Lime Marinated Grilled Shrimp Salad

Now that winter is over and it’s officially spring (for the most part) it’s time to get “beach body ready”!  Even if you’re not trying to lose weight it’s always a good idea to eat a healthy balanced diet and this recipe is perfect.  When I made this dish I wanted something quick and easy to make with as few ingredients as possible and this is what I came up with 🙂



1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
mixed greens
vinaigrette dressing


In a medium bowl combine shrimp, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, cumin, oregano, garlic power, salt and pepper.  Toss shrimp so that each piece is evenly covered in marinade.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Heat grill or grill pan over medium high heat.  Place shrimp on grill and cook about 4 minutes on each side.  Allow shrimp to cool slightly and serve on top of mixed greens tossed with vinaigrette dressing.


*An NCJ Original*


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Mexican Drunken Shrimp with Guacamole

Last week a few of my girlfriends and I went to dinner at Cooper’s Hawk.  If you’ve never been there, it’s a winery that also serves some pretty good food.  I will admit that my favorite part of the night, other than sharing some much needed laughs with my girls, was the wine tasting at the beginning.  It was so crowded that we had an hour and a half wait before we sat at our table!  But the wine tasting made it all worth while.  I opted for the “Sweet Wine” tasting which consisted of one ounce pours (yeah right!) of eight different wines.  I liked some and loved most of what was served, my favorite being the Cranberry and Romance Red wines.

 After all that I thought the night couldn’t get any better.  Luckily my girlfriend, Rekia, is a member of their wine club and received two of their newest cookbooks Celebration Recipes From Cooper’s Hawk Family and Friends, one of which she gave to me. Oh happy day! Cookbooks are like dirty magazines to me…I like to read them in private and they give me an obscene amount of joy, even if I never make a thing from them. However, after seeing the Mexican Drunken Shrimp on the menu and getting a complete thumbs up from my friend Monica, I decided to try this recipe for myself.

First, the shrimp is wrapped in bacon.  I could just stop there because you all know how much I LOVE bacon!  But I digress…ok so the shrimp is wrapped in bacon, but then to make the sauce you use some of the drippings and fond from the bacon, add to that tequila (yum) and some chicken broth and butter and you have a killer sauce.  To top it off add some homemade guacamole spiced up with jalapeno peppers that gives it the Mexican feel.  I would suggest serving each shrimp on a small amount of guacamole as an appetizer with some extra guac and chips on the side.  Or they can be served with rice and beans as a complete entree.   I can’t wait to make these again!



For shrimp:

14 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
7 slices bacon, halved crosswise
2 tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp unsalted butter

For guacamole:

2 ripe avocados
3 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp diced tomato
2 tbsp minced onion
4 tsp minced, seeded jalapeno
3 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


Rinse shrimp and season with garlic powder and pepper.  Wrap each shrimp in with a half slice of bacon, place a plate, cover and refrigerate.

To make the guacamole, cut the avocados in half, remove pits and scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl.  Using the back of a fork, mash the avocados until there are no large chunks.  Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of lime juice, 1/2 cup of tomato, the onion, 2 teaspoons of the chile, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly, cover and set aside.  To prevent the avocado from oxidizing, cover with plastic wrap by pressing the wrap down into the bowl until it touches the guacamole and completely covers it.

In a large pan heat the canola oil over medium high heat.  Add bacon wrapped shrimp and cook on both sides about 5 minutes on each side until shrimp is completely cooked through and bacon is done.  You may need to rotate the shrimp and cook on all sides depending on how large the shrimp is.  Remove and set aside on paper towels to drain.

Pour the fat from the pan, reduce heat to medium and add the garlic and saute about 15 seconds.  Add the tequila, stir and make sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Simmer and reduce by half.  Add the broth and reduce by half again.  Add the butter, remaining 1 teaspoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons of chile and 2 tablespoons of tomato.  Stir to mix well and simmer about 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

To serve place shrimp on a tablespoon size dollop of guacamole.  Spoon sauce over shrimp and garnish with cilantro and a wedge of lime.


Recipe adapted from Celebration Recipes from Cooper’s Hawk and Friends


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Spinach, Mushroom & Shrimp Quesadilla



1/2 pound of shrimp peeled & deveined

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 (10 ounce) package chopped spinach

2 cups shredded Chihuahua cheese

5 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 Portobello mushroom caps, sliced

4 (10 inch) flour tortillas

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Rinse shrimp in cool water and place in bowl, season with salt & peper. Warm 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat until it begins to bubble and turn white.  Add shrimp and cook till pink (about 4 minutes on each side).
  3. Warm 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until it begins to bubble and turn white. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Drain and pat dry.
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on one side of each tortilla. Place tortillas cheese side up on baking sheets, and bake 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  5. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and mushrooms, and cook about 8 minutes. Mix in spinach and shrimp and continue cooking 2 minutes. Place an equal amount of the mixture on the cheese side of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half over the filling.
  6. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place quesadillas in the skillet one at a time, and cook 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges to serve.

*An NCJ Original*

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Grilled Jerk Shrimp Orzo Salad

Eating healthy has always been a battle for me, especially when trying to lose weight.  Now that the weather is getting warmer I’m extremely motivated to eat a more balanced diet but it’s always easier when you find something you like.  For example, I love love love hummus and carrots as a snack, almonds are a new favorite and strawberries and pears satisfy my sweet tooth.  Now I get to add this meal to the “health foods I love” list.  It’s definitely got a kick but the coolness of the vegetables and dressing help give it balance.  This would definitely impress your guests and would be perfect to serve at a cook out.


Yield: 2 servings


For the salad: 

  • 1 large ear sweet corn in husk
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 6 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch strips

For dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper



Carefully peel back corn husk to within 1 in. of bottom; remove silk.  Brush corn with oil, rewrap corn in husk and secure with kitchen string.  Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until tender, turning often.  Meanwhile, rub shrimp with jerk seasoning and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

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Cook orzo according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside .  Grill asparagus, red peppers and shrimp, covered, over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender and shrimp turn pink, turning once.

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Cut corn from cob, cut asparagus into 1-in. pieces and chop red peppers and add all veggies to bowl.  Add the shrimp, orzo and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients.  Pour over salad; toss to coat. 




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Seafood Linguine with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Before you look at the amount of butter in this dish let me be the first to tell you this is definitely one of those meals reserved for special occasions when you feel like cheating a little.  So with that said of course this dish is yummy!  I am a huge fan of any type of seafood and I grew up with my dad making fish all the time.  So this is a family favorite!  Best served with garlic bread so you can dip it in the extra sauce on your plate.  You can thank me later.


Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • 1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar clam juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste



  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large skillet add the olive oil and butter. Heat until butter is melted. Add the garlic and saute until tender.
  3. Season with shrimp and scallops with salt & pepper.  Add the scallops and shrimp to the pan. Cook until shrimp is pink, about 10 minutes. Add clam juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes more.
  4. To the cooked pasta add the tomatoes, parsley and lemon zest, toss. Pour seafood mixture over the linguine, serve immediately.


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Garlic Cilantro Shrimp




  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound of jumbo tiger prawn shrimp with the shell still on
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Nature’s brand seasoning

Garlic Bread

  • 1 baguette
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


1.   Rinse the shrimp under cold water and season with Nature’s seasoning.  Make sure to season the inside of the shrimp and not just the shell.

2.   Warm 3 tablespoons of butter in medium saucepan until it starts to foam.  Add minced garlic and saute til garlic is fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).

3.   Add shrimp and cook with the shell on.  Alternate both sides for about five minutes each side or until the shrimp is pink.  It usually takes longer to cook the shrimp with the shell on so sometimes I will turn the shrimp upright, placing the actual meat of the shrimp on the pan to make sure it is cooked all the way through.

4.   While the shrimp is cooking slice the baguette in 1/2 inch slices.  Spread with butter and sprinkle generously with garlic powder and paprika.

5.   Broil on low until the bread is golden brown and has a nice crust on top (about 5 minutes).

4.   Remove the shrimp from pan and serve immediately with garlic bread. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!


An NCJ Original


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Buffalo Fried Shrimp



For shrimp:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Creole-style seasoning

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached (optional)

4 cups oil for frying


For Buffalo Sauce:

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

6 ounces hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper



1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, Creole-style seasoning, garlic powder, ground cayenne pepper, onion powder, and ground black pepper. Seal the bag and shake a few times to combine the ingredients well.

2. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and place them in the plastic bag with the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake to coat all of the shrimp well with the flour mixture.

3. Place the coated shrimp on a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. Save remaining flour mixture in the bag.

4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together garlic, butter hot sauce and cayenne pepper; set aside. In a pot, heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

5. Remove shrimp from refrigerator and shake a second time in flour mixture.

6. Place the shrimp in hot oil and fry until pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately coat with buffalo sauce.  Serve with fresh celery and blue cheese dressing.

Note: Don’t coat the shrimp with the buffalo sauce too soon.  I would advise waiting until you’re about to serve the shrimp to add the sauce or serve the sauce on the side.  This makes about 4 servings.


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