Monday, January 24, 2011

Grilled Siracha Shrimp

This is a quick, simple and flavorful shrimp marinade. I grilled the shrimp on skewers-but, could also be sauteed stove top if a grill isn't available.

1 lb shrimp
Garlic Salt (to taste)
Siracha (to taste- I used about a teaspoon)
1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice

Stir mixture and toss the shrimp to make sure all are coated well.

Let sit in marinade for at least 30 min -but is better if you can wait an hour or more.

Skewers- (if you are going to use wooden skewers-soak them for at least a few hours to prevent them from burning up on the grill)

Make sure to watch the shrimp carefully- as you do not want to overcook them. About 1-2 min. per side on the grill.

I served the shrimp with brown rice and grilled zucchini spears.

Toasted Hazelnut and Chocolate Banana Bread

I love bananas and buy them often. The problem is that I often forget that I have them- and once they become speckled with freckles- I just can't eat them anymore. So, I try to find different ways to add some pizazz to plain old banana bread (which don't get me wrong-is great).

For this recipe I indulged in my love of Nutella. I can't lie, I look for any excuse to cook with it. I enjoy combining bananas with Nutella on a whole grain waffle, so thought this might be a good match.

1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBS milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (I put in more)
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts (chopped)
1/2 cup Nutella (I use more)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat oil and sugar together. Add eggs and banana pulp, and beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in nuts and pour into greased and floured loaf pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips.

Cook for 45-55 minutes -check after 45 min.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hazelnut Balsamic marinated- Salt & Pepper Filet

Last night I wanted to make a quick and flavorful steak - with out muddying it up with too many seasonings or marinades. I went into my cabinet-stocked full of spices, rubs, shakes, sauces and soaks. I moved some things around and came upon one of my favorites that had unjustly been pushed to the back.

I bought a Hazelnut Balsamic Vinegar at a store appropriately named Oil & Vinegar and fell in love with it. The sweet nutty flavor really balances out the acidity and opens up to a beautiful bouquet. You can put this stuff on anything and it is instantly transformed. I have made grilled cheese with it in the past and the "guinea pig" kept asking what the secret ingredient was- he loved it! I however had not ever tried it on a meat dish.

So - I thought, why not try it on my super lean cut of filet? Just a hint of flavor to marry the perfect piece of sirloin.

First I rubbed the beef with a healthy and liberal dose of salt and pepper - let the sit to help tenderize the meat for a little bit and then added a drizzle of the vinegar over the meat. (Flip over and repeat. Let sit at least 20-30 min.)

I grilled my steak to medium- medium rare and it was fantastic! There was a slight hint of sweet but it didn't over-power the flavor of the beef. Its a new favorite!