1. Finely grate the zest from 4 of the lemons, then pulse in a mini food processor with 3 tablespoons salt. Squeeze the juice from 2 of the zested lemons into a large bowl; add the lemongrass, olive oil, Sriracha, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the lemon salt. Thinly slice the 2 remaining lemons and add to the bowl.
2. Using kitchen shears, cut through the shrimp shells along the outer curve, leaving the shells on. Remove the veins and rinse the shrimp. Add to the bowl with the lemongrass marinade and toss; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, soak 12 to 15 wooden skewers in water.
3. Preheat a grill to medium high. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers. Brush the grill with vegetable oil, then add the lemon slices and grill until they begin to char, turning once, about 2 minutes; transfer to a platter. Stir the mint into the remaining marinade. Add the shrimp skewers to the grill and cook, brushing with the marinade-mint mixture, until the shells begin to char, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the platter and sprinkle with the lemon salt to taste.
It’s the 4th. of July weekend, and I do mean weekend this year! This means baseball (such as it is during this pandemic), picnics (socially distanced of course), and backyard barbecues!
I know things are different this year and “normal” is anything but business as usual. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the birth of our nation in a grand way, just maybe not in the same way we’ve always done.
For many this weekend means firing up the grill for that all important barbecue. Sure grilled burgers, dogs, and steaks and smoked meats are 4th. of July favorites, but if you’re looking for something different read on!
I remember spending one 4th. of July in Bar Harbor, Maine. We stayed at the Wonder View Inn which was built on the site where Mary Roberts Rinehart’s estate once stood. The hotel had wonderful views overlooking Acadia National Park; and the site it was built on had an interesting history.
During the 4th. of July holiday Bar Harbor was decorated in full regalia, it has after all been voted #1 in America by the Today Show for it’s 4th. of July celebrations which includes parades and fireworks. The fireworks were spectacular, we viewed it from our room’s balcony. But the best thing I remembered from our 4th. of July vacation in Bar Harbor was the lobster! I seemed that every restaurant in town had a lobster special, and why not, Maine is definitely lobster country! They had everything from lobster rolls to lobster bakes going on.
So this year I decided that a Lobster Bake was how we’d celebrate our July 4th. holiday. Since going to Bar Harbor is not an option this year I thought bringing a Bar Harbor tradition home would be a great idea.
A traditional Maine lobster bake are pots of lobsters, mussels, clams, shrimp, corn, and potatoes all covered in seaweed and steamed. It’s usually steamed at the beach on hot rocks piled with seaweed and the other ingredients and covered with a large tarp, the seaweed steams the seafood to perfection. Of course you can dig a hole in the sand at a beach and do it the traditional way, but there’s a much easier option. I make my Lobster Bake on a sheet pan and bake it in the oven, easy peasy!
Here’s how I do it!
Easy Lobster Bake
6 – 10 Lobster Tails about 4 oz. each (I usually make 2 tails per person)
1 Lb. Extra Large Shrimp (peeled and de-veined but leave the tail on)
1 Lb. Clams
1 Lb. Hot and Spicy Sausage or any type of Sausage you prefer – cut in 1-2″ chunks
6 Red Potatoes – Cut into quarters
3 Cobs of Corn cut into thirds or 6 – 8 frozen mini corn cobs
2 Lemons cut in to wedges
4 Sticks Butter
2 Tbs. Garlic minced
1 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning
1 Bunch parsley for garnish
Boil potatoes and corn in water for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are half cooked.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Line very large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt 2 sticks of butter and add 1 Tbs. garlic and Old Bay. Still until well combined. Cook until butter turns golden brown, be careful not to burn this mixture. Remove from heat and set in a warm spot.
Drain potatoes and corn in a large bowl.
Cut each tail down the back but not all the way thru, this will make taking the meat out of the shell easier.
Place lobster tails, shrimp, clams, and sausage in bowl with the potatoes and corn.
Pour melted butter mixture over all and gently mix until everything is coated in butter.
Arrange everything on to the sheet in a single layer.
Place wedges of 1 lemon on the sheet.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until clams open, shrimp is pink, and lobster meat is white.
Meanwhile melt remaining 2 sticks of butter and add remaining garlic. Cook until butter is golden brown. Transfer to dipping bowls for serving.
Place remaining lemon wedges on a plate for serving.
Remove pan from oven, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Serve with bowls of corn slaw and biscuits or crusty bread.
Give each person a bowl of butter of dipping and allow them them to serve themselves from the baking sheet.
Every so often I get a yen for some home cooked Filipino food like Shrimp Sarciado. This favorite Filipino dish is usually done with fish, but it’s also made with chicken, pork, and eggs. I like it best with shrimp.
Sarciado literally means “cooked with a thick sauce” in Tagalog, the main language spoken in the Philippines. The word is derived from the Tagalog word “sarsa” that refers to a thick sauce which in turn comes from the Spanish word “salsa” which means sauce.
The “thick sauce” for this Filipino dish is composed mainly of tomatoes and eggs that is flavored with a light fish sauce called “Patis”.
Shrimp Sarciado is very simple to make. The “Patis” (Filipino Fish Sauce) gives it that delicate salty taste that is delicious served over steaming hot white rice.
You can find Patis in the condiment section of an Asian Market. I use more Patis when I make this dish because I love the taste, you can adjust the amount you use according to taste. You can also add more eggs if you like.
1 lb. Extra Large Shrimp – shelled, deveined, tail on
1 Onion – sliced
1 Tomato – sliced
1 tbls. minced garlic
2 tbls. Patis
1 tbls. Oil
1. Saute sliced onions in oil until they start to turn translucent.
2. Add minced garlic and saute for a minute more.
3. Add shrimp and cook until they start turning pink.
4. Add sliced tomato and cook until the tomato start giving off liquid, about 2-3 minutes
5. Add Patis – stir well to evenly mix sauce in
6. Add your raw egg – use spatula to “scramble” the egg into the other ingredients. Be sure you break the yolk first so it will scramble.
Serve over steamed rice.
Delicately flavored Filipino specialty of shrimp stir fried with tomatoes, and eggs.
Do you racking your brain trying to decide what to make for dinner each night? I know I do, almost every day! It’s funny because years ago my grandmother remarked that the hardest part about cooking is deciding what to cook. I guess it’s an age old problem many of us face. Well I have one yummy suggestion for you. Try out this delicious Honey Sesame Seed Shrimp dish. It’s probably one of the simplest shrimp dish you will ever make.
You can make Honey Sesame Seed Shrimp in about half an hour. It’s basically a stir-fry, but with a sweet honey twist.
I serve it with steamed white rice, but it would go well with noodles too! It’s a great addition to your dinner menu!
Honey Sesame Seed Shrimp
2 Lbs. Extra Large Shrimp – shelled & deveined
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
2 Cloves Garlic – minced
2 Tsp. Sesame Seeds + extra for garnish if desired
1 Stalk Green Onions – chopped + extra for garnish if desired
1 Tbs. Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour or Corn Starch
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil for frying
Combine all ingredients (except shrimp, Mochiko, and water) in a mixing bowl
Separate about 1/4 of mixture in a small bowl and reserve for later
Toss shrimp in marinade and marinate for about 15 minutes
Heat Sesame oil in wok or frying pan
Dissolve Mochiko flour or corn starch in water
Remove Shrimp from marinade – discard used marinade
Stir fry shrimp in hot sesame oil until it shrimp start to turn pink
Add reserved unused marinade to shrimp
Stir in dissolved Mochiko or corn starch
Stir until sauce thickens slightly
Remove from heat and garnish with extra sesame seeds and green onions
For some reason guests seem to be impressed with you serve seafood, as long as they’re not allergic to it. Serving extra large shrimp is always a crowd pleaser; making them into Shrimp Scampi makes it more impressive. I could never figure out why, since Shrimp Scampi is so easy to make, the only down side in my opinion is that you have to saute the shrimp just before you serve it. Regular scampi does not taste good cold.
I love this baked version because you can prep it before guests arrive and pop it in the oven just before you serve it. Baked Scampi leaves you free to chat with your guests instead of sauteing in the kitchen. I added this dish to our Christmas dinner this year when we had several unexpected out of town relatives in town. I prepThey loved it!
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
1/2 cup white wine (or chicken stock for non-alcoholic version)
2 pounds large or extra large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 stick butter – melted
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Pour wine into 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
2. Squeeze lemon juice over wine. Set pan aside.
3. Place shrimp, crushed pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil in large bowl.
4. Toss shrimp to coat with oil mixture.
5. Place shrimp in a single layer in baking pan.
6. Melt butter and place panko in melted butter. Stir until butter is evenly absorbed in panko.
7. Sprinkle panko mixture over shrimp.
8. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until shrimp is pink. Do not over cook.
Serve immediately. You can serve this over pasta or with mashed potatoes.
Baked Shrimp Scampi
A crowd pleaser! This new twist on the classic shrimp dish is so easy to make, guests will think you spent hours perfecting it!