Tag Archives: cucumber

Roasted Shrimp Salad

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Summer cooking is all about keeping cool, and you can do just that with this herbaceous shrimp salad that can be served as an appetizer or as a main course. Feel free to add you own special twist with different herbs and citrus flavors.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 large seedless cucumber
2 pounds of 16-20 count raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 firm avocado
1 lime, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, snipped
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 ° F.

Chop the cucumber into 3/4 inch quarter chunks. Place the chunks in a colander and toss them with a pinch of salt or two. Place the colander over a bowl and allow the cumbers to stand for 20 minutes. After salting, remove the cucumbers from the colander and pat dry with clean paper towels, add to a salad bowl and set aside.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the shrimp onto the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss the shrimp in the oil and spread them out on the baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Roast the shrimp in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until pink. Cool the shrimp on the baking sheet.

Meanwhile, chop the avocado in 3/4 inch chunks. Add the avocado, minced garlic, chopped mint leaves, cilantro and chives into the salad bowl with the cucumber chunks. Pour the lime juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil over the salad and toss well to coat. Taste, and adjust with alt and pepper as needed.

Cover and place in the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Cook’s Notes:
Cucumbers, with their delicate flavor and translucent flesh by nature are very watery. For the most part, it you are planning to combine them with any other ingredients, use the best variety of seedless cucumbers available to you.

Then, you must salt them to draw out as much liquid as possible. If you skip this step, a puddle of near-flavorless liquid will form quickly at the bottom of your salad bowl, your dip or soup will separate like curdled mayonnaise.

But if you can only find the kind with seeds, make sure, you must eviscerate them, cut them open length wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Why, you may ask? Well, cucumber seeds, tend to springy, and evasive, will ruin the texture of any salad, soup, or dip.

To salt cucumbers, begin by lining a colander with paper towels, add the cut up cucumbers to the colander and light salt them. Allow them to stand for 20 to 25 minutes, then remove from the colander and pat dry with paper towels and you are good to go to use them as you please in your recipes.

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Smashed Cucumber Salad

Photo Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Cucumber Noodle Salad with Mint

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This is a great salad and just perfect for to serve as a light lunch or dinner during summer.

So often, we find ourselves just putting cucumbers in a smoothie or making refreshing cocktails, because they are made of more than 95% water and provide much needed hydration. They are also very low in calories which means you can eat as many cucumbers as you would like to have and not worry about counting calories.Did you know that a half cup of sliced cucumbers has only 8 calories and provides more than 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K? Imagine that!

This recipe is very adaptable. You can easily double the ingredients to share with a friend.

Serves 1

Ingredients:
For the dressing:
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4-5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

For the noodles:
1/2 large cucumber
handful of tightly packed fresh mint
1 green scallion (only the green part), finely sliced
1/2  teaspoon black  caraway seeds
1/2  teaspoon white sesame seeds

Directions:
To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the salad, remove smaller leaves from the stem. Tear the larger leaves into smaller pieces.

Make the noodles by using a spiralizer or  a veggie peeler. Add the noodles, mint and scallion to a bowl and pour the dressing on top.Gently toss the noodles to cover them in the dressing.

Top with caraway and sesame seeds and serve fresh.

Salmon Tacos

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Photo Credit: Joseph de Leo, 2011

A spin a on a traditional taco made with the flavors of the heart healthy salmon and a fruit salsa made of apples and cucumbers. This dish could be a nice refreshing meal for lunch or dinner.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound skinless wild Alaskan salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 corn tortillas
Kosher, salt to taste
1 Hass avocado, mashed

For the Apple-Cucumber Salsa:
1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt, to taste

1 cup finely shredded cabbage

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lime juice. In another small bowl, combine the chipotle powder with the orange zest and sugar. Rub each piece of salmon with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and then with the chipotle–orange zest mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a bowl, toss the apple with the cucumber, onion and pepper. Stir in the vinegar and sugar, season with salt and set aside.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake for about 8 minutes, until they are softened and heated through.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan. Season the salmon with salt and grill over high heat until nicely browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Gently break each piece of salmon in half. Spread the mashed avocado on the warm tortillas and top with the salmon, Apple-Cucumber Salsa and the cabbage. Drizzle each taco with the lime mayonnaise and serve right away.

Chickpea Sliders

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I am always looking for new and interesting things to eat. Sometimes your palate just needs a break from the routing hum and drum of ordinary foods….And viola, I stumbled across this recipe from Blue Apron, a food delivery service, entitled “Chickpea Burgers with Vadouvan-Roasted Carrots & Feta-Yogurt Sauce“.

The very title of the recipe had me intrigued and I am always willing to try something new. The star of this recipe is the vadouvan curry powder. You can find more information at the following link. You can purchase it as a dry powder or make it on your own and use it like a sofrito.

The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is also known as gram, or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean and sometimes known as Egyptian pea. In Northern India, it is known as the ceci, cece or chana or Kabuli Chana. Nutritionally speaking, its seeds are high in protein, and they are more than just a salad garnish and more than hummus. Did you know that chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes? Nearly 7,500-year-old remains of chickpeas have been found in the Middle East. Imagine that!

This is definitely a delicious spin on the veggie burger that combines, onions, shallots, garlic and chickpeas. And the feta -yogurt sauce is the perfect condiment to top this sandwich off.

It’s a Keeper in my book…..Happy Eating!

Ingredients:
4 Sesame Seed Buns
One 15-Ounce Can Chickpeas
½ Cup Greek Yogurt
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Pounds Carrots
1 Lemon
1 Ounce Arugula
1 Persian Cucumber
1 Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon Vadouvan Curry Powder
½ Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
¼ Cup Chickpea Flour
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the buns. Drain and rinse the chickpeas; transfer to a bowl and smash with a fork. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel the carrots and cut into 3-inch-long sticks. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, feta cheese and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Roast the carrots:

Place the carrots on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and half the vadouvan curry powder; toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast in the oven, stirring halfway through, 21 to 23 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and toss with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Transfer to a serving dish.

Cook the aromatics:

While the carrots roast, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, onion and remaining vadouvan curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Transfer to the bowl of smashed chickpeas. Wipe out the pan.

Form the chickpea patties:
While the carrots continue to roast and once the aromatics are cool enough to handle, add the chickpea flour and Parmesan cheese to the bowl of smashed chickpeas and cooked aromatics. Season with salt and pepper and mix to thoroughly combine. Using your hands, divide the mixture into 4 equal-sized portions; form into 1-inch-thick patties.

Cook the chickpea patties:
In the same pan used to cook the aromatics, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Carefully add the chickpea patties. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Toast the buns and serve the dish:

While the chickpea patties cook, place the buns on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a clean, dry work surface. Divide the cooked chickpea patties between the bottoms of the buns. Top with the feta-yogurt sauce, sliced cucumber, arugula and the tops of the buns. Serve with the roasted carrots on the side. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note:

You can make your own vadouvan. Click here for the recipe.

Grilled Ginger Chicken and Shitake Mushroom Baos

A collection of leftovers can make a most interesting and tasty meal.

Yesterday, I posted the recipe for “Grilled Chicken with Ginger”, and I still had a perfectly one half of a yardbird that I just could not let go to waste.  As I was taught by my Grand and my Mother, nothing ever goes to waste in a cook’s kitchen.

And with that being said, I foraged around in the fridge and the pantry to see what I could find.

Lo and behold……..a  half of a Vidalia onion, some Shitake mushrooms, some baby spinach, some leftover Thai pickles, a few steamed buns, and  just enough Korean barbecue sauce I made  from scratch a few days earlier.

The left over adventure began with a few slices of Vidalia onion, a handful of Shitake mushrooms were sauteed in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. The left over grilled ginger chicken was add to the onion and mushroom mix along with Chinese 5 Spice powder and  Korean barbecue sauce. Baby spinach and Thai pickles were added to left over pillowy steamed buns along with the meat and mushroom filling. The perfect side dish to accompany the chicken and Shitake baos was the  left over steamed Jasmine rice. This quick and easy meal was done in less than 20 minutes!

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