re simply opening up the breast.

Once you’ve finished both breasts, you will need to even out the thickness. The easiest way is to use a ziploc bag large enough to hold one at a time; cut the bag open on one side and the bottom. Lay the breast down on one side of the bag, top it with the other end then use a mallet or a flat heavy pan to flatten the breasts out.

Pound it out a few times, just until it looks even. After that’s done, pour the salad dressing over both breasts, allow them to marinate while you get the other ingredients ready. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Spread the bacon out and stretch it a bit to make it more pliable. Peel¬† and slice the avocado into thin strips.¬†¬†It’s time to assemble the roll. Spread out the breast on your cutting board and place¬†a few¬†slices of avocado on one end of it.

Make sure you’re rolling it tightly and¬†tucking any straggling ends towards the center. Next, roll it in the bacon. Start at one end and work yourself towards the center. Then start the second slice from the opposite end and again work towards the center.

Once you’ve stuffed and rolled, you’re ready for some trussing!

First, take the longest piece of twine and slide it under the trussee. Bring it to the top, pull towards one of the ends and tie 2 knots. Make sure to pull it taut, but not too tight.

Next, you will need to knot the cross-sections. Take another piece of twine and slide it under to about 1-inch from the center tie. Pull up, double knot. Repeat this step for as many sections as you need. The chicken breast I rolled for this demonstration was about 7, maybe 8 inches long. I tied it twice on either side of the center cross-section.

Make sure to trim the twine before you put it in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400. For step-by-step trussing instructions, follow the link. Place the finished breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is golden. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before cutting away the twine.

I made a quick cream sauce to serve with it. In a small pan I mixed

1/2 cp sour cream
1/2 cp milk
1/4 tsp Herbs d’Provence
2 slices avocado, diced
Dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)
Dash of salt
Stir all the ingredients over low heat, just long enough for sour cream to melt.

Slice the roll before serving.

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris