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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bacon-topped Meatloaf

I hated meatloaf as a child.  It just seemed "icky".  I don't know what was wrong with my taste buds as a child.  They were whacked!

Now, I love meatloaf!  I also love bacon and have seen pictures of many things wrapped in bacon, including a meatloaf or two.

I planned meatloaf for dinner this week and had a few strips of bacon in the fridge... I decided to give it a try!

I made my standard meatloaf recipe and then, attempted a bacon lattice on top.  (If I do it again, I would go with thin bacon - I like crispy bacon and this thick bacon did not crisp up very much and the bacon overwhelmed the taste of the meatloaf).

My husband asked if I took pictures...and I said, yes, I had taken pictures.  He felt it was blog worthy so I'll post


Bacon-topped Meatloaf
Printable Recipe Here


Ingredients:

1/2 cup seasoned croutons - crushed
1/2 cup milk or half and half (may need more - adjust as needed)

1/2 large red onion, small diced 
1/4 large red bell pepper, small diced (remove seeds and any white on the inside)
3 to 4 cloves crushed garlic (grind to paste with kosher salt or use a garlic press)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp yellow mustard
2 tsp Worstershire sauce
2 to 4 tbsp catsup
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 90% lean)
Extra catsup for top of meatloaf before bacon
7 slices sliced bacon
(I would use thin sliced if I was doing it again - the thick bacon
was too thick to get "crispy", which is how I imagined this topping)

Method:

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large, wide-mouth mixing bowl, combine crushed croutons with milk or half and half.  Add more if it sucks it all up and doesn't look mushy.  It should look gloppy, similar to consistency of oatmeal.

Prep the rest of the vegetables while the crumbs are soaking.  Add everything except the ground beef and bacon to the saturated crumb mixture.  Stir until well combined.  

Add ground beef and combine thoroughly, using your hands.  If it needs more liquid to hold shape, add more catsup.  You can check for the correct consistency by making a small meatball with your hand.  Gently begin to shape into a mound while still in the bowl.  When it is holding together well, gently slide it onto the prepared baking sheet (using the large wide-mouthed bowl helps with that).  Pat the loaf to your liking (I like mine more flat than a traditional loaf - the cooking is more even and you don't end up with a pink middle).  With the side of your hand, push down in the center to form a shallow trough; add catsup to the indented area.

Use the bacon to make a lattice top for the meatloaf.  If you don't know how to do a lattice - it is easily found on Google or YouTube.  I have also seen bacon added by just laying strips across the loaf.  Make yourself happy - do it your way!  Tuck all of the bacon ends under the meatloaf.  I thought the lattice looked pretty.

Place in refrigerator to firm up for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove meatloaf from fridge and place in middle rack of oven.  Bake for 30 minutes and turn the meatloaf.  Bake another 20 to 30 minutes.  Meat thermometer should read at least 160 degrees and bacon should be crispy.  In the attempt to get my bacon crispy, the internal temp was 170.  Fortunately, all that bacon fat kept everything nice and moist. 
This is AFTER I drained the grease - bacon makes a lot of grease.

Carefully drain the grease and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes after removing from oven before sliding it onto a cutting board using two large spatulas.  
I used two fish-turning spatulas to move the meatloaf intact
onto a cutting board

Use a serrated knife for slicing through the bacon without crushing the meatloaf.   

Everyone has their own meatloaf recipe - some cook the veggies in advance, some like a bit of crunch, some like it packed and tight for slicing.  I like it a little more moist and on the looser edge of things.  Adding bacon - not bad!  I won't do it every time, but I will do it from time to time!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!



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Monday, August 11, 2014

World Famous PadreRitaGrill, South Padre Island, TX

If you've followed my posts from the blog beginnings in 2010, you will know I have been a huge fan of PadreRitaGrill back from its days as PadreRitaVille onwards thru the JB-forced renaming to PadreRitaGrill; and now to the renovated and fresh re-do courtesy of Food Network's Restaurant Impossible (show reportedly scheduled for an upcoming date in October).  I didn't get to be a part of the reno (which I would have loved to do) because I was playing Grandma entertainer for the Summer visits of my two granddaughters at the time.  I wanted so badly to go to the grand re-opening dinner...but I knew it would not be a good idea for tired kids (and I was right from what I hear).

So, my husband and I planned a date night for Sunday, August 10th...he wasn't on call, we hoped the week-end crowds would be heading home from the island, and there was a Supermoon on the calendar!  I told him I wanted to check out the revamped PadreRitaGrill and I wanted to walk the beach for photos of the moon rising.  I got to do exactly all that!

We looked up the moon rising schedule, saw it was visible rising from the SSE, and planned our dining time around that.  It worked out nearly perfect.  Due to traffic issues (I wasn't the only one wanting to see that moon over the beach) I missed the rise over the low horizon...but I did get some right purty pictures! (Yikes, sometimes the Texan just takes over and I have to say things like "right purty")



When we arrived at PadreRitaGrill, around 7:00 the outside looked pretty much the same.  Lovely foliage and fresh pots of flowers along the walkway in.  It's a nice entrance.  When the door opened, the sounds of J. Micheal Laferty welcomed us, as they have so often in the past.
New stage, same musical talent - always enjoy his playing.


Inside the dining area, though, is like a whole other world!  The old decor (which I did like because I'm kinda "that way") was kitschy and a bit cluttered.  The new look is much more elegant, clean lines, more upscale tropical.
Gone were the tikis replaced with simple and elegant
seagulls on wood over the fireplace

Loved the palm cutout and the great new color scheme.
Light and tropical - happy colors!



These pictures on the back wall make you think you are
looking out at the ocean despite being on downtown
Padre Blvd.!

The menu is streamlined to a one page set of offerings - all of which sounded really good.  The new recipes created by Chef Robert Irvine were highlighted.  Both my husband and I decided to try one of the new offerings.  Before arriving, our plan was for Mr. Flip Flop to try the Mole Glazed Roast Chicken and I was going to see if they had my same favorite nachos, and order those if they did.  However, everything changed when we saw so many new choices!


Mr. Flip Flop didn't start out our date night very happily.  He felt the chairs were uncomfortable, we were sitting too close to the stage in a lightly filled restaurant and we couldn't talk to each other... it was too loud for him.  In hopes of salvaging date night, I gave him some ibuprofen and asked to be moved to a table in the back and on we went with our date.

Our service was really outstanding.  Our server (I'm so sorry I don't remember her name - long brown pony tail - cute girl) was attentive, but not intrusively so.  That is a huge improvement!  We got our drinks and continued perusing the menu, declined appetizers, and settled on our choices.  Mr. Flip Flop seemed a bit happier (whew!) so my date night wasn't ruined.

Chimichurri Steak Salad - tasted as good as it looks!
chi·mi·chur·ri
ˌCHimiˈCHo͝ori/
noun (in South American and Mexican cooking) a piquant sauce or marinade traditionally used on grilled meat, typically containing parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and flakes of chili pepper.


I selected the Chimichurri Steak Salad.  It was described as "Grilled Skirt Steak, Mixed Greens, Guacamole and Chips.  You can see from the photo above it is generous, and looks delicious.  You can also see that is quite a dollop of really outstanding Guacamole.  You do not, however, see any chips. I also asked for no tomatoes - not a huge problem because my hubs always will eat my tomatoes.  I told Mr. Flip Flop that it would have been great with some chips (not realizing until later in the meal that they were actually supposed to be part of the dish and were missing).  I did get a little extra Chimichurri on the side because the salad had a lot of tasty greens and needed "something more" for a dressing.  The Chimichurri was so delicious, I didn't want to mix in another flavor, so our waitress promptly brought me a small amount more which was perfect.  I had asked that the meat be medium, and it was perfectly cooked and tender.  For the price of $12, I felt it was an excellent value and quite delicious.

One of the problems at "the old" PRG was stuff didn't always come out the way it was described.  If I'd realized earlier, I would have said something on the spot.  I know that is something they are really trying to correct.  I let Cathy and Micheal know via a private message - because if it's not right, let management know!  Cathy and Micheal and their staff do, I believe, really want to fix anything that is wrong.  They responded promptly to my message with a thank you and another request to say something "in real time". Regardless of the missing chips, I give this dish two thumbs up for flavor and value.  In fact, it was so large, I only ate a bit more than half and Mr. FF ate the rest.


Mr. Flip Flop loves salmon (and I don't) so he selected Chef Irvine's rendition of BBQ'd Salmon described as "BBQ'd Salmon, Smoked Tomatillo Salsa, Cilantro Lime Black Beans, and Grilled Corn".  The plate was priced at $16.  His feedback was that the salmon was absolutely delicious, including the Tomatillo Salsa.  I sampled only the black beans because I rarely find them well-seasoned and I wanted to see if they had a hit or a miss.  These beans were delicious - perfectly seasoned!  A half ear of corn - no grill marks noted, so I'm assuming not grilled corn - was on the plate.  You can be the judge, but we both felt the portions were very small for this price and the relative low-cost of the two sides. Maybe a whole ear of actually grilled corn would have made a difference if they need to keep the price of the salmon down by small portioning.  It was outstanding in flavor, but my husband cleaned his plate and he was still hungry.   Thus, he ate the rest of my salad because I wanted him to be happy...and I wanted to order dessert (there is always a method to my madness).


Dessert was key lime pie - a hard pie to make "different".  They offered it with a raspberry sauce, which I declined.  I wanted to taste the pureness of the pie.  It seemed an unusually long wait for pie that is already prepared - but that was the only service glitch we experienced - barely worth mentioning.  It was, however, worth the wait.  Nice presentation and absolutely divine in flavor.  Wonderful crust, light dusting of almonds on top, tasty whipped cream to enhance the rich flavor.  Tart enough for my taste buds, but not too tart for Mr. FF.  We shared it and nearly licked the plate.  It was a great ending to the meal.

While we were there, the restaurant filled up and the music was lovely as all of the sounds evened out.  We exited to a Gordon Lightfoot song, and that always puts me in a happy place.


I liked the old, I like the new even better...I look forward to visiting again!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer 2014

Wow, it has been a busy Summer for me!  Four weeks of visits from grandchildren, 5 trips to San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and/or Austin to pick up and deliver kids, and all of the activities involved in the grandkids' visits.  I didn't have the time or energy to write a single post!

Let's update on our eating out...I tried to limit eating out because of the crowds and the expense.  However, it is just about impossible not to.  My oldest granddaughter doesn't like shrimp.  Yes, it's true.  Neither does her Dad.  I'm not SURE we are related!  The youngest, though, makes up for it by her constant craving for shrimp.

I don't have many pictures of food.  However, I'll share what few I do have - mostly taken with cell phones (which are not awesome phones with great cameras).

Clayton's:  We ate burgers, boiled shrimp, chicken strips, and nachos before the fireworks.  Quite pricey for bar food but you can't beat the view, the nice staff, the great music, and the outstanding beach-front fireworks.  Worth the price for our visiting grandkids.

Wanna Wanna:  We ate here 3 or 4 times during their visits.  It has the value of being close to our usual beach access point where we set up camp for the days on the beach.  They have bathrooms.  They have decently priced, generous portioned, meals in the shade.  The girls could split an order, I could grab a corn dog (which are surprisingly good) and I could get a shady break without breaking the bank!

My son enjoying a Fried Fish Basket at Wanna Wanna

The girls enjoying a Chicken Stip Baske
A cold drink at Wanna Wanna helps keep it cool on a hot Summer's day!
Schlitterbahn:  We went to Schlitterbahn Beach so many times I can't count.  We always took an ice chest (we have a backpack ice chest) filled with juice boxes and water bottles alomg with a bag of mostly healthy snacks...we finished with Dippin' Dots too many times to count, and once we ate lunch there (surprisingly good and not too pricey - burger and chicken strips for the girls, a chicken sandwich for me).  No pictures of food at Schlitterbahn but I must have taken a huge number of them playing and doing the Boogie Bahn.  Did you know, in the Summer, there are lessons available during the week, before the park opens, for the Boogie Bahn?  Lola and Audrey took one together, then Audrey took two more lessons by herself.  Only $15 per person per lesson... and money well spent for a small group lesson (4 at the most when we were there).  I think they liked going to Schlitterbahn more than the beach!

U-Mix:  Frozen Yogurt and toppings.  A child's land of delight.  I didn't have my camera, this was the end of a "quiet" day...shopping for souvenirs, a trip to Paragraph's for books and a new movie (it was supposed to be one for each of them, but somehow it ended up being three for each)...I can hardly say no when they give me the puppy dog eyes.  I'm a sucker.  Anyway, at the end of that excursion, they continued to deplete my coffers by our trip to U-Mix.  The staff there are extremely customer oriented and gave us samples (especially the one who didn't think she liked froyo) and was patient while they loaded their bowls with mixtures of frozen yogurt and a large variety of toppings.  Since they weigh your treat...I think I should have been a better supervisor of the toppings they were loading on their treat!  Again, crummy cell phone photos and my oldest grandchild's penchant for sticking out her tongue in every single picture she possibly can.  However, you get the idea.  Kids, and adults alike, love U-Mix.  A great addition to the island.
She tried to eat it all...but she just couldn't do it.  She loved it, but it was just too much!

She did finish hers...less toppings and a more realistic serving.
What is WITH the tongue???

We also ate at Daddy's (kid's meals were a hit with spaghetti and chicken strips) and I loved my usual order of red beans and rice and sausage with corn muffins.  Delish!  John had Grilled Shrimp kabobs. Very good food.  A few meals at Dirty Al's Pelican Station and at Dirty Al's in Brownsville, as well as Pirate's Landing.  Shrimp, Shrimp, and more Shrimp!

Lola and William had a really nice grilled flounder dish at Dirty Al's Pelican Station.  John had the Red Snapper Rockefeller - amazing and should be tried if you have the opportunity.  Audrey had shrimp cocktail and I got her to try some of my fried shrimp.  She was so surprised at how delicious it was, that's all she had whenever we would go out thereafter!  She had only had fried shrimp at a little place in Austin and she said it was awful.  I felt certain she would like the best shrimp ever IMHO...at Dirty Al's.  She did!  She also liked our family favorite of Shrimp Po'boys at Pirate's Landing...the bread is awesome and makes it extra special.
Sunrise on South Padre before a sea turtle release



We were fortunate to be able to see a sea turtle hatchling release one July morning, courtesy of the wonderful folks at Sea Turtle, Inc.  As a reward for the girls (and for me) cooperating on that very early morning adventure, we made one of our 3 stops at Captain Donuts.  For some reason my kolache photos didn't make it...but I had a few from after the turtle morning so here they are.  Yummy!

Island Coconut Coffee...yum!


The fun we had all Summer was outstanding.  Before kid visits John and I had a chance to try out Harpoon's Surf Bar.  My photos were not awesome...but the food was outstanding.  We had a rib-eye sandwich with onion rings.  The bread was awesome and everything between it, too.  Will return again very soon.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing my Summer's re-cap...it's been full of fun and good food!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!



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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Clayton's Beach Bar and Other Week-end Activities

I don't get out at night a lot.  My husband is on-call 50% of every month which means he has to be within 30 minutes of the hospital...which is 28 minutes from our house...and if we do fun things on the island...well, we have a 50-50 opportunity.  We have become empty nesters and tend to stay home more and more.

This week-end was a change for me.  A childhood friend re-connected with me a few months ago and she made a trip down to the island, with her adult son, for a little summer time fun and catching up!

They arrived Friday evening and their request was "someplace fun" for dinner.  So, remembering the days of vacationing here, I automatically thought of the Louie's Backyard sunset view, huge buffet, and fireworks on the bay.  They seemed to enjoy it and it wasn't soooo loud that we couldn't talk and begin our catching up.  Fireworks were great, they enjoyed the food (especially piles of crab and shrimp) so I felt it had met the "first day criteria"!

On Saturday they wanted to shop a little and go to a beach bar for lunch, dinner someplace, and then live music and fireworks again.  I drove them around to a couple of the huge (and numerous) souvenir/resort wear shops where they got the things they wanted.  We headed to Wanna Wanna because it was fairly early and I figured it wouldn't be too crowded yet...and still pretty shady and cool.  We enjoyed eating and talking for two hours there - glorious view, nice shady table...everyone seemed content.

We next made our way down to LaQuinta, where they were staying so they could change, and I went in search of parking so we could beach it in front of Clayton's.  Holy smokes - that was a disaster.  Poor parking by space hogs (no striped parking - one hopes people will be reasonable - but no) left zero parking despite 15 minutes of my circling.  I ended up across the highway in over-flow parking.  I'd brought some bottled water with me, and couldn't enter Clayton's with that in hand - so we walked around the side and another 'holy smokes' moment!  The crowds looked so thick I couldn't see a path to the water.  We wanted to see the Sand Castle contest so we finally made our way down to the beach area in front of LaQuinta and saw Sandy Feet and Emerson at the conclusion of another fun contest morning.  I was so hot from slogging through extremely hot loose sand that I didn't even pull out my camera.  I regret that now.

We ended up finding a path to the water enough to just rinse and cool our feet and then decided the deck, under the palapa-style umbrellas was the better solution on this crowded day.  We enjoyed the glorious view of the water and sort of skimmed the top of umbrellas and the hoards.  Good plan.

My guests decided Clayton's had it all, so they didn't want to venture away for dinner and would happily eat bar food, listen to music, and watch fireworks where they didn't have to move and could walk right back up to their room at the end of the evening.  I left to go home and shower/change before the evening and we reconnected around 7:30.  Zack was playing sand volleyball and Lisa was enjoying the view and the music.  It was cool and breezy and Pelican West was doing Beatles covers when I arrived...I was one happy camper.  Fireworks promptly at 9:15 and then the final hour of Pelican West music had the dance floor hopping.

The most fun part of the evening was watching the people around us.  A group next to us was having a rip roaring good time with their parents and in-laws...the grandma on oxygen was up dancing with her portable oxygen machine...and everyone was happy to be spending the evening at "the place that had everything"...something I heard repeatedly about Clayton's Saturday night.  The group next to us were on their last night of vacation and had just found Clayton's.  They really ended their vacation with a party!  I sure hope they got home safely because those folks were partying hardy!



Pelican West is a great band - they cover a huge variety of favorites and the crowd was up and dancing...young ones, old ones, fat ones, skinny ones, break dancing, getting funky, couple dancing...it was goin' on!  I so enjoy watching people having a good time.  I was a bit bummed that my husband was on-call and unable to be with me...'cause my feet wanted to boogie!  I don't think my feet or hands stopped doing a chair boogie the entire time I listened.  My son would have noted that my head was bobbing...which it always does when I listen to music.  I have plans for Mr. Flip Flop and dancing soon...he just doesn't know it yet :-)

I liked that Clayton's had some non-alcoholic choices and the grill was hopping (we had basic nachos with jalapenos and virgin pina coladas - I was driving).  I can't say I liked the daytime crowds at Clayton's but I did enjoy watching the banana boat off the beach, the sky diver's making perfect landings in front of Clayton's and the best, visiting with my friend of 54 years!


Photo by Zack Turner - at Louie's Backyard

I had intended to swing by Wanna Wanna and listen to the Bongodogs...but I was so tired I just pointed my car home.  The downside of all of this was it took me 45 minutes to make a 15 minute drive home!  The trail of tail lights across the causeway was long and slow.

Overall...Good times, good times.  Bay front or beach front...there's lots to do on South Padre Island at night in the Summer!!!

The video above is of the fireworks display - sorry for the jittery sound - I just did the point and record thing and it is what it is.  Enjoy!!!
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Where to Buy Fresh Seafood in SPI Area



I often get asked "where do you go to buy fish or shrimp to cook at home?"  I struggled with this when I first moved here because I was used to a fish department in our local grocery store in Austin.  When the one place I knew about down here closed, I was frustrated and at a loss.  I was then referred to a replacement vendor and all was well.  Over the past six years, though, I have found more places!  I'm going to summarize my experience with each and have them all on one blog post.  Hopefully, that will help folks in search of fish or shrimp to have while on vacation or to take home!

Quik Stop: One of my favorite locations to buy shrimp and the occasional fresh fish.  Depending on season, you can stumble upon some locally caught grouper, flounder, or scarlet snapper.  They do import, so not always local - ask.  I wrote a blog post previously and it is linked here.  I've never been disappointed with their shrimp.  They were my sole provider for several years.  They do sell large boxes of block-frozen shrimp but I've not bought that.  I rarely need 5 pounds at one time and while I know others say to just run water over the end for what you need...that sounds like work to me.  I prefer individually frozen or already thawed shrimp (believe me when I tell you I now know that ALL shrimp is frozen on the boat - if you are buying thawed, it has been thawed at the store).


Los Tortugas:  In the bluish green building in front of HEB Port Isabel - between the Stripes and the Burger King.  Address is officially 1683 Hwy 100.  This is a new find for me.  I prepared some of their shrimp for dinner this week and am heading back on Friday to get a five-pound bag of IQF shrimp to have in my freezer.  I love individually frozen shrimp - I can thaw what I need and it always tastes fresh - it is individually blast frozen on the boat and I can control when it is thawed.  Their card says "Family owned and operated, from our boats to your table".  That's what I like to hear!  Drop in or call 956-943-5602 to see what's available or place an order.  Good people!  They also sell fresh ceviche and other items.  I don't have experience with that though.   I knew I had some good shrimp when I opened the bag, that they put in ice without me having to ask, and it smelled like I was standing on the beach sniffing fresh Gulf salty water...not a hint of "fishiness'..just beautiful freshness.  That's what I'm looking for!


Dirty Al's Seafood and Restaurants - most of their restaurants in this chain have a raw seafood case where you may purchase seafood to take with you. Ask for ice if you have more than a 5 minute drive.  I have purchased shrimp far in the past at the Dirty Al's SPI location, more recently at Daddy's, as well as at their free-standing seafood market next to Dirty Al's Pelican Station in Port Isabel.  Shrimp has always been good and smelled fresh.  Much of the other seafood is imported - always ask the source....it should be labeled.  Check out this previous blog post.


Joe's Oyster Bar and Gulf Seafood Market - a Port Isabel standard for delicious fresh shrimp and oysters, as well as cooked seafood plates.  Always fresh, always delicious...for over 30 years!  You can find them at 207 Maxan in Port Isabel (the first street north of Hwy 100 - turn at the light by the post office for easiest access.  The building says "GULF SEAFOOD...OYSTER BAR".  Locals love it, tourists return year after year when they visit.  Can't go wrong here!


Reyes Seafood Market - Laguna Heights/Port Isabel area - I admit I have never stopped in.  My friend, Iris, said she always buys her seafood there and she loves it.  So, I'll add it to the list because I trust her judgement.  They are at 716 Hwy 100 on the left side if you are heading towards the island.


I also know there is shrimp to be had at Blue Marlin on the island - but I've never bought it there.  They do show source in their case and last time I was there, it was all imported.  I have heard from others that this is NOT always the case and that it is quite good...so, I'm adding it to the list.  Please feel free to leave me a comment and I'll consider adding comment data to this section.

Last, but not least, I have heard good things about buying shrimp from shrimpers down on Port Road and/or South Shore Drive in Port Isabel.  I have no experience with them at all.  I've heard they sell IQF...so I may need to check that out.

I love shrimp, most of my kids and grandkids love shrimp or fresh fish...having access to delicious fresh seafood is one of the true joys of living at the coast.  I hope you find this helpful.  Not much better than a big old pot of shrimp boil thrown out on the table for everyone to enjoy!!!


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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spicy Shrimp Teriyaki Stir Fry

Last week-end I was in Austin and stopped into Central Market to pick up SIX bottles of my favorite Teriyaki Marinade/Sauce.  It is sooo delish!  I used to find it down here at the coast from time to time, but not recently.  We love the stuff, so I had to lay in a supply!  They didn't even blink as I checked out.

The last time I used the last bit on hand, Mr. Flip Flop said "you know, this would taste really good with shrimp".... and all I could think was "yes, but it would double the cost of my week-night dinner!"  I started feeling guilty about that, so today I stopped in and got some incredibly fresh smelling large shrimp at Los Tortugas in Port Isabel.  I'll write more about them in an upcoming blog...but I'll say today...a high contender for some of the best wild shrimp in the area!  When I prepped it - it smelled like fresh ocean water.  That is a very good thing!

Here's the way I put this dish together.  It was absolutely delicious.

SPICY SHRIMP TERIYAKI STIR FRY
by Debbi Hook

Ingredients:

1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/3 bottle Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce, shaken very well
1 Tbsp. Chili Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Lite Soy Sauce
1 large or 2 small zucchini squash, quartered and sliced
1 small sweet onion, large diced
6 oz. button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 large red bell pepper, sliced and large diced
1 package prepared mixed chopped salad (I used HEB Fiesta Salad Mix this time - but have also used broccoli slaw as well as chopped Asian salad blend found at Wal-mart or Sam's Club)
1 Tbsp corn starch mixed with 4 Tbsp water to make a smooth slurry
White or Brown rice - cooked.  I used the HEB frozen steamable brown rice in a bag.  4 minutes.  Done!

Thinly sliced green onion and raw sesame seeds for topping

Method:

Prep all vegetables and set aside.  Clean and de-vein shrimp and keep cold until ready to add to pan.

In the largest pan you have (if you don't have a wok - which I don't), add the olive oil and chili garlic paste.  Bring temperature to medium high then add all prepped vegetables except the bagged mix.

Stir fry until vegetables begin to soften.  Add soy sauce and toss.

Add the chopped salad mixture and stir to coat with sauce. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.  Add shrimp and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.

Start the rice in the microwave if you are using the steam bag.  Add the Teriyaki sauce to the stir fry and bring to a boil, stirring to coat all ingredients.

Add the completely smooth slurry and stir until returns to boil and sauce thickens.

Add prepared rice and stir to coat.

Plate the dish and sprinkle with green onion and raw sesame seeds.  Serve immediately!

I baked a box of HEB frozen chicken egg rolls and served on the side with some Duck Sauce.
Did I say how delicious this dish was?  Oy vay... Enjoy!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!



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