Sautéed Garlic Shrimp

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My son Tyler has been on a real shrimp kick lately. Every time I ask him what he wants to eat, he says, “Umm, let’s go to Red Lobster.” So of course for his special birthday dinner, I had to make him shrimp. He’s not that big a fan of fried shrimp though (surprising since most kids go for the fried stuff) so I decided to make him this quick sautéed shrimp dish. I was pretty pissed off though that when I was about halfway done with eating my shrimp, I realized that I forgot to put the parsley on it. I know it wouldn’t have changed the flavor that drastically and it tasted really good without it, but it really would’ve looked better in the picture with a little green. Oh well, I’ll get over it.

Anyway, I used a bag of raw frozen medium shrimp that had already been peeled and deveined. I took the tails off before cooking because my son would’ve probably eaten the tails accidentally if I’d left them on. (If it’s attached to food, he thinks it’s automatically edible.) Then I threw them in a bowl with some Kosher salt, a little cracked pepper, about 1/2 a tablespoon of minced garlic, and a few squirts of lemon juice.

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I heated some coconut oil in a pan on medium heat. I usually use olive oil, but I kept hearing all this great stuff about coconut oil and how it’s healthier than other oils, so I had my husband buy it. I was disappointed when I found out that it was 130 calories for a tablespoon while a tablespoon of olive oil is 120 calories. Maybe it’s healthier in other ways, but for me, calorie content is more important. Either way, I decided to use it because now I have it. Once the oil was hot, I added 2 tablespoons of butter and let it melt until bubbles formed.

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I added the shrimp to the pan and cooked for a few minutes on one side, then flipped to the other side and cooked a few minutes more. Just until the turned all pink and shrimp-like. I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to crowd the pan, but I didn’t have the time or patience to cook these little guys in batches, so I put it all in at the same time and they cooked just fine.

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This whole recipe I just kinda threw together. I’m sure there are fancier ways to cook shrimp, but this tasted garlicky, buttery, and lemony delicious and it took less than 10 minutes to make so I’m happy. And Tyler seemed to like it, too.

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As you can see, the shrimp was the first thing devoured from his plate. Stay tuned for my next tutorial where I show you what’s in that crazy fried ball thingy on the plate. **Spoiler alert: It’s macaroni and cheese. 😉

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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The other day, I finally had the time (and the ingredients) to make something I’ve been craving for months…stuffed portobello mushrooms. These really don’t take that long to make (unless you’re taking pictures between every step), but it is hard for me personally to do things like dicing tomatoes and sautéing mushrooms when my son, Tyler, just wants me to play with him. I will choose that over cooking something special for myself 100% of the time. However, on this particular day, I decided to wait to make my lunch until after I put Tyler down for his nap. The recipe didn’t come out perfect. There are definitely a few things I would change next time. But overall, these really hit the spot.

First thing I did was wash the mushrooms. I’ve read about several different ways to do this, but I kept hearing that you’re not supposed to completely submerge mushrooms in water or really get them super wet, so the method I chose was just the wipes the dirt off with a damp paper towel. The best way to do this is to start at the middle of the cap and wipe down. This will ensure that you don’t strip the brown part off the top (like I did a little bit to the one on the right in the picture below). This is how they looked after that.

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Then, I took off the stems and scooped out the gills. I used just a regular spoon. Just make sure you choke up on the handle. This gives you more control over the spoon; it’s really easy to break the mushrooms if you’re not being gentle. This is how they looked after that.

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Next, I grabbed the ingredients for the “stuffing.”

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I decided to use two Roma tomatoes for the stuffing. Lesson learned. This is too much tomato…for me at least. For two mushrooms, I think one medium-sized tomato will do just fine. I cored the tomatoes, cut them in half, and scooped out the seeds, juice, etc.

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Next step was to julienne and then dice the tomatoes. I went for a larger dice, and I didn’t care for it. Next time I will definitely dice them smaller. After I diced the tomatoes, I put them in a bowl and seasoned with Kosher salt.

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I’ve found that I like my food more garlicky than a lot of other people. I added about 1 ½ teaspoons of minced garlic. If you don’t like a strong garlic flavor, I would back it off a little bit. I also added a few twists of freshly cracked black pepper.

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Now for the cheese. I’m all for any excuse to use fresh mozzarella. Man, I love this stuff. I diced up a few slices. You could even buy those adorable tiny pearls of fresh mozzarella and then you could skip the dicing step.

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Finally, I added a squirt of lemon juice, about a tablespoon of parmesan & Romano cheese, and a couple shakes of parsley and then mixed it all together!

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I was trying to make these as healthy as possible (I’ve been attempting to eat healthier lately), so instead of brushing the mushrooms with olive oil at 120 calories per tablespoon, I tried using this I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray that’s made with olive oil. It wasn’t bad! I sprayed that tops and bottoms and then lightly seasoned the caps with Kosher salt. After the pan was hot, I sprayed with Crisco olive oil spray and added the mushrooms, cap side up. I cooked them on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Then I flipped them over and cooked the other side for about another minute before spooning the cheese and tomato mixture into the caps. Then I put the lid on the pan so that the cheese could melt.

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So I decided to make these on the stovetop. Last time I made them, I put them on the grill and I think that worked a lot better. However, I didn’t want to heat up my whole grill for two measly mushrooms. But the grill definitely makes them better since you don’t have the collection of juices just sitting in the pan. I think next time I might try to make them in my toaster oven on the grill setting with something underneath to collect the juices. Overall, this was a great dish and I’m definitely looking forward to perfecting it! 🙂

FOODGASM!

I love food…I mean I REALLY love food. Put me in a room with all of my favorite food and I wouldn’t need social interaction for months (assuming the food lasted that long). This blog is about food appreciation, recipes, and fun in the kitchen. If you like food, please, stick around…