Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Secret Chef Says..."I Like It Spicy!"

Someone new has just joined us here on "This and That", but I can't tell you his name or else...well, let's just say he is an Italian with connections (cue music from The Godfather). We will refer to him as "Secret Chef" for now.

I can tell you this, Secret Chef makes culinary magic for one of the largest corporations in the world.  Sticking close to his roots, Secret Chef's cuisine is influenced by the flavors of Italy and the Mediterranean. He is best known for his seafood masterpieces. Oh and he likes spice, lots of it! He even has his own personal pepper garden.  Bada bing!

Secret Chef has taken time out of his busy schedule to generously share with us three amazing recipes that come together to make one killer spring time meal, complete with a sizzling strawberry-jalapeno glazed shrimp that goes from grill to table in no time.  Bada boom! Thank you, Secret Chef!  

Strawberry-Jalapeno BBQ Shrimp over Taboulleh with a Petite Herb Salad
Looking for a something easy and different, here’s a great way to utilize some great Florida Strawberries that are currently in season.  Grilled shrimp offer a great flavor and texture only the kiss of an open flame can offer.  The addition of the Strawberry BBQ Sauce and Taboulleh makes it a refreshing addition to your culinary repertoire.  Happy Cooking!

1 cup bulgur wheat
1 2/3 cups boiling water 
1/3 cup olive oil 
1/3 cup lemon juice 
1 cup chopped green onions 
1 cup chopped fresh parsley 
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint 
3 each tomatoes, chopped 
1 each cucumber - peeled, seeded and chopped 
To taste Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste 

  • Combine bulgur and boiling water in a large bowl. Cover, and set aside to soak for 1 hour. 
  • Add oil, lemon juice, onions, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and cucumber; toss to combine. 
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper. 
  • Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Petite Herb Salad
½ cup Fresh Basil, torn in small pieces
½ cup Cilantro, leaves picked from stems
½ cup Green Onion, thinly sliced.
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Season with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper 

Strawberry-Jalapeno Glaze
1 cups Chopped Strawberries 
2 each Jalapeno Peppers, seeded
1 each Lemon, juice only
1 cup Sugar
Kosher Salt to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients.   Transfer to a small saucepan and reduce until thickened.   Be careful not to scorch, keep the heat low.     

Grilling Procedure:
Shrimp are naturally lean and cook relatively fast, so a medium-hot grill is all you need.  Grill the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side, then baste each side with the BBQ Sauce.  You’ll want to brush on the sauce, then turn the shrimp and brush the other side.  Continue to do this until the shrimp are fully cooked, about 5 minutes.   You’ll want to turn them frequently, the idea is to give them some color and allow the sauce to caramelize while the shrimp are cooking.

Since it is the height of strawberry season, I love the use of those little gems in this meal.  This is sure to be one of our spring time favorites!

Thank you again, Secret Chef! And this is where I like to imagine him saying, "Fuhgeddaboudit"


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