Butternut Squash, Shrimp, Shallot & Shredded Carrot Soup

It started with a can of Amy’s Organic Butternut Squash Soup.

amys organic butternut squash soup
This creamy, squashy soup inspired a few additions for a little pizzazz, so while it warmed on the stove top, I thawed a dozen frozen cooked shrimp in the sink, then sauteed them in olive oil, adding a couple teaspoons of chopped shallots (about 1/4 of a whole shallot). As these sauteed, I sprinkled with Pampered Chef Red Thai Curry Rub, tumeric, salt and pepper.

I tossed the shrimp and shallots into the soup while it cooked, then peeled one organic carrot into the pot.
Within a few minutes, voila, Butternut Squash, Shrimp, Shallot & Shredded Carrot Soup.

Butternut Squash, Shrimp, Shallot & Shredded Carrot Soup Recipe

This butternut squash shrimp soup¬†cried for some crusty bread to dip, so I made the quickest, laziest substitute for garlic bread ever: One hot dog bun, opened up, slathered with butter, sprinkled with garlic salt and shredded cheese, and popped into a toaster oven until the cheese melted and the bread crusted. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Asian Fruity Fish Salad

We start with two salmon fillets on a foil-lined pan, topped with a few shakes of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and fish oil, with ground garlic, ground ginger, and a fresh grind of black pepper and sea salt. These bake at 350 while we get the rest of the salad ready.

Next, we saute a handful of raw peeled shrimp with fresh minced garlic, fresh minced organic ginger, and mandarin orange juice along with a few slices. This boils until the sauce is thick and the shrimp is pink. We strain out the shrimp and let them cool, adding the liquid mash to the top of the salmon baking in the oven.

The salad is a simple shred of organic green chard topped with: sliced organic celery, sunflower seeds, fresh minced organic ginger, raspberries, blackberries, and mandarin oranges:

Asian Fruity  Fish Salad with berries

It’s topped off with shrimp, a slab of saucy salmon, and a shake of rice wine vinegar to become Asian Fruity Fish Salad:

With (and before, and after) the meal, we shared a bottle of Zin Your Face wine. Of course, a white probably would have been more appropriate, but with an evening rain storm rolling in and Nightmare on Elm Street playing on TV, it felt more like a red wine night. A raspberry-colored wine with a plummy, nutty scent, it comes in jammy and finishes off with spicy tannins and tobacco. Like any good and dangerous wine, it gets tastier the more you drink.

Sweet & Spicy Salmon, Shrimp & Chard

When you forget to thaw any meat before you get hungry, go straight for the seafood. Fish and shrimp are easy to “quick thaw” in a colander under cold running water. Then, they bake and saute quickly. And, for some reason, they seem far fancier than the chicken or pork that usually stocks my freezer and takes hours just to thaw.
But besides the time savings, the health benefits of fish abound. Just 4 oz. of salmon can contain more than 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, which is more than most adult Americans get from their entire diet over several days. Omega-3 fats fight inflammation, cancer, macular degeneration, and even promote cognitive function, youthful-looking skin, and lustrous hair.
A beauty food that gives me less time in the kitchen and more time to strut my stuff? Sold.
So, in the few minutes that the salmon filets and shrimp sit under running water, I start tearing up green Swiss chard, which brings its own punch to the plate. One cup of it, just 35 calories, provides more than 300% of your daily Vitamin K, plus healthy doses of Vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium, iron and fiber. .
Meanwhile, my sous chef starts the mashed potatoes. OK, I’ll admit, the instant mix probably isn’t the healthiest way to go about this, but we are making this dish because we wait to the last minute without planning ahead, remember? To the standard instant mix and water, he adds a tablespoon of butter, 4 minced garlic cloves, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. And, because I love how mashed potatoes taste when served with a steak smothered in sauce, he adds a “tidge” of A1 Steak Sauce.
As soon as the salmon thaws, I sprinkle them with salt, pepper, turmeric, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. While it bakes on tin foil in a 375-degree oven, my sous chef whips up a glaze of maple butter and raspberry preserves – a combo that resembles peanut butter and jelly until he heats and reduces the sweet sauce.
Next, I add the shrimp to a skillet with extra virgin olive oil and douse generously with Tastefully Simple’s Red Thai Curry Rub, cayenne, and a garlic chili grind. At the same time, in the other half of the skillet, I heat the chard in butter. Eventually, this all gets stirred together, coating it all in a spicy heat that will be a delicious complement to the sweet glaze on the salmon. With a nice cut of bitterness from the salty chard and an echo of garlicky heat in the potatoes, this dish came together so stunningly it’s hard to imagine it thrown together last-minute.

 

Seafood Pizza

Seafood Pizza:
shrimp + scallops + crab + bacon + red onion + garlic + white asparagus + jalapeno hollandaise

Brown Sugar Dijon Salmon Glaze

This is a great glaze I found for salmon, made of brown sugar, honey and dijon mustard. Thanks, Bobby Flay.

I cut the recipe in half, but only made a single filet, so I think the leftover glaze might also be good on chicken or shrimp. I did make shrimp to accompany the brown sugar glazed salmon, but I just fried them in the skillet with chopped garlic and seasonings and doused them with some lemon juice and sherry. Delicious.

I figured since I cleaned my kitchen this weekend — we’re talking mopping the floor and everything — I might as well make something fancy. This qualified, and it was also scrumptious.

Unfortunately, there’s no picture coming to help you visualize the meal. I scarfed it down before I ever thought about it.

But Bobby’s picture is much more professional than mine anyway, so feast your eyes on this:

Bobby Flay salmon with brown sugar and mustard glaze recipe

Jambalaya-like Creole Shrimp

This jambalaya-like stew is delicious and hearty – perfect for chilly nights like tonight. I followed the recipe exactly the first time or two, but usually I’m throwing in whatever I have on hand. I always serve it over rice though. So, as it was called in the original recipe:

Easy Creole Shrimp:
1/2 cup each chopped onion and green pepper
1 T olive oil
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup salsa
1 T lemon juice
1/2 T fresh parsley
1 t chili powder
3/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t pepper
1/2 lb shrimp

Start preparing rice by recipe. Meanwhile, chop vegetables. Saute onion and pepper in oil for 6-7 minutes, until crisp-tender. Stir in other ingredients, except shrimp, and boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 6-8 minutes. Add shrimp, cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes.

I sometimes add celery if I have it, which is what the original recipe called for. Or red onions. Tonight I added a couple hot peppers too, and it was great. Plus, I made a healthy decision to substitute brown rice for white, even though I’m not a fan.