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Posts from the ‘Entrees’ Category

Chile Lime Shrimp! Or, I don’t clean trout. That’s why I got married.

Chile Lime Shrimp

Chile Lime Shrimp

I like seafood any time of the year, but I especially like shell fish in the summer.  Shrimp pairs so well with so many summer items including fresh veggies, corn and, of course, grilling.

Chile Lime Shrimp 5

I’m not good in hot weather, so as has been my custom, I head to the hills when the temperature hits the 90’s. Unless, I have a wedding to photograph…which I did a few weeks ago…and it was over 100 degrees.  It was stinking hot, but, it was a lovely wedding.  Yes!Chef! acted as my sherpa but he is not nearly as bothered by the heat as I am.

June Weddings

June Weddings

The day after the wedding, I headed up to the mountains (Lake Tahoe) to cool off a bit. My part time neighbor had arrived from Colorado to spend the summer in LT.  He goes fishing almost every day in one of the smaller lakes near Lake Tahoe.  A few days ago, he knocked on my door and said, “Get your camera!”

I did and he pulled his latest catch out of the back of his car.

My neighbor and his fish

My neighbor and his fish

And!  He gave us three fish.

Trout for us!

Trout for us!

Now, I’m going to admit a little embarrassment in regards to these beauties.  You will note that they are not cleaned.  They are literally fresh out of the lake and driven straight to my house.  Yes!Chef! was not here because he was dealing with his day job at our house (about 1 hour away).  I sent him the above picture of the pan of trout and we began a texting conversation that is rather typical…for us:

Me:  Look what Ralph brought us.  They are not cleaned.  What do I do with them?

Y!C!:  Nice, they will last a couple of days, wrap in plastic and stick in the fridge.

Me:  Even if they are not cleaned?

Y!C!:  Are they gutted?

Me:  No.

Me (again):  Do not even tell me I have to gut them.

Y!C!:  Then you will have to pull the guts out.

Me:  No! I! Don’t!

Y!C! Cut them down the belly line on the bottom and pull it out.

Me:  No!  I will not do that. I will drive home tonight and leave them at the house.

Y!C!  That’s silly. It’s not nasty

Me:  Then you come up here and do it.

Me (again):  This is one of the reasons I got married

Y!C!  You would not make it in Alaska

Yes!Chef! likes to watch all those “living off the land in crazy cold with terrifying man-eating creatures and that’s why we love it here” Alaska television shows.

Yes!Chef! dreams of living in Alaska.  I do not share that dream.  I remind him of what Ian Malcom said in the movie, The Lost World: “Yes, ooo, ahh, it always starts out that way, and then comes all the running and screaming.”

At any rate, I packed the trout in ice and drove home for Yes!Chef! to clean and cook the trout.  They were good and watching him cleaning the fish I heartily disagree with his assessment that “it is not nasty.”

The next day, I drove back up to the mountains.  And, no, I will not learn to clean the fish.  That’s why I got married.

Now, I did clean the shrimp for the above dish.  But their heads had already been removed, so all I had to do was remove the shells and the intestines. They are teeny, tiny intestines and so it’s not the same as the trout.  Even if it is, I’m not cleaning the dang trout.  That’s why I got married.

Lavender:  breathe deeply and relax

Lavender: breathe deeply and relax

And here’s some lovely lavender with a side of Lupine so that we will not have to think about cleaning trout anymore.  We can concentrate on a very easy and tasty shrimp dish, that you will love.

Shrimp ready to be eaten

Shrimp ready to be eaten

Here’s the recipe adapted from Skinny Taste.

Chile Lime Shrimp

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, membrane and seeds removed, and finely chopped
  • juice from 1 medium lime
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Place shrimp in a bowl and toss with cumin, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet (or non-stick if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, but you really should invest in the cast iron) over medium-high heat.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan.  When the oil is heated, add half of the shrimp. Cook them on one side for about 2 minutes. Then, turn the shrimp over and cook until opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the other tablespoon of oil, if necessary, and the rest of the shrimp to the pan and cook, as above. Remove the shrimp to the plate.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Place the jalapeño in the pan and cook until it begins to become limp.  Add garlic and stir around until the garlic is fragrant.  Be careful not to burn. Remove pan from heat.
  6. Return the shrimp to the skillet, mix well so that the garlic and jalapeño are evenly incorporated.
  7. Squeeze the lime juice over all the shrimp. Add the cilantro, toss well, and serve.

You can serve this over rice or noodles or by itself with a side of cooked fresh green beans.  I also served with avocado slices, which added a creamy texture to the dish. This would also make a good appetizer.

Chile Lime Shrimp 6

Enjoy this dish on a hot summer day!  Or, even when it’s not so hot.

And now I will head to the beach and not think about cleaning trout anymore.

A summer day at the beach (Lake Tahoe)

A summer day at the beach (Lake Tahoe)

Crispy Salmon with Lemon, Basil and Caper Sauce with a side of Lake Tahoe

Salmon with Lemon, Basil and Caper Sauce 3So, Yes!Chef! has returned home from Boston and he is feeling like cooking up some goodness again. (Everyone at the Schmautzhaus says Huzzah!) And, boy, is recipe a great way to come back.  The salmon was crispy on the outside and creamy and fresh on the inside.  The sauce was sublime. It had everything I like:  lemon, capers and basil.  All of it sitting on a bed of fresh spinach.  It was the perfect meal after a longish walk with Obie T. Dogg in beautiful Lake Tahoe.

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Asian Meatballs and Mendocino

Asian Meatballs

Asian Meatballs

A lot of things can happen in a few short months.

Yes!Chef! and I have been busy…and a little lazy about blogging.  As I have mentioned, Yes!Chef! has a day job that sometimes takes him out of town for several weeks.  And, since I am a photographer, by trade, I have also been busier than usual this year (which is always a good thing.)

One of the best things we got to do together at the end of March was to photograph a wedding in Mendocino County in Northern California.  Most people would say that I live in Northern California (I would also say this), but in reality we live a little north of the center of California.  Mendocino County is near the top of the state…about a 5 hour drive from our house (which is near Lake Tahoe.)

The wild Mendocino Coastline

The wild Mendocino Coastline

Most people, who have never been to California or have not spent much time in Northern California think that California is one big beach with sunbathers and surfers galore.  Southern California can be that way.  Northern California coast is much cooler and much wilder…not so conducive for either surfers or sun bathers.  But it is a delight for the eyes.

Yes!Chef! and I had the privilege of staying at the Light Keepers house on Point Cabrillo.  We stayed there with two other families, whom we knew, who were family members of the couple that was getting married.

Asian Meatballs blog 7

We had a great view of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse from the Light Keepers house (which was built in the early 1900’s for the Light Keeper and his family).

Every morning, Yes!Chef! and I got up early to watch the sun rise and look out at the ocean and the Lighthouse.

Yes!Chef! looks out on the lighthouse and the Pacific Ocean

Yes!Chef! looks out on the lighthouse and the Pacific Ocean

The wedding was fabulous and we enjoyed ourselves very much.

The happy couple (top), The Light Keepers House (bottom left) and the church where the wedding was held (Bottom right)

The happy couple (top), The Light Keepers House (bottom left) and the church where the wedding was held (Bottom right)

We drove home on Sunday after two very full days of wedding photography and great fellowship.  We drove through Anderson Valley, which is famous for Pinot Noir.  We stopped at a couple of places to do a little tasting and we happened upon, Golden Eye Winery.  It was a beautiful spring day and we were able to sit out on the tasting patio which had gorgeous views of the surrounding hills and vineyards.  The tasting fee was $15.00 per person (non-refundable even if you bought a bottle of wine.) But it was well worth it.  We got a little tray with 5 “tastes” served in Riedel glasses.  We decided to share the “tastes” and it was plenty of wine.  We both got good tastes and swooned through every one of them.

Wine Tasting at Golden Eye Winery

Wine Tasting at Golden Eye Winery

The wine was very expensive, but we bought a bottle anyway to celebrate when we finally sell our house (yes, it’s still on the market.)  Good thing the wine ages well.

Anyway, it was quite pleasant and Yes!Chef! and I vow to go back to Mendocino when we can spend more time wandering around together.

What does all this have to do with Asian Meatballs?

Not much.  It was just another adventure that I enjoyed with Yes!Chef!

Some of the scenery in Anderson Valley and a great little salad we each had in the small town of Booneville.

Some of the scenery in Anderson Valley and a great little salad we each had in the small town of Booneville.

I told Yes!Chef! the other day that I would love some meatballs with an Asian flare and flavor palette.  So, of course, he immediately found something that fit the bill and added his own flavorful touch to it.

He initially made the meatballs as per the recipe, but altered the sauce a little to suit our tastes.  I requested that he make them again, because we had leftover sauce (delicious), but using almond flour instead of Panko breadcrumbs.  Yes!Chef! and I are avoiding flour and other grains, for the most part, so substituting almond flour works for us.

Meatballs with Asian Sauce

Meatballs with Asian Sauce

Here’s the recipe:

Asian Meatballs (adapted from Food.com)

Makes about 35 meatballs

Takes about 30 minutes

Meatball Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs or almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onion

Optional garnish:  toasted sesame seeds and/or sliced scallions

Asian Sauce Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all meatball ingredients with your hands until well-combined.  Form into 1 1/2″ diameter balls.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until meatballs are golden and no longer pink on the inside.
  3. For sauce, mix together all of the sauce ingredients with a whisk.  Set aside.
  4. The sauce can be served as a dipping sauce, or pour over the top of meatballs and top with sesame seeds and scallions.
  5. Or both…which I did.

The sauce is very, very yummy.  I could not get enough of it.  We had some left over so, Yes!Chef! cooked up some tuna and we poured it over that top of that, too.  Yum!

Sesame Encrusted tuna with Asian Sauce

Sesame Encrusted tuna with Asian Sauce

I upgraded my cell phone (an old iPhone 4) for a new iPhone 6 (not the +).  So, I used the camera on the new phone to take all the food photos.  I’m not willing to throw away my Canon 5D Mark III, yet, but I think it did a pretty decent job.  Food photography is all about the light, anyway.

And one final piece of advice that I saw as we were walking along Point Cabrillo (we saw whales, too, but I didn’t get a picture of them.)

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Try not to get angry because it can cause you to fall off the cliff and die.  So stay happy, folks and eat meatballs with Asian sauce.

Better Butter Burger…Herb butter isn’t just for topping steaks anymore.

Herb Butter

Herb Butter


Herb Butter makes a Better Butter Burger!

Butter melts into burger leaving herbs inside for a juicy and flavorful burger

Butter melts into burger leaving herbs inside for a juicy and flavorful burger

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Pork: it’s what’s for supper…Pork Tenderloin Salad

Pork Loin Roast with Spinach and Mandarin Oranges Salad

Pork Loin Roast with Spinach and Mandarin Oranges Salad

“Lisa: I’m going to become a vegetarian

Homer:  Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?

Lisa: Yes.

Homer:  Bacon?

Lisa: Yes, dad.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa:  All those meats come from the same animal

Homer: Right, Lisa.  Some wonderful, magical animal.”

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