Posts tagged ‘seafood’

November 14, 2011

Chipotle Quinoa and Shrimp

This was a surprisingly good dish that I made the other day for Margie, who had been wanting to incorporate more quinoa into our diet.  Quinoa is a very healthy grain-like seed and often times is treated a lot like rice in how it is prepared.  Having not been a huge fan of quinoa with my first few encounters with it, I was very skeptical.  With good seasoning and ingredients such as this recipe, this turned out really well and we both agreed that we should make this again soon.

I originally came across the recipe on another blog, Karma Cucina, and had to try it myself.

Chipotle Quinoa and Shrimp

Serves 4


For the shrimp and marinade:

16 peeled jumbo shrimp

1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. seeded jalapeno pepper, minced

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

For the quinoa:

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. seeded jalapeno pepper, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 – 4 canned chipotle chilies, minced, with some of their adobo sauce

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. cumin

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

Salt* and pepper to taste

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1 avocado, skin and pit removed, cubed

Lime wedges


Combine the shrimp and marinade ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag.  Seal tightly and work the mixture around with your hands until well combined.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, pour olive oil into a medium sized pot over medium heat.  Add garlic, jalapeno, and onion and cook 5 minutes or until everything has softened.  Add chipotle chilies and adobo sauce, oregano, and cumin and cook for an additional minute.  Turn the heat up to medium high and add the quinoa, salt, and pepper.  Toss around and coat evenly for 3 – 5 minutes.

Add the beans, corn, and stock, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the lid and test the quinoa for doneness. When the quinoa is fully cooked, it will be tender and look like a semi-transparent globule with a cream colored orbit or curly string hanging off.   If it’s not quite there yet in appearance and is still a little crunchy, add a bit more stock, cover, and simmer for another few minutes.

Once done, remove from heat, stir in cilantro leaves, cover and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add shrimp and sear for approximately 2 minutes on each side or until the flesh is completely opaque.

Place a mound of quinoa on each dish and top with shrimp and avocado.  Serve with lime wedges.

July 12, 2011


Margie and I recently spent a weekend away in the wine country of Walla Walla, Washington.  Walla Walla is about 4.5 hours NE of Portland and home to some great hearty red wine production.  We had previously travelled there two years ago and had a fabulous time and had been itching to get back.  The last trip went just perfectly for us with the perfect quaint, modern hotel, right on main street downtown, the perfect restaurants and great wineries.  We were looking to duplicate that again and weren’t disappointed.

We ate at a local restaurant on the south side of town, called South Fork Grill.  The menu had looked good, so Margie had gotten us a reservation.  When we arrived, we were a little surprised.  It wasn’t what we expected.  It was in a small strip mall and looked pretty suburban.  (sorry, we can be food snobs  🙂 )

Despite the atmosphere, the food really surprised me.  I had ordered a Halibut w/Green Curry as my main course mostly because I was feeling like fish and I love a good halibut.  (I guess you could say I just got it for the hal-i-but….hahah)  It really hit the spot and knocked my socks off.  It had a great fresh taste with just the right amount of heat to it.  I also loved the zesty cilantro, red pepper, lime juice topping on it.  It all really came together as a dish.

When I got home from the weekend, I was still craving the halibut dish.  I HAD TO HAVE IT AGAIN.  I set out to recreate the dish at home.  It was my mission and I was not to fail.  The recipe below is what I made and both Margie and I agree, it is pretty darn close to what we tasted at the restaurant.

This is going to be a regular staple in our house for years to come.  It’s not too difficult to make and the curry paste can be made  in a larger batch and frozen for a week or two.  If the photo of the dish doesn’t entice you to make it, I don’t know what will.


Halibut w/ Thai Green Curry

 Curry paste ingredients

  • 1 stalk lemongrass minced
  • 1-3 green chilies, sliced (thai green chilies or jalapeno)
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro leaves & stems
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores)
  • 1-2 tsp. brown sugar, to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk (15 oz.) , reserve 1/4 for cooking

Place all ingredients in a food processor.

Process well to form Thai green curry sauce. Taste the sauce for salt and spice. If too salty for your taste, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. If not salty enough, add more fish sauce or salt. Add more chili for more heat.

Topping ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • ¼ red bell pepper, julienned small
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

Gently mix all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate, until serving

Main ingredients

  • 1 pound halibut fillet, portioned, skin removed
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil (grapeseed, olive, or vegetable)
  • 2 cups steamed rice


Assemble curry paste and topping according to directions above.

Cook rice in rice cooker until it is cooked through and still sticky.

Heat curry paste and remaining coconut milk over medium heat in sauce pan.  Add more Coconut milk if needed to get a medium consistency curry sauce.

Heat cooking oil for fish in a large sauté pan.   Sauté halibut fillets in oil until browned on both sides and just barely opaque all the way through.

Using a small bowl (Pyrex dishes work well), spoon cooked rice into prep bowl.  This will then be used to create a nice mound of rice in the serving bowl on which the curry and fish will be placed.  Flip the molding bowl onto the large serving bowl and remove.  You should have a nice, neat mound of rice in the center.

Spoon desired amount of curry around the rice mound.  Top with halibut.

Sprinkle red pepper/cilantro topping on top of halibut.

May 9, 2011

and we’re off…

Welcome to the blog!!!  This is our first attempt at joining the blogging world, so this may start out a bit rough, but hopefully will improve over time.  We really wanted to be able to document our fun, culinary expeditions in the kitchen, around town, and on our travels.  Cooking and good food is a passion of ours that we thought we could share.  We hope you enjoy riding along with us on our expeditions.

First up…

Linguine with clams

Serves 2-4

  • 1 lb           littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • A few tablespoons flour
  • 2               tablespoons olive oil
  • 3               cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3               slices on bacon, chopped (or pancetta)
  • 1/2 t.        chili flake
  • 1               lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup        white wine
  • 2 T.           parsley, finely chopped
  • 8 oz          linguine, cooked al dente
It is important that you find fresh clams for this recipe.  We are firm believers in fresh, high quality ingredients, not only for how they taste, but for our health.
You want to purge the clams first, which just means you’re making them spit out whatever sand they have left in them. Put the clams in a large bowl, cover them with cold water, and add a few tablespoons of flour. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
Change the water once or twice more.
Rinse them off, drain them, and set them back in the fridge.  (I had never done this before, but I didn’t taste any grit in the meal, so I guess it worked!)

ingredients are ready for cooking (clams are purging in the fridge)

Mmmm, bacon.

In a large pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until almost crisp.Add the garlic and chili, and lightly toast them.  Make sure not to burn the garlic, as it will take on a bitter taste.
Add the lemon zest and clams, followed by the lemon juice and white wine.

Cover the pan, and cook until clams open. It should only take a couple of minutes for clams to open, so watch carefully.  Discard any unopened clams.

Clams are ready! Only a couple didn't open...throw those out.

Add the linguine to the pan and mix it in with the clams.

Drizzle with olive oil, add parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

Everything is ready to go.

After everything is assembled in the pan, it is time to plate.  I used some new, large bowls that Margie got for us recently and their large sized really helped.  Time to eat!

Dinner is served!

Overall, I think this is a really simple recipe to make and it is a nice, refreshing choice.  It can be made on a weeknight and not take up too much of your evening and really looks fancy for the time you spent on it.  The chili flakes really bring a nice heat to the dish that was surprising.  Make sure not to over-do them, as I think it can get too spicy very quickly.

I paired the meal with a nice NW Pinot Gris From Sass Vineyards.