Friday, March 4, 2011

Shrimp Cocktail and Quesadillas

My family loves movies and I try to see as many of them as I can before the awards shows start.  This year I didn't see as many as I'd like because my in laws moved away to California and therefore...so did my free babysitter.

But I love watching the Globes and the Oscars! And I love to prepare food for the events.  If I had more friends, I'd throw a watching party.  Maybe next year.

My daugther loves to help me in the kitchen and she made the 5 layer dip all by herself.  She peeled the avocados, smashed them and layered the ingredients into plastic martini glasses that I found at Party City.


I also made The Pioneer Woman's Quesadillas de Camarones and they were a huge hit...although I said a few cuss words when I tried to flip the quesadillas and the filling went flying. I think I didn't use enough cheese.  I used the left over filling in soft tacos later in the week and I think this is how we'll serve them from now on. YUM!

Quesadillas de Camarones
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Flour Tortillas
12 whole large shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces, fluid Mexican Red Sauce (Jalapeno Salsa)
1 Red Onion, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
2 jalapenos, sliced (leave seeds in if you like spicy)
2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Colby Cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Slice the veggies into strips and cook in a large skillet over high heat with olive oil.  Cook until the veggies soften and start to turn black on the edges. Remove to a plate.

Return skillet to high heat and add the shrimp and sauce.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the shrimp is pink.  Remove the shrimp to a cutting board and chop into bite sized pieces.

In a separate skillet, heat a tablespoon of butter, place tortilla in the skillet and then start adding ingredients.  Start with the cheese, then veggies and shrimp...top with more cheese and a second tortilla.  Cook both sides, being VERY careful and possibly using two spatulas and a crane to turn.   Remove from the skillet and cut into wedges. 

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The other item I made was a Shrimp-Tomatillo Cocktail that I found in the March 2010 Food Network Magazine.  I tweaked the recipe a little bit to suit my own taste and everyone loved it.  It also made a great dip for chips and the chicken quesadillas. P.S. My kids didn't eat this one...I made it spicy.

Shrimp Tomatillo Cocktail

For the Shrimp
Kosher Salt
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 lemons, quartered
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the sauce
12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
3 jalapeno peppers
3 tbsp canola oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper
2 cups fresh spinach
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 horseradish ( or less...to your taste)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp honey

Prepare the shrimp: Combine 8 cups cold water, 2 tablespoons salt, the coriander and peppercorns in a large pan. Squeeze in the lemon juice and throw in the wedges. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat, add the shrimp, cover and set aside, 15 minutes. Strain and transfer the shrimp to a bowl; cover and chill at least 1 hour.

The sauce should be made in several hours in advance so that the flavors can blend: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos in a roasting pan. Toss with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until soft, tossing occasionally, 25 to 35 minutes. Warning: the smell from the oven will bring everyone to the kitchen.  Have a snack prepared!

Cook the spinach in a saucepan of boiling water, about 1 minute. Drain, squeeze dry and transfer to a food processor. Add the tomatillo mixture, vinegar, horseradish, cilantro and honey and pulse until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill at least 1 hour. Bring to room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Serve the sauce and shrimp in shot glasses or martini glasses.


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