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)

Beer n’ Cheese Dip

Spring is in the air.  At least it is in Seattle.  Wisconsin and the NE coast… not so much.  I feel guilty bragging about how lovely the weather has been in Seattle.  Everyone assumes it is always raining here.  False.  We have been enjoying sunshine and 50s (even up to 60s) and it is February.  It makes running outside pretty fabulous and training for a half marathon/marathon anything but work :)

Beer n' Cheese Dip

It also makes winter softball league even better.  Oh yes, our team is officially giving the little rascals a run for their money.  Let me be honest, we have a few great guys on our team, us girls…well that’s a different story.  But I look forward to every Sunday, getting out and having a great time with friends.  The best part of it all: grilling out and potluck before the game!  My inner fat kid lives for potlucks.  So many yummy treats!

Potlucks don’t have to be stressful.  My beer n’ cheese dip is ready in a blink of an eye.  It has BEER AND CHEESE in it people!!!!  You cannot go wrong with the combo.  You can serve it right away, but refrigerating the dip for a couple hours boosts the flavor and lets the dip thicken up a bit.  This is one of my go-to recipes for tailgates and get-togethers :)

Beer n' Cheese Dip

Wish us luck…we need it.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 5 minutes + 4 hours of refrigerator time

The Players: 

8 oz light cream cheese
1 C freshly grated cheddar cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar)
1-2 t ranch dressing mix
1/2 C beer (I used Laurelwood Brewing Co. Workhorse IPA)

The Rules: 

  1. Place all ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl or stand mixer.  Mix until well-combined.  (Note: Add 1 tsp of ranch mix and then adjust seasoning as desired)
  2. For best results, place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow dip to slightly thicken.  Serve with pretzels.

Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

 

Sometimes I like to pretend I am on one of those cooking shows where you have a mystery ingredient and you have to repurpose it or use it in a way that someone would not expect.

Exhibit A: Kale

Kale Pesto

Oh hey there curly, green, vibrant, nutritious vegetable. 

I have met so many people that raise their noses at kale.  They say they dislike the texture or the flavor.  I don’t think those people have attempted to utilize kale in anything other than a salad.  I throw kale into smoothies, stews, lentil dishes, hashes.  I roast, cream, and sauté it.

My proudest kale creation is…drum roll please...kale pesto.  If you think about it pesto is comprised of a few key ingredients: herbs, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and parmesan.  Why not switch out the basil for our superfood friend –kale?

Kale Pesto

Kale is loaded with beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium.  It also contains sulforaphane, a chemical known for it’s anti-cancer properties.  Boiling kale loses some of the sulforaphane content, but steaming it does not.  I boiled/steamed the kale, because I don’t own a double-boiler (hello Christmas wish list) and I was too lazy to rig one up with a colander or two pots.

I also used walnuts instead of pine nuts in the recipe, because I had the walnuts on hand.  They do the trick!  This pesto is great tossed on pasta, spaghetti squash, chicken breast, pork chops, paninis, or even as a topping for crackers.  Give kale a second chance!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

The Players: 

10 oz bag pre-cut, pre-washed kale
1/3 C walnuts
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C fresh grated parmesan
2 garlic cloves, peeled
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

The Rules: 

  1. Bring a large pot of 2 cups water to boil (on high heat).
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, remove and toss out any large stems from the kale.  Add kale to the boiling water and cover pot with lid.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, stir the kale occasionally, and cook for 3-5 minutes until the kale begins to wilt down, but still has a firm texture.
  4. Transfer kale to a colander and rinse with cold water.  Allow kale to drain.  Remove excess water from kale by drying between 2 clean dish rags or pieces of paper towel.  You should end up with 3 cups of kale.
  5. Transfer kale and remaining ingredients to food processor.  Pulse until a pesto-like consistency.
  6. Store refrigerated in an air-tight container or serve with your favorite pasta, protein, or as a sandwich spread :)

 

Reduced-Guilt Hummus

Reduced-Guilt Hummus

This is one of my go to dips for gatherings, from Girl’s Night-In to Sunday Football parties—it is a crowd favorite. Who doesn’t love a good dip? Add in all those fun dippables (yes, I made up that word) and you have a party in your mouth!

Dips are my favorite food group. Oh yes, I said it…dips are a food group. Freaky Nasty was on to something when they sang “When I dip you dip we dip.” This song is my inner foodie anthem.

Due to my Bosnian background, I am drawn to Mediterranean and Baltic foods, with that being said… HUMMUS. Glorious. HUMMUS. You are one of the tastiest dips. I decided to make a healthier version of this favorite so that I didn’t have to feel ashamed when I licked the food processer, spatula, and blades of the food processor clean. Oh yes. I went there.

I also love this recipe because you can sub any canned beans you have in the pantry, I’ve even made versions with kidney beans and black beans, but that is a post for a different day.

Bon Appeteek fellow dip-lovers.

Note: You can also flavor the hummus with pickled or fresh jalapenos for some spice. If you’re feeling more on the Italian flavor profile then add 1-2 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, 1-2 tbsp roasted red pepper, or 1-2 tbsp pesto. This recipe lends itself well to your creativity!

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

The Players:

15 oz can 50% reduced sodium white beans (you can sub cannelloni or garbanzo beans)
1 lemon, juiced
1-2 cloves garlic
1 T cumin
¼ C extra virgin olive oil (up to 1/3 C, depending on consistency desired)
salt and cracked pepper to taste
The Rules:

  1. Drain and rinse the canned beans.
  2. Place beans in the food processor with remaining ingredients. Start with ¼ cup olive oil and pulse/chop until a smooth consistency forms (add more if desired once you run the food processor for a couple minutes).
  3. Serve with pita chips, veggies, veggie chips, as a sandwich spread, on salads, or by the spoonful. No shame.