Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mediterranean Shrimp Quinoa Salad

I took this tasty dinner to a pot luck last Friday, everyone ranted and raved about how tasty it was and wanted the recipe. Here it is. 

I made a large batch of this, so scale it to what you need, these are the amounts for a large batch. For a main course, it will serve about six, maybe eight hungry stomachs. 

What you need:
large lime, juice and zest
4-6 cloves of garlic, zested
1 large shallot, diced 
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of uncooked shrimp, peeled and detailed 
salt and pepper
Sweet peppers, I used the small ones, about 6/8 depending on size, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
20 Kalamata olives, chopped
4-5 pepperconcini, plus 5 TBS of the juice
small jar of sun-dried tomatoes plus 3-4 TBS of the oil
crumbled feta cheese, I used a small block, optional, but very tasty 
Salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
2-3 TBS of oregano, dried, a good handful of fresh
2 tsp of rosemary 
2-3 tsp of thyme, or a handful of fresh 
2 cups of uncooked quinoa 

Marinade for the shrimp
In a large bowl, add salt and pepper, zest and juice of lime, garlic and shallot.

Add the shrimp. Mix well. You want to do this at least an hour or up to two. maybe three days before so it can soak up all those yummy juices. If it is sitting for some time, shake it up every so often to remix it all.

The salad 
Add all the diced veggies, peppers, red onion, pepperconcini, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, seasonings, salt and pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, juices from the pepperconicini and tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. Use less olive oil because you can always add more later.
Mix it all in a large bowl and allow to sit while you cook the shrimp and quinoa.

Cooking the shrimp
Heat a pan on high heat and melt butter, about a TBS. Once the pan is really hot and the butter is all melted, dumped the bowl of shrimp and marinade into the pan. Quickly cook the shrimp until the outside is cooked, then turn down the heat and allow to finish cooking. Once the shrimp is cooked, turn off the heat and allow to cool some.
Cooking quinoa
Rinse the quinoa well in a strainer. Place in a pot to cook. You want double the amount of water as quinoa. So, if you have 2 cups of quinoa, you need four cups of water, 2:1 ration of water to quinoa. I do not fill my measuring cup for my water all the way, I leave some room. We do not like ours mushy, but more dry, less water does the trick. Put pot with water and quinoa on the stove. Cover and turn on the stove. Bring to a boil, it can happen quickly, so do not go too far and watch so it does not boil over. Once it begins to boil, I give it a good stir and bring any stray quinoa back into the water, place the lid half way on and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes., until all the water has come off. To dry it out some more, turn heat to low, take off the lid and cook until the quinoa no longer appears wet, Be sure to stir it every so often so it does not burn on the bottom. Take off the heat and allow to cool. 
For a variation to the quinoa, you can add broth instead of water.
Add some salt
Add any of the spices you are putting into your dish.
Add butter. 

Crumbled feta cheese 

Once everything is cooked and cooled some, add it all to the bowl of veggies, along with the feta, if using. Mix it well. If there is not enough oil, drizzle some more in. You can either serve it cooled in the fridge or warm, no wrong way.
Serve up this tasty dish, give thanks for being able to nourish yourself and family and dig in.

For a variation, you can use chicken or beef. Any of the proteins can also be done on the grill, do not have to heat the house during the summer. 
It can also be done as a vegetarian dish, or a side dish, leave out the protein. 

I hope you enjoy!
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.

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