This weekend started out with a Saturday night taco fiesta since it’s a very easy meal to customize for everyone (there was a vegetarian in the group). We ended up doing steak tacos with all the fixings: sautéed peppers, mushrooms, corn, beans, beans, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa complete with a lemonade citrus rum punch. On Sunday, I only made a couple of meals since I’m travelling for work this week.
Seafood is not something that I often cook because it’s unfamiliar to me, other than salmon – so I took it upon myself to try it out in a small batch. At the grocery store, I circled the frozen seafood section, trying to figure out what to buy and how to best cook it. There was someone standing near the frozen shrimp area and I asked her perchance if she knew what was the difference between the shrimp brands and how best to cook it. She was a nice Portuguese lady and was super helpful. Her advice was to: defrost the shrimp, melt some butter in a pan, add some garlic and herbs to it, put shrimp in and sauté until it’s pink, and then finish it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. As she tells me this, all I can imagine was the sweet smell of butter mixed with garlic. I bought the shrimp and decided it was time to conquer cooking it.
I also tried a new grocery store, one that had been recommended to me time and time. If you’re in Toronto, check out Fiesta Farms (Christie and Dupont Sts.). They are independently owned and have been in the neighbourhood for over 20 years. They have a great selection of organic foods and meats. Prices are comparable to the big box chains. I was trying to figure out on what my second meal should be when I saw an organic head of red cabbage and decided to make a slaw with apples to be paired with pan fried pork loin. It’s nice when ideas pop up and you run with it.
Butter Garlic Shrimp with Spaghetti tossed in Cilantro Sauce
- Frozen shrimp, defrosted and shelled – use as many as you want
- 1 glove of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoon butter (1 for shrimp, 1 for vegetables), room temperature
- Spaghetti – as much as you want
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 lemon wedge
Sauce Ingredients (adapted from this Eating Well recipe)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup tahini , at room temperature
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Boil a pot of water and follow instructions on package to make the spaghetti.
- Cut up the zucchini, onion, garlic and cilantro and set aside.
- In a frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon on butter and add the minced garlic. When it smells heavenly (about 30 seconds), add the shrimp and sauté until it’s pink on both sides.
- Add the cilantro and toss a couple of times.
- Finish with a squeeze of lemon.
- Put shrimp aside and add the second tablespoon of butter to the pan. Melt and add onions (second heavenly smell).
- When the onions are translucent, add the diced zucchini and sauté until cooked.
- For the sauce, add the cilantro, tahini and lemon juice into a food processor.
- Pulse until the ingredients are blended into a paste. Pour over spaghetti and shrimp.
Pork Loin with Cabbage and Apple Slaw
- Pork loin – you decide how much meat you want to consume
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 head red cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1 Gala apple, diced
- 3 sprigs green onion, diced
- 1 handful cilantro, diced
Dressing Ingredients (adapted from this Detoxinista recipe)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons honey, as needed for sweetness
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried red chilli pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a frying pan, heat up the tablespoon of olive oil.
- Pat both sides of the pork loin dry and sprinkle salt and pepper. Place into frying pan.
- Fry both sides and until the centre is no longer pink. Set aside.
- Cut up the red cabbage, Gala apple, green onion and cilantro. Mix it all in a bowl and set aside.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the cabbage slaw. Place in the fridge for flavours marinate.
- When ready to eat, cut up the pork and serve with the slaw.
It was a very successful cooking weekend altogether. Happy cooking 🙂