In Tampa’s Ybor City sits Florida’s oldest restaurant: Columbia. It was on a visit there that I first tried Paella and feel in love. Paella is a Spanish dish traditionally made with rice, saffron, a variety of meat and shellfish, garlic, onions, peas, tomatoes, and other vegetables. My version removes the meat and fish and uses a blend of pan-seared cauliflower and brussels sprouts instead. A simple one-pot rice dish filled with color and nourishment is only a few of the reasons I love this dish. The main reason is, it’s crazy good!
I am often asked how I come up with recipes and dinner ideas or am I afraid that I might run out of ideas. The answer is, no. I am inspired in many ways. A walk through a farmers’ market, a trip to the butchers, a picture, my garden for sure, childhood memories, and the list goes on. Today I was inspired by opening my spice cabinet and seeing a tiny little bottle of saffron threads.
The garden is coming to an end and I have mixed emotions. I am going to miss walking out to the garden and pulling my herbs and veggies fresh from the soil and dicing them into the pan. On the flip side, it’s about this time of the year that I am tired of all the hoeing, weeding, canning, freezing and I am ready for a break. Tonight’s recipe is using up the last of the garden’s bounty. I am serving up spicy Italian flavors in a spaghetti squash boat using fresh oregano and basil.
Ever have one of those mornings when you wake up and can’t get the engine going. Noon rolls around and you’re still groggy and it feels like the day is dragging along with your spirits. That’s when I reach for my favorite comfort food that happens to be packed with vitamins and iron kicking my system into high gear. My go to is a creamy risotto loaded with greens.
I think I have a touch of cabin fever. I’ve noticed many of my recipes have had an island or south of the border theme lately. Today’s menu continues that trend with is a zesty Margarita shrimp and rice dish. I mean who doesn’t love margaritas?
Make the marinade: In a small bowl whisk 2 tablespoon each of fresh squeezed lemon and lime, 2 tablespoons of tequila, 1 tablespoon triple sec, 6 tablespoons of water, and a tablespoon sugar.
Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse and pat dry. Season shrimp with salt and cilantro.
Place shrimp in a Ziploc bag.
Pour the marinade over the shrimp. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight, allowing the shrimp to absorb the flavors.
Prepare the rice. In a small bowl mix one cup of long grain rice with 2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and a dash of turmeric.
Mix 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice, rice mix, and 1 tablespoon butter in 2-quart saucepan until well blended. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
Drain the shrimp. Melt 2 tablespoons of cilantro butter (softened butter mixed with fresh minced cilantro) in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add shrimp arranging them in a single layer without crowding the pan. Cook the shrimp in batches, rather than overlapping or piling them up, which will cause uneven cooking. Allow the shrimp to cook 2 to 3 minutes without disturbing them, then turn them over and continue to cook 2 minutes more, or until the shrimp are opaque.
Transfer the rice to a serving plate fluff with a fork. Lay shrimp over rice and serve immediately.
See Fajita Mix Salad for another way to serve the shrimp. – Ella
• 1 lemon, juiced
• 2 limes, juiced
• 2 tablespoons tequila
• 1 tablespoon triple sec
• 6 tablespoons of water
• 1 tablespoons sugar
• 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 cup long grain rice
• 2 1/4 cups water
• 1/2 lime, juiced
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 4 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
• A dash of turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 3 tablespoons butter, softened
Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse and pat dry. Season with salt. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cilantro over shrimp. Place the shrimp in a large Ziploc bag.
Roll the lemon and lime on a board to loosen the juices. Cut the fruit in half and squeeze juice into two bowls keeping the lemon and lime juices separate. You will need two tablespoons of each.
In a small mixing bowl whisk the lemon juice, lime juice, tequila, triple sec, water and sugar into a marinade.
Pour the marinade over the shrimp and seal the bag. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
In a small bowl, mix butter and cilantro until blended. Set aside for later.
In a small bowl mix long grain rice, 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, turmeric, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Mix 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, rice mix, and 1 tablespoon butter in 2-quart saucepan until well blended. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender.
Remove shrimp from marinade draining any excess liquid.
In a skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter. When the butter is heated and slightly smoking add shrimp arranging them in a single layer. Cook the shrimp in batches if needed. Allow the shrimp to cook 2 to 3 minutes without disturbing them, then turn them over and continue to cook 2 minutes more, or until the shrimp are opaque.