Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

SNAP SUNDAYS.  I will explain where this idea came to be in a second.  I am sure I am not the only individual that feels like summer flies by.  From weddings/festivities to concerts and weekends out of town… there never seems to a free moment, especially with busy work days.  I have been sad that I have not been able to dedicate time to the blog (and all of you).  Well Andy being the loving and supportive man that he is came up with the idea for “snap” posts.

Quick picture.  Quick recipe.  Quick blog post.

I mean we live in a society that is always on the go and time is something we all could use a little extra of.  Snap Sundays might be my new favorite blog post day :)

Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

 

Avocado crema.  Also known as the poor man’s guac.  Let’s be real here, I wanted to make guacamole and did not have a few of the key ingredients.  Also, can you really find anything wrong with an avocado dip/spread/sauce of any kind…didn’t think so!  Grilled prawns are a summer favorite of mine and there is only so much grilled chicken, steak, or veggies a girl can eat.  These are a real treat :)

What’s your favorite, snappy recipe?  Also, snappy does not equal unappealing…presentation and plating make this recipe look like a fancy little hors d’oeuvres.

Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: less than 10 minutes
Servings: 20 shrimp appetizers

The Players:

For the avocado crema
2 large, ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves
1-inch piece of jalapeño
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
sea salt and pepper to taste

For the prawns
20 large or jumbo tail on shrimp, thawed and peeled
2 T butter

The Rules:

  1. Preheat the grill to 400F and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place 4-5 shrimp per skewer.  (Note: I used metal skewers.  If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling)
  3. Place shrimp on the grill and close cover.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, rub both sides with butter, then flip and grill other side for an additional 4 minutes.
  4. While the shrimp is cooking, place all ingredients for avocado crema in a food processor and pulse until smooth consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve shrimp with the avocado crema as a dipping sauce.  (Note: I place 1 tsp of avocado crema in the base of a white soup spoon and topped with shrimp)

Shrimp & Farro Salad

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend.  Sunday is typically my rest and recover day.  I love having the day to workout, run errands, blog, get creative in the kitchen, catch up on Netflix tv shows.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

Today we had our last softball game of the season, before the playoffs.  Let’s just say we refer to ourselves as “The Little Rascals.”  I mean I should have known the teams we would compete against would be pretty impressive since this was the pre-season to Summer league.  Oops.  Don’t get me wrong, I am super competitive and love being active, but I am no Babe Ruth.  Our record was 1-4 prior to today’s game.  Not only was it difficult to piece together enough players today, but it was pouring rain.  We have had such a mild winter, I really should not complain about one day of rain.  Standing outside for an hour, getting soaked, chasing around a neon ball…not quite R&R if you know what I mean.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

Oh well, it was totally worth it!  We won :o)  It has been awesome to see how our team has come together through the season and it was a close game, which kept things interesting despite the weather.   There is no better feeling than winning after bearing the elements.  Okay, well in my honest opinion…there is no better feeling than a hot shower and cozy meal after a rainy day, but winning was the cherry on top of the sundae (Sunday, get it?).

Shrimp & Farro Salad

What does this have to do with my shrimp & farro salad?  Absolutely, nothing.  But this salad is a winner in my books.  It’s light and refreshing.  Packed with flavors, textures, and vitamins.  Farro is an awesome grain to throw in soups and salads, because it will maintain its texture/bite and is larger than quinoa or cous cous.  However, if you don’t have farro, you can easily substitute pasta or quinoa.  You will feel great eating this salad and I bet you won’t be able to put the fork down.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players: 

1 C uncooked farro
20 large raw shrimp
1 T coconut oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 persian cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 C diced roma tomatoes (~1 1/2 tomatoes)
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large lime, juiced
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 C fresh chopped cilantro (use less if you prefer)
salt and pepper

The Rules: 

  1. For the farro:
    1. Place farro in a medium sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups water and salt and bring to a boil.
    2. Then reduce to a simmer and replace lid, cooking for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
    3. Allow farro to cool (~ 1 hour).
  2. While the farro is cooking, prepare the shrimp:
    1. Remove tail and shell of shrimp.  Rinse and dry with paper towel.
    2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil and add shrimp.  Season with salt.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until pink and cooked through.
    3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked shrimp, farro, and remaining salad ingredients.  Toss with a spatula to maintain some shape to the avocado.  Taste and re-adjust seasonings as desired.  Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

The ULTIMATE Breakfast Sammy  

DSC_0833

Okay let’s talk about breakfast sammies.

For starters, they are AMAZING. They are EASY to throw together. You do NOT need to pay a small fortune to make a damn delicious breakfast sammy at home.

Are you sold on the idea of re-creating some of your favorite breakfast sandwiches at home? The recipe I have below is for my ideal breakfast sandwich. Obviously everyone has different must-haves and that is the great thing about this breakfast dish you can customize it to different people’s palettes or to whatever you scrounge up in the refrigerator.

To make the ultimate breakfast sandwich you have to start with a great foundation—the bread. I cannot get enough of rustic bread so I tend to grab ciabatta rolls. Next is the secret to my sammy, are you ready for this? After I toast the bread in the oven, I rub a garlic clove into the crust. The garlic melts into the mayo you smother on top and forms a garlic aioli –type flavor and really boosts this sandwich to a different level. You are welcome in advance for this life-changing foodie tip.

The ULTIMATE Breakfast Sammy   

Then it comes down to the fixins’ –I have a LOVE-LOVE relationship with bacon and avocado. Any salad or sandwich can and SHOULD have bacon, cheese, and avocado on it. No questions from my official taste-tester on this matter either. Andrew would love me more if I was a human avocado (sorry for the weird visual). I also like to sauté up whatever veggies I have on hand (peppers and onions are a must) and serve my eggs over-easy, but you can make them however you prefer.

The ULTIMATE Breakfast Sammy   

Seriously, I don’t even know why you’re still reading this post. Go make the ULTIMATE breakfast sammy and start or end your day on a high note. Yep, I am an advocate of brinner (breakfast for dinner for you folks that have not tried it yet).

P.s. this is not the cleanest breakfast ever, but you will be thankful that you can lick those fingers clean after your last bite of the sammy ;)

The ULTIMATE Breakfast Sammy   

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

The Players:

2 ciabatta rolls
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 t mayonaise
2 T diced, sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 eggs
2 slices bacon (I use turkey bacon)
1/4 C red onion, sliced
1/4 C green bell pepper, sliced
1/4 C red bell pepper, sliced
2 slices of cheese (I use gruyere)

The Rules:

  1. Preheat your oven onto the low broil setting.
  2. In a medium-size sauté pan, over medium-high cook the bacon as directed on the package. Remove bacon from the pan onto plate lined with paper towel.
  3. In the same pan, sauté onion and pepper in bacon fat until onion is translucent (~3-5 minutes).  Set the veggies aside.
  4. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half, length-wise.  Place them face up in the oven (directly on the rack).  Bake until golden brown (~3 minutes).
  5. While the ciabatta is toasting, in a small non-stick pan or omelet pan, over medium heat, crack your eggs. (Note: if you are not comfortable cracking the egg directly into the pan, you can crack it over a flat plate and then slide the egg into the pan).
  6. Cook the eggs until the egg-white is solid (~3 minutes), using a spatula or large spoon flip the egg over, taking care not to break the yolk.  Remove the pan from the heat.  (Note: this will allow the egg yolk to stay runny)
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, rub the garlic on the inside face of each roll.
  8. To assemble the sammy: spread mayonnaise on the inside face of each roll, spoon sun-dried tomatoes onto one half of each roll, add sauteed veggies on top of tomatoes, then add piece of bacon, add egg, and top with slice of cheese.  To the other ciabatta roll half spread avocado.
  9. Place the halves with the egg and cheese back in the oven (high broil setting) on a baking sheet until the cheese melts (~2 minutes).
  10. Remove the open-faced sammy from the oven and top with the other half of roll, containing avocado.  ENJOY this yummy toasted, eggy perfection.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy Cumin Dressing

BBQ Chicken Southwest Salad with Creamy Cumin Dressing

It’s that day of the week.  The one where my number one taste-tester becomes the chef.  Yes this is another tried and true meal your man can make for you :)

No surprise that in our household these meals will generally have a Mexican theme to them since Andrew loves Mexican food and is having an affair with avocados or “avos” as he likes to say.  I am pretty sure that he would dress me up as an avo if he could.  I should be careful what I say about avocado costumes since Halloween is around the corner.

We decided to tag team this meal.  He mans the grill and preps the veggies, I create the dressing.  He was pretty proud of the grill marks on his chicken:

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy Cumin DressingYes, I was instructed to take a close up of the grill marks.

Don’t worry you don’t need to make your own dressing for this salad you can top it with ranch, bbq sauce, a vinaigrette, whatever your heart desires…my heart just happens to be OBSESSED with CUMIN.  I love the earthy flavor of cumin and this is the spice I associate with Tex-Mex food.  I like to balance sweet, cool, earthy, spicy, and citrus when I make this dressing.  I think the end result is the perfect mix, but you can feel-free to play with the flavors if you prefer a little more creamy or less spicy.

BBQ Chicken Southwest Salad with Creamy Cumin DressingHow amazing does that look?  Even without the dressing and cheese, my mouth is watering…

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep Time: 20 min + 1 hr for marinade
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

The Players:

For the salad:
1-2 chicken breasts
BBQ sauce for marinade, extra for drizzling
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 C frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 vine ripe tomato, diced
1/2 C red onion, slliced
1/2 C English cucumber, halved and sliced
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
6 oz baby spinach
1/2 C extra sharp cheddar, shredded
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped

For the dressing:
1/4 C greek yogurt
1/8 C light agave syrup
1/8 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Juice of 1/2 a lime
2 t cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and cracked pepper to taste

The Rules:

  1. Trim the fat from the chicken breast.  Marinate chicken in your favorite bbq sauce for at least one hour, preferably 3-4 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. While the chicken is marinating, prep all vegetables, except the corn and black beans, for the salad.  (Note: you can squeeze some fresh lime juice over the avocado to prevent from turning brown or wait to cut this until the salad is assembled)
  3. Pre-heat the grill to 400 F. Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove from grill and allow to rest.  This will prevent the juices from running when you slice the chicken.
  4. Place frozen corn in a small sauce pan with 1 tsp of water over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until heated through (~5 minutes). Remove from heat once warm.
  5. Place black beans in a small sauce pan with 1-2 Tbsp of water over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until heated through (~5 minutes). Remove from heat once warm.
  6. While the corn and black beans are warming up and the chicken is cooking, prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisking together.
  7. Assemble the salad in a large serving bowl: spinach, then fresh vegetables, corn and black beans, grilled chicken, shredded cheese, and cilantro.  Serve with extra bbq sauce and dressing drizzled over the top or on the side.