Pesto Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Pesto Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Gardens are funny things.  You check in on them every day (as you should), making note of what needs to be pruned, fertilized, or various weeds that threaten to take over.  And then one day out of nowhere, you’ll notice that HOLY COW…you suddenly have an abundance of something and you need to use it immediately!  Anyone who has grown cherry tomatoes or zucchini know this phenomenon well.

Such was the case with my sweet basil this year.  It took off in the blink of an eye.  Mind you, I am not complaining one bit.

Sweet Baril

The obvious comes to mind of course: pesto.  But  I’ve already give you: Ultimate Basil Pesto.  I’ve also done a very awesome Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomatoes.   Are you tired of pesto yet?  Yep, I thought not.  So let’s go another round, this time with roasted potatoes.  Specifically, some very fun and colorful ones like this:

Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted initially with a little olive oil, salt and pepper:

Roasted FIngerling Potatoes with Pesto | Dinner Is ServedWhile the potatoes are roasting, just throw together a very simple pesto sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, shallots and olive oil (no pricey $$$ pine nuts in this recipe):

Pesto Roasted Fingerling Potatoes | Dinner Is Served

Which, when combined, look like this:

Pesto Roasted Fingerling Potatoes | Dinner Is Served

Can we pause a minute to admire the glory that is basil pesto? ——– Ahhhh.   So anyway, after an initial roasting, the potatoes are tossed with this piquant mixture then roasted a bit more.  Your kitchen will smell like heaven on earth at this point.  Just sayin.   Then just before serving, the final touch of awesomeness: some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano:

Pesto Roasted FIngerling Potatoes | Dinner Is Served.

 If you’re wondering whether you have to use multi-colored fingerling potatoes for this recipe, the answer is a resounding “no”!  You can use anything you have or like, although I do happen to think that thin-skinned potatoes are the real ticket to success with this kind of roasting.  As for things to serve with this dish, the possibilities are endless.  Basically whatever comes off your grill this summer (steaks, beer can chicken, sausages, ribs…) will go will be happy sharing a plate with these savory spuds.

One final note before I get to the recipe, which I promise I will do.  Try making them ahead of time, reserving a little of the pesto.  Just before serving, toss with the reserved pesto and parmesan cheese.  So simple and delicious!

PESTO ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES

5 TBS olive oil

2/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1 large or 2 medium shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 large or 3  medium garlic cloves, peeled

Nonstick vegetable oil spray or nonstick aluminum foil

2 1/2 # fingerling potatoes, scrubbed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Blend 2 1/2 TBS olive oil, basil, shallots, and garlic in a food processor until smooth.  Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper (can be made up to a day in advance.  Cover and refrigerate).

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with nonstick foil.  Toss the potatoes with remaining 2 1/2 TBS olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl to coat.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet.  Roast potatoes until almost tender, about 35 minutes.  Pour pesto over potatoes and toss to coat.  Continue roasting potatoes until golden brown and tender, about 15-20 minutes longer.

Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl.  Add cheese and toss.

Serves 6

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Filed under Meatless Mondays!, Quick Easy Weeknight Meal, Side Dishes - Potatoes

Thai Beef with Basil

Thai Beef with Basil |Dinner Is Served

One of the great pleasures of gardening is being able to grow and use ingredients not often found at the supermarket.  Case in point…Thai Basil.  A few months ago I planted some straggly looking plants from the garden center into this whiskey barrel, along with some other herbs and annuals.  Thanks to an abundance of rain and warm, humid days, my Thai basil is flourishing.  Time to start cooking!

Thai Basil

My husband’s absolute favorite Thai meal is Thai Beef with Basil. I will admit to not being a big fan of super spicy food, but when you combine the basil with the heat, something magic happens.  It’s an absolutely brilliant combination and is so easy to make at home in a jiffy, starting with fresh ingredients like hot peppers and ginger: Thai Beef with Basil | Dinner Is Served

A simple savory 30-minute marinade with fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar:Thai Beef with Basil | Dinner is Served

Tossed with thinly sliced steak:

Thai Beef with Basil | Dinner Is Served

Stir fried with onions slivered garlic and the finishing touch: fresh basil.  LOTS of it.  Seriously, you almost can’t add enough basil to this dish:

Thai Beef with Basil | Dinner Is Served

And the perfect salad to round out the meal: my “Cool as a Cucumber Thai Salad

Cool as a Cucumber Thai Salad | Dinner Is Served

This meal will both heat you up and cool you off all at the same time! Enjoy all the best that summer has to offer my friends.  Ok, and one more photo of the basil.  Just…because.

Thai Beef with Basil | Dinner is Served

Thai Beef with Basil


3 TBS Asian fish sauce (aka Nam Pla or Nuoc Nam) (see Note>1)

1 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS brown sugar

1# beef round or sirloin steak (preferably thinly sliced) (see Note>2)

1 TBS plus 1 tsp vegetable or canola oil

1 large sweet onion (about 1#), sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices

3 long red or green chilies (such as serrano or fingerhot), seeded and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tsp minced, peeled fresh ginger

2 cups loosely packed fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves (large leaves torn into smaller pieces)

Cooked jasmine rice (or any other long grain rice)


 

Place meat in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.  Then remove and slice against the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices.

In a shallow dish or bowl, combine the fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar.  Whisk to combine.  Add meat; toss well to coat.  Cover and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to an hour.

In a skillet or wok, heat 1 TBS of the oil over high heat until very hot.  Add beef mixture along with marinate.  Cook, stirring frequently, just until beef is no longer pink (about 1-2 minutes).  Transfer beef and accumulated juices to a bowl and set aside.

Add remaining 1 tsp of oil to the wok.  Add sliced onion and cook, stir-frying, until tender-crisp, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in chilies, garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Return beef to skillet and add basil.  Stir until heated through and basil is just beginning to wilt.  Serve over jasmine rice.

Serves 4

Note>1 – Fish sauce sounds exotic but it’s almost everywhere these days and is an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine.  Technically you can store it at room temp, but I like to play it safe and store mine in the fridge where is seems to stay fresh for a very long time (as long as one year!)

Note>2 – Another advantage to this dish: you can use an inexpensive cut of meat, like the top round!  As long as you slice it thinly against the grain, it will be every bit as tender.  Look for meat that has already been sliced thin, sometimes labeled as “sandwich steak”  It’s perfect for stir frying.

Thai Beef with Basil| DInner Is Served

 

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Potatoes Baked in Salt, with Garlic & Rosemary Butter

Potatoes Baked in Salt with Garlic & Rosemary | Dinner Is Served

This past month my paying job and social calendar have prevented me from cooking creatively and posting on my blog.  Not to complain about the paying job or social life, mind you!  I actually enjoy what I do five days a week and am blessed to work with some of the best co-workers on the planet.  However it’s busy season in the field of graduate medical education so my days are long and the weekends have been booked, and I’m tired.  The most I have been able to do is throw some steaks on the grill and bake some potatoes last weekend for Father’s Day.

Ok so they weren’t your average “throw them in a 400° oven for an hour” baked potatoes, let me just say.  They were fan-flipping fantastic, blog worthy baked potatoes, they were.

The credit for these best ever baked potatoes ever goes to Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass, who took a break from Chicago politics and wrote a column on this unique baking method in November, 2012.  In turn, Kass credits America’s Test Kitchen‘s Julia Collin Davison, who he refers to as the “Goddess of Baked Potatoes.”  John made some changes to the ATK recipe.  As he states in his column “…every cook futzes with another’s recipe.”   And I, in turn, futzed around with Mr. Kass’s recipe.  The true magic here lies in not the measurements but the technique itself.

Potatoes Baked in Salt with Garlic &amp Rosemary Butter |  Dinn

They are indeed as the title indicates, russet potatoes baked on a bed of Kosher salt with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and whole garlic.  Finished with a heavenly roasted garlic, rosemary butter, which I kicked up with a little truffle salt.

Roasted Garlic Rosemary Butter

There is a science behind why this method works so well.  Why the outside stays crisp and the inside melts in your mouth.  I’m sure America’s Test Kitchen tested a thousand different methods before coming up with this one, singularly perfect way to bake a potato.  Thank god for food nerds.

If you’re concerned that these potatoes will turn out “salty,” let me assure you that if you just brush off the bit of salt that sticks to the bottom of the potatoes, they are not salty at all.  If you’re like me and think the best part of a baked potato is the skin, you’re in for a treat.  My only reservation about this method was that it seemed like a waste of perfectly good Kosher salt (I am solidly in the “no food shall go to waste” camp).  Then I remembered that I like to clean my cast iron pans with a little Kosher salt, and the leftover salt from the potatoes is perfect for this application.

Many thanks to Mr. Kass and the Goddess of Baked Potatoes for sharing this method and for elevating the humble baked potato to blog-worthy status.

Potatoes Baked in Salt, with Garlic & Rosemary Butter*

4 baking potatoes (see Note>), scrubbed and dried

2 1/2 to 3 cups Kosher salt

3 large sprigs fresh rosemary

2 heads of fresh garlic

Olive oil

4 TBS unsalted butter, softened

Truffle salt and black pepper (optional)

Equipment needed:

1 baking pan (ideally 9×13)

Aluminum Foil

Preheat oven to 450°.  Spread salt in an even layer in pan and lightly place the 4 potatoes atop the salt.  Important -> do not pierce the potatoes!  Add two sprigs of rosemary along the sides of the pan.  Cut a section off the top of each head of garlic and place at opposite corners of the pan.  Cover the entire pan with foil, crimping the edges to ensure a tight seal.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and raise the oven temp to 500°.  Remove rosemary sprigs and discard.  Remove garlic heads and reserve.  Lightly brush the tops of the potatoes with olive oil (do not move the potatoes).  Return pan, uncovered, to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile strip the leaves from the remaining sprig of fresh rosemary and finely chop (I usually end up with about 1 tsp).  In a bowl, combine chopped rosemary and softened butter.  Squeeze some of the garlic from the reserved heads of baked garlic and add to butter.  How much garlic and fresh rosemary you add is up to you (this is where the “futzing” comes into play).  Throw in a dash of truffle salt if desired and a grind or two of black pepper.  Mix well.

Remove potatoes from oven and pick each one up with a towel, gently scraping salt off the bottom of each.  Discard salt or save for another use.  Place each potato on a plate and break open the top with a fork.  Place a spoonful or two of the butter and serve.

Serves 4

Note> Brown skinned Idaho russet potatoes work best for this recipe.

* Recipe from Chicago Tribune’s John Kass and America’s Test Kitchen

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Broiled Scotch Salmon

Broiled Scotch SalmonTime to break out the kilts and bagpipes and enjoy a recipe from the Dinner Is Served archives (aka..my beat up little recipe box).

Pretty sure the first time I ever cooked salmon, this is the recipe I used.  It was fabulous then and still to this day, is one of my most favorite ways to flavor and cook salmon.   You can see the original recipe below, worn and well loved.  It may be a recipe from the ’80’s, but its bright, fresh flavors seem just as home in the year 2014.  And with the maiden name MacIntosh, I have even more reason to adore this dish.

Recipe box

The Scottish part of the recipe comes from a few tablespoons of the real deal:

dewarsEven the salmon itself came from Scotland!

Broiled Salmon with Scotch and Mustard Glaze

The fact that the soy sauce, rice vinegar and mustard are not from Scotland, we’ll just overlook that minor detail.  But you must agree, it’s one beautiful marinade and takes a mere one hour to impart its brilliant flavors:

Broiled Scotch Salmon

For the food geekery section of this post..  I need to point out that although the salmon I found at my local market came from Scotland, it is farmed salmon (sound the alarm).  The good stewards of marine sustainability, Monterey Bay Aquarium, advise against farmed salmon from Scotland and other locations.  While I do make every effort to follow their guidelines, sometimes, I just have to buy what’s available and remember, I live in the Chicago area where our seafood choices are a bit limited.

Also a note about broiling:Broiled Salmon

I have always preferred grilling over broiling; however when it comes to seafood, I’ve come to prefer the latter.  No worries about fish sticking or drying out.  The only downside to broiling is dealing with any fish aromas that may linger.  For some ideas on dealing with that issue, check out this article from TheKitchn:   http://www.thekitchn.com/help-getting-rid-of-lingering-53504.

Coming next to DIS: 50 ways with Haggis!

Then again, maybe I’ll just stick with this salmon and a splash of Dewars.   Slainte Mhath

Clan Mackintosh

Broiled Scotch Salmon

  • 4 salmon filets, about 6 oz. each
  • 1/2 cup canola or safflower oil
  • 2 TBS each: soy sauce, Scotch whiskey, rice vinegar
  • 1 TBS “sweet & hot” mustard (see Note>)
  • 1 green onion, chopped plus additional for garnish

Whisk together oil, soy sauce, whiskey, rice vinegar, mustard and green onions.  Place salmon filets in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over; turn to coat.  Cover, and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or up to two hours.

Remove filets from marinade and (if desired), transfer leftover marinade to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 3-4 minutes, then set aside.

Preheat broiler and set rack to about 6-8 inches away from heating element.  Spray broiler rack with non stick spray and place salmon filets, skin side down on rack.  Broil salmon for about 6-8 minutes, until top is starting to brown and inside is just cooked through.

Transfer salmon to plates, drizzle some of the reserved marinade over and garnish with chopped green onions.

Serves: 4

Note> I use Honeycup® brand sweet and hot mustard in this marinade. It is widely available throughout the states in many major grocery store chains.Honeycup Mustard

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Joyous Easter

Easter

Whatever you are celebrating today, be it Easter, Passover or just the arrival of Spring, I hope you’re enjoying some beautiful weather and also a good meal with friends and family.  Doing things a little differently this year, since the traditional ham dinner is being postponed till next week due to my parents coming down with a bad allergy/cold virus, that I myself just dealt with this past week.

So on to Plan B, which I decided because it’s supposed to hit 77° here in Chicago today, we’re grilling out steak!  With my awesome Kentucky Bourbon Marinade of course:Kentucky Bourbon Steak | Dinner Is Served

Along with my perfectly roasted 500°/5 minutes asparagus:Roasted Asparagus

And because I always like to mix things up with a couple of new recipes, I’m giving Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Au Gratin Potatoesa try:

Pioneer Woman Au Gratin PoratoesAnd in celebration of Spring (and because I absolutely LOVE cheesecake), this Lemon Bar Cheesecake from Fine Cooking Magazine:

Lemon Bar Cheesecake

 

Last, but not least, some Easter greetings from our bunny, Digger.  Of course this is her favorite holiday.  Celebrate and enjoy!

DIGGER EASTER

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Lee’s Crisp Broccoli-Apple Slaw

Lee's Crisp Broccoli Apple Slaw

“I could eat coleslaw every day for the rest of my life and never get bored!”

Said no one ever.

Poor coleslaw.  It really is an after thought, isn’t it?  Something you feel obligated to serve with fried chicken, or on top of a bbq pork sandwich.  You’ll order it as a side dish, if offered, because eh…it’s better for you than fries, right?  Often drowning in a bland, watered down dressing and served unceremoniously in a flimsy little paper cup.  You take one obligatory bite, and that’s it.

I honestly have not given coleslaw much thought over the years, until recently, when a good friend of mine raved about a slaw her neighbor, Lee, made.  It had apples in it…hmmmm.  Lee graciously passed on the recipe to me, and it happened to fit in perfectly with a meal I was making that week.  I was immediately smitten.

Step aside average cabbage slaw and meet your competition:Lee's Crisp Broccoli Apple Slaw| Dinner Is Served

Couple things that I love about this slaw above the others: definitely the broccoli slaw mix itself.  If you can grab some in the organic section of your grocery store, that’s a win.  Trader Joe’s also carries an organic broccoli slaw, I am pretty sure.  Most mixes include some shredded carrots and others, a little shredded red cabbage.  The crisp texture and clean flavor is a refreshing change of pace.    Alone, it’s a nice mix, but kick it up with some chopped tart apples and a slighty sweet, tangy mayo dressing , and it’s a slaw game changer.20140413_153830

Whoah…hold the horses here.  Might that be fresh rosemary in the dressing?  Oh yes indeed and it’s the secret ingredient in this dressing.   Very tempted was I to leave this out, but I’m so glad I didn’t.   Blog worthy slaw? You betcha!

Thank you Lee.  This one’s a keeper!

Lee’s Crisp Broccoli-Apple Slaw

1- 12 oz package broccoli coleslaw mix

1 2/3 cups chopped tart apple, peeled (such as Granny Smith)

1/4 cup mayonnaise (regular or light)

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

3/4 teaspoon salt

Combine slaw and apples in a large bowl, and toss well. Whisk mayonnaise, brown sugar, rosemary, vinegar and salt in a small bowl.  Combine with slaw/apple mix and gently toss.  Add a pinch of black pepper, if desired.  Cover and chill at least an hour before serving.  Yield: 8 servings – serving size is 1/3 cup.

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Kentucky Bourbon Steak

Kentucky Bourbon Steak | Dinner Is Served

Something completely enjoyable happened a week ago.  The “winter that would not end” finally gave us a bit of a break, and I finally found my way to something I’ve been missing for five long months:

MY GRILL

And in celebration of this momentous occasion, I couldn’t just grill out brats or a lowly chicken breast.   It had to be steak and it had to be this bourbon marinade.  And about that bourbon..

A few weeks back, the family took a mini vacation to Kentucky to do some Mammoth Cave exploring, dining, family visiting and most notably, a trip to the Makers Mark distillery in Loretto.

Maker's Mark Distillery, Loretto, KYNow THIS is a trip worth taking.  Just be sure to bring your GPS and enjoy your drive through the winding back roads of Kentucky.  I learned a lot about the craft and came away with a new found appreciation for this spirit which, up to this point, I had used only for cooking and not much for sipping.  I also came away with t-shirts, barrel staves for smoking, a fun shot glass, and two bottles of bourbon (those gift shops suck me right in).

So last weekend I was on a mission to not only grill the perfect steak, but to use my new, treasured bottle of Maker’s Mark in the marinade.  I pulled this recipe out of the archives and let me say, it’s as good as I remembered, with a lot of the good things that go in to a great steak marinade:

Kentucky Bourbon Steak | Dinner Is Served

Kentucky Bourbon Steak | Dinner Is Served

Which, when combined, looks something like this:

Kentucky Bourbon Steak | Dinner Is Served

Kentucky Bourbon Steak | Dinner Is ServedOh, and because one can never get enough bourbon:Whiskey Barrel Ch

Whiskey barrel chips for smoking.  Glory be.

Did I mention that my grilled steak was enjoyable?  Well, let’s kick that up a notch.  It was BEYOND amazing.  A wine pairing with this one?  Not this time around.  A little sip of Maker’s Mark was all I needed to make this meal complete.

Kentucky Bourbon Steak

3 TBS olive oil

2 TBS Dijon mustard

¼ cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 TBS red wine vinegar

1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup light or dark brown sugar

2 TBS minced red onion

1 TBS minced fresh garlic

1 TBS minced fresh ginger

1 TBS salt

2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Steaks of your choice

Combine all  of the marinade ingredients in a non reactive bowl. Whisk to blend.  Place steaks in a Ziploc plastic bag or in a non reactive dish, add marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove steaks from marinade and grill (preferably over charcoal).

Makes enough to marinate one large sirloin steak, about 6 fillets, or 4 large ribeye/NY strip steaks.

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Congratulations to Our “Sunny Giveaway Contest” Winner!

Well it took what felt like FOREVER, but the temperature finally topped the 60° mark here in Chicago today, and we have a winner!  Congratulations to Paula W. for guessing the exact date!  You’ll be receiving a one bottle of Penzey’s Sunny Paris and one bottle of Sunny Spain very soon.  Happy cooking and for those living in the area: GET OUT AND ENJOY THE DAY!

2014-03-31 17.58.56

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Chile-Tequila Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Crema

Chile-Tequila Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Crema | Dinner Is ServedThis week marks the first time I’ve seen my lawn in four months, and let me tell you it isn’t a pretty sight.  I also have access to my grill for the first time in four months, but the gas bottle is empty.  I would say that I tried on a pair of shorts too, but I’m just not going to go there for at least another month or two.

Welcome to “Spring that’s not Spring” in Chicago.

I find myself in desperate need of light and fresh food these days so when Friday came upon me a few days ago and I happened to have the day off work, my mind wandered to the flavors of Mexican cuisine: lime, cool sour cream, spicy chile, cilantro and fresh avocados.  Fish tacos came to mind, but when I spotted these tostadas on Fine Cooking’s website, I was all over it.

The ingredients are fairly straight forward on this one.  Although I did have to go out and purchase a bottle of tequila [too bad so sad :]   Chile Tequila Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Crema | Dinner Is Served

Hidden behind the shrimp is a wonderful Wisconsin White Clover honey I found at the store from Gentle Breeze.  And speaking of “gentle,” a gentle reminder at this point to NEVER buy bargain basement honey, especially contaminated honey from China!  For more info, check out True Source Honey online.

Gentle Breeze Honey

 This recipe also let me use a few of my favorite kitchen gadgets and also to mess around with photo editing a bit.  Goes without saying if you don’t own a Microplane or a Norpro Lime Juicer by now, well you’re missing out on two of the best kitchen gadgets ever created.

Microplane and Lime JuicerAnd here is where I admit to cutting a few corners by using pre-made tostadas. Forgive me but I was just not in a mood to deep fry tortillas!

Tostadas

And here is where I tell you this is a fantastic dish that I absolutely loved (which is pretty much what I say about every dish I post here)

Chile Tequila Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Crema

 Do I need to tell you what to do with the leftover tequila?  Yeah…I didn’t think so ;)

margarita-cocktail

Chile Tequila Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Crema*

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. pure chipotle chile powder (or regular chile powder)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. large or extra-large (20 to 30 per lb.) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (or substitute plain Greek yogurt or Mexican sour cream)
  • 2 medium limes, 1 finely grated to yield 2 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 1 Tbs. juice; the other cut into 4 wedges
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup white tequila
  • 8 5- to 6-inch packaged tostadas (see Note>)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 1 large firm-ripe Hass avocado, diced
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
 In a shallow baking dish, combine 1 Tbs. of the oil with the chipotle powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the shrimp and toss well to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime zest and juice, honey, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the shrimp and cook over medium-high heat on one side until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 minute more. Take the pan off the heat and add the tequila. Return to the heat and cook, tossing, until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Slather each tostada with about 1 Tbs. of the sour cream mixture. Divide the cabbage, avocado, and shrimp over the tostadas, drizzle with the remaining sour cream mixture, sprinkle with cilantro (if using), and serve with the lime wedges.

Serves 4

Note> You can easily turn these into shrimp tacos by substituting your favorite corn or flour soft tortillas or taco shells.  Or…maybe give this technique a try!  Instructions can be found at: http://lifehacker.com/5885277/make-your-own-taco-bowls-by-flipping-over-a-muffin-tin/allMake Your Own Taco Bowls

*Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine

 

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Sunny Give Away!

Sunny Give Away!I have tried very hard not complain about the winter that never ends here in Chicago, but seriously people, I NEED IT TO BE OVER!

But rather than complain even more, maybe a little positive thinking will hasten spring’s arrival.  And for fun, why not throw in an added incentive like some bright and sunny spices from Penzeys.

So here is the deal. Just leave a comment here or on my Facebook page no later than midnight (CST) Monday, March 17th. and 1) predict which date will Chicago officially record a temperature of 60° or above and then 2) Tell me how you follow Dinner Is Served (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  I will consider the “official” temperature to be the one recorded at O’Hare.  And…if more than one person guesses correctly, I will resort to randomly selecting a winner.

The person who is closest to predicting the correct date will win one bottle of Penzey’s fabulous Sunny Paris Seasoning:sunny paris

And one bottle of Penzey’s Sunny Spain:sunny spain

Both spice blends are sure to bring warmth and sunshine to just about anything you make.  Best of luck to everyone and hopefully with all the positive thinking, we’ll be looking out at something like this soon!sun and tulips

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