Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lemon and Basil

I bought a Basil plant at Trader Joe's because it was the same price as a bunch of fresh basil at the grocery store, and it regenerates. I figured even if I killed it quickly, which was likely, it would cost no more than if I had only bought enough for one recipe. I have managed to keep it alive for close to a month now, so I have been trying to incorporate lots of basil into our meals.

Grilled Chesapeake Bay Prawns with Lemon Horseradish Sauce (from the Penzey's spice catalog)

2 pounds jumbo prawns, in the shells or shelled and deveined

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons Chesapeake Bay Seasoning

1 cup tomato ketchup

1 small lemon, juiced and zested

2 heaping tablespoons prepared horseradish

4 shakes Tobasco sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably kosher or sea)

ground pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all sauce ingredients. Add more horseradish to taste, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium high. Just before grilling, toss shrimp in oil and sprinkle with Chesapeake Bay Seasoning. Place shrimp on the grade directly over the heat and grill for 6-7 minutes, turning once, until all parts of the shrimp are the same opaque color. Serve immediately.

Some notes: As we all know, I am both a resident of a rural community, and cheap. Fresh jumbo prawns are unavailable, and frozen ones are not guaranteed. I ended up using medium sized shrimp because that is what I could find. Because they would fall through the grates of a grill, I threaded the shrimp on skewers and grilled that way. The shrimp are juicier if you grill them with the shells on, but the flavor of the seasoning is much stronger if you sprinkle it directly on the flesh. Also, Chesapeake Bay Seasoning is a Penzey's Spice, ( which is where I get all of my spices, but it is pretty equivalent to Old Bay seasoning, which is available at nearly all grocery stores.

Lemon-Basil Potatoes

16 baby new potatoes, halved

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh is always better!)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (preferably fresh)

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Place the potatoes, chicken stock, lemon, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain potatoes and place in a serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Add lemon zest and basil. Toss well.

I served this with fresh sugar snap peas, steamed in a Ziploc steamer bag and tossed with butter and salt and pepper.

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