These Grilled Shrimp with cilantro, Lime and Peanuts are fresh with a great balance of flavors.
They’d be great as tapas, for lunch with a salad or simple light sandwich, or with cocktails.
We enjoyed these as part of a grilled tapas/small plates dinner (also made Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites and Mini Burgers on Chips)
The technique for preparation was quite easy and the result a combination of salty, creamy, and spicy. By grilling them over a medium heat the bacon becomes crispy and the chicken perfectly done without being overcooked or dry. The other benefit of the charcoal grill is the smoky flavor that impacts all three tastes.
We aren’t big New Year’s Eve partiers, but instead like to have a quiet evening at home with just our family and a few of our favorite appetizers and tapas. We let our kids stay up until midnight and have a champagne toast to welcome the New Year. This year, we may add to the repertoire and eat 12 grapes as the hour strikes. This is a custom in Spain (where we will be traveling to this summer while my husband teaches at the University in Salamanca) and a fun way of our ongoing preparation for our trip.
Nevertheless, over the last hour or so we’ve put together a few family favorites including: mushroom and leeks in phyllo, stuffed mushrooms, mini crab cakes, tamales (a friend dropped these off earlier today), puff pastry pizza stars (the newcomer to the party), and the tried and true brie in phyllo. These tasty tapas’ are taking up the majority of the space in the refrigerator and are ready for “the party.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!
The couli begins by roasting the red pepper in the oven at 400 degrees for at least 45 minutes. Place the pepper uncovered in a foil lined baking pan. The foil helps keep the pan from ending up with much pepper-sludge, though we now have an old pan that is being used solely for roasting red peppers so the sludge issue is not much of an issue. (KAG prefers oven roasting to over the flame roasting. Oven roasting keeps it from inheriting a 'burnt' taste -- we want roasted here, not burnt!)
Midway through the roasting, puncture a small hole in the side with a sharp knife to allow the excess pressure from the moisture/steam to escape. If the red pepper is tight it has a good chance of exploding in the oven. Can you say messy?
After 45 minutes or when pepper is very tender and collapsed, remove from oven, peel skin, cut into large pieces. After the pepper is prepared, place it and 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar (give or take depending upon the size of the red pepper) in food processor and process until very smooth. That's it! Serve on, under, along side, with ... a myriad of 'nibblies.'
One of the delightful benefits of living out east was the abundance of fresh seafood. Soft shell crabs, crab legs, fresh fish all season at reasonable prices (at least compared to the midwest price and availability).
Many an evening during soft shell crab season we sat at an old restaurant called Lincoln Logs (long since out of business) where newspaper covered long tables were graced with half bushel baskets full of soft crabs. The meal came with salad bar and bread, but I don't know anyone who ate but a leaf or two of lettuce ever. Crabs and beer; we'd eat until we couldn't move and then sit around later and pick the Old Bay Seasoning out of our fingers.
We miss crab probably more than anything, but from time to time we pick up a can (sigh, yes can) of crab and make crab cakes from the Phillip's (wonderful restaurant in D.C) recipe.
Maryland Style Crab Cakes
1 lb. Crab -- or whatever you've got
1 tsp. seafood seasoning
1/2 C breadcrumbs (panko works best)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 T mayo
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 T melted butter
1 tsp. parsley
1. Combine all ingredients except crab meat. Gently fold in crab meat.
2. Shape into cakes.
3. Pan fry or bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until cakes are evenly browned and reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
The crab cakes shown in the photo above was today's lunch. Delicious. Served on a bed of fresh organic spinach. We only had one tiny can of crab today so the cakes aren't as crabby as they would be with a full pound, but let me tell you... nothing went to waste.