Shrimp Salad

DSCN4076This Shrimp Salad recipe was created by me but inspired by a salad I had at a restaurant called Canyon’s, in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. It was the perfect meal for me after a long, hot, exhausting day of exploring Tweetsie Railroad (a wild west theme park) in the beautiful mountains of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I had to recreate it at home and I did. The restaurant version was great but this home made recipe is even better, so much more flavor and you can add as much shrimp as you’d like. I love shrimp! And this shrimp salad takes it to a whole notha’ level (lol I know I’m corny). So fast and easy to prepare and definitely a summer favorite in our house now. I could literally eat this salad every single day! We ate it as a meal for dinner, but you could also make it as a side dish/salad. You can omit the shrimp if you are not a fan, and add anything else you want to it and get creative. Please don’t forget to share your idea’s with me, I would love to hear them!

Shrimp Salad {Serves 2 as meal, 4 as side}

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 package Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 Cucumbers or 1 long English Cucumber
  • 1 to 2 LB Shrimp, Raw (I used 2 LB as we love our shrimp!)
  • Dressing of choice (I used Marzetti Brand Classic Ranch Dressing)
  • Croutons of choice (I used Texas Toast Cheese & Garlic Croutons)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Lawry’s Herb & Garlic marinade sauce

Directions:

1) Do the prep work first. Peel & devine the shrimp, rinse through with cold water and let dry. Wash all the veggies and chop everything up into one big bowl. I chopped the lettuce into small squares. The grape tomatoes in halves. The cucumber in fourths and then chopped into pieces.

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2) Set a pan on Med-High heat (I did a 6) add some olive oil. When the oil heats up, add the shrimp. Add salt/pepper to shrimp and mix. When the shrimp looks done, lower the heat to low (I did 2) and add some Lawry’s Herb & Garlic marinade sauce, I added about 2 tablespoons and 2 pressed garlic cloves. Simmer with the lid on for a few minutes until shrimp is well cooked through. Turn off heat and keep shrimp hot.

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3) When you are ready to eat, add the shrimp into the salad bowel. Mix gently. Each person can add dressing and croutons to salad individually to their liking. Enjoy!

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Puff Pastry Pockets (Samsa)

DSCN4020These Puff Pastry Pockets are a perfect appetizer or meal all in itself. Filled with meat and onion, or any filling of your choice, and baked to perfection! Growing up, my dad made these all the time. It was not until recently we were visiting our home town in Massachusetts that I got to try some again, at the Turkish store and it brought back sweet childhood memories of this yummy stuff. I decided to recreate this recipe at home so last week that is exactly what I did. My husband absolutely loved them! He gobbled 4 of them up for dinner that night and asked me to make more the next day before we were even done with dinner. Score! 😉 You can get creative with these. Make them any shape you would like, or fill them with whatever filling you would like. I have filled them with meat and onion, potatoes and onion, even squash and onion tastes great. I love that they are not greasy because they bake in the oven, no frying involved. Very simple and fast to make any time, and they also reheat very well in the oven. Enjoy!

Puff Pasty Pockets (Samsa) {Recipe Yields 16}

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Sheets (2 small boxes) Puff Pasty Dough
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 1.5 LB Beef (Boneless)
  • Pam Non-Stick Cooking Spray
  • Salt/Pepper (To Taste)

DSCN3994Directions:

1) Thaw the puff pasty sheets for about 40 minutes by laying them out on the table in room temperature. Meanwhile wash the Beef and cut it into small cubes. Set aside in a large bowl. Finely dice the onions and add to the bowl of beef. Season with Salt and Pepper (to your taste preference) and mix beef/onion mixture.

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2) Cut the puff pasty sheets into 4 squares. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees.

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3) Add about 2 1/2 Tablespoons of the meat mixture to each square.

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4) Fold the ends of the square over to make triangular shaped pockets and seal the ends tightly, I do this using a fork.

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5) Put foil on a baking sheet, spray it with a Non-Stick cooking spray (or rub with a stick of butter if you don’t have the spray). Put the puff pastry pockets on the tray and place in the oven.

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6) Bake on 350 Degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the puff pasty pockets get golden brown in color. Let cool for a few minutes, and Dig in!

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Shrimp Scampi (Easy One Pan Meal)

DSCN3974 (2)It’s summer time and I am really into easy, one pan meals right now. I know I am not the only one that likes to relax by the pool instead of spending hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. But I do like to eat lol. Well let me tell ya, This Shrimp Scampi pasta dish is exactly that, fast, super duper easy, but is absolutely delicious and looks just as great as it tastes! I do have another Shrimp Scampi recipe on here, but this one is a bit different in taste, and much faster and easier to make. It also tastes better in our opinion. Basically what I am trying to say is, you need to make this for dinner asap because you are going to love it! Also I wanted to add that to our surprise, this dish tasted better the next night for dinner preheated. Not sure why, Maybe because while it was standing over night the flavors mixed well and the wine really marinated the shrimp and spaghetti. But it is a great dish to make ahead and does reheat easily. I got the inspiration for this recipe idea from the Shrimp Scampi Dish at the Nothing But Noodles Restaurant.

Shrimp Scampi (Easy, One Pan Meal) 

Ingredients:

  • 2 LB RAW Shrimp (Thawed, deveined, and peeled)
  • 1 LB Spaghetti (Angel Hair or Linguine are our favorites)
  • 3 Tablesppons butter (For the spaghetti)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Lemon (For the juice)
  • 1 Large Farm Fresh Tomato
  • 1 small (147 ml) bottle of White Wine, I used Chardonnay (3/4 Cup)
  • 4 to 5 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and pressed/minced)
  • Salt/Pepper (to taste)

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Directions:

1) Do the prep work first. Devein and peel the shrimp, then wash them thoroughly. I usually  rinse them 3 times, then place them in a strainer to get rid of all water. Wash and dice the tomato into small cubes. Set a pot of water to boil, for the spaghetti, make sure when it comes to a boil, add salt to the pot before you throw the spaghetti in and cook it according to package instructions. *I found that Angel Hair spaghetti tends to stick to itself, so make sure you mix it well and keep mixing throughout while you cook it.* (Meanwhile move on to step 2.)

2) While you wait for the water to boil, Set a big pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil on Medium-High heat (I did 7). When the oil heats up, throw in the raw shrimp and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp is well done, stirring occasionally to make sure you cook it evenly on both sides.

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3) Add the wine to the pan with shrimp. Then throw in the tomatoes. Then add the lemon juice, I do this by cutting the lemon in half, getting the seeds out, and squeezing the juice out of the lemons halves. Mix well. Turn it down to a low setting. (I did 3).

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4) Peel the garlic and either mince it or use the garlic press, add it to the pan of shrimp. Wash and finely chop the parsley, leaves only no stems, and set aside.

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5) At this point your spaghetti should be done cooking. Drain the water out of the pot. Add the butter to the spaghetti and mix well. Then add the spaghetti to the pan with shrimp and sauce. Turn off the stove at this time. Mix it very well to incorporate everything. Then add the fresh parsley. Mix and now your dish is ready to eat! To reheat, set the pan on low heat (3) and cook until warmed up. This dish reheats well!

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And of course a close up… 😉

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