Shrimp Nachos

Shrimp Nachos is a quick dish that can be a meal or served as a part of a heavy appetizer menu.

Shrimp Nachos
(Mark Kelly, 2017)

Serves 4 – 6

2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large bag corn tortilla chips
10 ounces shredded Colby Jack cheese

Sour cream, fresh salsa, chopped jalapeno, chopped green onion, and hot sauce to garnish

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, season the shrimp with paprika and garlic powder, tossing to coat. Drizzle with oil and toss again.

Place the shrimp on a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip the shrimp over and bake for another minutes. Remove the shrimp to a room temperature bowl.

Set a rack in the oven 4 inches below the broiler element and turn on the broiler.

Re-line the baking sheet with foil. Arrange a single layer of tortilla chips on the baking sheet. Place the shrimp over the chips. Sprinkle a generous layer of cheese over the shrimp and chips. Broil, watching carefully so as not to burn the chips or overcook the shrimp, until the cheese is melted. Serve warm with you favorite garnishes and hot sauce.

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Old Bay Shrimp with Creamy Polenta

Old Bay Shrimp with Creamy Polenta is a variation on the Southern classic Shrimp and Grits. The east coast Old Bay seasoning replaces the Cajun spices. I found using the air fryer to cook the shrimp was very successful. It seemed to intensify the flavors in the seasoning that sometimes get diluted when sautéing or baking the shrimp.

Old Bay Shrimp with Creamy Polenta
(Mark Kelly, 2017)

Serves 2

For the Shrimp
1 lb. 20-30 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
Kosher salt

For the Polenta
3 cups 2% milk
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat air fryer to 390F.

To prepare the shrimp: Mix the seasoning, including a pinch of salt, in a small bowl. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp in the oil to coat. Sprinkle in the seasoning while continuing to toss. In two batches, cook the shrimp for 5 minutes, shaking them halfway through.

While the shrimp are cooking, bring the milk and butter to a gentle boil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the corn meal a little at a time while constantly whisking. Cook until creamy and thick, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, add the cheese, and stir until it is melted.

To serve: Divide the shrimp and serve them over the creamy, warm polenta. Garnish with your favorite hot sauce.

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Seven-Layer Smoked Salmon Dip

Seven-Layer Smoked Salmon Dip combines all of the flavors of a classic bagel and lox snack into a terrific appetizer.

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Seven-Layer Smoked Salmon Dip
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Bonappetit.com, November 2016)

4 oz. 1/3-less fat cream cheese, softened
2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
2 tsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1 1/2 lb. smoked salmon, flaked
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup drained capers, chopped
3 Tbsp finely chopped chives
Bagel chips (for serving)

Line a flat bottomed bowl or Tupperware of at least 6-inches in diameter and 2 1/2 inches in depth with plastic wrap. Pulse the cream cheese, goat cheese, horseradish and lemon zest until well combined and creamy.

Press one-third of the flaked salmon into an even layer across the bottom of the mold. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture in an even layer over the salmon, smoothing the surface. Scatter the red onion over the cream cheese mixture and press down lightly into the mixture. Top with another third of salmon flakes, making an even layer. Spread the remaining half of the cream cheese mixture over the salmon, smoothing again. Top with the capers and press down slightly into the mixture. Top with an even layer of the remaining salmon flakes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour to let the dip set and the flavors to meld.

Uncover the dip and carefully invert onto a serving plate and carefully peel away the plastic. Top with chives. Serve with bagel chips.

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Baked Parmesan-Crusted Walleye With Lemon Sauce

Baked Parmesan-Crusted Walleye With Lemon Sauce is a baked approach to preparing a fish that is often fried when served in the Northwoods.

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Baked Parmesan-Crusted Walleye With Lemon Sauce
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

Serves 4

2 1 lb walleye fillets
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Cojita cheese
1 Tbsp garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cooking spray
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine at room temperature
1/2 large lemon, juiced
3 Tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375F.

Place the walleye on a large rimmed baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. Pat walleye dry. Brush the fish with a light coating of oil.

In a small bowl combine the Panko, cheese, garlic powder, a couple of grinds of black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Spread the cheese-breadcrumb mixture over the fish and let stand for 10 minutes before baking. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just cooked through. Move to broiler to brown the topping being careful not to burn it.

While the fish is baking, soften the garlic in oil in a small skillet. After 30 seconds, deglaze with the wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then simmer until reduced by half. Finish the sauce by whisking in the butter. To serve: place half of a fillet on each plate and spoon the sauce over the walleye.

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Citrus and Herb Marinated Shrimp

Citrus and Herb Marinated Shrimp are a great topping for a salad. They can be served as an appetizer. Or, they can be chopped up, dressed and mixed into salad to stuff tomatoes.

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Citrus and Herb Marinated Shrimp
(Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Food & Wine, August 2016)

Serves 2

1 lb. medium shrimp (21-30), shelled and deveined, rinsed, patted dry and brought to room temperature
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
One 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F.

Toss the shrimp in 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove and flip the shrimp over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil and remaining ingredients except for salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add shrimp to the dressing and toss to coat thoroughly. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

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Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp has a little kick from the sweet chile sauce that is used to glazed the shrimp as they grill.

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Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs large (16-20) shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
2 Tbsp sweet chile sauce
2 Tbsp sweet and sour sauce
1 Tbsp powdered ginger
1 Tbsp dried cilantro leaves
1/4 cup shrimp stock
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing

In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring the sauce ingredients to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and reduce by half, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Skewer the shrimp using parallel skewers to keep the butterflied shrimp flat during grilling. Brush both sides of the shrimp with oil.

Heat grill for medium direct cooking. Cook the shrimp for 4 minutes. Turn the skewers over and brush the grilled side with the sweet-spicy sauce. Grill for another 3 minutes. Turn the shrimp back over and brush the remaining side with sauce. Grill for 1 more minute. Remove and serve hot along with grilled vegetables and your favorite starch.

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Crab and Egg Casserole

Crab and Egg Casserole is a great dish to serve as a part of Mother’s Day Brunch.

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Crab and Egg Casserole
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of LouisianaCookin.com)

Serves 10

6 slices whole wheat bread with crusts removed
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 8-oz. can water chestnuts, drained and halved
1 lb. lump crabmeat
1 large egg
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Cajun seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, place bread. Add 1 1/2 cups water over the bread and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain any excess water from the bowl.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion, pepper, celery and garlic in about 1 tablespoon of oil until tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Add 1 cup of cheese to the bread mixture, stirring to combine. Add onion mixture, water chestnuts, and crab meat. Season with salt and Cajun seasoning to taste. Stir gently to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and egg whites. Add mayonnaise, pinch of salt, couple generous grinds of pepper, and hot sauce. Add bread mixture to crabmeat mixture, stirring gently to combine. Spread into prepared dish. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Bake until the filling is set and cheese is melted, 35 – 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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Broiled Salmon and Scallions

Broiled Salmon and Scallions uses a salty, citrusy marinade to par-cook the salmon before browning them under the broiler. Using this recipe the salmon can also be grilled or cedar planked. Serve with sautéed spinach and rice or couscous.

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Broiled Salmon and Scallions
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

Serves 4

4 8 oz. salmon fillets (skin-on or skinless)
Juice from 6 medium limes
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 Fresno pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1 bunch of scallions, cleaned, root end trimmed and halved lengthwise
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine lime juice, garlic cloves, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons oil, honey and sesame seeds in a small bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

Bring salmon fillets up to room temperature and pat dry. Place the salmon in a large zip-top plastic bag. Pour half of the marinade over the salmon and massage to coat all sides of the fish. Press as much air out of the bag as possible. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before broiling. Meanwhile, toss the scallions with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the salmon from the marinade. Season the fish with salt.

Heat broiler and set rack 4-inches below the heating element. Broil the scallions until slightly charred. Place the salmon fillets on top of the scallions and brush them with the reserved marinade. Scatter chiles over the salmon and broil until the edges of the fillets are beginning to char, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Grilled Salmon-Tomato-Red Onion Skewers

Grilled Salmon-Tomato-Red Onion Skewers provides the home cook with an alternative to the baking, broiling or grilling the full salmon fillet. Serve along side a cold potato salad or brown rice.

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Grilled Salmon-Tomato-Red Onion Skewers
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Food and Wine, October 2015)

Serves 2

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 large lemons)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 1 1/2 lb. skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
16-20 cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk the oil, lemon juice and mustard together in a medium bowl and season with the rosemary, salt and pepper.

Heat grill for medium-high direct cooking. Thread the salmon, tomatoes, and red onion on to skewers. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the skewers for 6 minutes, turning once. Serve warm, drizzled with vinaigrette.

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Nolan’s Pasta and Arugula and Shrimp

Nolan’s Pasta and Arugula and Shrimp is a recipe created by my son, a budding foodie who loves cooking. This delicious pasta dish combines peppery arugula-laced pasta with shrimp in a light, white sauce.

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Nolan’s Pasta and Arugula and Shrimp
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Nolan Kelly, 2015)

Serves 4

1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 10-oz package fresh arugula
1 lb. pasta, preferably whole wheat linguine or spaghetti
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails-on
2 Tbsp minced shallots
3/4 cup fat-free, lower sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Shaved Romano cheese, to garnish

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large bowl toss the shrimp with a tablespoon of oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange shrimp on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit more oil. Bake shrimp for 4 minutes. Remove and turn the shrimp over. Bake for another 4 minutes, or until just cooked through and pink.

To prepare the sauce: In a medium heavy skillet over medium heat, saute 1/2 tablespoon of garlic and shallots in a tablespoon of oil about 1 minute. Add broth and lemon juice to the skillet; simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about half. Stir in butter. Set aside. Add the shrimp and any juices from the baking pan to the sauce and toss to coat. Rewarm just before serving.

While pasta is boiling, in a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of garlic with the arugula. Drizzle with a couple dashes of oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss until dressed. Add cooked and thoroughly drained pasta to the arugula salad and toss well.

To serve: Arrange pasta/arugula mixture on each plate. Spoon warmed shrimp and sauce over each serving. Garnish with shaved cheese and serve warm with crusty bread.

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