Lime Garlic Shrimp

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A treat of a dish as wild caught, domestic, raw, peeled and de-veined shrimp are costly.  I avoid eating farmed shrimp regardless of where they are farmed but especially if they are farmed in parts of Asia as the liberal use of medications and chemicals is extremely off-putting. A pound of shrimp will yield some 20 individual shrimp and I served them cold as an hors d’oeuvres on a cocktail stick lightly sprinkled with cayenne pepper.

1 pound of shrimp – as described above

Juice and pulp of 1 lime

Zest of half a lime – finely grated

2 large cloves of garlic – finely grated

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Place shrimp in a bowl

Whisk together juice and pulp of lime, lime zest,grated garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper until emulsified.

Pour over shrimp and stir so all the shrimp are covered in the lime mixture.

Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat a skillet on the stove top and when hot add the shrimp and liquid and cook until shrimp are firm and pinkish – about 5 – 10 minutes.

Set aside and leave to cool, then drain in a sieve and wipe dry with paper towel.

Sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper.

 

Feta, Tomato and Olive Canapes

Made these delicious little canapes yesterday to hand round for a family gathering. Everyone loved them!! The Mediterranean flavors work so well together.

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Cut feta into slices and then into squares (same size as half of cherry tomato)

Cut cherry tomatoes in half.

Small black olives or larger ones cut in half.

Place tomato on top of feta and place olive on top of the tomato and skewer with a toothpick

Jo’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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This is going right to the top of my hors d’oeuvres list. This dip contains no mayo and the cheese is feta (which I can eat, I discovered as it is sheep’s milk not cow’s milk) and I serve it with spinach and kale corn chips (the Better Chip brand – all sorts of lovely veggie chips)

10 oz. baby spinach – wilted and water squeezed out

10 oz. artichoke hearts – drained

7 oz. feta cheese – crumbled not too finely

1/3 cup veg. broth/stock

pinch or 2 red pepper flakes – depending on how spicy you like things

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place spinach and artichoke hearts in food processor and blend

Melt feta in broth in a pan placed over a larger pan of boiling water

Add melted feta, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to food processor and process for a few seconds.

Spiced Walnuts

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I like nuts sprinkled on salads – peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds. I also like nuts to nibble on whilst having a glass of wine. Spiced nuts take the experience to a whole other level. The interesting ingredient here is an egg white to bind the spices to the walnuts. Spiced walnuts will keep for a while in a plastic bag/container/screw top jar.

A little olive oil

1 egg white

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. smoked picante paprika

Pinch of salt

3.9 oz. walnuts

Drizzle a little olive oil in a roasting tin and brush with a silicone brush/paper towel so that surface is evenly oiled.

Place egg white, spices and salt in a bowl and mix together well.

Add nuts and stir so that they are all coated with spice mixture.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes – after 10 minutes turn them with a spatula.

 

 

Jo’s ‘Pizzette’ (4 or more if for Tapas)

 

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This little invention of mine, ‘pizzette’, is a cross between the Italian pizza and the Spanish omelette. Basically it is an omelette topped with things you might (or might not) find on a pizza and you can vary the toppings endlessly – today I used harissa paste, spinach and sliced new potatoes. You can serve it hot or cold; you can serve it as a meal, or you can cut it up into slices/pieces and serve as tapas/hors d’oeuvres.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 eggs

a spoonful or two of harissa paste (depending on how hot you like things) plus a bit extra to put on each slice of potato

5 oz. spinach – rinsed then wilted in a small skillet/frying pan

4 – 6 new potatoes – boiled and sliced

When omelette is cooked (tricky part is turning it over) place it on a plate and smear all over with harissa paste.

Place spinach on top and then slices of potato on top of spinach.

Pop a small blob of harissa paste on each slice of potato.

 

Herby Hummus

This is really moreish. You can, of course, serve it as a dip with chips or veggies, but I served it as part of a main course by placing slices of lemon juice-poached chicken breast on top of it.

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When I make hummus the most annoying part of it is stirring the separated Tahini until smooth. This time I placed the whole can of Tahini in the food processor and once it was thoroughly mixed I placed the whole lot back in the can and measured out the amount I needed.

1/4 cup of smooth Tahini (see above)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves of garlic – roughly chopped

1/2 cup of chopped parsley (I used Italian flat parsley as it has a smoother texture)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 teasp. cumin

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 can of chickpeas – drained

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4 tbsp. boiling water

Add the ingredients to a food processor one by one in the order given above. When you get to the chickpeas add them a tablespoon at time and then drizzle the oil and water in. This gives the mixture time to get well blended.

Chicken Bacon Bites (4)

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Sometimes you just need inspiration to cook – nothing complicated but something new. This recipe can be as part of a main meal but you can also stick a toothpick through the bacon and chicken and it as an hors d’oeuvre.

I took 2 chicken breasts, put them on tin foil, drizzled them with juice of half a lemon and 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and then closed up the package and cooked in oven for 30 minutes.

I took 6 or so rashes of bacon (no nitrates/nitrites if possible) and cooked them in a skillet/frying pan – making sure they were cooked but not so crispy that they crumbled.

Then I cut the chicken into bite size pieces and topped with a slice of bacon – et voila!

Maybe be extra nice with my honey mustard sauce – so easy!