Archive for the ‘Cilantro’ Category

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad with Snow Peas & Orzo

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

This recipe was born out of an overabundance of snow peas and cilantro in my garden, although I’m positive I can’t have been the first to throw these flavors together.  My guys were gone, and I wanted a quick, light summer meal for one.  They wouldn’t eat this in a million years…. even if they were starving. Bart won’t eat cilantro or raw snow peas, Kelie won’t eat anything that swims, and I’m positive Kuyler would have a problem with the whole combination. Thank heavens they leave me from time to time, so I can eat foods I like.

I get raw shrimp in the shell and cook it myself.  I think the flavor is far superior, and it only takes a couple of minutes to dunk them in boiling water until they begin to curl and turn pink, then toss them in a bowl of ice water to chill. Feel free to use your favorite shrimp.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad with Snow Peas & Orzo
1/2 cup orzo, cooked according to package directions
3 to 4 ounces cooked and chilled shrimp (6 to 8 shrimp depending on size)
3/4 cup raw snow peas, cut in half
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together olive oil and lime juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  In a bowl, toss vinaigrette together with orzo, shrimp, snow peas, and cilantro.  The amount of cilantro is entirely up to personal taste.  Serves one as a meal, or two if serving as a side dish.

Hazelnut Grape Salad with Cilantro

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

This week’s weather has been insanely, prematurely HOT! I wasn’t quite prepared for this kind of heat, and have been trying to quickly shift into summer cooking gear. To make matters more difficult, my guys are on a big painting job this week.  After a full day in the blazing heat they’re not craving hearty meat and potato dishes.  This evening’s dinner will be grilled shrimp marinated in a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt, Old Bay seasoning, and served over a bed of crisp greens from the garden. I’m also planning to serve this quick grape salad which took me all of 5 minutes to prepare.

Hazelnut Grape Salad with Cilantro
3 cups halved red grapes
1/2 cup hazelnuts
Handful of chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Tablespoon good olive oil
Sprinkling of salt

Toss all ingredients together and it’s ready to serve.

Pico de Gallo

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

If you’re a home gardener then I’m positive you’re swimming in tomatoes about now, and desperately trying to keep up with your ripening bounty.  I’m getting double whammied thanks to my brother-in–law (but I’m not complaining). I planted my tomatoes late this year, and the first one is just beginning to ripen.  My dear brother-in-law,  my husband’s identical twin, planted WAAAY too many plants, has no canning or preserving experience, and keeps hinting around that I might be able to do something about his glut of tomatoes.  I’ve been finding deposits of tomatoes on my kitchen table about every other morning, and he’s been warning that the main crop should be ready some time next week.  I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to help him. In the meantime, I’ve been happily munching away on tomato and sweet onion sandwiches, and making up batches of pico de gallo which are quickly polished off by my heathen tribe.

I’m not giving measurements, because this recipe is more about proportions and personal taste.

Pico de Gallo
White Onions
Jalapenos (optional)

Dice tomato and throw it in your bowl.

Dice up to an equal amount of onion. This is where personal preference comes into play.  I usually go with about 1/2 to 3/4 the amount of tomato. I recently learned that authentic Mexican food uses white onion and not yellow onion.

Finely chop a bunch of cilantro. Again…. personal preference. If I were the only person eating the Pico de Gallo, I would use an amount equal to my tomatoes, but my guys can’t handle that much.

Very finely dice the Jalapeno and add it to the mix.  I skip this one because I’m the only chili head in the house. I would be accused of cruel and unusual torture if I set out a bowl of spicy Pico de Gallo.

Add lime juice and then salt to taste.  This tasting step is very important for a couple of reasons.  First, you don’t want to overdo the salt.  If you’ll be eating the salsa with chips, remember that your chips are salted.  Second, this may be the only Pico de Gallo you get to eat.  Once you set it out it will disappear quickly!

This is a versatile salsa.  Don’t limit yourself to eating it with chips. It makes a wonderful side dish. I recently served it as a side with homemade tamales (which I promise to post at some later date).  You can add it to any number of Tex-Mex type dishes also.

Bloody Rogelio

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

The other day on Facebook, I mentioned that I was making a cilantro infused vodka, and my brother in law piped up that I was to use it to make him a Bloody Mary when he comes home for Christmas. My dear BIL is an officer in the Army, currently stationed in Germany, and his wish is my command! Upon experimenting with the concoction I have deemed him a genius!

First you’re going to need some cilantro vodka, which you’ll need to make yourself because you won’t find it at your local liquor store. It’s very simple. Fill a jar 3/4 of the way full of fresh chopped cilantro, top off with vodka, and let it sit for 3 or 4 days, then strain. I’ve tried making infused vodkas with cheap vodka, and strongly urge against doing so or your finished product won’t taste as nice. You don’t need to use top of the line like Grey Goose or Ketel One …. a middle of the road will do … I use Smirnoff.

This could easily become a cordial with the addition of simple syrup. A simple syrup is made by combining equal parts of sugar and water, bringing up to a boil, and then removing from the heat. Once the syrup has cooled, add it to the cilantro infusion to taste. Liqueurs should be allowed to age for a minimum of 2 months. Initially they are rather harsh tasting, but mellow and improve with age.

Bloody Rogelio

6 ounces tomato juice
1 1/2 ounce cilantro vodka
Couple of good squeezes of lime juice (1-2 tablespoons)
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Hot Sauce to taste

Add ingredients to shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into glass filled with ice cubes. I like mine without the ice cubes. Garnish with green onion or celery (I think celery is an evil veggie, and my hubby is allergic to it).

By the way, the drink is named in honor of my brother in law.  It comes from an old nickname, Rogelio Anti-Suave. Don’t ask.