One pot New Orleans shrimp

Even though we have lived been living in Michigan for nearly ten years, the second time around, I still have a love for down-South cooking. We spent nearly one year in New Orleans and became very endeared to the fish and seafood specialties of the area.

Here is a recipe that I have been making for many years which reminds us of our time spent in that area of the country.

Gather these ingredients to make this dish:  coarse salt, 2-3 tablespoons margarine, 2 stalks celery, garlic paste, 1/2 white onion, green onions, 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, sliced lemon, about 20-25 cleaned shrimp, Herbs for Seafood and parsley flakes. White or brown rice as desired to accompany the dish.

I prepare this dish in my Staub cooking pot, which helps add to the flavor of the dish with the built-in cooking technology to the lid.

Prepare the rice for serving as the dish is completed.

To make the dish:  Melt the margarine in the Staub cooking pot.  Add celery, green onion, white onions, salt to taste and garlic.  Cook until soft. Next add, the Worcestershire, Herbs for seafood, lemons, and shrimp. At this point, I cover the dish, reduce the temperature and cook for about 5 minutes before stirring again. Continue to cook until the shrimp is done and top with parsley flakes for presentation over the rice.  This dish takes under 30 minutes to prepare and serve.  It is very tasty and full of flavor. Staub pots can be purchased at many cooking stores, such as Sur la Table or Williams Sonoma. One-pot cooking is easy, fast and very comforting to serve.

Recently at the International Home and Housewares show, Staub featured many of their new colors and designs for 2017.  Here are some of the lovely pots that they featured in Chicago.

Shrimp and noodles

Here is a fun recipe for the family that is easy to make and fun to eat.  No need for stopping at your favorite noodle restaurant, this one is great tasting and made at home.

I adapted this recipe from one that I found in Cooking Light magazine last summer. I used 8 ounces of Lo Mein noodles and cooked according to the package directions and drained.

Next, I combined 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and black pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Then, in a large electric skillet, I drizzled 1 tablespoon stir fry oil and added  1 1/4 cups broccoli tops, 3/4 cup sliced carrots, and 3/4 cup red pepper.  Saute these until soft and then add 1/4 cup chicken stock mixture.  Heat for another 2-3 minutes and then add one bag cleaned large shrimp, along with 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon minced ginger.  Continue to cook until the shrimp are cooked and pink.  Then add the Lo Mein noodles and the rest of the chicken stock mixture.

Cook until all the ingredients are well mixed and warmed through.  Just prior to serving, add 1 tablespoon rice vinegar.  Top with Sesame seeds if desired for serving.

Shrimp with Lemon orzo

Citrus and fish blend very nicely, offering a great taste and a light presentation. We really enjoyed this combination, instead of serving with a traditional rice.  The orzo is creamy and takes far less time than a risotto.  I found this recipe in the December 2016 Cooking Light magazine.

I used a one pot approach and brought out my Staub pot for this great dinner.  Here is how I prepared the dish.  First, gather these ingredients:  1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 chopped white onion, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 cup uncooked orzo, 1/3 cup white wine, 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 teaspoon dried lemon peel, 1 pound uncooked, cleaned shrimp, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, ground black pepper, 1 ounce low-fat cream cheese, dried chives.

Heat the oil in the pot.  Add onion, thyme and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft and lightly browning.  Add orzo and toast about 1-2 minutes.


Add wine and boil.  Add 2 cups of the chicken stock with salt to taste.  Boil on high.  Decrease the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir from time to time.  Next, stir in the rest of the stock, the peas, lemon peel and shrimp.  Cook until the shrimp are done and the liquid is absorbed.


Remove from the stove and add in lemon juice, cream cheese, and pepper.  Serve in bowls and top with chives.  I also served glazed carrots with this dish and the flavors were excellent together.

Grilled chives from the garden

Summertime herbs are being harvested in my garden, and I recently decided to grill some chives with my other vegetable assortment for dinner.

The chives were delicious on the grill and gave another texture to the Asian dish, which I paired with some grilled shrimp.  There is something just so wonderful about taking cuttings from a home garden and adding them into the dinner menu.

I usually clip my chives a couple of times a season and enjoy them in everything from herb dips to garnishes for salads or pasta dishes.

If you did not plant chives this year, be sure to put them on your list for next year, as they are super easy to grow and will even tolerate some shade in the garden.

Another easy way to enjoy farm to table in your own home.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES


Shrimp Scampi

We love shrimp dishes at our home, and I often try to incorporate different flavors so that the very neutral tasting shrimp come alive. Shrimp cook very quickly and are an excellent protein. Cooking with wine also adds a delicious flavor to shrimp, so choose a dry white wine and mix away. An added hint for cooking with wine, if you do not like the taste of a certain wine, do not use it in your dish.  Always select a delicious tasting wine that you or your guests love to drink straight from the glass.

This scampi recipe is super simple and takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare.  Begin by choosing a large deep skillet.  Melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter or margarine in the pan along with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic and heat slowly to infuse the butter with the flavor.  As this is cooking, begin a pot of water to boil for the pasta.  I used very thin spaghetti for the scampi and cooked according to the directions on the pasta box, about six minutes.


Next, into the skillet, add one chopped white onion and about 6 chopped green onions including the stems.  Heat and stir, adding the following seasonings:  salt, ground black pepper, dried parsley flakes, crushed red pepper to taste, and if desired, lemon pepper blend and dried green pepper flakes.


Add cleaned and de-veined shrimp (26-30 count size) to the pan.  The shrimp will cook in about 4-6 minutes.  Just as the shrimp finish cooking, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or to taste, and about 1/2 cup of white wine.  Allow these last ingredients to boil just to heat and then reduce the heat.  Drain the pasta and mix well.  Serve immediately.

This dish can be controlled by the cook.  If you like a lot of garlic, add more chopped garlic. If you like herbs, add more herbs.  This is another recipe that is easy to prepare, looks and tastes great and is very quick from cook-top to table.

The wine in this dish gives the pasta a delicious flavor, so be certain to choose a favorite.



shrimp creole

I was recently inspired by Cook’s Country magazine to try another shrimp dish.  Having never attempted a shrimp creole, I though it might be fun to experiment with some spice combinations recommended for a homemade creole seasoning.

This recipe comes with a seasoning mix that did not seem too spicy for our taste, and that was absolutely correct.  If you prefer super-spicy creole dishes, I would increase the amounts of this seasoning recipe.  Otherwise, you will enjoy just the perfect blend of seasoning that will make this dish seem like you are a gourmet chef, without an over the top hot mixture of spices.

Blend this recipe first and have the seasoning ready for the rest of the steps in preparation.

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl:  2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Next, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or electric skillet.  Add 2 tablespoons flour and cook until light brown.  Then, add 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped green pepper, 3 chopped celery stalks, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook until all the vegetables are softened and mixed well with the flour about 6 minutes.  Next, stir in the creole seasoning.  Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of white wine. Cook another 5 minutes.  Add 1 can (14 ounce) of crushed tomatoes with 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar.  Bring up to a boil. Simmer while preparing rice for serving.

For the final step, add up to 2 pounds of uncooked large shelled and cleaned shrimp.  I used less of 26-30 per pound size.  Continue to cook until the shrimp are pink. This will take about 6-8 minutes.  Serve with a dash of parsley flakes or sprinkle with chopped green onions as a garnish.

The recipe also suggests adding 2 tablespoons lemon juice at the end after the shrimp are cooked.  I chose not to do that step.  Perhaps that would brighten the taste, but I liked the taste of the creole mixture, so chose not to add the juice.

This is a delicious recipe and one that I will prepare again for our family.


shrimp pasta salad

Here is a perfect summer lunch recipe.  Actually, this recipe can be made one day in advance and used for a lunch, tea party sandwiches, summer snacks, or a light summer dinner.  Choose an attractive lettuce leaf to serve with the salad, such as bibb, Boston, mache or a red romaine.  The recipe was adapted from a Taste of Home magazine.

Here is the recipe:  Use an 8 ounce bag of cooked salad shrimp. (100-200 size)

Mix together 1/2 cup light sour cream, 1/2 cup light mayonnaise, 1-2 celery stalks minced, 3 minced shallots, 1 Tablespoon ketchup, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon horseradish, salt and pepper to taste.

When this sauce is mixed together, add 2 cups of cooked and chilled macaroni noodles.  Chill completely for at least 3 hours and serve.