Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Caribbean shrimp and rice

My favorite recipes are ones with 5 ingrediants or less...and this one falls into that category!  I'm pretty excited about this dish as it is one I made up with stuff I had in the house and just thought it might blend well together...my imaginary taste buds were right, and the face Justin made when I told him we were having Caribbean shrimp and rice for dinner was wrong. Best part about it, this is all you really need:

I bought the Caribbean citrus seafood marinade mix a while ago and thought it would be great for grilling.  If I've never mentioned it before, I'm a spice packet hoarder.  Every time I go to the store I try to stay away from that aisle because I inevitably bring home 2-3 new packets that I won't use for a while but they sound too good to leave on the shelf. 

The Caribbean rice mix was bought the last time I was at the store because I had been hearing about this salmon that the Loeffelholz and Mohr families seem to be making all the time and really wanted to give it a try. 

I always have fresh green beans in the fridge, and I mean always.  Its Justin's favorite side when I make my szecuan green beans so every time I go to the store I have to stock up...we got spoiled having our own garden last year and eating them fresh, the canned jobbers just dont cut it anymore.  When I decided to give the Caribbean shrimp and rice a try, the green beans were not in the original equation.  The marinade called for 2 lbs of shrimp and I only had 1 lb, so I needed a 1 lb filler, and they ended up adding the perfect crunch to the finished product. 

The shrimp was laying around in the freezer as well, I usually have chicken (would be a good substitute in this recipe if you dont like seafood), pork, beef, and random seafoods in the freezer just in case something strikes my fancy on a whim.  Ive still got to figure out what to do with the swordfish Ive got in there sometime....

Back on track, I started a pot on high with 2.5 cups of water to bring to a boil for the rice. You can detail the shrimp and cut the ends off the fresh green beans now.  After the water is boiling you add the whole box of rice to the pot, stir, put on low heat, cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes.  The instructions on the box call for oil to be added but it was just fine without...

I used fat free Pam to spray the skillet and sauteed the shrimp (after detailing) and the green beans (after cutting the ends off).   While that cooked a little on medium heat, I mixed up the marinade.  Usually a marinade is supposed to soak the meat and then you drain it off but I didn't want to waste the flavor so I let the rice soak it all up at the end, which turned out well.  The directions on the marinade packet call for 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of oil, and 2 Tablespoons of vinegar.  To skinny it up, I used 1/2 cup of water to substitute for all that greasy oil.  I then added 2 T of olive oil, and 2 T of vinegar.  Im sure you could go without those 2 ingrediants if you dont have them on hand, the marinade was flavorful enough without them.  I then added the marinade to the skillet to let the shrimp and green beans cook in it.

When the rice has soaked up all the water and is ready to go, add it to the skillet to let it soak up all the good juice from the marinade as well.  Stirfry for a few minutes to meld all the flavors and then VOILA!  We had something on our cruise one day that reminded me a lot of this but with less kick to it.  I will warn you weaklings and peeps with kiddos that this has a bite to it, it was perfect for us but we like to party :) 

When Justin walked in the house, he said it smelled amazing and his tune immediately changed from the scrunch-face earlier when I explained what was for dinner.  He was then trying to eat out of the skillet before I even dished our plates up, so this was one of the better experimental successes that we have had!  My favorite thing to hear him say after we eat is: "And this is probably all healthy and crap", meaning I did my job right if he thinks it tastes like fat kid food! :)  I usually leave leftovers for him to eat for lunch but not today, Im expecting an angry text soon!

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