Gambas Al Ajillo – Barbecued Chili Garlic Shrimp

Recipes in this PostGambas Al Ajillo - Barbecued Chili Garlic Shrimp

I will admit I have been remiss at not sharing this recipe earlier. As I was going through photos that my friend sent me from Memorial Day, I happened upon this one, and forgot that I had never shared this with any of you. This dish is so simple, great as an appetizer, or you could have it with rice and something green as a main dish. I actually made this on my Weber, but you could also make it on the stove top.

I subscribe to Saveur Magazine‘s digital edition, and was thrilled to find this recipe in their June/July edition. I adapted it to the ingredients I had available, and it was fantastic.

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Crab Bisque

Recipes in this PostCrab Bisque

I am so happy that it is finally getting cooler in Southern California. As a matter of fact, there was thick cloud cover this morning, and I had to wear a sweater. It was a good day for soup.

After making Crab Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, I had a half a package of crab left over. I also had some cream left over from making something else. I knew I needed to use that crab, I needed to use the cream, and I wanted something warm. I have always liked crab bisque, so I decided to make that.

I had this brilliant idea when looking in my pantry and spying a can of Great Northern white beans. I didn’t have that much cream, and I really wanted the soup to be filling. To compensate for not using real crab, or real crab stock, I added a little anchovy paste for flavor. Both additions worked beautifully. Honestly, if you wanted to, you could omit the cream completely, as the beans do a fine job of thickening without all those calories.

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Marinated Flank Steak Tacos

Corn vs Flour Tortilla Nutrition
  One Corn Tortilla One Flour Tortilla
Calories 40 110
Total Fat(g) 0.5 2.5
Carbs (g) 8 18
Fiber (g) 1 1
Sugar (g) 1 1
Protein (g) 1 3
Sodium (g) 5 320

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I love to find uncommon cuts of meat on sale. I found a flank steak that I was planning on stuffing, and put it in the refrigerator, hoping that it would get cool enough to warrant heating the kitchen to cook it.
Alas, that did not happen, and to prevent that meat from getting freezer burn, I decided to make tacos out of it.

I won’t use taco seasoning packets, they are full of fillers, salt and preservatives. Why pay for that stuff when you can make it at home – without all the nasty fillers and preservatives.

The great debate about tortillas. When Hernán Cortés invaded the Aztecs, they were using corn tortillas. Wheat tortillas are a relatively recent import. Their popularity was driven by the low cost of inferior grades of wheat flour and by their ability to keep and ship well. Wheat tortillas don’t have much flavor, and are probably popular because their appeal to bland American taste buds. But, those taste buds need to change, as corn is a lot healthier than wheat, as you can see in the comparison table.

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Homemade Charcoal Chimney Starter, Burgers Topped with Cheddar and Coleslaw

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Raleigh Burger - Coleslaw Cheddar on a Kaiser Roll

Raleigh Burger – Coleslaw Cheddar on a Kaiser Roll

There used to be a wonderful coffee-shop in Santa Monica called Nick’s. One day, I went in there and ordered something called a Nick Burger. It had coleslaw and swiss cheese on it. It was so juicy you had to eat it over the plate. It became my favorite burger, and tonight, I decided to recreate it, with a little zip.

I’ve been becoming very brave of late with my Weber. First I started out with Match Light coals because they were pre-soaked, and easy to get started. Then, I graduated to using charcoal fluid and regular coals. Then today, I realized I had run out of fluid, and the corner store was closed. I knew that there are specially made charcoal chimney starters, and I thought I could make one from scratch. It wasn’t difficult at all making a homemade charcoal chimney starter. No more relying on charcoal fluid for me!

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Chimichurri Flap Steak Tacos

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Meat grilled and ready for chopping

Meat grilled and ready for chopping

The word Chimichurri reminds me so much of Chim-Chim Cher-ee that I can’t help but get the song stuck in my head. I would change the words a bit though, “Good luck will rub off when I barbecue you, or blow me a kiss (smoke), and that’s lucky, too.” Chimichurri is a sauce for grilled meats that originated in Argentina. It is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red vinegar. It also makes a fine marinade for flap steak on the grill. Here’s the real words:

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when

I shake ‘ands with you
Or blow me a kiss
And that’s lucky too

Chim-Chim Cher-ee from “Mary Poppins”, composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman

The best meat for this is flap steak, because it is thin, meaty and marinades beautifully. It should be cooked on the grill on high heat, directly over the coals. Let it rest for a few minutes before chopping it up. Flap steak is available in most supermarkets.

Usually, I heat tortillas on the stove top, and I thought to myself, why not just put them on the grill? You know what, they were nice and soft, and fantastic!

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Barbecued Mexican Shrimp Stuffed Red Snapper Packets

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Barbecued Mexican Shrimp Stuffed Red Snapper Packets, with avocado, Roasted Peppers, tortillas and cilantro

Barbecued Mexican Shrimp Stuffed Red Snapper Packets, with avocado, Roasted Peppers, tortillas and cilantro

Well, our Weber is going South of the Border tonight, and I’m making Barbecued Mexican Shrimp Stuffed Red Snapper Packets with Roasted Red Peppers, Avocado and tortillas.

I’ve really been into grilling for the past few days, Barbecued Asian Pork Chops, Barbecued Fillet Mignon with Blue Cheese Crumbles, and last night I barbecued a chicken. Tonight is Friday, so no meat. But I did have some red snapper in the freezer, and some cooked shrimp as well. I thought I could stuff the snapper with the shrimp, and as I was chopping it up, it occurred to me if I added spices and cabbage, it could become South of the Border.

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