Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open-Faced Hawaiian Roll Sandwich

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open Face Sandwiches

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open Face Sandwiches

It has been an intense few months.  How do I explain such a long absence?  I have one class left to finish my MBA!  I am working full-time and have spent nights and weekends in class or doing homework and projects.

As a quick break, I decided to experiment with shrimp skewers.  Then, I decided to use up a bunch of odds and ends in my kitchen.  I did open-faced sandwiches because I only had 2 “Jumbo” Hawaiian rolls left from a previous meal.  The shrimp were full of lemon-garlic flavor and the bright acidity of the lemon was balanced by the sweetness of the Hawaiian roll.  Lemon aioli is optional.  (I did not use it for my first batch and they were still delicious).

You can serve these shrimp skewers on their own, as a main course or remove the shrimp from the skewers and serve them atop a hawaiian roll & lettuce for an easy, delicious dinner!

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open Face Sandwiches

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open Face Sandwiches

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open-Faced Hawaiian Roll Sandwich

1 lb shrimp (any size), peeled & deveined
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1-2 lemons
1/4 c white wine (i.e. Pinot Grigio)
3 cloves garlic, minced
dash of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 T parsley, minced

1 T unsalted butter
2 T extra virgin olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme
sea salt & pepper

Butter or Bibb Lettuce
2-4 large Hawaiian Rolls, Split
Lemon aioli (optional)

Make marinade.

Whisk together olive oil through parsley and pour into a large bowl or Ziplock bag. Add shrimp and turn to coat in marinade. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes- 1 hour.

Place skewers in a shallow dish of water while the shrimp marinade.

Make the mushrooms.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter and olive oil. Once butter is melted, add mushrooms (working in 2 batches if necessary). Stir mushrooms occasionally, seasoning with salt and pepper as you stir. After 5 minutes, stir in thyme. Continue sautéing until mushrooms are light brown. Remove from heat.

Skewer the shrimp & grill.
Grill over medium heat, a few minutes per side, until no longer opaque. Do not overcook!
Remove shrimp from skewers.

Optional:  Grill or toast split Hawaiian rolls, about 1-2 minutes.

To Serve:
– Place half of a Hawaiian roll on a plate. Top with lemon aioli (if using), lettuce, sautéed mushrooms and shrimp.
– Serve alongside a salad. Enjoy!

Marinade the Shrimp

Marinade the Shrimp

Cooking, Gardening

Porterhouse Steak, Mashed Potatoes & Chive Oil

Chives from the Garden

Chives from the Garden

This weekend I did a deep dive into the cookbook, Jean-Georges Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef, by Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Mark Bittman.

Below is what I have planned on the menu for this week:

Mushroom Soup with Greens (I already made the mushroom broth.  It is waiting patiently in my refrigerator.)

Gently Cooked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes

Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro

Sunday’s Dinner:

Steak with Red Wine Reduction & Carrot Puree

Let me begin by saying that I do not eat a lot of red meat.  I save it for special occasions (such as making meatballs and sausage for Sunday tomato sauce, beef tenderloin skewers with cognac mustard dipping sauce or marinaded beef kabobs).  Occasionally, I will ‘splurge’ on a good cut of beef.  This past weekend was one of those occasions.

Chive Oil

Getting Ready to Make the Chive Oil

I made this steak recipe for the first time on Sunday.  It involved 3 ingredients:  porterhouse steak, red wine & carrots (plus sea salt, pepper & H2O).

Chive Oil

Chive Oil

The grilled steak turned out perfectly, but the sauce did not work for me.   We let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, preheated the grilll,  sprinkled the steak with sea salt & pepper, and cooked the porterhouse 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat.

Porterhouse Steak - soon to be topped with chive oil

Porterhouse Steak – soon to be topped with chive oil

I used an inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon for my red wine reduction.  While the wine tasted fine in a glass on its own, by the time I reduced it for almost 30 minutes, it was very apparent that there was little nuance in flavor.   All that hit my palate were peppery, bitter notes.   I plan to re-make this recipe in the future with a different wine.

Grilling a Porterhouse Steak

Grilling a Porterhouse Steak

While the wine reduced, I thought I would make the chive oil ahead of time for Tuesday’s salmon dinner.  This oil is so easy – chives, canola oil & sea salt.  The most time consuming part of making this flavored oil was cutting and washing the chives from my garden.  I made the oil by whirling all the ingredients together in the mini food processor.  Voila!  Magic!  I tried the flavored oil and just said “wow.”  I ended up drizzling this on my porterhouse steak and mashed potatoes instead of the red wine reduction that I (conveniently) botched.  It was so good that all attempts at taking photos of the finished product were forgotten.

Porterhouse Steak - soon to be topped with Chive Oil

Porterhouse Steak – soon to be topped with Chive Oil

I still have a little bit left for the salmon we are having Tuesday evening!

If you can, please try making and serving this flavored oil with fish, vegetables, rice, chicken or steak.  It is excellent and I will be making it often in the future.  I can see adding this simple recipe to both my Thanksgiving and Easter menus.

Chive Oil
Original Recipe from Jean-Georges Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef

20 chives, cut into 2″ pieces
4 tsp. canola oil (or other neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed)
pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a small food processor.  Pulse 10-15 seconds or until mixture begins to get creamy.  Scrape sides of bowl down with spatula if needed.  Pulse one last time prior to serving.

Spoon atop your favorite vegetables, fish or meat.  Store in sealed container in fridge no more than 5 days.


Mashed Potatoes

Peel and chop 2 lbs small yellow potatoes.  Place in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan.  Cover with water by 2″.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat slightly and allow potatoes to boil for 30 minutes or until fork tender.  Drain.   Immediately transfer potatoes to stand of a MixMaster.  Using paddle attachment, beat on speed 4 (medium) until smooth.  Mix in up to 4 T. unsalted butter, 1 T at a time, up to 3/4 c milk (we use skim) and a pinch of sea salt to taste.   Serve warm.  These are excellent with a little chive oil drizzled on top.


Grilled Porterhouse Steak

Let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.   Preheat the grill.   Sprinkle the steak with sea salt & pepper, and cook the porterhouse 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat or to desired doneness.


Serve the above meal with a mixed greens salad.


College Throwback: Lemon-Garlic Chicken Kebab

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Kebab

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Kebab

I am a fan of Claudia Roden – and have been for years.  When I was in undergrad, I discovered a recipe in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food called “Shish Taouk” a.k.a. Chicken Kebab, that my boyfriend loved.  It took a little more time than a typical college meal, with the skewering and all, but tastes way better than dorm food or anything ‘on-a-stick.’  Usually, I serve these kebabs with Israeli Couscous and a simple salad.  The other night, my then boyfriend- now husband -and I made the kebabs and served them alongside Rice with Herbs, Asparagus and Mushrooms with Prosciutto, Shallots and Thyme.

The lemon juice in the marinade ‘cooks’ the chicken a bit and tenderizes it greatly.  I have found that the most ideal flexitarian to the most die-hard meat and potatoes lover can both agree to really like this dish.  The kebabs are easy – marinate, skewer, grill (or bake).  This is a 4 ingredient recipe (+ salt and pepper) worth adding to your monthly meal rotation.

Don’t like the skewering part?  Don’t do it!  Don’t let the skewers scare you!  Marinate the chicken and pan-fry it, bake it or grill the entire marinated chicken breasts/tenders.  You will find many recipes involving chicken, lemon and garlic.  Some add thyme or crushed red pepper flakes.  The point is, this recipe is a very solid springboard to new variations on good dinners!


Lemon-Garlic Chicken Kebabs

Original recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 T extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

6-8 skewers*

Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag.  Place on dish in refrigerator and marinate for 30 minutes – 3 hours.

Skewer chicken pieces onto skewers.

Cook kebabs on the grill over medium flame 10 minutes, turning half way, or broil on a foil-lined pan for 7-10 minutes, turning halfway.

* If using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes (while chicken marinates) prior to skewering chicken.

***Note:  I am a complete wimp when it comes to raw chicken breasts.  Give me a whole bird – and I am fine, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut up and chilled with oil?  ugh.  BUT despite this, I skewer on, a bit like  a priss, with my pinkie up in the air.