Lime and Oregano Shrimp

The finished product!

 

During the hot summer months, I’m constantly craving light and healthy meals that are full of flavor. Seafood is my go to protein during these days! Unfortunately, I tend to get into a rut of just using lemon or pesto and salt and pepper (yes, I do get lazy, at times). So, I’m always working on incorporation new ways of adding flavor and interest to my grilled seafood dishes. I just came home from the farmers market with some fresh oregano, garlic and Spring onions, so I decided, this would be the inspiration for a new marinade. 

How's this for inspiration?!
How’s this for inspiration?!

To my Vitamix, I added a handful of oregano, a whole Spring onion, a lot of lime juice, EVOO, smoked paprika and salt. I blended it for about 30 seconds or so, noticing the gorgeous orange color developing, before my eyes! This is going to be good:))

Love the orange hue and it smells amazing!
Love the orange hue and it smells amazing!

So, I decided to test out the marinade separately, on chicken thighs and on some large Mexican shrimp (shells removed and deveined). They both marinated, overnight.

Marinate overnight for best results!
Marinate overnight for best results!

 

We barbecued the chicken first. The chicken turned out super tender and moist (mostly due to my rockstar husband and his awesome BBQ skills)! Unfortunately, I was surprised that the chicken didn’t take on as much lime and herb flavor as I was hoping:(

So, I decided to give the shrimp a try. I threw them into a hot pan to make sure that they got nice and brown. 2-3 minutes on each side and they were done! And the flavor?! So yummy! All of the flavors soaked in perfectly. We had some leftover corn, so I decided to use it as a yummy accompaniment.

Grilled corn

 I carefully removed the corn from the cob and added some chimichurri infused butter (made with grass fed, salted butter) to the pan. 

My kitchen smelled so good at this point. The sugars in the corn, mixed with the butter, to make sticky, tasty, charred bits. At the last minute, I decided to add in a handful of greens. I used mizuna, but any green will do. It’s an easy way to add more nutrients and gorgeous color to the meal;) 

To plate the meal, I spooned the corn onto the plate and nestled the shrimp into it. A bit of sprinkled cotija cheese and paprika added the perfect amount of extra seasoning! I can’t wait to make this again!

 

Lime and Oregano Grilled Shrimp
A zesty marinade for shrimp and seafood:)
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound of shrimp
  2. 1 cup EVOO
  3. 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  4. 1 Tbs salt
  5. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  6. 1/2 cup fresh oregano
  7. 1 small Spring onion or shalllot
  8. 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  9. 1 clove of garlic
  10. 4 cooked corn cobs (optional)
  11. 2 TBS of salted butter (add a few spoonfuls of chimichurri sauce, if you have it made)
  12. 1 handful of greens
  13. 1/4 cotija cheese to garnish
  14. 2 sprinkles of paprika to garnish
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (except shrimp) into Vitamix, blender or food processor. Blend well, until all ingredients are fully incorporated! Cover shrimp completely. Marinate overnight for the best results!
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Paella!!

Prep work is key!

I am so excited for our trip to Spain in May! I am especially looking forward to connecting to my heritage, through the amazing food. As a result, I’ve been experimenting with some of the flavors that I typically associate with Spain. One of my favorite dishes is paella. Paella is a Valencian rice dish with ancient roots that originated in its modern form in the mid-nineteenth century on the east coast of Spain. The dish is widely regarded as Spain’s national dish.

The finished product!
The finished product!

The three most popular forms of paella are Valencian paella (white rice, green vegetables, chicken and rabbit, white beans and seasoning such as saffron, rosemary and occasionally lemon), seafood paella (replaces meats with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables) and mixed paella (freestyle combination of land animals, seafood, vegetables and sometimes beans). There are MANY variations, with optional ingredients including artichoke, pepper and chicken liver.

Of course, I opted to make a freestyle paella. The main components being seafood (large shrimp, mussels and calamari) and Spanish style chorizo. It’s actually very easy to make, but there are many steps to follow, so I have included a pictures to help illustrate.

The most important suggestion I can make is to prep all ingredients ahead of time! Chop, measure and organize. This will ensure a seamless process and also provide the best chance for perfect paella:))

 

 
 
Paella
Serves 6
A delicious recipe for this Valencian specialty!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Onion, Chopped
  2. 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  3. 1 Serrano Chili, Minced
  4. 1 Handful of Parsley, Chopped
  5. ¼-1/2 Cup EVOO
  6. 1-2 Lemons, Juiced
  7. 1 Bell Pepper, Chopped
  8. ½ tsp Saffron Threads
  9. 3 tsp Smoked Paprika
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Pepper to taste
  12. ½ Cup of Dry Sherry
  13. 6 Cups of Chicken Stock
  14. 1 Pound of Spanish Chorizo
  15. 3 Cups Short Grain Rice
  16. ½ Pound Large Shrimp
  17. ½ Pound of Calamari or White Fish of your choice, Chopped
  18. 6-10 Mussels, Scrubbed and Cleaned
Instructions
  1. Gather, clean prep and chop all ingredients!! Remember that a crust that forms at the bottom of the pan is ideal....a burnt crust is a no-no! Practice makes perfect:)
  2. Make the sofrito!
  3. The sofrito is one of the most important components to the flavor base of your paella!
  4. To make, place serrano chili, parsley, EVOO, the lemon juice and salt to taste in food processor and blend until all ingredients are finely minced. Place to the side.
  5. Heat 4 TBS of EVOO in paella pan (or large, shallow, saute pan).
  6. Add chopped chorizo and cook until browned (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add onions and bell pepper and saute until soft (about 5 minutes).
  8. Add garlic and paprika and saute for about 1 minute.
  9. Add sherry and simmer, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
  10. Add rice and stir until translucent.
  11. Stir in broth, saffron and a hefty sprinkle of salt.
  12. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  13. Add the sofrito, stirring it in well.
  14. Cook the seafood in the rice, starting with nestling the mussels into the rice, in the center of the pan. (It should take about 15 minutes for the mussels to open up and start to cook).
  15. Once the mussels have opened up, place the rest of the seafood into the rice, as well.
  16. Cover the pan, tightly with foil and continue to simmer until the rice is al dente (about 10 minutes).
  17. Discard any mussels that have opened.
  18. Remove from heat and allow the rice to continue steaming for 10 minutes.
  19. Serve with lemon slices and enjoy with a glass of vino tinto!
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Spanish Octopus Salad

The salad
The salad
The salad

Most people keep canned tuna fish in their cupboard. I do too, but I also have developed a fondness for many different packaged seafoods. These foods are staples for many people in European countries, such as Spain. Considered delicacies to this Pacific North Westerner, I found a fantastic variety at the shop in EVOO, in Cannon Beach last month. But the big question remains…..What does one do with canned octopus??!! Here is my tasty solution…..

I took inspiration from a salad I had at St. Jack in Portland, which was crunchy, colorful and tasty.  My first step was to pick crunchy veggies, so I chose a mixture of romanesco, carrots and onions. Really, any cruciforous veggies will do! These choices were equally pleasing to the eye! Beautiful, bright green and orange colors of the veggies, looked amazing with the white and purple in the octopus:) Now, my next task, was to make the mixture tasty.

I chopped all of the veggies and the octopus into small chunks, to allow the flavors to blend well together. I decided to go with a Spanish blend of flavors. A nod to the octopus which came from Spain! Sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, lemon, salt and EVOO. I placed everything into a mason jar, gave it a good shake, placed in the fridge for a few hours and waited patiently for the flavors to come together.

Yum! This was a perfect, midweek, light dinner. I ate the entire jar of goodness in one setting and now I’m scrambling to find more of this amazing octopus on the Internet. As luck would have it, a new store, specializing in Spanish foods just opened in the Pearl. It’s called  Conserva. You should check them out!