“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it. “ – Bubba Blue
Last week AMC had a Forrest Gump marathon, and I’ll admit, I got caught up in it more than once. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Bubba is explaining to Forrest all the ways you can prepare shrimp. It totally cracks me up no matter how many times I’ve seen it.
Naturally, Bubba’s talk left me hankering after the little crustaceans. I always keep some in the freezer, so that wasn’t a problem. Finding a recipe wasn’t difficult either, because there was a special one I’d been holding on to for a while now. Alana, one of my readers, shared this with me a few months ago, saying it was one of her favorites and she thought I might enjoy.
The original concept was a Cooking Light recipe, but another blogger had adapted it a bit and that’s the version Alana used with just a couple of small changes of her own. After reading over both versions, I took parts of each, including Alana’s idea to make extra sauce, and this new version was born. It’s a dish full of bright flavors- a perfect way to shed the winter and enter into spring!
Crispy Shrimp with Ginger-Orange Sauce on Toasted Israeli Couscous
Serves 4. Adapted from this Cooking Light recipe.
for the sauce:
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp organic chicken stock
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
fresh squeezed juice from 1 lime
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
for the couscous:
1 cup uncooked large pearl Israeli couscous*
1 1/2 cups heated organic chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 small shallots, halved and sliced thinly
pinch of sea salt
for the shrimp:
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 handfuls baby spinach
To prepare sauce, bring orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Let it boil until reduced to 1/2 cup (approx 15-20 minutes), then remove from heat. Let cool (the juice should be thick), then whisk the rest of the sauce ingredients in. Cover and set aside.
Heat olive oil over med-high heat in a large pan with lid. Add shallots and stir to coat, then add couscous. Stir the couscous in the hot oil, toasting the pearls evenly. Once the couscous is golden brown, add all of the heated chicken stock. Stir once, cover with the lid, and simmer on low for 15-18 minutes.
Reheat the sauce over low heat. (Do not allow to boil, it just needs to be warm)
Combine shrimp and lightly beaten egg white in a bowl, tossing thoroughly to coat. Combine the breadcrumbs, remaining ginger, cilantro, and black pepper in a large bowl with lid. Shake to combine. Using a slotted spoon, add shrimp to bowl. Reseal the bowl and give a good shake to completely coat the shrimp.
Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; arrange shrimp in a single layer in pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.
Place 3/4 cup couscous on each of 4 plates, then pile 1/4 of the raw baby spinach on top of the couscous. Using a flexible spatula (so you don't tear the crust), pile shrimp on top of the spinach. Drizzle sauce over the whole dish, adjusting amount to your taste.
*I use Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend, a blend of Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa
Photo Credit: The Unemployed Cook
On Thursday, March 25th, I’ll be taking an extra long lunch break. If you want to find me, come to Williams-Sonoma in Green Hills Mall where I’ll be waiting in line for THE Thomas Keller to sign my ad hoc at home cookbook!
What: Thomas Keller cookbook signing
When: Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 11:00 am
Where: Williams-Sonoma Green Hills Mall
2126 Abbott Martin Rd.
Nashville, TN 37215
Please note that Chef Keller will only be signing copies of ad hoc at home purchased at Williams-Sonoma, and proof of purchase is required.
Don’t live in Nashville? He’ll be in a few other cities too: Pasadena, CA; Atlanta, GA; and Leawood, KS. Click here to view those dates, times and locations.
Yesterday I gave you Savannah Eats, so today it’s time for the Drinks! You should know by now that when I travel, finding great places to imbibe is just as important to me as finding good food. We hit several Savannah watering holes and these are the ones that impressed us the most:
Moon River Brewing Company
21 West Bay Street
Savannah, GA 31401
A couple of days before we left for our trip, Ravi told me he might like to watch a little basketball on Saturday. This threw a small kink in my plan given that no sports bars were on our itinerary. So again I turned to Twitter
and within minutes three of my Savannah tweeps suggested Moon River.
Not a sports bar, but with TVs available for sports, plus some good food and great beers, this turned out to be the perfect middle ground for us. After an upleasant brunch experience earlier that day, both of us were still hungry and a little annoyed by the bad service, but Moon River’s friendly bartender turned our moods around. I had fun trying out the sampler of beers (pictured above), and we chowed down on a little afternoon snack*:
Rings of Fire
spicy onion rings served with a spicy creole sauce
Bayou Stuffed Shrimp
jumbo shrimp stuffed with smoked kielbasa sausage served with whole-grain mustard sauce
Fried Green Tomatoes
fried green tomatoes layered with real blue crab salad and topped with cusabi (a creamy cucumber and wasabi sauce)
*”Snack” probably doesn’t adequately describe–the portions were huge!!
Seed Eco Lounge
39 Montgomery St
Savannah, GA, 31401
When I read about Seed Eco Lounge before journeying to Savannah, I knew that I would like it. The eco-friendly theme is carried out with a large selection of organic drinks as well as design elements like cork flooring and a bamboo bar.
When we arrived I was a little thrown off by the vibe, because it’s not at all what I expected. In thinking organic, I didn’t envision loud music, a dj and a dance floor, but that’s what we walked into! I’m typically more of a low key lounge kind of girl, so at first I was hesitant and almost changed my mind. But then figured I should at least give it a chance, so we made our way to the bar where we were greeted promptly and warmly by the bartender despite the noise level and crowds. Drinks in hand, we settled into a space at the bar and had a great time watching the show in front of us on the dance floor. All in all it was fun, and I found the service we received to be extraordinarily good for this sort of place. I would definitely return, and next time I’ll be sure to wear my dancin’ shoes.
Rocks on the Roof
The Bohemian Hotel
39 Montgomery Street
Savannah, GA 31401
In doing research, I’d read that Rocks on the Roof is usually packed on the weekends with long lines to get in, but we didn’t find that at all. We were actually whisked right up the elevator on Saturday night and were served promptly by the friendly bartenders. With its awesome live music and incredible views of the river and Savannah, this may have been my favorite bar of the trip.
So there you go~ a few places to enjoy some adult beverages when you travel to Savannah. Cheers!
Oh, Savannah, I thank you. I thank you for a much needed vacation. I thank you for sunny skies and green grass. It’s been too long since I’ve seen both. And most of all, I thank you for good eats.
We had an incredibly relaxing stay, and will definitely be coming back for a visit again some day.
I also want to pass along a huge thank you to the friendly and ever-so-helpful Savannah folks on Twitter. Lots of great advice was coming my way from them, and they drastically cut down the hours I had to spend on trip research!
Now before I go any further, I want to point out that I’m not listing every meal we had on this trip. I don’t have the time or energy to tell you about places where we had mediocre food or service. Just so you know, that’s always going to be the case with me. I don’t focus on the bad, just the good*. We had a couple of negative experiences (mainly service issues), but our positive experiences far outweighed those minor blips.
So here we go! A rundown of our Savannah favorites:
102 E. Broad St.
Savannah, GA 31401
Our first night in town we had dinner at Cha Bella with our friends Nathan and Emily who now live about an hour away in Statesboro, Georgia. You must forgive me on this meal, as I didn’t take notes since I was too caught up in chatting with our friends we hadn’t seen in quite some time. I’ll do my best to recap:
River View Farms Slow Roasted Pork Belly with a fall mushroom Carolina gold risotto and wilted baby mustard greens
Local Black Grouper gently seared with farm pea, sweet corn, and lump crab succotash finished with lemon white wine pan sauce (my dish)
And this was the dish that Ravi ordered:
Unfortunately, neither of us can remember what it was,
Obviously it was some kind of fish with a couple of shrimp on some grits with broccolini. Sorry, not a beautiful description, but just know that it was damn
Sapphire Grill110 W Congress StSavannah, GA 31401(912) 443-9962Meal: Dinner
I’m so sad that I don’t have any photos of this meal, but the room was so dark that none of them turned out well, no matter how hard I tried. Finally I gave up and put the camera away because this trip was about my honey and I, right? Romance! Not food photos!
We chose to do the 4-course chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings and it was amazing. Awesome food and incredible service~
Polenta Encrusted Diver Scallop (Beth)
Champagne Poached Lobster (Ravi)
Roasted Baby Root Vegetables (B)
Grilled Caesar Salad (R)
Grilled Wild Atlantic Salmon with Asparagus (B)
Tenderloin with Frites and Roasted Tomatoes (R)
Course 4: Dessert~ Chocolate Gateau (both)
Then for lunch the next day we decided to follow our server’s advice from the night before and hit Vic’s on the River. It was already on my list of places to go while we were in town, but so were a handful of other restaurants, so I wasn’t absolutely sure we would be able to fit it in. However, once she told us that it was on her Top 3 Savannah Restaurants list, we decided it was a must.
Vic’s on the River
26 East Bay Street & 15 East River Street
Savannah, GA 31401
Crawfish Beignets with Tabasco syrup (pictured to right)
Local Shrimp & Smoked Cheddar Stone Ground Grits with smoked bacon and rosemary barbecue
Fried Green Tomato BLT with goat cheese and sundried tomato pesto on toasted sourdough
Wow, wow, wow!! Did you read that? It was all as good as it sounds and then some. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the fresh biscuits they bring out with this honey butter that I was eating by the spoonful. Yes, I was. Not kidding. I think the lady at the table next to us was a little disturbed.
Elizabeth’s on 37th
105 East 37th Street
Savannah, GA 31401-8611
Hands down, one of the best restaurant experiences I’ve had in a long time. It was the highlight of our stay in Savannah and I’m so glad that it was our last meal of the trip. A perfect ending to a perfect weekend.
Prince Edward Island Mussel
with smoked tomato & chipotle aioli
Crab 2 Ways (pictured below):
Blue Crab Cake over creamed sweet corn with tomato butter sauce and
Crab Salad over arugula & green tomato with oven-dried proscuitto
Light Salad of Mixed Baby Greens, arugula, fresh herbs (mint, cilantro)
, clementine, chevre, light herb vinaigrette
Herb Glazed Flounder, low country style
over corn pudding with a hash of sausage, potato, celery, and onion; finished with shrimp, butter sauce and capers (pictured below)
Snapper & Oyster Mushrooms
over a cauliflower & goat cheese flan with kale cooked down with vinegar and country ham; finished with truffle oil & lemon butter sauce
Pecan almond tart with bourbon caramel sauce &
homemade praline ice cream
I really can’t even put into words the quality of this meal and the entire experience. You must, MUST, visit here if you come to Savannah. It IS Savannah.
Check back tomorrow for “Savannah Drinks”!
*If you’re ever curious about places that you don’t see listed on my blog, feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to share with you my thoughts (if I have any)!
On Sunday March 14th, Chef Andrew Hunter of The Acorn Restaurant will be hosting a fundraiser at the Nashville Farmers’ Market to benefit Visitation Hospital Foundation’s work in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
The event will feature tastings from several local chefs, wine, live music, and a silent auction. Some of the best Nashville restaurants have already signed up to participate: City House, Miro District, Tayst, Yellow Porch, Park Cafe, Cabana, Sunset Grill, Midtown Cafe, and Acorn, with many others expected to be added.
Tickets are available for purchase in advance for $15 at visitationhospital.org, or $20 at the door. (Children under 7 are free)
To learn more about the event, and get up-to-date information, become a fan of From Nashville with Love on Facebook!
What: From Nashville With Love Fundraiser
When: Sunday, March 14th from 5-8pm
Where: The Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208
One lone butternut squash has been hanging out in the cool recesses of my basement since November and I was starting to feel a bit sorry for it. I mean, he must have been feeling very neglected, right?
So this weekend I rescued him. That is to say- I cut him up, roasted him, and tossed him into this totally satisfying warm salad. I’m sure he’s much happier now. Okay, maybe not, but I am!
Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
Serves 4. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 - 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced
pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp well-stirred tahini
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, salt and lemon juice. Add the tahini and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning.
To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully. Serve immediately.
Just curious- any of my Nashville readers ever attended the Our Kids’ Soup Sunday
I haven’t in the past, but it’s coming up this weekend and I’m seriously contemplating it this time around. With 50 restaurants participating, I figure there has to be some pretty fantastic bisques, chowders, stews, and maybe even dessert soups on hand to taste, especially since some of my Nashville favorites are on the roster: Saffire, Park Cafe, Bread and Company, Frothy Monkey, and Eastland Cafe (to name a few).
So if you’ve been before, let me know what you think. Your feedback may determine whether I get out of pajamas on Sunday and brave the cold to go warm up with some hot soups!
What: Our Kids’ Soup Sunday
When: Sunday, Feb. 28th
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: LP Field, Club Level West
for more information and to buy tickets in advance: $20 for adults; $8 for kids; or $40 for the whole family
Did any of you see Oprah yesterday?? Her entire set was edible- made of over 15,000 pieces of Godiva chocolate that took over 1,400 hours to assemble!
for more pics~