Thank you to CookingLight for this week’s adventures in cooking. The July 2010 issue of CookingLight magazine has loads of great summery recipes so it was difficult to choose one. I happened to have a bag of shrimp in the freezer so it made sense to pick a recipe which called for shrimp. The Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Salad had me almost drooling just looking at the photos and reading the recipe.
Someday I will take the time to properly photograph food so it looks as yummy and colorful as it does in the foodie magazines. The main problem is that I’m usually so busy with the cooking (and then eating) process that I don’t have the time to set everything up with the right lighting.
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but came pretty close. M fired up the grill and we grilled the shrimp and fruit out there. Rather than slice the fruit, I decided on large cubes so I could string it on the kebob thingy (it’s likely it has some other name but we call it the kebob thingy). We also decided to have some grilled red potatoes with the salad. The potatoes are simple. Wash, quarter, toss with some olive oil and whatever spices you prefer. I used Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning last night (the salt-free version as I prefer to add salt on my own if I want it or the dish seems to need it). M has a veggie basket for the grill that he uses for the potatoes (and other cubed veggies that are not on a kebob thingy).
Other than that, I think I pretty much stuck with what the recipe called for. It was a fantastic dinner. The shrimp with the chipotle had a nice degree of spiciness without being overwhelming. The fruit added sweetness and a cooling factor to the meal.
My finished dish doesn’t look nearly as pretty as the picture on CookingLight.com, but I suspect they either left out the mayo in the chipotle sauce or they grilled the shrimp with the sauce on. Either way, their photo is missing the creamy pinkish tinge that results from mixing mayonnaise with chiptoles and adobo sauce. My lack of lighting doesn’t help.
It should also be noted that I am heavy-handed with the cilantro. I heart cilantro and always add plenty of it to any dish in which the recipe calls for it (or I think is suitable for it).
I’m excited. The lack of exclamation points might make it seem as if I’m not all that excited but I am. The strawberries are ready for picking at Hilgert’s Farm. Or you can go to the market and buy already picked berries if you’re not up to picking your own. M and I stopped by the market yesterday to buy a quart to sample. I’ll be joining a friend on Wednesday to do some picking. I’d like to freeze a bunch of them this year.
The reason strawberry season excites me so much is because it is the beginning of the fresh, locally grown, produce season. The peas and sugar snap peas will be coming in next. Some of the other farmer’s markets have lettuces, green onions, radishes, and fresh herbs that are locally grown. From now until sometime in November we’ll be eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.
We also went to the Hartville Marketplace to see what was available there. As usual, we loaded up on lots of goodies such as red leaf lettuce, radishes, green onions, and new potatoes. We came home and made a lunch that was a feast of mostly locally grown vegetables and fruit (with a few not-local nuts thrown in for good measure).
The rains continue, almost unabated. I’m beginning to feel as though we live in a rain forest during the monsoon season. Everything is lush and green and beautiful. And wet. The pond is filling up nicely. We decided to raise the water level this year to see if that helps with the weed and algae control.
The rain has also brought something that the birds are attracted to and that something is on our deck. I don’t know what it is. There were dozens of birds pecking around on the deck and under the porch, seemingly enjoying whatever it was they were feasting on. Bugs of some kind, perhaps. Or seeds from the trees. I’m not sure. Whatever it is/was, it gave me the opportunity to practice with the zoom on the new camera. Most of the photos were pretty bad. I got lucky with one or two fairly decent shots.
The flamingos are an easy shot since all they do is stand there. They don’t seem to mind the rain although they might be swimming or floating soon if the pond gets much higher.