The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

Archive for the tag “shrimp”

A Taste of Creole

Holy Moly Mother of Gods I made a delectable creole inspired soup last night. It was so easy and packed full of flavor.

The first crispy day in a while had me feeling like I should make something warm and soulful…and also get rid of some stuff in the fridge because we’re going out of town in a week. I went to the store and picked up corn on the cob, some chicken tenderloins, and half a pound of raw shrimp (which I had to peel).

Once home, I finely chopped half an onion, a clove of garlic, and a stalk of celery and sautéed that in some butter.

Onions, Garlic, and Celery

Onions, Garlic, and Celery

I let that go a few minutes while I chopped up four chicken tenderloins (the equivalent of maybe 3/4 of a chicken breast) and tossed them in a little salt and pepper. I added the chicken to the pot with about 1/4 -1/2 tsp of red pepper flake, and some chopped fresh basil and a tsp or so of dry basil.

Flavors, flavors, flavors OH MY!

Flavors, flavors, flavors OH MY!

After a few minutes I added about 2 cups of chicken stock and I just let that simmer for an hour or so until the chicken was tender. Then I added half a box of Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup (found at Trader Joe’s), the kernels from a shaved ear of corn, 2 bay leafs, and some old bay seasoning. I let that go for another 30-40 minutes or so (really, just because I was waiting for CDR to get home. If you’re in a pinch…this could probably be made in only 45 min).

This is my favorite soup from TJs.

This is my favorite soup from TJs.

About ten minutes before CDR got home, I added the 1/2 pound of peeled shrimp, which i had lightly salted, peppered, and tossed with olive oil.

That cooked for about 8-10 minutes and then…DONE. It was probably the most full-bodied soup I have ever made and I attribute that largely to the boxed soup. Typically, I think those soups are very bland and flavorless, but when messed with can really be extraordinary.

YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS TONIGHT!

YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS TONIGHT!

The corn and shrimp added a delicious sweetness, and made it taste mildly chowder-y.

Oh…also…I made delicious individual cobblers for dessert. Yum-O.

Frozen fruit tossed with a little cinnamon and sugar and topped with a cobbler crust. Perfection!

Frozen fruit tossed with a little cinnamon and sugar and topped with a cobbler crust. Perfection!

Clearly, my heart is getting set to travel to the Cape because I’m just craving seafood 24/7. We’re leaving in six days and there’s a pretty good chance I already have 1/4 of a suitcase packed. SO PUMPED.

I posted this nearly a year ago from the Peter Pan Bus on my way to Woods Hole. I can’t believe how much has really happened in the past year. Holy cow! So much has happened, a lot has changed, and yet, so much has stayed the same.

I’m grateful to free myself for a week, and forget the hurt (and hopefully the sick) and crippling fears. I need a soul vacation.

No, I need to get to an ocean and out of Chicago.

Toodles, kids. Now, excuse me while I enjoy my peanut-butter swirl brownies.

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Real Estate, New Apartment, Menu Planning, and Seafood Tacos

Well hi there! And again, OH MY GOD SO MUCH HAPPENED.

CDR and I have moved into our new apartment and we have an adorable kitchen with stupid high cabinets, great counter space, and a dance floor.

I got a job at Weichert, Realtors-Nickel Group–a firm in Oak Park and I am open for business. The site is still under construction and will soon include a DIY Blog, but take a look here and I don’t know…maybe call me? I need clients (buyers, renters, and sellers!).

Ok, so two huge new things. Both have meant that CDR and I have to live pretty tightly. My new income is commission based, so I’m living off of savings and a little bit of support from my parents. Pretty tight living, but good living. To keep costs down, we’ve been planning our menus a week in advance. I teased him about this, for his meticulous planning, but really–it saves a ton of money. Other money savers: Buying a whole chicken, butchering it yourself, and then making your own stock. Seriously, guys. Chicken is so expensive. You probably will save between$3-$6 just buying it whole, and then butchering it yourself. And you’ll save $3-$4 dollars by making your own stock and you’ll get twice as much. Just throw the back bone and gizzards into a pot or slow cooker with herbs, lemon, garlic, onions, veggies (really whatever you want) and cover with water. Simmer in a pot for an hour, or slow cook as long as you want, strain and jar it up. Keep in the fridge for a week or store it in the freezer for a couple months. Totally worth it. I’ve found that my favorite stock was made with a sliced lemon, a bunch of fresh cilantro, and a couple cloves of unpeeled garlic (salt and pepper to taste). Yep. That’s it. And you’ve saved about $10 total. Do this once a week and each month you’ll have enough wings to do a “wing night” for two. 🙂

Do the same with leftover veggies and make vegetable stock.

OK. Food time. Before we moved and on a night when the weather was particularly awesome and we were feeling close to our SoCal roots, we decided that seafood tacos with a chipotle sauce were the only way to go. SO, we went to Whole Foods and bought some calamari and shrimp. We let them marinate for about 15 minutes in some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.marinatingseafood

And meanwhile, CDR made the chipotle sauce. Pretty sure it’s just mayo mixed with a bit of dijon and some adobo sauce from a can of chipotles. And maybe some lime juice and cider vinegar.

Fancy.

Fancy.

Then we skewered the seafood and grilled it (I, as always, was in charge of the grilling–because, you, know…I’m a grillin’ machine).grillintime

Holler!

Holler!

We created our taco assembly line.

Red onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, limes, seafood, and corn tortillas

Red onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, limes, seafood, and corn tortillas

And assembled some bad-ass SoCal tacos. Drizzle with fresh lime juice and chipotle sauce. Serve with beans and rice and you got yourself the best damn tacos ever!

These babies fell from Heaven and right into my tum tum!

These babies fell from Heaven and right into my tum tum!

Ok, actually, the shrimp was a little weird. But I’m very particular about my shrimp. I think it was slightly under-done or something, but the calamari was perfect. The trouble is that when you’re skewering shrimp, it curls up. And usually, a curled shrimp is the way to tell doneness, but if it starts out curly it’s all a timing thing. But typically 3 minutes on one side and 2-3 on the other is pretty good for shrimp.

So yeah. Seafood tacos. A win.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to tell your friends I’m a fancy realtor in Chicago now. 🙂

Love and Foodie Hugs.

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