Friday, July 18, 2014

Butterflied Grilled Shrimp with Garlic Butter

I often make grilled shrimp that I marinate, put on a skewer stick, and then grill 'em…they are always delicious and a cinch to make. But every once in a while I want to get fancy with my shrimp, so for dinner tonight I decided to make Butterflied Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Garlic Butter.

What made my so shrimp fancy was the fact that I took the extra time to "butterfly" them. Dave was quite impressed with my "butterflying skills." Butterflying shrimp simple means cutting the shrimp down the middle of it's back with a paring knife or scissors and then spreading the shrimp's flesh until it lies flat.  Butterflying shrimp takes some extra time and effort but the presentation results are far worth it. It makes you feel like you've prepared something truly special or something you'd see on the Food Network. You can butterfly your shrimp with shells on like I did or without. In my opinion leaving the shells on yields a more juicy, flavorful and succulent taste. Plus once they're grilled the shells peel off with ease. You can buy shrimp that's already "butterflied" but you will pay an arm and a leg for them. I buy jumbo sized frozen shrimp that has the shell on but has already been cleaned and deveined. That way that's all you have to do is defrost the shrimp and use a good paring knife to split and butterfly. It's so simple once you get the hang of it.

I marinated my shrimp with a little white wine, lemon, olive oil, fresh parsley and salt n pepper. Dave grilled them for approximately 8 minutes. The tailed end of the shrimp curled a bit after they were grilled but it made it super easy to pick up with your fingers and eat them. No utensils required with these tender and juicy morsels! I also made a warm garlic butter to dip the shrimp in. The boys kept double and triple dipping because the butter was that good and tasty….oh who am I kidding, I also kept double and triple dipping too! The grilled shrimp was good enough by itself but indulging in this butter made it seem like we were dipping chunks of lobster. This dinner was a treat for sure!

Next time you decide to grill shrimp, go the extra step and make it a fancy one! Salute to Butterflied Grilled Shrimp and Garlic Butter.
Marinating with white wine, lemon, olive oil, parsley and salt n pepper
Grill for 8 minutes
Beautiful grill marks when the shrimp is butterflied
Succulent and moist shrimp
Even better once it's dipped and drenched in warn garlic butter
Butterflied Grilled Shrimp with Garlic Butter (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves 6


  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined, with tail and shells (about 24 shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tb minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • salt n pepper
Garlic Butter:
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 t fresh minced garlic
To butterfly the shrimp: Make sure to keep the shell and tail on. Using a paring knife, make a deep incision from the tail to the opposite end. The incision should be where the shrimp was already deveined. Make sure not to cut all the way through. Once the incision has been made use your fingers to spread open the shrimp's flesh until it lies flat. Place shrimp in a baking dish. In a bowl mix white wine, parsley, olive oil and lemon and whisk until well blended. Drizzle mixture over shrimp and add salt n pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile heat grill to medium to high heat. Place shrimp on grill shell side down. Cook for 4 minutes and flip for another 3-4 minutes or until shrimp is opaque. 

For Garlic Butter: In a medium saucepan over medium heat and 1 stick of butter until melted. Add garlic and heat for 1 minute. Turn heat to a simmer and add the other stick of butter until melted. Stir continuously until all butter is melted and garlic is warm. Place in a small dipping bowl. 

You can drizzle butter over the shrimp or simply dip the shrimp. I prefer drenching it in butter!

Food Impressions:

Nate: "Ummm Ummm this is finger licking good"

Tyler: "The shrimp is so juicy and I love the butter. It's pretty easy to peel!" 

Zachary: "Mom, we should really get our own bowls for dipping the butter!" He's right with all of the double and triple dipping that was going on!

Dave: "Loved that you butterflied the shrimp…it really gave the shrimp a moist and flavorful taste. Feels like a meal we'd have on the east coast." 

Andrea: Next time we have someone over for dinner I will make these for dinner or for an appetizer. They were delicious! It was a hit with everyone. I need to buy a warming dish for my butter though. It cooled quickly without a warmer. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gazpacho: The Perfect Summer Soup

If you aren't familiar with Gazpacho, now is the time to get acquainted with this delicious soup! Gazpacho is my favorite summer soup because it's full of flavor and very refreshing to eat. It's a tomato based soup, that is made with raw vegetables and is served cold. Gazpacho originated in Southern Spain and helped people cool down during hot summer days.

Years ago you couldn't get me to eat a cold soup. My thought back then was that soup is a comfort food, thus should only be eaten warm. Plus the texture of a cold soup simply turned me off. Until one day, our friends Tony and Sheila made Gazpacho as their first course for our Gourmet Dinner Club. I remember thinking "oh no, cold soup and it's gourmet so I have to try it!" I hesitantly took my first bite and immediately said "oh my gosh this cold soup is amazing!" I think I had two helpings that night it was that good. Thank you Tony and Sheila for eliminating my crazy aversion to cold soups! If you aren't a fan of cold soups, give this a try and it may change your opinion like it did mine.

What I love most about Gazpacho is that it's the freshest tasting soup. Nothing is cooked so the flavors are at their highest peak. Gazpacho is made with tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, red onion and garlic. The veggies are finely chopped in a food processor and then tomato juice and white wine vinegar is added. My father-in-law was over while I was making it and he could smell the cold soup from the other end of the kitchen. The aroma of this raw soup smells like you are in the middle of a salad garden. It's vegetarian, paleo friendly and super healthy for you. You feel good after eating it, like you are doing your body good. So it's healthy AND tastes delicious!

The other thing I love most about this soup is that it's served raw and that means no cooking is involved and that means not having to turn on the oven or stove….gotta love a recipe like that on a hot summer day! Plus, it's a chilled soup so eating it will be sure to cool you down. It's refreshing and light. I always make a double batch so I have leftovers the next day. In fact, it tastes better the next day because the flavors have a chance to really meld and come together. So it's a great make ahead soup if you are having guests over.

There are several recipes out there and I've tried a few but my favorite by far is a recipe from Ina Garten.  Many gazpacho recipes either tastes like you're eating salsa because it's too chunky or like you're eating tomato soup because it's too pureed. The texture in Ina's soup is the perfect balance! Make sure to follow this recipe exactly to get the best results.

So cool off this summer and make yourself some Gazpacho Soup. It's refreshing, healthy, and full of the best summer ingredients. Salute to Gazpacho, the perfect summer soup!

Gazpacho Soup - By Ina Garten (Click to print recipe)
Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 6 


  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 plum tomatoes ( I used beefsteak)
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tb kosher salt
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1 inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steal blade and pulse until its coarsely chopped. Do not over process! 

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer the gazpacho chills, the more the flavor develop.

Food Impressions:

Nate: Didn't have any tonight, for whatever reason he said he just wasn't in the mood. You know what that means, more for me!

Tyler: "This is soup is "souper" Get it? Very clever of him to say! He said it well after dinner. Oh and he had two bowls.

Zachary: "We haven't had this soup in a while. You should make it more it's so good."

Dave: Very refreshing and flavorful. It has a really fresh taste.

Wally: My father-in-law stopped over to give me birthday flowers while I was making this soup..I gave him a bowl to take home and told him to eat it the next day so the flavors had a chance to meld. He texted me the next day and said "This soup is a keeper."

Andrea: Four words: LOVE this cold soup!