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Friday, April 16, 2010

Lemon Shrimp Lettuce Boats

While searching for shrimp recipes on the internet, I came across the recipe for Lime Shrimp Lettuce Wraps by Paula Deen.  When I went in the kitchen to make the recipe, I found that I needed to make a couple of substitutions because I didn’t have some of the ingredient.  I could have made a run to the store, but I decided to see how it would turn out.

My first change is the type citrus juice, the recipe calls for three-tablespoons of fresh lime juice, I didn’t have any limes, so I used three-tablespoons of Real Lemon juice from the refrigerator. 

My next change was in regards to the three-teaspoons of fresh grated ginger.  I thought that I had a piece of fresh ginger, but I couldn’t find it in the refrigerator, so I substituted one-teaspoon of ground ginger.  I know that ground spices are more potent than fresh spices, that is why I reduced the amount of ginger.

The third change was the red bell pepper.  When I was at the store a few days prior to making this recipe, I went to get a red pepper, and we saw the price was $4 a pepper.  No way were we going to buy those.  We had some mini-peppers at home that we had purchased from Costco and I substituted three small peppers for the one-half pepper specified in the recipe.

The next change was the recipe calls for a pound of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, and chopped.  I did not chop the shrimp but left them whole.  This was by accident, but when we ate the meal, we were glad that I did as we could see the shrimp and know what we were eating.

The last change was to replace the iceberg lettuce with heart of romaine lettuce that we use for all our salad.  The romaine lettuce has a better texture and tastes better than the iceberg

I started by getting out a medium sized bowl and mixing the three-tablespoons of lemon juice with two-tablespoons of vegetable oil, one-tablespoon lite soy sauce, one minced clove of garlic, and one-teaspoon of ground ginger.  I stirred this mixture together and added the rinsed shrimp into the bowl.  I stirred the shrimp with the sauce to make sure all the shrimp were coated, then covered the bowl with plastic wrap and placed it in the refrigerator to marinade the shrimp for thirty minutes.

While the shrimp were marinating, I diced my three small red and yellow peppers, a couple of green onions and opened a five-ounce can of water chestnuts, drained the can and chopped the chestnuts.  I mixed the peppers, onions, and water chestnuts in a bowl and set them aside.

I decided to use our new ten-inch stainless steel skillet and set it on the cook top on medium-high heat.  Once the pan was hot, I added about a tablespoon of grape seed oil.  Into the hot oil, I poured the vegetables to cook for about three minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the vegetables were cooked, I added the shrimp and marinade into the skillet and stirred while cooking for another three minutes.  Once the shrimp were cooked (pink in color), I added another tablespoon of the soy sauce and stirred everything together.

I had already cleaned and prepared romaine lettuce leaves and had them ready on our plates.  I spooned about 1/3 cup of the shrimp mixture onto the lettuce and we sat down to eat.  The prepared romaine lettuce leave looked like little boats sitting on the plate and the romaine lettuce leaves do not roll very well, so we pinched the sides up and ate them like a taco.

We both enjoyed eating our “boats” they were a little messy with the juice running out the end, but still delicious.  The lemon was a good choice and next time I will try the fresh lime juice.  We were both glad that I only used one–teaspoon of the ground ginger, any additional would have been too overpowering for the shrimp.

After we finished eating, we had some of the shrimp and sauce left over.  I added this to a bowl in the refrigerator that contained the leftover angel hair pasta from the previous shrimp recipe: Lime Pasta with Roasted Shrimp.

Later, we really enjoyed eating the leftover shrimp and pasta.  The new ginger/lemon sauce had marinated the noodles and added an oriental flavor to the entire dish that enhanced the both the pasta and the shrimp. 

I will be making this recipe again, but I will double the recipe and use the leftovers for mixing with pasta.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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