Posts Tagged ‘Shellfish’

When our friends Graham and Cristen visited last month they came with all kinds of South Georgia goodies – a bag of Vidalia onions, local honey and tons of fresh mint from their garden. I was eager to find a recipe that used lots of fresh mint and after looking around for a while I settled on Jumbo Shrimp with Mint and Basil Pesto from Giada De Laurentiis.

I have to be honest here…it’s been fun to search for recipes from sources other than Gourmet although Epicurious is still my number one choice for online recipes. I’m actually not a huge fan of the Food Network (and I hate their website – not user friendly…I digress) but I do usually like most of Giada’s recipes and this one was great.

You can easily have this dinner on the table in under 20 minutes – especially if you follow my lead and serve it with cous cous. The pesto is very flavorful and the mint and basil complement each other nicely. I did not have time to make it to the bulk bins to purchase pine nuts and was not about to pay $10 for a small amount of them at my normal grocery so I substituted toasted walnuts. The recipe calls for pan sautéing the shrimp but I also think they would be great on the grill. We loved this simple dinner and I enjoyed the leftovers served atop a bed of lettuce for lunch the next day.

I made up the cous cous as I went. I sautéed diced onion and minced garlic in olive oil in a small saucepan and then added in whole wheat cous cous, water and salt. Once the cous cous had absorbed the liquid, I stirred in feta, diced tomatoes and chopped fresh basil and mint.

A great summery dish using the herbs in your garden!

One Year Ago: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – my go-to oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. So good!

Jumbo Shrimp with Basil and Mint Pesto
(Recipe source, Giada De Laurentiis – Everyday Italian)


3/4 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Combine mint, basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/4 cup of olive oil, until well blended. Transfer pesto to a medium bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Toss shrimp with the extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again.

Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, add the shrimp and sauté until just cooked through, about 3 minutes, careful not to overcook. Toss shrimp pesto to coat.

Yield: 6 servings


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I love barbecue shrimp but I’m usually scared away from serving it reguarly because of the amount of butter in the sauce. And you know you have to eat all the sauce – the best part is dipping your bread in it! My dad used to always order this dish when we were on vacation at the beach. He worked for several years to perfect his at home version and that’s the recipe I’ve always used when I make this. And sorry to disappoint…but you’re not getting the full fat version today. You’re getting my first (and very successful) attempt at scaling it back some. While Brandon said it’s definitely not the same as the real version, it’s pretty darn good for a substitute.

If you’ve never had barbecue shrimp make sure to serve it with good French bread for mopping the sauce. Also, leave the shells on the shrimp. I know it’s tempting to take them off. But trust me…part of the fun of this dish is getting a little messy!

So I promise to give you my dad’s recipe in the future. But try this version and let me know what you think. It’s different but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…and walk away from the table with slightly less guilt!

Barbecue Shrimp
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)


1/4 cup reduced fat Caesar dressing (recommended Newman’s Own)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more! depending on your spice tolerance – we like this dish spicy!!!)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3 bay leaves
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 pound shrimp (deveined but shell on – you can just butterfly the shrimp to devein)
1/4 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges


Combine the first 10 ingredients in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil. Add in shrimp and chicken broth and cook for 3-5 minutes, until shrimp turn pink (depending on size of your shrimp).

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lemon wedges and French bread.

Yield: 2-3 servings

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