Last weekend we had my nephew over for dinner. He has just recently moved to the area after returning from Korea for a new assignment stateside. I wanted something easy to make, yet delicious. I had to have a lot of veg, since we had just returned from vacation and I was feeling all sugared up, not to mention tired and lazy. I was totally bummed out after vacation. We had left 95+ degree weather and returned home to days of 60’ish degree weather. I was feeling very down on my hometown. Fortunately, the weather turned around and gave us a beautiful 80 degree day for our BBQ. While the weather was in the dumps, I was trying to remember what I liked most about summer, since we never really got one this year (not counting our vacation away!).
Here is what I like most:
On the top of the list are the fresh, seasonal foods
The delight of eating outside while viewing my garden
Gardening in general is great, but even more so in summer
Being with my kids all day (even though their constant bickering and/or whining has brought them to the edge of being left behind at the mall “on accident” – LOL!)
Time to try new things, like picnicking at a new beach or camping
Of course, being that I am a cynic, so I also have a few things I don’t love:
I am not a fan of seeing people’s feet. Most of them are ugly, and since everyone has sandals on, there is no way to avoid the ugly feet thing.
Ice cream truck music. Nothing says summer like a twangy instrumental version of “Silent Night” – I am not making this up
Air conditioned restaurants. Seems like this would be a good thing, but they turn it up so high that I am always freezing.
I digress. Back to the food. Since my nephew is from Omaha, seafood seemed like the natural choice. You can get great steak in Nebraska, but you can’t get good seafood.
This recipe is something that I just wing. I buy enough shrimp to ensure that everyone can fill up (in this case, I bought 2 pounds of 25-30 count cleaned prawns). I recently harvested my garlic and I also had cilantro growing in the garden. I have to “import” the limes, as I just can’t grow them in sunny Seattle. Not to mention that I don’t make my own tequila – although maybe I should look into it. I love a challenge!
I simply rinse the prawns, roughly chop several cloves of garlic, roughly chop the cilantro, and squeeze the juice of 2-3 limes, depending on size. I top it off with a generous splash of tequila and a pinch of red pepper flakes (I like it hot, but have to use about a teaspoon because of the kids). It is best to let them marinate for an hour, but you can make due in about 20 minutes. The longer they sit in the marinade, the more you can taste the nuance of flavors.
For this meal, I rounded it out by foraging for several things in my garden: beets, zucchini, lettuce, chard, kale, tomatoes, and carrots. I tossed in an avocado and some peach on the side (both from my organic market). I made up my own 1K Island dressing and a “Caesar” as well. The kids had each selected a gourmet cheese that we served crackers. This meal was light and fantastic! Unfortunately, the neighbor starting talking to my husband over the fence while he was manning the BBQ and my shrimp got a little crispy. They were still good, even if a little overdone.