Thursday, May 27, 2010

Grilled Garlic Shrimp & Quinoa in Under 30

If you've never had quinoa (KEEN-wa), it's a grain that you cook just like rice. It can be used in place of rice or added to soups and such. It's gluten-free, low in carbs and one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom, but it can be very bland unless you blast it with a lot of flavor.

Like a big ol' blast of garlic.

I loved the technique of sauteing the garlic in oil, then adding both the garlic and the garlic-inflused oil into the quinoa. Double whammy. The nuts and raisins added some nice texture and flavor, too. I think I can safely say we love quinoa again. Especially with this yummy grilled (I really like grilling stuff) garlic shrimp I whipped up to go with it.

Spring hasn't quite arrived for us (or for my parents in Idaho who keep getting snowed on), but if it's arrived for you, bring out the grill this weekend!


Quinoa with Garlic, Nuts, & Raisins
adapted from Food Network Magazine Apr 2010 (Ellie Krieger)

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/4 cup nuts (pinenuts or chopped walnuts/pecans recommended)
2 T preferred cooking oil (grapeseed or coconut)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 T fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)

Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Serves 3-4.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp
from Perrys' Plate

1 lb large, uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 T butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch Kosher salt
metal or wooden skewers

Combine melted butter and garlic in a small bowl. Let it sit while you prepare the shrimp.

Preheat BBQ grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high heat.

Rinse shrimp, pat dry, and place on skewers, piercing each shrimp in two places to keep them from moving around too much. Sprinkle shrimp with a pinch or so of salt, then brush the garlic-butter on one side. Place skewers on the grill, butter-side-down. Brush the other sides with remaining garlic-butter. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are mostly pink. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until fully cooked and pink. Don't overcook them or they'll turn rubbery.

Serves 3-4.

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