Celebrate Spring With Shrimp Dishes

FOOD STUFF

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Hello Payson:

What a wonderful place we live in, a gift entrusted to us to care for and cherish, a place for us to be happy, prosperous and live in peace.

Today, allow me to quote a few spiritual sayings in hope that they may help us achieve this. First of all, thank God and/or Creator for this beautiful World.

  • Everything is energy in the universe and we are all connected, it's one energy field.
  • We are Unlimited Beings and the power within each of us is greater than the power that is in the world.
  • As you begin your day, remove your attention from that which you do not want.

Being alive and living is a magnificent trip. Enjoy! Welcome to Planet Earth!

Now that we have gathered all this positive energy, let's use some in the kitchen. It's Thursday evening, six-ish. You're thinking something round, topped with cheese, but you're not in the mood for pizza again. So substitute a corn tortilla shell for the dough, beans and chicken for the pepperoni, salsa for the sauce and add some greens for freshness and crunch.

Finito -- now we have a recipe for Chicken Tostadas.

Next, how about some wonderful Grilled Shrimp and Lemon Kebabs, served along with Fettuccini Alfredo or any pasta salad or rice pilaf and you have an amazing dinner.

Happy eating,

Shirley

Chicken Tostadas

(makes 4 servings)

8 tostada shells

1, 16-ounce can of refried beans

2, 10-ounce packages fully cooked grilled chicken-breast strips

2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

3/4 cup fresh salsa

1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (or Monterey jack or Cheddar)

Heat oven to 225 degrees. Wrap the tostada shells in foil. Place in oven until warm, about six minutes. Meanwhile, warm the beans in a small pan over medium-low heat. Place the chicken in a nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat, turning once, for 4 minutes. Place two tostada shells on each plate. Divide the beans, chicken, lettuce, sour cream (optional), salsa and cheese among the tostadas.

Grilled Shrimp and Lemon Kebabs

(makes 4 servings)

hands-on time: 20 minutes; total time: 30 minutes

24 medium shrimp, shells on, de-veined

2 lemons, cut into small wedges

3 yellow squash or zucchini, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 sprigs fresh basil

16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes.

Heat a broiler on high. Place the shrimp and lemon wedges on 8 skewers, alternating them. Halve the squash or zucchini lengthwise, then cut them into 1-inch-thick slices. Divide the squash amount the remaining 8 skewers. (If you don't have skewers, place the individual ingredients on a baking sheet.) Place the skewers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush the kebabs with the oil and season with salt. Broil, turning once, until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer the shrimp-and-lemon skewers to a platter. Continue to broil the squash until tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve the shrimp and squash with the basil, torn into pieces if desired.

Tip: For a little more money, you can buy shrimp that are already peeled and de-veined, though cooking them with the shells on retains moisture and flavor. To keep the shell intact while you de-vein the shrimp, use scissors or a knife to cut the shell along the vein, up to the tail. Then use the tip of a knife to remove the vein.

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