Blistered Potatoes with Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto

Happy rainy Sunday! What better on a Sunday morning than brunch? Brunch is definitely, probably, for sure my most favorite meal. It combines all my favorite things: friends, coffee, cocktails, eggs and carbs. Best things ever! This recipe is where Southern meets Tex-Mex and can be good for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but is best for brunch!

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I made these potatoes and shrimp for a quick brunch with my family a few weeks ago. This is kind of my take on shrimp and grits. I love the slightly charred taste the blistered potatoes add, and course the spicy kick from the jalapeno in the pesto. Plus, the pesto is super fresh and balances the heaviness of the potatoes. Simple but delicious recipe, best of all it is a pretty quick one to make. I love cooking brunch for a group, but anything that takes too long usually doesn’t go over well because everyone is so hungry and the food needs to happen…fast.

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Family time meant no step by step photos, but hopefully you can get it from this regular recipe.

You’ll need:

½ lb shrimp with tails

2 cups quartered red potatoes

1 bunch cilantro

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 jalapeno

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 ounces fresh lemon juice

For the Cilantro Pesto:

Wash and pat dry the cilantro. Give it a rough chop. Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic, about one tablespoon. In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, salt and lemon juice with two tablespoons of olive oil. Puree until smooth. Add additional olive oil one teaspoon at a time as needed to puree.

For the shrimp:

In a pan, sauté shrimp with one tablespoon olive oil and one teaspoon salt. Saute over medium heat until pink, about 3-4 minutes. Toss with one ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice.

In a separate pan, toss quartered red potatoes with one tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Blistering the potatoes slightly, stir frequently so that they do not burn. Do this for 1-2 minutes. Lower heat to medium, continually stirring potatoes until cooked through, about 5 more minutes.

Plate potatoes, top with shrimp. Drizzle with pesto and serve. Add additional lemon juice and salt to taste.

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What are your favorite dishes for brunch?

Aguilera’s Cafe Ft. Worth, TX

I almost forgot to post today for #NaBloPoMo. All the turkey and traveling has left me feeling a little weary but fear not faithful blog readers, here is today’s post.

After visiting family this weekend, I was ready for a night out with friends in Fort Worth. The next morning we were in need of some good grub and our friend suggested this little hole in the wall Aguilera’s Cafe. Now, when I say hole in the wall… I mean it. We pulled up to what looked like a run down old house but upon entering, it was quite cozy. One of those places where everyone who walked in seemed to already know everyone there. My friend told me the story of the restaurant and that it is run by an ex-military chef, Santos Aguilera. Santos’ picture is prominently displayed on a table as you walk in.

First, comes the salsa and tortillas. Sigh, the tortillas are not homemade but I will let it slide this time.

I ordered the chorizo plate. FYI the chorizo is homemade, woohoo! The plate came with a chorizo and egg scramble with sides of bacon, refried beans, potatoes and little menudo type soup poured right on the plate. I was excited to dig in!

My little breakfast taco I made with all the yumminess from my chorizo plate.

So cute, they even have their own sign over the door. Love it. They are only open for breakfast and lunch. But my friend said that lunch is also good. At breakfast there are options of choices but for lunch everyday there is only one dish served.

If you’re ever in Fort Worth, you should stop by!

Zuppa Toscana

I made this last Sunday for my friend Kendall’s birthday. She loves

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kale haha, so we decided this soup would perfect way to end our lazy Sunday. Besides, ever since my Whole Foods Cooking Class I have been wanting to cook kale. I have also been craving soups lately, maybe it’s because the weather is turning cooler. What I love about this recipe is that it has a little cream to give the soup that heartiness but it’s not nearly as heavy as a chowder or chili. Plus, the kale packs tons of good for you vitamins.

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You’ll need:

2 cans of chicken broth
1 cup of heavy cream
1 large white onion
3 large cloves of garlic
2 cups chopped fresh kale
1lb spicy sausage (can use Italian instead to lighten the spiciness)
2 large russet potatoes
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

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Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Set aside.

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Peel the potatoes and rinse any dirt off.

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Dice the potatoes into bite size pieces. About an inch cubed.

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Wash the kale. Now it’s time to show y’all what I learned at my Whole Foods Cooking Class. Fold the kale leaf in half so that the rib or spine is on one edge.

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Now slice the rib off. Once the rib gets pretty thin towards the top of the leaf, you can leave that part.

Since kale is a hearty green, it’s can be cooked down in a soup like this without falling apart like say, spinach.

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Chop the kale.

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Brown the sausage for 5-7 minutes. Then add the onions and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

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Now, add the garlic and red pepper. Stir in for about 1 minute.

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Meanwhile, bring potatoes, kale, 2 cans of chicken broth and 2 cans of water to a boil.

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Once boiling, add sausage, onions, garlic and red pepper.

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Mix all together and bring back to a boil.

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Reduce to medium heat, cover and cook for 20min.

If you’re like me and don’t have a bunch of fancy kitchenware, then put a pan over your pot to cover.

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After 20min, add 1 cup of heavy cream. That blur on the picture is me pouring the cream in.

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Stir and serve. It’s delicious and quite a fragrant soup. This will make about 8-10 servings.

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