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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Trying New Things: Seafood Edition

It's taken me literally forever to write this because I just have not had time. But here it goes:


I went home to see my family over the Easter holiday (it was lovely in case you were wondering) and mom and I decided to get adventurous and try a new recipe.  It's simply called "Baked Shrimp with Tomatillos" and can be found here


I'm not much of a seafood eater. The texture really weirds me out, and the taste is definitely not my favorite. But I thought since this has so much other stuff it in it, the other ingredients would probably cancel out the shrimp. I'll try (almost) anything once! 


Ingredients: 


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1-2 jalapeno chiles, seeded, minced *
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb tomatillos, chopped**
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup clam juice OR 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned, deveined
  • 1 cup Cotija queso seco cheese (can substitute feta)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Black pepper
  • An oven-proof sauté pan or cast iron pan



First, heat the oil (in the same pan you will eventually use for baking), and add the onions and jalapenos.  Saute those for a few minutes until the onions begin to brown. Read: begin to brown. Don't wait too long or by the time you get finished adding the other stuff, they'll be pretty nasty. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute, and then reduce the heat and add the chopped tomatillos. Cook for ten minutes, but make sure the tomatoes still  hold their shape. If they get mushy, you're doing it wrong and should throw the whole thing out and start over. Not really, but you know. 


Next, add the clam juice or water. Clam juice just sounds really gross, so I opted for the water.  It'll get soupy, but the other stuff you're about to put in will absorb it. 



Next, add the shrimp and cheese. We used frozen shrimp because we were too lazy to actually de-vein and cook them ourselves, but if you're into that sort of thing go for it! The cheese was pretty awesome too. It's in the Mexican cheese section at the grocery store. You know, the one with all the white, mushy cheeses that look WAY cooler than the Kraft stuff. It's basically just fancy parmesan cheese, but I think it adds a little class. And it was de-lic-ious. 





It looks kind of sketchy when it's all mixed in, but you can never have too much cheese. 


After it's all mixed in, pop the whole pan (again, make sure it's oven safe) in the oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Since our shrimp were pre-cooked, all it really needed to go was melt the cheese and heat all the way through. 

One note on the recipe I thought was pretty funny was that if your pan has a handle, be sure not to grab it out of habit after you get it out of the oven. I thought this was absolutely ridiculous. I mean, who would grab a 425 degree handle? We were somehow smart enough to use an oven mitt getting it out of the oven (phew!) but after we put it back on the stove top to add in the final bits what did Mom do? Grabbed the handle. Guess they had the note in there for a reason! 


Finally, you can add in the cilantro, lemon juice, and black pepper.  A note on the cilantro: The recipe calls for 1/4 cup, but my dad kind of hates it, so we only put in a few tablespoons. IT WAS ALL I COULD TASTE. I had never really eaten cilantro before, but it tastes like soap. If you like it, put in all you want! But it was SO strong. I think the recipe would've been much better if we had left it out completely. 



We weren't really sure what to put with it since the recipe didn't specify. I think it might go well with linguine or something, but we weren't really feeling the carbs, so we just steamed some broccoli- my favorite food ever! 



In all, I liked it. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. The shrimp still weirded me out a tad, but I think I would've liked it more without the cilantro. A recipe I'm likely to make again, and even more likely to share with my seafood-loving boyfriend. 



* I'm a pansy and don't like anything spicy, so instead of jalapenos we used green chile peppers. 
** You know, those tiny tomatoes you get on salads and stuff. 

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