Shrimp Paesano

Note: this isn't the best photo. The shrimp is really closer to golden brown than burned. Promise. I was just too hungry to wait to take a better photo.

When J and I lived in San Antonio, we used to love to eat in Paesanos outdoor dining room. Especially in the middle of “winter” when they had the heat lamps going and the sunsets were amazing. We often ordered their signature dish, Shrimp Paesano (first dish on the link), which is amazing. Unfortunately, when we left from San Antonio, we couldn’t find a restaurant with similar flair in Columbia. After much trial and error, J finally recreated the dish for our recent anniversary after stumbling across this recipe online. It’s been about four years since I’ve eaten the real dish, but this recreation was so close I could almost see the beautiful sunset view.

Shrimp Ingredients:
2 pints half-and-half cream
salt & pepper , to taste
1 lb jumbo shrimp, about 20,  peeled, deveined, tails left on (We actually removed them for easier eating)
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Sauce Ingredients:
1 egg yolk
1 ½ cups butter, cold, cut into 1 inch pieces (cold is the key!)
1 medium lemon, juiced
4 garlic cloves , minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
3 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Shrimp Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 400º F. Soak shrimp in half and half for at least 30 minutes. Drain shrimp and dust lightly in flour. Sauté shrimp in vegetable oil for 5 minutes on one side in a medium-high skillet. Do not let the shrimp burn.  You will have to do in batches so that you do not overcrowd. Do not turn shrimp. Remove shrimp and place in a baking dish, sautéd side down, and place in pre-heated oven. Turn to BROIL and broil for 5 minutes.

Sauce Direction:
Mix egg yolk and lemon juice in half the butter in a sauce pan and stir over low heat until butter is melted; take off heat. Add garlic and remaining butter and return pan to heat. Stir briskly until butter melts and sauce thickens. (Add a small amount of half and half to thicken if you like.) Add chives and parsley (we were out). Pool sauce in plates and top with linguini and shrimp. Serve immediately.

My Opinion:
As mentioned above, I love this dish. It’s the perfect meal. Light and heavy at the same time. The sauce is decadent and delicious with bread. J makes a lot of great dishes, but this one is about perfect.

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Ham and Bean Soup

This recipe is similar to the one served in the United States Senate. “Bean soup is on the menu in the Senate’s restaurant every day. There are several stories about the origin of that mandate, but none has been corroborated,” according to the Senate website devoted to the topic. It’s super easy, very filling and wonderful on a cold night.

Ingredients (to serve 8):
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large celery ribs cut into 1/4 pieces
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small lemon
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
3 cans great Northern beans
16 ounces chicken broth PLUS 14.5 ounces of vegetable broth OR 2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound (or as much or little as you like) ham

Directions:
In a saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in celery, garlic, carrot and onion. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Squeeze lemon juice into the saucepot. Add tomatoes and their juice, undrained beans and remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce to medium-low, simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes to blend flavors. Makes about 10 cups.

My opinion:
This soup was super easy. J made the entire thing start to finish in less than 40 minutes. It was flavorful and very filling. We will definitely be adding this to the regular winter rotation.

Tilapia and Edamame

This is really two separate dishes from Sandra Lee’s Money Saving meals show on the Food Network that we just happened to randomly catch one evening. It was so worth it! We’ve tweaked them a bit. I’ll explain the tilapia first and the edamame second.

Tilapia Ingredients:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning (we use Old Bay!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 tilapia fillets (we use the frozen kind when we can’t get fresh from the grocery store)
2 tablespoons canola oil (or vegetable or olive, whatever is on hand!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves (you can leave this out if you don’t have them on hand)

Tilapia directions:
In a shallow baking dish combine flour, seafood seasoning, salt and pepper. Add the tilapia and lightly coat each side.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Shake off any excess seasoned flour and place in the skillet. Brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Turn down the heat to the pan the tilapia was cooked to low and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic, lemon juice and parsley and saute for 2 minutes. Place the fillets on serving plates or a platter, top with the sauce and serve.

My opinion Tilapia:
We use more Old Bay than flour in this dish. The original directions call for putting the tilapia in a baking dish to keep warm until the edamame is done. That step is unnecessary. The tilapia stays warm just fine.

Edamame Ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola oil (or vegetable or olive, whatever is on hand!)
1 medium onion, diced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed

Edamame Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, to taste and saute for 2 minutes. Add edamame and saute for 4 minutes until edamame are heated through and onions are tender.

My Opinion Edamame:
No changes necessary here! The directions were spot on and this is an excellent pairing with the tilapia above. Enjoy!