Shrimp Khoa Soi (Spicy Coconut Soup)

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup_Natalie Paramore 5

Rain, rain go away! We’ve had quite the cloudy, rainy days recently here in our normally too hot to trot Austin, TX. I spent the better part of this Memorial Day weekend curled up in bed watching the thunderstorms and burning a holiday scented candle. It was practically like Christmas, haha. Which brings me to another point, why does the weather affect how we feel about food? Is it the seasonal vegetables? The heat, the rain, the everything that affects our mode. Hmmm, interesting. I need to investigate this more, but all I can say is, the weather definitely pulls my appetite in all sorts of directions. And rainy, cool days at the end of May mean hot, spicy soup! I found this recipe on Bon Appetit a few months ago and had every intention on making it this winter. Well despite all my efforts, it didn’t quite happen, so all this cool weather was my perfect moment to carpe diem and make this tempting soup!

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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.

Blistered Potaotes with Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto_Natalie Paramore 3

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.

Blistered Potaotes with Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto_Natalie Paramore 5 Blistered Potaotes with Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto_Natalie Paramore 2

What are your favorite dishes for brunch?

Spicy Seafood Paella

I’ve been diving head first into the kitchen lately, and with summer coming up, paella was on my mind. I love this dish because even though it sounds fancy, it’s really not. It’s a country dish and a one pot meal. I call that a win! I took it up a notch with some spice and made it my own with some fresh cilantro!

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There’s nothing I love more than big family dinners where everyone gathers around a big table with tons of food. Paella is meant to be served in a huge pot in the middle of the table. I added mussels and left the shrimp shells on, I love eating with my hands haha! Plus,

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it gives everything a little more casual feel. Add a few bottles of vino, a good playlist and the conversations are sure to flow easily.

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For this recipe, you’ll need:
3lbs seafood, I used:
2lbs mussels
1/2lb shrimp
1/2lb squid tubes
1 large onion
1 large jalapeño
1 cup diced tomatoes (I used cherry)
1 cup frozen peas
1 lemon
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups arborio or paella rice
1 cup dry white wine
5 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
Fresh cilantro for garnish

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This recipes serves 5-6. Adapted from this recipe.

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Start by prepping the veggies. Dice the onion, slice jalapeños, mince garlic…

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In large pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil. Once they begin to become translucent, stir in the garlic for one minute.

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Now add the tomatoes and jalapeños. Stir frequently for 4-5 more minutes. The tomatoes will begin to get a little jelly.

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In a separate pot, bring the chicken stock and white wine to a boil.

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Meanwhile, add the sugar, salt, red pepper flakes and paprika to the pot. Keep stirring.

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Add a pinch of saffron!

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Add the the squid. Stir for another 4-5 minutes.

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Next add the arborio rice. Stir it around to toast it just a touch, about 1-2 minutes.

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Add the boiling chicken stock and wine to the big pot. Stir frequently until it begins to become absorbed, 10 minutes or so.

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After the stock begins to become absorbed, add the shrimp and peas. Stir until the shrimp turn pink. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon now.

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Add the mussels last. Cover the pot and let the mussels steam for 5 minutes or until they are completely opened. Stir and check on them occasionally.

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Serve this in one big pot in the middle of the table. I think it should be served with a good Pinot or Chardonnay.

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Garnish with fresh cilantro! Or parsley if you’re feeling a little more traditional.
Make sure you put a bowl on the table for the shells.

This is one of favorite dishes in recent memory. What are your favorite one pot meals?

Enjoy!