Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grilled Cilantro Shrimp Skewers and Brown Rice Risotto

Mmm... the thrill of being able to bbq yet again. It's so quick and easy. This recipe says to broil the shrimp (which I'm sure is good), but we've always made them on the bbq. We made these shrimp a few weeks ago when the weather started warming up. I usually pick up the major jumbo shrimp when they're on sale for about $10 a bag, so that it's not quite so extravagant of a meal to make. This recipe comes from Simply Great Food, which is the second cookbook by the Dietitians of Canada, after Cook Great Food.

Grilled Cilantro Shrimp Skewers

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
grated zest and juice of 2 limes (I use 4 tbsp. lime juice)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1. In a small bowl, combine garlic, cilantro, olive oil, coriander, lime zest, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Place shrimp in a shallow dish and pour in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes of for up to 2 hours. Meanwhile, soak skewers in hot water for 30 minutes and preheat broiler.

3. Thread shrimp evenly onto skewers and place on prepared baking sheet (I always double skewer them or they spin around).

4. Broil, turning once, for 2 1/2 minutes per side or until shrimp are pink and opaque.

Makes 6 servings.

This second recipe comes from The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook, which is a great compilation of recipes made with all different sorts of whole grains - brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, etc. I've made many of recipes from it and have never been disappointed. Leftovers of this can also be frozen, though we usually finish it off in a few meals before there is any left to freeze.

Unlike the instructions in the recipe below, I make this in our rice cooker, as it's less of a hassle. I cook the onion beforehand and then dump everything else in the rice cooker and that's that. It's ready without needing any more work on my behalf.

Brown Rice Risotto

1 C short-grain brown rice
1 C warm water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 C vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/2 C dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. butter (optional - I omit this)
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley (optional - I omit this)
2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional (don't omit this and try to use fresh grated Parmesan if you can, as it really makes a difference - we buy the big block of Parmesan at Costco, shred the whole thing and then put it in smaller portioned Ziploc bags to pull out as need be).

1. In a bowl, combine rice and water. Stir well and set aside for at least 3 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, drain, reserving soaking liquid.

2. In a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add stock, wine and reserved soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Add drained rice and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes, placing a heat diffuser on the element, if necessary, to keep the mixture to a true simmer. Remove lid, stir well and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Stir in butter, parsley and cheese, if using.

Makes 6 servings.

Just throw in some veggies and you've got a complete meal.

The shrimp isn't freezer-friendly, but the risotto is.

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