Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans

Here at my house, we entertain “almost” every weekend.  Therefore, I’m always on the lookout for really good, flavor-packed appetizers.  I made my  weekly trip to my new favorite seafood shop, Groomer Seafood, today and they had their shrimp on special. That was perfect since I’d been wanting to try an Italian shrimp dish I’d seen Michael Chiarello prepare on the new Cooking Channel. This great change in temperature we’ve experienced the last few mornings (mid 50s) has really put me in the cooking mood!  This dish is what I’d call “Rustic Italian”…easy, full of flavor and definitely a crowd pleaser! Instead of an appetizer, I doubled the recipe and served it as a main course.  Open up a bottle of Italian wine (Chianti is good!), grab some good garlic bread to soak up the juices, and dinner is served!

Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans

Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans

Adapted from Michael Chiarello

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups canned cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (can leave tails on for presentation)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) diced
  • 2 cups whole basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • best quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preparation:

Drain beans over a bowl and reserve the liquid.  Put beans into a large skillet with just enough of their liquid to moisten them. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bring the beans to a low simmer.  Keep them warm while you prepare the shrimp.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large, non-stick skillet over high heat.  Pat shrimp dry with paper towels, and add to skillet.  Season with salt and cook about 1 minute, tossing frequently (you actually want them to be undercooked a bit, as they will finish cooking at the end).   Remove with slotted spoon to a bowl.  Add garlic to remaining oil in pan and saute until lightly browned (careful not to burn).   Add red pepper flakes and basil and toss briefly.  Add tomatoes, stir, then add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Cook for about 1 minute, then stir in the shrimp with their juices.  Toss well and cook briefly to reheat the shrimp.  Plate the beans onto a platter, drizzle with the best olive oil you have, then top with the shrimp mixture.  Serve with crusty bread & a good bottle of red wine.  🙂

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Shrimp Ceviche-Happy Birthday Will!

Today is my son, Will’s, 14th birthday.  As usual, I asked in advance what he’d like me to prepare for his birthday meal.  Most kids see their birthday as an opportunity to “splurge” and have something they don’t get very often.  Well my kid is no different.  The difference is he doesn’t get “kid” food very often, so THAT’S a splurge for him.  Here’s our conversation:

Me: “So, Will, do you want me to cook anything special for your birthday?  (Knowing Will, it’s not unexpected for him to ask for Lobster or maybe filet mignon–not that he’d get it, but he certainly has a very sophisticated palate for a kid his age. )

Will: “Hmmmm…Hamburgers might be good….and that really good potato salad.  You know, the kind you can buy already made up from the grocery store.  And maybe some pasta salad, too…the kind you can get at Costco! mmmmm…that sounds really good!  And don’t forget those beans I really like…you know…the ones in the black can. I think they’re called Ranch Style beans.  I LOVE those beans!”

And so there you have it.  All I had to do was make a trip to the grocery store, buy some canned beans, a couple of already prepared salads, have Dad throw some burgers on the grill, and my kid is a HAPPY CAMPER!  I love boys…they’re SO easy to please! Come to think of it, it really doesn’t change when they’re all grown up.  How does that saying go? Something like…….”Men are easy to please…just show up naked and bring beer!” They’re such simple creatures!

Since I really don’t need to blog about or show pictures of opening a can of Ranch Style beans, I thought I’d give you the recipe for the one thing that I DID get to prepare today.   My version of Shrimp Ceviche.  For those of you who wouldn’t be caught dead eating fish that’s not cooked, don’t worry.  Everything in my version is precooked.  It’s easy to put together and is great for a crowd!  This goes out to Danielle and Veronica.  Glad you liked it! Happy Birthday Will!

Shrimp Ceviche-Liz Style

Shrimp Ceviche-Liz Style

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 bag of the frozen precooked “salad shrimp” (from Costco), thawed

3/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons grated lime zest

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cup chopped white onion

2 serrano chilies, finely chopped (or more to taste)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 cup drained pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped

3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

Chop thawed shrimp and place into large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients, stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate about an hour before serving.  Serve with chips.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon Bites with Lime Drizzle

We do a lot of entertaining at our home, and I’m always on the lookout for good appetizers.  This one is great for summer when the melons are at their peak!  My friend, Blanca, found it in a Cooking Light magazine, and when she made it for me, I knew it was a keeper!  I could have eaten the whole dish as a meal!  I really like the flavors of the prosciutto and the melon together.  The lime drizzle with the red pepper and the fresh mint creates a really refreshing dish!  Instead of threading on skewers, I just wrapped them up and secured with a toothpick.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon Bites with Lime Drizzle

Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon Bites with Lime Drizzle


Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon Bites with Lime Drizzle

Printable Recipe

Cooking Light Magazine

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 16  (1-inch) cubes cantaloupe
  • 16  (1-inch) cubes honeydew melon
  • 16  (1/4-ounce) very thin slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 2  teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  thinly sliced fresh mint

Preparation:

1. Wrap each cantaloupe cube and each honeydew cube with 1/2 prosciutto slice. Arrange skewers on a serving platter.

2. Combine juice, oil, and pepper, stirring with a whisk; drizzle evenly over skewers. Sprinkle evenly with mint.

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