More Upachaya Recipes
My goodness…..I’ve slacked on my promise to share monthly recipes with you. So, here you are. This month, I’m going to share a couple more of my favorite recipes. The first one is Shrimp Crepes. You may think crepes are difficult to make, but believe me they aren’t, and they can make you look like a Master Chef, never letting on that it can be fairly easy to do. So if you want to impress with an excellent dish, try this one on for size.
I recently served the shrimp crepes as a special dinner for guests at Upachaya that were getting engaged. Carlos had contacted me and told me he wanted a very special dinner for his very special lady. He told me she loved shrimp, so I whipped up these shrimp crepes and they were a tremendous hit. In between the salad and the entree’, Carlos asked for Esmeli’s hand in marriage, on bended knee. It felt very special for me to have this event take place at Upachaya.
The second recipe is a lovely Mediterranean Rice salad that makes a meal in itself, or for those of you that are not vegetarians an accompaniment for your entree’.
1 1/2 cups of milk (I use Organic Soy, but you can use 2%)
1/4 cup of melted butter (I use salted, but if you use unsalted, and a pinch of salt)
1 pound of shrimp, shelled, deveined and chopped into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup of olive oil
3 shallots minced about 1/3 of a cup (I used green onion)
1 – 8oz package of fresh mushrooms cleaned and diced
3 garlic cloves minced
2 – 5.2oz container of Light Boursin brand cheese with garlic and fine herbs,or other brands work equally as well
3/4 cup of 2% milk, or again soy
4 cups of fresh spinach chopped
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, or more if desired
Dash of salt and fresh ground pepper
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for garnishing
Make crêpe batter by adding all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside and make filling. The batter can be made a couple of hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to use. Prep all ingredients so they will be ready to add to the skillet. In a large deep skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat and add mushrooms and shallots and sauté until mushrooms begin to release their liquid. Add shrimp and sauté until they are pink about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add both cheeses and milk and mix until cheese has melted and ingredients are well combined. Taste at this point to see if any additional salt or fresh ground pepper is needed. Add spinach and sauté until wilted. Turn burner off, cover to keep warm and set aside. Make crêpes, by spraying a crêpe pan or a small non-stick skillet and preheating it over medium high heat. Add about 1/4 cup of batter and swirl around the pan to cover it. Flip about 30 seconds after adding batter and cook on second side for another 30 seconds. Place on a plate or platter and continue with remaining crêpes. Once the crêpes are done, assemble by adding a crêpe to a plate and fill the center of the crêpe with the shrimp mixture, about 1/2 of a cup. Fold, overlapping the sides in the middle. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Note: The batter can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated and/or the crêpes can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Make sure they are at room temperature before filling and folding over. If you want to try another dish, replace the shrimp with scallops. This is equally as delectable.
Mediterranean Rice Salad – I first found this salad in www.myrecipes.com.
Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings.
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup fresh lime/lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced (mine is fresh from my garden!)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped spinach leaves
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives (mmmm, my favorite olives)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the rice. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, whisk juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, pepper flakes, and remaining teaspoon of salt. Add rice to dressing and toss to combine. Add spinach, toss, and let sit until no longer steaming, about 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature, or chilled.
So, there you have it. Two recipes that combined would make a very tasty dinner. I should point out the shrimp crepes aren’t exactly the healthiest choice for a meal, but then once in awhile it is OK to splurge.