Sometimes–just to keep myself entertained–I like to plan meals around arbitrary themes. Today was just such a time, and today’s theme was “Food On A Stick.” I marinated some shrimp in lemon, a little EVOO, and some herbs from the CSA (garlic scapes, oregano, rosemary, chives). Stuck ’em on a stick. Et voila, les crevettes delicieaux.
Thing #2 loooooves shrimp, much in the same way that a kitten I once had loved shrimp, in that she doesn’t really distinguish between where the shrimp ends and where your fingers begin. She just bites. Thing #1, not so much. So I pulled a long-lost package of L’il Smokies (and, incidentally, can I just say that I hate when people or companies write “l’il” instead of “little,” but apparently not enough to cause me to boycott L’il Smokies) out of the freezer and stuck those on sticks, too.
Who were those horrible killers who put their victims’ heads on pikes? I would’ve been a good one of those.
I haven’t yet mastered the art of skewering brown rice, so for a side dish I made a quick quinoa salad. Do you know from quinoa? It’s a funny little grain, which blossoms into curlicues when you cook it, and which has a good dose of protein. It’s not unlike couscous, only better for you, and lends itself well to cold salads and pilafs. It’s also lovely as a breakfast porridge, with milk and raisins and cinnamon and so on.
All in all, the dinner was a huge success. I forced the children, upon threat of not getting their Rice Dream Nutty Buddies, to eat some baby carrots along with their tiny processed meats. Long-Suffering Husband made various orgasmic noises while eating his shrimp and veg, but then again he was starving after a day of kayaking and installing our new back door.
Herb-Marinated Grilled Shrimp
1 lb. Raw shrimp, in the shell
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice
chopped fresh herbs—oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley
minced scallion or shallot
Mix all ingredients except for shrimp. Add shrimp 30 minutes before grilling.
Simple Summer Quinoa Salad
2 c. quinoa
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tomato, diced
1-2 scallions, diced
1/4 c. parsley
¼ cup slivered almonds
Rinse quinoa well in a strainer (this removes the saponin, which is a natural, bitter coating that keeps birds from eating the quinoa in its natural habitat). Cook the quinoa with 4 cups water, stirring occasionally. When the water is all absorbed, fluff with fork and cool. When cool, add to other ingredients in a large bowl. Toss. Season with salt and pepper.