Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gremo-what?? Gremolicious!

Even with all the cooking shows I watch on Food Network and the recipes I peruse online and in my magazines I don't remember much talk of gremolatas.  According to my friend Wikipedia it's a "chopped herb condiment typically made of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest" and used in veal and seafood dishes but tonight I tossed it with my farmer's market fresh summer squash and ended up with an amazing side dish to go with my tuna cakes.  

Roasted Summer Squashes with Caper Gremolata

I *have* however, heard of pattypan squash.  I watched a repeat this morning of Iron Chef America: Battle Butter and the challenger used it in one of her dishes.  Alton said pattypan so many times I just had to try it and was super excited to see someone offering it at the farmer's market this morning.  They are very cute and colorful little vegetables.  I got a mix of light green and bright yellow and even one that was half and half.  I also got little zucchinis which I used a few of in this dish but also hope to make some spicy pickles out of.  This dish was bright and citrusy and an easy new twist on summer squash.

Quick & Dirty

  • Accidentally bought regular parsley instead of flat parsley but I don't think that made much of a difference
  • I did slice up my zucchini because I don't think they were as small as the recipe called for and I was afraid they wouldn't get soft and tender if I didn't chop them up into bite size pieces
  • Cut the recipe in I have to decide if I should make this recipe again to use up the rest of my pattypan or if I should venture out and try pattypan recipe #2!
  • The capers and lemon juice really make the veggies pop
  • Pattypan has a pretty similar taste to other yellow summer squash, but the unique shape makes for a very pretty dish, and they're good for you too!
  • Have I mentioned how super easy the whole dish is?  Just chop up the veggies and pop them in the oven and while they're roasting you can mix together the gremolata
  • Nothing, really....this was a very sunshiny summery smiley side dish

Ssssssssspicy Shrimp Tacos

Last time I made a dish with salsa (the Avocado Salsa) I was very disappointed in the lack of heat. Most recipes tell you to remove the seeds and membranes from jalapenos because that's where most of the fire is and I've always followed that advice.  This time around I wanted the spice that the title of this recipe implies so I just sliced up the jalapeno before throwing the whole thing into the food pro (even though the recipe calls for a half of one with the seeds removed).

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

And wow did it work!  The salsa was pretty amazing and maybe just a tad too hot for my taste buds (which are pretty wussy).  I wanted to devour all of it with chips before I even put it on my tacos.  Now my mistake with this dish came when I coated the shrimp with their spices.  I only used half a pound of shrimp but did the full amounts of hot pepper sauce, ancho chipotle chili powder, and ground cumin.  Yowzers were these some spicy tacos.  I could barely make it through two.  Luckily I listened to Cooking Light and served them with sliced cantaloupe which did help a little.  I would like to try making these again, cutting back on the spices and using fresher shrimp (the frozen shrimp ended up super rubbery).

Quick & Dirty


  • One whole jalapeno with seeds in the salsa, I think with only a half and no seeds there wouldn't have been much heat at all
  • Cooked and frozen little shrimpies, this one was not a good change, can you say rubber bands?
  • Halved the amount of shrimp but covered them in the full recipe of spices, they were HOT!
  • Used chipotle chili powder instead of ancho because that's what I had on hand
  • The tomatillo salsa was really good, it was my first time using the little green tomato-like fruit (although they are related to the gooseberry and not tomatoes) and I will definitely be making more salsa verde in the future
  • Cantaloupe is a good side for these spicy wraps
  • Ground chipotle chili powder is still my favorite spice of the summer
  • Too hot to eat although I (wo)manned up and finished it all off
  • Didn't make enough salsa!  Finished off what was left after eating the leftover shrimp taco stuff with yellow corn tortilla chips, yum
  • I wanted to smother these in sour cream because that really balanced out the spice but I also knew that would just be piling on the calories so I tried to be careful and just toughed it out