Monthly Archives: June 2013

Lemongrass Cilantro Grilled Shrimp

I love summer! Last night was beautiful outside! I had already fed the girls their supper. I was not really in the mood for a full dinner, so I decided to pull a bag of shrimp out of the freezer. I always keep a bag of shrimp in the freezer.  I think they are just as good as the “fresh” shrimp in most markets and they take minutes to thaw! 

Last week when I was at the market the bunches of lemongrass were calling my name. It has been sitting in my fridge. I thought it was time to use it, along with the cilantro, parsley and scallions, which were also calling my name at the market. Many years ago, one of our chef’s at Cremaldi’s showed me how to use lemongrass. It is so versatile! To use it you have to trim most of the top off and the stem at the bottom. Then you have to remove the tough outer leaves. I was showed to smash it with a meat mallet to loosen the fibers and then chop it. When I add it to something like curry then I don’t smash it. I slice it into very thin, thin, rounds (like a scallion). For this recipe it really needs to be finely chopped so you don’t choke on it or get little fibers stuck to the back of your throat or in between your teeth!!! That is NOT A GOOD THING! It is almost as bad as not getting your parsley clean enough and crunching on pieces of sand! Oh, speaking of crunching on sand…lemongrass is fantastic in steamed mussels!!! 

I mixed the shrimp into my herb concoction and let them sit for an hour. I tossed them onto the grill and Voilà! Dinner! I poured a gin and tonic and went out to the backyard. Summer is the best! 

Here is the recipe…

Lemongrass Cilantro Grilled Shrimp

1lb. 26/30 count raw shrimp
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 clove finely chopped fresh garlic
4 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped lemongrass
lots of fresh coarsely ground black pepper
salt to taste

1. Trim shrimp by removing shell. Leave tail on. Make slit down back side of shrimp and 
    remove vein.
2. Mix cilantro, parsley, lemongrass, garlic, scallions, olive oil, salt and pepper together in 
    bowl. Reserve a small amount of mixture for drizzling after shrimp are cooked. Add shrimp to the rest and let sit for at least one hour.

3. Grill shrimp for a couple of minutes on each side. Do not overcook! As soon as the 
    shrimp turn from gray to pink they are DONE! Serve with a little drizzle of reserved marinade and a wedge of lemon!

Gen’s Notes
 1. If you want a little heat you can add crushed red pepper flakes or a little fresh chopped
    jalapeño pepper
2. I didn’t feel like soaking my skewers so I grilled the shrimp and then put them on the 
   skewers. Actually I only skewered the ones for the picture. We ate the others right out of
   bowl! If I had company I would probably skewer them.
3. Make sure you taste your mixture and adjust the salt. I used a lot of course ground 
    pepper (2 tablespoons)


The Best Fried Chicken!

Out of the clear blue sky, my parents bought two beach cottages in East Sandwich, Massachusetts. They didn’t consult anyone except their intuition. I found out about the cottages back at Christmas time, when my mother divulged the secret to my daughter, Rose.
Initially I was pissed! Why didn’t they included me? I am their only child! ONLY CHILD!! When I visited the cottages for the first time, my anger got in the way, and I refused to see what an amazing opportunity had opened up for my family.

As I sit here, on the beach today, looking out at a panoramic view of the ocean, my daughters digging in the sand nearby,  I understand exactly what my parents were thinking when they bought these two little cottages! I love you Mum and Dad!

Built in the 1930’s, I don’t think the kitchen has ever been updated. The counters are Formica and the floor is covered in linoleum.  At first imagined new appliances, counter tops and cabinets. I renovated the entire house in my mind.

This past weekend, when I took the kitchen for a test drive, I realized that I love it just the way it is! 
Here is a recipe for the Fourth of July!
The Best Fried Chicken Ever!!!
          1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
          2/3 cup cornstarch 
          1 teaspoon salt
          1/2 teaspoon white pepper
          1/2 teaspoon paprika
          1 quart buttermilk
          10-12 pieces of chicken (legs, thighs, breasts whatever you want!)
          3 cups vegetable oil
1. In a bowl, whisk  together Flour, Cornstarch, Salt and Pepper. Take half of the flour mixture and 
    reserve in shallow serving dish or casserole (makes dredging much easier). 

2. Using remaining flour in bowl, lightly dredge chicken pieces (shake off all excess) and immediately place into bowl of buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

3. Place a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Set aside.  Heat vegetable oil in iron skillet (or other heavy lined bottom skillet) over medium flame, until oil reaches 350 degrees. 

4. While oil is heating taking one piece of chicken, at a time, out of buttermilk and let excess drip off.  Lightly dredge in flour. Shake off excess and place chicken on cooling rack. Continue until all chicken is dredged in flour mixture.

5. When oil has reached 350 degrees using tongs start placing dredged chicken, skin side down, into pan. OIL TEMP WILL DROP AS YOU ADD CHICKEN. DO NOT LET OIL TEMP DROP BELOW 325 DEGREES. REGULATE HEAT BY TURNING FLAME UP OR GIVE OIL CHANCE TO COME BACK  UP BEFORE PLACING NEXT PIECE IN OIL.

6.  Fry for 8 minutes and golden brown and using tongs carefully turn. Cook for 8 minutes.
     Chicken takes roughly 16-18 minutes to cook through. Carefully remove from pan and let drip on 
     paper towel set over 
     cooling rack on top of sheet pan. Sprinkle with a little course salt and serve!

Even Big Daddy was able to relax! 🙂