Monday, August 1, 2016

Citrus Shrimp Salad

Day 132

I think you’ll like this. I was inspired by a Tasty video for mock ceviche, so I created a summer shrimp salad of my own. It’s healthy, very refreshing in hot weather, and it’s filled with the flavors and textures of so many of my summer favorites, like crispy veggies and creamy avocado.
It’s also versatile. We enjoyed it with blue corn tortilla chips, but I could easily see how it would be nice served over a bed of romaine hearts, tossed with cold fusilli
pasta, or even as a soft taco filling, finished with a dollop of sour cream. My daughter playfully suggested a “ceviche burger” where it is layered on a pretzel bun with a burger, some goat or feta cheese, and a cilantro mayo. Now that sounds incredible, but we haven’t tried it. Yet. When we do, though, I think I’ll chop the shrimp salad ingredients more finely so they won’t escape the bun when we try to take a bite.
If you try it first, let us know how it turns out.

Citrus Shrimp Salad

Photos by Taylor Fowler
1 lb. cooked shrimp, rough chopped
1 English cucumber, finely diced
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, finely diced, without seeds
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 barely ripe avocados, chopped (make sure they aren’t mushy yet!!)
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup each: fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice
2 tsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (I recommend Olea Gold from )


Blend the citrus juices and olive oil in the bottom of a large glass mixing bowl. Sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Add the minced garlic, jalapeno, and Dijon mustard. Use a fork to blend.

Add the shrimp, cucumber, and red onion. Mix well. Place in fridge for 2+ hours (at least 2). About 30 minutes before serving, add the tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado, and stir gently. Return to the fridge to marinate before serving.

Serve with tortilla chips or as a side or dinner salad.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak with Egg and Prosciutto-Smothered Asparagus

Day 131

Looking for an elegant but easy dinner? This is your go-to. I make it often, and it’s a hit every single time. I originally came across these recipes, separately, in my copy of Ina Garten’s cookbook, Foolproof, and have since tweaked the steak marinade to my liking and changed the asparagus recipe ever so slightly. Together, the steak with asparagus stack are mouth-watering.

 Oh, and they are delicious served with a lemon tart for dessert, in case you were wondering. Aren’t I helpful like that? ;)

Truly, I like everything from The Barefoot Contessa, and this is no exception. Her recipe links are below if you’d like to try her originals.

Bon Appétit!

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak with Egg and Prosciutto smothered Asparagus
Ingredients for the steak:
1 flank steak (2-2½ lbs)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup whole grain mustard plus 2 tbs. turmeric
1 small jar caper berries with juice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup rosemary, thyme, and sage leaves, rough chopped
salt and pepper

Ingredients for the asparagus/prosciutto/egg:
2 bunches fresh asparagus
½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
lemon juice
salt and pepper
olive oil (I prefer Olea brand)
4 slices prosciutto
4 extra large or jumbo eggs

For the steak prep:
In a glass dish, mix all ingredients except steak. Place steak in liquid and cover with plastic wrap in the fridge for 2+ hours.

Once ready to grill, allow to rest for 20 minutes on counter before grilling. Then, place on medium-high gas grill for 5 minutes on each side for a rare steak, more for preferred doneness.

Slice and serve with the asparagus/egg/prosciutto (see below).

For the asparagus prep:
Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Place prosciutto on a wire rack in the oven and roast just until it becomes somewhat crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

While the prosciutto is roasting, toss trimmed asparagus stalks in olive oil on a sheet pan, and drizzle with salt and pepper.

Place in oven for 10 minutes, take out and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese, then return to oven for an additional 5-10 minutes or just until tender. Remove from oven and drizzle lightly with lemon juice.
Fry one egg per person in a pan with butter and olive oil, leaving the center runny to make a sauce for the asparagus and prosciutto, if desired.

Stack a helping of asparagus, a slice of roasted prosciutto, and an egg, in that order, then serve with several slices of flank steak.

Recipe inspired by two Ina Garten favorites:

Shrimp and Crab Salad

Shrimp and Crab Salad

Day 130

This recipe is all mine. I absolutely love shrimp salad, and recently had the chance to enjoy a local restaurant, Catonsville Gourmet. It has been on my restaurant list for quite some time since so many people have repeatedly raved about it, and now I see why it is a local landmark. They have a sandwich called the “Oceans 11” that is a crab cake and shrimp salad club with smoked thick-cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. It is heavenly.

My visit to Catonsville Gourmet inspired me to create my own shrimp salad, but I chose to add the twist of crabmeat to make it more textured and dynamic.

For the first meal, I served this seafood salad on wraps, with hearty leaves of spinach and a drizzle of horseradish mayo. The second time, I served it for lunch, with thin rosemary crisps, pictured here.

I hope you like it!

Shrimp and Crab Salad

1 lb. cooked shrimp, chopped in hearty chunks
1 cup fresh claw crabmeat, rough chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
2 tbs. dill pickle relish
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
½ tbs. black pepper
Old Bay seasoning, to taste
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
¼- ½ cup real mayonnaise

Combine shrimp, crab, dill, relish, onion, garlic, celery, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. Stir to mix. Start with ¼ cup of mayo. Stir. If you like a creamier seafood salad, add more mayo. Add Old Bay in small increments, then taste and add more seasoning if desired. Remember, since you can’t take away seasoning, adding judiciously is important; Old Bay is salty!

Buttermilk White Cake

Day 129

Think summertime. Think simple and elegant. Think of peaches and raspberries and blueberries because those fruits pair beautifully with this cake. Ice creams made from these fruits pair beautifully with it too.

My favorite combination is this cake, served with a scoop of (preferably home-churned) peach ice cream for the ultimate summer dessert. For whatever reason, buttermilk works wonders with peaches and berries.

My daughter Tate found this recipe on an incredible blog called *Add a Pinch, and added her own icing idea. She and her friend Marina made it together recently with stupendous results. It was shared and enjoyed within an embarrassingly short period of time.

Buttermilk White Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup vegetable shortening
3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.

Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.

Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Frost cake as desired.

Buttermilk frosting:
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
32 oz. confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
8-10 tbs. buttermilk

Beat butter until fluffy and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until well blended. Add vanilla and buttermilk, a little bit (about a teaspoon) at a time, adding more until desired consistency is reached. For icing an entire cake, a thicker frosting is best.

*White cake recipe copied from this incredible blog link where you’ll find TONS of other amazing recipes: