Rosemary Grapes and Shrimp with Loaded Grits in Chili Garlic Oil

Rosemary for remembrance they say.  Here are a couple of rosemary recipes that bring back good memories for me.

Rosemary Roasted Grapes

Sounds strange I know.  I was a bit confused myself.  I had these at a restaurant in Austin recently.  A local hot spot on Anderson Lane called Bartletts. When the waiter put them down I went to grab some and they were hot!  Oh no, one of those over-priced restaurants that do ridiculous things, I thought.  There aren’t many things that I won’t try once though.  So, I proceeded to take a bite.  They were delicious.  They were so good that I just ordered vegetables for dinner and they were all good.  All of the creations had really great flavor combinations with very little oil and butter.  I am always looking for ways to make fruits and vegetables more appealing.  This is an easy way to do that.  These would be excellent on a cheese board for a cocktail party or appetizer.  Here is my rendition.

  • bunch of grapes-rinsed but still on stem
  • 2 pinches coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place grapes on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle on coarse salt and rosemary.  Heat in the oven for 5-7 minutes. 

Rosemary Skewered Shrimp and Mushrooms with Rosemary-Chili-Garlic Oil over Loaded Grits

I have been building this dish in my mind for some time.  Actually since I had a very delicious BBQ Shrimp and Grits at Emeril’s NOLA in New Orleans.  I love that good food just inspires more good food!

I like to have bold flavor in my food.  If it is salty, really salty, if it is spicy, really spicy etc.   Rosemary is such a robust flavor I wanted to combine it with my other favorite strong flavors, chili and garlic.  I had to have something with it.  A neutral and light conductor like shrimp was just the thing but chicken would probably be good too.  I think Polenta would work well but I chose grits.  That seems the perfect backdrop to my favorite flavors and I am crazy for shrimp and grits.  This is not an everyday meal and I made small portions because the grits are so rich.  Enjoy!  I know I will.

For 2 servings:

  • 2 woody rosemary stems
  • 8 colossal shrimp (Gulf shrimp is in season right now)
  • 8 small mushrooms baby bella or white
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • Chili garlic rosemary oil for drizzling-see recipe below
  • 2 cups of cooked grits
  • ½ cup of cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled bacon (cooked)
  • Lemon for serving

Make the chili garlic rosemary oil the night before or the morning of when you plan to have these.  Soak rosemary in water for 30 minutes.  Drain and set aside to dry.  Wipe mushrooms. Shell and clean the shrimp.    Remove almost all the leaves on the rosemary stem except some at the end for presenting.  Using a small paring knife make a point at the opposite end from where the leaves were preserved.  Alternately skewer the shrimp and mushrooms.  You can adjust the number for servings and the length of the rosemary stem.  Place the skewers in the fridge until just before cooking.

Preheat the grill.

Make the grits.  When complete add cheese, chives and bacon.  Keep warm on stove over lowest heat and stirring occasionally.

Brush the skewers with chili garlic rosemary oil and place on the grill.  Cook for about two minutes a side or until they begin to curl.

Divide the grits between two bowls (oops mine got extra).  Lay cooked skewers on top and drizzle with remaining chili garlic rosemary oil.  Serve with fresh lemon wedge.

Chili Garlic Rosemary Oil

  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4-6 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

In a small saucepan, Heat over medium heat for a few minutes until very hot but not boiling.  Turn the heat off, cover and let sit until ready to serve.  The longer it sits, the better it gets!

Taking this on over to Strut Your Stuff Saturday to extend the memories!  Also sharing with:




Green Chile Crab Cakes

Fusion Cooking -(East Coast Meets West Texas)

I like crab cakes and I love green chiles.  Why not give them a try together?  It turned out delicious.  Just the right amount of smokey chile flavor.  The only thing I would do next time is make a tomatillo sauce to serve with them.  Other than that it was a great mix of two of great flavors.  Thanks to Cook’s Illustrated for the no-mayo crab cake recipe. My oldest, Krista, doesn’t like mayo.  How did that happen?  She says this lets the taste of really good crab go un-marred.  All I had to do was roast and peel the chiles and add them into the mix.  Then I topped them with Big Sister’s Pineapple Salsa.  As I said, I would make a tomatillo sauce next time.

Green Chile Crab Cakes

  • 1 pound lump crab meat (Phillips Premium Crab Jumbo or Miller’s Select Lump Crab Meat)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 11/2  cups bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped or diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 roasted, peeled, seeded and diced Hatch green chiles (or 1 can chopped green chiles)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces shrimp (size does not matter…will chop and use for filling)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add crabmeat and milk to a bowl submerging all the crab meat.  Cover and refrigerate for thirty minutes.

Pulse celery, onion and garlic in a food processor or finely chop.  Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped vegetables, salt and pepper .  Sautee 4-6 minutes or until soft and moisture is evaporated.  Put cooked vegetables in a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Add chopped green chiles to the cooling celery and onion.

Remove crabmeat and strain through a mesh strainer pressing to remove the milk but don’t break the crab meat.  Set aside.

Add shrimp to the small bowl of the Kitchen Aid food processor and pulse about 12-15 times.  Scraping sides if necessary.  Once finely ground, add cream and pulse until combined about 4 times.

Add shrimp puree to room temperature vegetables and add mustard, hot sauce, lemon and Old Bay.  Stir until combined.  Fold crab meat in gently with a rubber spatula.

Divide into 16 balls.  I used a tablespoon to measure.  Roll into ball and flatten into patty about ½ inch thick.  Make sure they are the same size.  Put on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Remove patties from refrigerator and coat with bread crumbs.  Heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet to medium with one tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon butter until shimmering.  Add patties and cook until browned about 4 minutes per side.  

Be careful not to crowd the pan and add more oil and butter as necessary.





I will be entering these in the Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Dreams, Sweet Heat challenge.

Fish Tacos and Steak-Andy Cooks

A perfect post to share with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday’s!

All three of my children cook. They have their specialties and each has their favorites with their own twists.  My son has taken to cooking recently.  Healthy cooking at that!  This is a big change for him.  He was eating out A LOT and it wasn’t healthy.  He’s the baby of the family, but all grown up.  My two girls make delicious things too.  They aren’t too much into baking.  Amy makes great party food and Krista is very creative with herbs and chile.

I think this food blog is rubbing off on him.  He sends me some pictures of what he cooked for dinner and then immediately calls me to describe what it was he made for dinner.  When he calls it is usually around 900PM and I’m not prepared to write down all the ingredients.  He is into fish.  You will notice there are not too many (if any) recipes that use fish from me.  This is new for us all.  He didn’t learn to cook fish from me.

He made fish tacos because someone gave him some homegrown peppers at work.  That spurred him on to combine the peppers, cilantro, onion together in a skillet and sauté them.  He rubbed tilapia with red chile powder, salt, pepper and a seasoning blend and warmed his whole wheat tortillas in a skillet. Then he topped the grilled tilapia with the sautéd pepper mix, added an avocado and some lime juice.  I do believe he has great promise as a home cook.  He didn’t know what kinds of peppers they were, but they were HOT!  They look good.


Another evening he made a great steak and sent me that picture.  He uses a George Foreman table top grill that he loves.  I think this steak was marinated in Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and a dry steak seasoning blend.  He marinated this overnight because he decided not to cook one night.  So it was well marinated when he cooked it.  He served it with asparagus and mushrooms he sautéed in butter.  Looks pretty good to me.

When he lived at home he made chicken breasts marinated in Italian salad dressing or he fried flautas.  They were a mess and guess who did the dishes?  Now he cooks things that don’t make a mess as he has to clean them up himself.  At least he is thinking healthy and that is way ahead of when I started thinking of eating healthy food.  Good idea for us all!

Fresh from the Garden-Cucumber Cups

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

I am certain where I got a recipe like this one – Martha Stewart.  Over the years, I have tweaked and changed it to my taste.  I think that the original cup was a cherry tomato.  When I want a quick and refreshing little bite or plate of bites, I throw this together.  This is perfect for when the ladies come over for a glass of wine after work on Friday.

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 ear of fresh corn (Grilled and cooled for added flavor if you like)
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 oz cocktail shrimp cooked
  • the juice from 2 limes
  • salt and pepper

Peel the cucumber.  I peel it into stripes for presentation.  Cut into about 1 to 1 ½  inch thick rounds.  Scoop out the seeds and some of the meat leaving the bottom in tact to form a cup.  I used the small end of the melon baller.  Place on the serving plate and salt lightly.

Meanwhile scrape the corn from the cob into a bowl (be careful with those silky threads).  Mix in the cilantro, lime juice, corn,shrimp and salt and pepper to taste.  Let sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Fill the cups and there you go.  Its fresh, light and a great treat straight from the garden.

Salmon Croquettes-Teach a Woman to Cook Fish

Salmon“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. “

“Teach a woman to cook fish and she will still want to go out for a steak. “

In the food community how can we not feel for Paula Deen right now?  I especially feel for her.  I had to go through food rehab some years ago.  I don’t like it…I do however, like living and feeling pretty good because of my good choices.

Fish is not my favorite food.  Although everything I read and hear would make me want to try more of it considering the benefits.  My daughter suggested I put out some recipes regarding “my healthfulness” in January’s posts, so here we go.  I think about food constantly and am always on the search for delicious, rich recipes.  I truly don’t eat much of what I publish.  I used to.  I have tried all my recipes or had others try them. (My office friends are often “guinea pigs” and very devoted and honest ones, at that.)  But this recipe is low fat, low carb and low calorie, and it amazingly tastes good.  I make these and put them on a bed of lettuce in the summer.  In the winter ½ cup of brown rice with the tomato sauce is also good to serve.  My momma would have served these with pan fried potatoes and onions.  I ate a lot of those in my “other life.”

What are your favorite ways to fix fish?  Share some especially healthy ways  that taste good.  I need help!