Monthly Archives: July 2011

Shrimp-y Dipping

I love a good shrimp cocktail. The best I ever tasted was on the coast of the Riveira Maya. Cocteles de mariscos is her name. My husband and I were there in the summer of 2009, enjoying one of our many home exchanges. If you haven’t yet experienced this wonderful way of traveling, do give it a try. We have had many wonderful trips exchanging our flat in Prague for homes all around the world.

Climate wise, it probably wasn’t the best time to be visiting Playa del Carmen. It was hot and humid. We were sweaty and sticky during our days on the beach and at night cruising up and down Avenida quinta. Our air-conditioned apartment was our haven of relief. The only other alternative to cooling down was to enjoy a cocteles de mariscos. A mix of seafood, such as shrimp, octopus, scallops and squid swimming in a deliciously cool spiced-citrusy sauce and served in a tall, chilled cocktail glass along with a few saltines crackers. It was one of our favorite ways to end our day at the beach and start our evenings off.

Unfortunately, fresh seafood is tough to come by here in Prague. But some places do have a pretty good frozen selection. This recipe is no cocteles de mariscos, but I do enjoy the punch the mango chutney gives mixed in with the lime, yogurt, cilantro and mint.

Shrimp with Mango Chutney/Yogurt Dip

1 pound of cooked shrimp with tails left on

1/2 cup mango chutney
1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons mint, thinly sliced

Mix all the ingredients together, except the shrimp.
Refrigerate the dip for at least an hour.

Arrange shrimp around the dip and serve.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Flavors Abroad!

How I Got My Garlic Back

At the start of my pregnancy, the one ingredient that I found repelling was garlic. Prior to the hormone invasion and the development of this new keen sense of smell, garlic and I had a pretty pleasant relationship. I wasn’t in love with it, but it also didn’t make me gag. However, after these last months of being pregnant, I thought garlic and I would need to go our separate ways.

My husband wasn’t allowed to cook with it. Oh my, the smell of garlic frying in the pan would trigger nausea and unattractive barfing motions. In fact, I even asked him to watch what he ate for lunch when at work. As soon as he entered our apartment, I could tell if garlic was in his meal or not. I couldn’t bear it. I was worse than a vampire.

Some of my girlfriends who passed the thresholds of pregnancy told me that many of the foods they had grown to dislike during that time, never reversed itself after wards. And so I wondered if that would happen with garlic. Was roasted garlic going to be out of my life forever? This all important ingredient that often appears in recipes to boost flavor? Would I be able to find a substitute?

Well, those hormones have calmed down and instead of being turned off by food, lately I am just tired and in need of sleep. I put myself to the test and tried to see if good ol’garlic and I still had a chance. Could this relationship be saved? Instead of omitting it from a recipe, with this one, I pushed myself to include it by first frying it in a pan. To my surprise, my olfactory nerve was able to tolerate it. That old familiar scent of garlic frying in oil didn’t cause a stir or send me away. Not only could I stand it, but after adding the rest of the recipe’s ingredients, I was able to sit down and enjoy eating it in my food again. Here’s a story with a happy ending: garlic and I are back together.



Shrimp with Garlic, Zucchini and Tomatoes

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 zucchini, diced
1 medium tomato or 12 cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
200-300 grams of shrimp, unpeeled
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large frying pan.
Add the garlic and chili flakes.
Cook until slightly golden.
Then add the zucchini, tomatoes and dried oregano.
Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Then add the shrimp and basil.
Cook for another 2 minutes.
Season to taste.

Orzo

1 small onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup orzo
3-4 cups water or broth

Heat oil and butter in frying pan.
Add onion and cook until transparent.
Add orzo, stir and be sure pasta is evenly coated with oil.
Then add a cup of water to the pasta.
Let it come to a boil.
When the liquid begins to evaporate,
continue to add another cup of water.
Cook until al dente, about 15- 20 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flavors Abroad!