Many recipes that I come up with are with my best friend in mind who is a vegetarian except that she does eat seafood.  When she comes to visit from Canada, I adapt many of my recipes so that she can enjoy them too.  Now she has returned the favor and sent me a Guest Recipe that I just had to share with you.  It’s a lovely and colorful shrimp dish with green beans, quartered cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and shrimp.   Everything about this recipe is something that I would love to cook.

Guest Recipe from Canada

2 portobello mushrooms sliced
4 cherry tomatoes quartered
6 ounces or more shrimp
6 ounces or more green beans
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon basil (to taste)

Sauté mushrooms in olive oil until they begin to turn brownish.  Add green beans, salt & pepper and basil until the beans are cooked until slightly limp.  Do not overcook the beans!  Add the shrimp around 5 minutes after adding the beans if you are using fresh shrimp.  If using pre-cooked shrimp add them after the beans are almost fully cooked.   When shrimp is fully cooked, add the tomatoes and continue to sauté until the tomatoes are hot.  Remove from stove and serve immediately.

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Guest Post from Canada

I love everything about Tuscany and this soup is a great reminder.  I found it on the Saveur Recipe website.  It has such a hearty appeal so I couldn’t resist to share it with all.

Maybe it was the crunchy bit of bread to the side or the bits of tomato and carrot popping up to the surface.  Can’t wait to give it a try.  If you beat me to it, let me know what you think.

Image by André Baranowski

2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
1⁄2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic (3 minced, 1 halved)
10 oz. squash, such as butternut, peeled and cut into 1⁄2″ cubes(about 2 cups)
4 large kale leaves, preferably
 lacinato or cavalo nero, stemmed and chopped
1 medium waxy-style potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄2″ cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
crushed fennel seeds
8 thick slices country-style bread

1. Drain beans and transfer to a 3-qt. saucepan along with half the carrots, the celery, the onions, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, until beans are tender, 40–45 minutes. Set 3⁄4 cup beans aside; transfer the remaining beans and their cooking liquid to a blender and purée. Set puréed beans aside.

2. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 5-qt. pot over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add reserved bean purée, along with the remaining carrots, the squash, kale, potato, and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the crushed fennel seeds and reserved whole beans. Meanwhile, toast the bread and rub it with the cut end of the halved garlic clove. Drizzle each toast with 1 tbsp. oil. To serve, place 1 to 2 pieces toasted bread in the bottom of soup bowls and ladle soup over the top. Drizzle soup with remaining oil.

Credits:  Author Nancy Harmon Jenkins uses olive oil three ways in this version of the venerable Italian soup: for sautéing garlic, rubbing on the toasts that accompany the dish, and finishing the soup.

Recipe updated 9/22/2014: I wanted to make a fun party size Ceviche to take to a Halloween party. The picture of the Halloween version is so creepy that I hesitate to show it. But, alas here it is anyway. Don’t let it freak you out!

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Creepy Seafood Ceviche
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Serve with mini cup size Tostitos.

This ceviche is made with medium size shrimp and imitation crab that makes up a 4 quart party size batch. It yields enough to serve 30 or more guests depending on how many appetizers are served along with it.  I never thought I would stop chopping and it was time consuming.  2 hours of slicing, dicing and sneaking bits and bites of shrimp and tomato as I diced along.

2 pounds Medium shrimp; each piece of shrimp quartered
2 medium English Cucumbers; peeled and chopped
5 large Tomatoes; diced
10 ounces Crab Meat; Imitation or real, diced
2 tablespoons sea salt
4 large Fresh lemons; Reserve 1
1/2 cup Clamato juice
1/2 cup +/- Catsup to thicken
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
8 medium Fresh Limes; Reserve 1
2 teaspoons Cilantro; dried, or 1 cup fresh
3-4 tablespoons horseradish

Preparation

Start by squeezing 3 large lemons and 7 medium lines into a large bowl. Add salt. Dice the Mahi Mahi and add to the juice so that it will begin to process (cook in the juice).  I’ve removed the Mahi Mahi from the ingredients list because I found it to be too fishy for my taste.  Add it if you like??

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Mahi Mahi in lemon-lime juice
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Lemons and limes quartered to juice

I used pre-cooked shrimp but you could also use raw shrimp and let it “cook” in the lemon/lime juice.  However, you would need to double the lemons and limes to have enough fresh juice to cover this large amount of shrimp. When using fresh fish, allow it to rest in the juice, refrigerated for 3 hours.

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Quartering the shrimp

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If you are short on time you can slightly cook the diced Mahi Mahi over medium low heat for a few minutes then cool and add to the juice. Since I was short on time as usual, I had to pre-cook the Mahi Mahi and use pre-cooked shrimp. It was still 2 hours in prep time using this method but was worth the time. I started with 2 pounds of shrimp less the few that I ate while prepping. I was hungry!

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Imitation Crab legs
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Chopping up the legs
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English cucumber is the best
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Chopped up cucumbers

Mix remaining diced ingredients as they are prepared and toss as you add the batches. Prepare the tomatoes last to keep their shape. When adding the tomatoes lift them away from the excess tomato juice before adding to the mixture. Discard the excess tomato juice and seeds.

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Couldn’t resist sneaking a few bites of tomato
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Diced tomato

Lastly, mix in the Clamato juice, catsup, tabasco, horseradish and cilantro, then add any additional salt or pepper to your preference.  Add enough catsup so that you get the thickness that you desire otherwise it may be too soupy.  Garnish with final lemon and lime. Halved and then sliced.

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Slicing lemon and lime for garnish
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Serve with mini cup size Tostitos.

One of the pictures that I took of this dish was for Halloween. The lemon and lime slices were eye-brows and Halloween style eye-ball ice cubes were added for a eerie look.

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Very creepy version

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

It’s late September and I just had to make this rib recipe again for Sunday dinner with friends. I still had sauce in the fridge from the last venture so didn’t need to make it up. That’s a time saver.

While the ribs are cooking, I’m doing a little house sprucing and now updating the recipe. Our friends will be here in a few hours and are bringing a side of macaroni and cheese. What’s great, too, about cooking ribs this way is that you can bake them the full 3 hours, turn the oven off and then finish them on the grill after your guest arrive. No stress about planning the cooking right to the second!!

The recipe appears to take a long time, but most of the time is in the oven baking time or stirring the sauce occassionally.  It’s worth the time.

Ingredients

2 large pork baby back or back ribs; full racks
=== RUB ===
2 tablespoons Carrol Shelby’s Chili blend; 2 T Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic; cloves, minced
2 tablespoons black pepper; freshly cracked
Salt to Taste
=== BASTE SAUCE ===
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh onion; minced
1/2 cup Water
1 can Tomato sauce
1/2 cup White vinegar
1/2 cup Light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Light corn syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon liquid Barbecue Smoke
1 teaspoon Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
1/4 teaspoon Cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Catsup

Preparation

To make the ribs, cut each large rack of ribs in half so that you have 4 half-racks.  Trim away any excess fat from ribs and remove membrane from under-side of the ribs.  Mix the dry spices together in a small bowl, except for the pepper and salt.  Then sprinkle a light even coating spice rub over ribs and press into meat.  If your spices are all in shaker bottles, the just sprinkle the desired amount of each spice.  Scatter the minced garlic over the top of the ribs.  Then press spice and garlic against the meat.  Add the amount of spice according to your desired level of hot and flavorful spice desired.  Top with fresh ground pepper and salt.   Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 275 degree oven for 3 hours.  I line the baking dish with a large sheet of foil that can then be folded over with the meat sealed inside. This makes for easy clean up.

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As the ribs cook, make the sauce by heating the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions for 5 minutes or until they start to brown.  Add the remaining sauce ingredients, bring mixture to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered, or until sauce thickens.  Check sauce every 15-30 minutes to stir and make sure not boiling.  Remove from heat and set aside until the ribs are ready.  Preheat your barbecue grill.

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When ribs are finished in the oven, the meat should have pulled back about 1/2-inch from the cut-ends of the bones.  Remove the ribs from the oven, let them sit for 10 minutes or so, then remove the racks from the foil and put them on the grill.  Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes per side.  They should be slightly charred in a few spots when they’re finished.  Brush barbecue sauce on the ribs while they’re grilling, just before you serve them.  Don’t add the sauce too early or it will burn.

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This recipe yields 2 (full-rack) to 4 (half-rack) servings.

 

BigOven Reviews:

Without question the best ribs that I’ve ever had. Worth making the sauce. Wow..my wife and I were sucking the bones cause it was so good lol. Thx for sharing this recipe. My now staple rib recipe for sure. Patg73

These were a hit at the annual 4th of July BBQ. I had four different families tell me they were the best they’ve ever had. I’m definitely making these again!! Ncrisp24

Watch out Famous Daves. This recipe is awesome. Maderacopy

This is a GREAT recipe, everyone in the house loves it!  Very tender and a fabulous sauce.  I’ve made it again and again by request. NR

THE FELLAS AT THE FIRE HOUSE COULD NOT GET ENOUGH.  THE BBQ SAUCE WITH THIS RECIPE IS A MUST.  I HAVE TRIED SOME BOTTLED SAUCES AND THE RIBS WERE JUST OK  INSTEAD OF BEING ‘GREAT’! tonyparT

We loved these ribs!  We might reduce the chili powder a bit next time.  They certainly have a robust flavor.  I didn’t have the tomato sauce so pureed a tomato instead. You’ll notice our sauce looks a little chunky in the picture..but ohh soooo good!  cbigovenp

Click here to veiw this recipe on BigOven. 

Click Here to View All Big Oven Recipes

Almost without fail, when I have a dinner party or a gathering  for a fun cocktail hour evening, I will serve this appetiser.  It’s a great one to mix up for your friends and to get your friends to mix together.  Sometimes, a Bruschetta is served with the tapanade already on the bread.

I like to serve mine with toasted baquette and the Bruschetta on the side so the bread does not get soggy.  Hate soggy bread for some reason.

So, if you like to have the tapenade flavor mix into the bread, then feel free to serve the toasties already topped.  The difference though is that your friends may just load their plate and not mingle as much around the appetiser table.  There are a couple of other appetisers in the feature image; Stuffed Mushrooms.  One is a Stuffed Mushrooms with Sweet Italian Sausage, Goat Cheese & Figs and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Water Chestnuts.  Look for these in the future.

This baquette toastie is different from most that I have tried because it is a nice appetiser all on it’s own.  It has a robust flavor that is enhanced by the Bruschetta.  You can use this baquette recipe for almost any tapenade.  Enjoy… from KCinAZ.

Ingredients

Bruschetta Topping:   Baguette:
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil 1  pound French bread Baguette
1  tablespoon Champagne Wine vinegar 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2  cloves garlic, peeled; chopped 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
3  large Tomatoes; chopped  Italian seasoning to taste
12  sprigs Basil; chopped 1/4 cup Asiago Cheese shredded
Salt; To taste

Preparation

Remove seeds and pulp from tomatoes and then dice into small pieces.  Mix together tomatoes, chopped or minced garlic cloves, olive oil, Champagne wine vinegar, chopped basil, salt and pepper and set aside to serve at table.

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Slice French bread baguette into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices; your choice depending on the crowd.  Place on flat baking dish like a heavy cookie pan.  Brush top of each slice with extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with garlic salt and lightly top with shredded Asiago Cheese on each bread slice.  Place under hot broiler and cook on BROIL until lightly browned.

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If you don’t have Asiago Cheese on hand, feel free to substitute fresh shredded Parmesan.  It will still be great!

Makes 12 servings.

For a refreshing summertime appetizer, fill bite-size cherry tomatoes, round or pear shaped, with a savory mixture of cream cheese flavored with basil. Minced tarragon or chervil can be used in place of the basil.

Original Yield: 24  Main Ingredient: Cream Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes
Ingredients:

24 Cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound Cream cheese; regular in tub
2 tablespoons Half-and-half cream
1/4 cup Fresh basil; minced
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper; freshly ground
1 package Fresh parsley
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Instructions:

Chop or mince basil into small pieces especially if you are going to use an icing tube to fill the tomatoes with the cream cheese mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, 1 tablespoon half-n-half, basil, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork or spatula until well blended. Continue to add last tablespoon of half-n-half slowly until desired consistency is met. Allow to come to room temperature as you prepare the tomatoes. This will allow for an easier time when filling the tomato shells with the icing tube as the cream cheese comes to room temperature.

Remove the top of each tomato with a serrated knife and trim if necessary to flatten the bottom. While having tomato still in hand, attempt to remove as much pulp as possible and discard. Save tomato tops for garnish.   Turn  tomato upside down on an paper towel to help in absorbing the juices. After all tops have been removed and this first step is complete then move on to the next step. The messy part is mostly over.

Using a small spoon or small mellon baller scoop out any remaining inside pulp to make a hollow yet sturdy shell. Set each shell open side up on serving dish. Garnish with parsley sprigs to help keep tomatoes in place.

Using the small spoon, fill each tomato with about 1 tsp. of the cheese mixture.

If you can use a cake decorating tube, then you can also use this to fill the tomatoes and create a pleasant swirl. You will need to add enough half-n-half so that the consistency is like frosting. Pick a large enough tube end so that the basil does not get stuck.

To finish off the platter, fill a center dish with extra or leftover basil cream cheese.  Place tomato trim tops around the inside of the bowl and add additional parsley for garnish.  If you have leftover room on you platter, fill it with cucumber slices, crackers, sweet garden peas or any other food that would go great with the cream cheese.    I used the tomato tops around the inside of the center bowl that contained extra filling.  If you do not use an icing tube to fill the tomatoes, you can use the little tops to garnish each filled tomato.   Sprinkle a little parsley over the entire platter for a final finish.