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Summer Rolls with Mango Ginger dipping sauce

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The noodles in my head are fried. August in Texas is no joke. Our Thermostat is on a bi-polar rampage. We are trying to deny the existence of such a thing called “electric bill”. We better stay still and attempt to use the stove much less on these days. Its sad but true, I’m not even craving BBQ or to go out for lunch or dinner when the temperature outside reads 90 F degrees even at 9:00pm. I’m Summernating!

So whats for lunch and dinner these days? The freshest crunchy vegetables, cucumbers, carrots, jicama, crispy lettuce, and thin rice noodles cooked in less than 4 minutes. Summer rolls or Gỏi cuốn which translate in “rice paper rolls, are found all over in East Asia and Southeast Asia cuisine. A fine sticky rice paper is the wrapper which holds vermicelli rice noodles and vegetables. Usually these Summer Rolls are served as a popular appetizer. Odds are you have had them if you eat in Vietnamese or Thai restaurants here in the U.S. But why not make them for dinner as the meal itself?

So what are you going to need? You can find the round rice paper at almost any supermarket with an ethnic foods aisle. Or of course you can shop for them in Asian markets or Wholefoods. They are very inexpensive. If you can’t find them, well you can easily order them online if you are Summernating like me.

These rolls are filled with julianne fresh vegetables, vermicelli noodles and a lean protein, usually shrimp or pork. I used in-season ingredients like fresh cucumbers which I spiralize to create noodles. If you don’t have that handy apparatus you can use a Juliane peeler or your handy-dandy knife skills to make fine vegetable strips of your carrots and lettuce. In this version I added avocado and shrimp.
In addition of the traditional peanut sauce, I prepared a dipping Mango-ginger sauce to make them fresher and add a bit more sweetness. These Summer Rolls are what I’m craving these days.

Summer-Rolls_ingredients

Preparation of these rolls is a sticky affair but I have a nice trick which helps. If this is the first time making Summer Rolls my best advice: “Do Not” follow the instructions on the package, Heheehe. Everything will be easy after that.

Most of the packages and cookbook instructions out there which (for this roll up process I call them “des-tructions”) call to dip the rice paper in water, to soften and rehydrate. Then to carefully transfer this world’s stickiest, see thru, delicate, rice paper film into a wood surface or a plate… Let me tell you, this is a sticky fingers, crinkled edges, tear apart of a nightmare.

To avoid this situation, I will share with you my secret weapon to make these Summer Rolls, roll easily. I use a spray bottle.

Summer-Rolls_How-to-make-summer-rolls_Yes,-more-please!

The way I do it is as follows: I place the dry rice paper on a flat round plate. I spray the plate and I spray a couple of times onto the rice paper. Using the tips of my fingers, I distribute the water evenly. Leaving the rice paper onto the same plate is gonna be prepared. This makes for no-transferring nightmares. By the time I place the fresh vegetables, rice noodles, mint leaves, add the shrimp in the center, the rice paper is pliable. Then I spray a little water into one edge of the rice paper and start to peel the rice paper in order to start rolling. It is as easy as peeling a non-stick sticker. The roll-up is smooth and easy. 1-2-3-4 fold, the similar way to wrap a burrito, check out the easy step-by-step roll up photos ahead.
For dipping sauce I made the traditional spicy  and peanut for Ian and I made a Mango-ginger sauce that is my favorite now. ( Between you and this screen, Ian and I chomposaurused about 4 rolls each!…yes, shamelessly, happy and refreshing dinner…shshsh!)

I hope you like this recipe its fun to make, pull out your spray bottles and start rolling up these babies. enjoy!

To make these Summer Rolls you will need….

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Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche Stuffed Avocados

Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_Summer_Avocados_Fresh_-entertaining_Yes,-more-please!

After a rainy, muggy and wet Spring, Summer arrived early here in Austin.

Temperatures are on the rise and bright sunny days with blue skies are here. Vacation time is upon us. This means get out of the kitchen!!! Enjoy the outdoors, and whether you are planning a vacation to the beach a picnic or a staycation at home, there are always ways to enjoy this great weather.

This recipe is a fresh and light option, for gatherings, entertaining, or to take to a picnic or just to enjoy by the pool, patio or in the comfort of your house watching your favorite movie or reading a book. The goal is to relax and enjoy something fresh and delicious and pamper yourself.

Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_ingredients

These stuffed avocados are a party on a plate. The Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche is out of this world a punch of flavor, fresh, light and serving it on avocado halves makes it just irresistible. All the delicious summer flavors: cucumbers, pineapple, onions, limes, orange juice in combination with a pepper kick from the peperoncinis and the creamy avocado make this recipe a win win situation.

Healthy? Yes, indeed. Fun to make? Yes! Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche Stuffed Avocados It is just what you are craving on your Summer vacation.
Good music, refreshing drinks, a relaxing attitude and these  are all you need to bring the heat and enjoy your Summer vacation… Let’s cook!

Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_Mezzetta-Golden-Greek-Peperoncini_Yes,-more-please!

Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_-chopped-veggiesPeperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_stuffed-avocado

Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche Stuffed Avocados

Serves 4 to 6 with a bit of left over to refill the avocado halves.

2-3 Medium Avocados Hass is the preferable variety from Mexico (check the sticker!)
1 pound small medium shrimp peeled, deveined and cooked.
1 small tomato small diced
½ english cucumber small diced
1 small purple onion slivered
1 cup fresh pineapple small diced
8-10 pieces of Peperoncinis sliced.
¼ cup parsley finely chopped
2 glugs or 3 round drizzles of ExtraVirgin Olive Oil
1 lime juice
1 small orange, the juice and the zest
2 tablespoons of the peperoncini brine
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon celery salt
2-3 good cranks of fresh Black pepper
Pink Himalayan salt to your taste

Preparation:

1.In a medium size bowl combine all the chopped vegetables, shrimp, and the sliced peperoncinis. Add the lime juice, the orange zest and juice, 2 tablespoons of the peperoncinies brine, extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, celery salt, Black pepper and one or two pinches of Pink Himalayan salt to taste. Toss throughly, cover, refrigerate and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

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2.When ready to serve, cut Avocados in half length-wise, remove pit, and slice a sliver from the backside of each half to flatten the rounded side and make them stable on the plate. With a paring knife carefully cut the interior of the avocado into a grid. This will help to make it easier to eat.

Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_How-to-cut-an-Avocado

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3.Drizzle some lime juice and a little pink salt, on each avocado half place them on a serving platter and stuff with the Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche. Garnish with lime and orange wedges, plantain chips or water crackers, Enjoy!

Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_Best-avocado-recipe_Yes,-more-please!

Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_Yes,-more-please!

Welcome the Summer!

If you are on Vacation mode, weather if it is staycation, the beach, pool party or a picnic this give away is for you!

Enjoy your Summer and Bring the Heat!!!

Thank you to Mezzetta for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring us to try your delicious peppers!

Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_Mezzetta-Golden-Greek-Peperoncini_Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_Yes,-more-please!

Music Pairing: Zorba The Greek `original Sound track from the 1964 Movie

https://youtu.be/66dJoVawkb8

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The Mezzetta company sponsored it and compensated Yes, More Please! via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, Yes, more please! only recommends products or services we use and believe to be good fit for our readers. We are disclosing this post in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Grilled Seafood Paella Valenciana

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Valencia is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Great architecture, culture, and cuisine gather together in this little gem of a city that faces the Balearic sea.
Throughout history Valencia’s splendid location attracted cultures contributing to this fantastic region character. Moors brought new ingredients to the region like rice, sugar cane, oranges, almonds, and spices. The Romans brought the utensils to cook with. This kind of influences, shaped one of the most iconic Spanish dishes, Paella Valenciana. The original Valencian Paella recipe consists of a combination of chicken, rabbit, rice, green vegetables, artichokes, peppers, bomba rice, white runner beans, saffron, fresh rosemary, sweet paprika, garlic and lemon. It sounds divine, right? And also a little far off from the Paella Mixta we know in America.
I had the opportunity to travel around Spain with my Grandma Ana.  One of the cities we visited was Valencia. We had a blast, and of course every time I tried some remarkable food I wanted to know the origin of the dish. I love to hear about different stories about what people believe and their traditions. For me, this is an enriching way to know a culture; by their stomachs! So I took this info at face value and what I discovered is that Valencianos prefer to make their Paella with one category of meat at a time and not mixing them. Hey, since they are the Paella creators, I will go with their advice!,… And it make sense, seafood ingredients available in the near coast, they use shrimp, langoustines, mussels, clams, and squid. Areas more inland use land creatures, rabbit, chicken. What ever freshest available always taste best.

Throughout Spain, other variations have been adapted for inland areas creating the infamous Paella Mixta which combines a variety of white meats, seafood, sausage and chorizo. But, just remember that Valencians are very proud of their dish and they do not recognize this Paella Mixta as Original Paella Valenciana. So watch out what you call Paella Valenciana unless you want to get in to a heated argument.

Grilled-Sea-food-Paella-Valenciana_summer-grilling_Yes,-more-please!

Every country has their nationalistic pride when it comes to Cuisine, and in this case there is no exception since Paella is Spain National dish.  Every culture has their memories linked around a particular dish, ingredient or preparation that was carried by generations, runs in the family, or evokes a moment in time. And It is admirable when people stand by their beliefs and roots. I do respect that.

I hope knowing all these facts makes you less intimidated, after all they say knowledge is power. I would say in this case, knowledge is inspiration. I truly believe that everybody has a little of a cook inside. I would love to encourage you to be comfortable  with the idea  of cooking and enjoying the process. Have some red wine, Rioja if possible, and music on the side to let  that cook come out. Whether you are preparing the best butter on a toast or a dish with a lot of history and tradition like this Seafood Paella Valenciana, just have fun and be curious about it.

Grilled-Sea-food-Paella-Valenciana_ready-to-serve_Yes,-more-please!

Honoring the authentic Paella Valenciana, I made it strictly with seafood. We live in Texas, and have some access to great shrimp from the gulf, beautiful fresh rosemary in abundance and delicious Spring vegetables, and Texans know all the whereabouts to build a wood fire and that’s one of the key ingredient on the Valencian Paella, since it was created by people on the mountain.

I took the main components of the traditional recipe and added Spring vegetables like asparagus and green peas. I truly wanted to add some artichokes but I could not find good looking ones for some reason; anyway If you find some artichokes it would be a divine addition, if not, no biggy,  it is a delicious recipe any way. This seafood Paella Valenciana can be done in about 2 hours total including the prepping. It is definitely a dish that makes it perfect for small to medium gatherings. It is a fun crowd pleaser. With this fabulous weather, cooking outside and grilling this Spring or Summer its one of the best things to do.

Hey! Get out your inner cook and just cook!

Olé! Guapo…Let’s start!…here comes the recipe…

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

 

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Hold your horses! Hide the children! What you are about to see is food rated “R” at its best! My Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is to die for. Fresh, delicious, and savory; it’s the perfect simple light meal for a hot summer afternoon. This juicy cold and light savory cocktail is a meal in itself. What makes it Mexican style? Well the whole combination of vegetables, accoutrement, and the cold broth. It’s a savory broth made with shrimp shells and seasoned with fresh orange and lime juice, ketchup, and some dashes of hot sauce. The result is this light fresh savory broth that goes incredibly well with the shrimp. In my opinion there’s no need to buy those bottled clam juices when you can get the most natural flavor out of your shrimp!
This Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is an entrée rather than an appetizer with a dipping sauce as served in the States. In Mexico, this cocktail is typically served on the coastal cities as an iconic refreshing staple and a must have if you are spending your day on the beach. In the city, shrimp cocktail is widely known as the number one ‘hangover elixir.’
There are many variations in which more than one shellfish is added to this concoction. Common ingredients include octopus, clams, oysters, baby scallops. It is called “Vuelve a la vida” which translates to “come back to life” because its invigorating attributes. That, I can not guarantee, however I assure you that it will refresh and invigorate you on a summer afternoon. In my case, I just love the simplicity of flavors and the way the shrimp skins cooked as a base produce a magic broth with depth and character!

Prepare this dreamy cocktail for yourself ! You can make it in advance, since it is served cold on chilled glasses. For parties you can serve it with all the vegetable accoutrement on the side which allows your guests to customize their own. Keep it ice-cold at all times. It is truly a great summer crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

I can assure you this recipe will be part of your repertoire for many years to come.
Happy Summer, Enjoy!

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_ingredients

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Serrves 2 sailors 4 mermaids

This cocktail is light and refreshing, it can serve two as a meal or four to six as an appetizer. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled upon family size, or a friendly party crowd.

1 – ½ lbs. Jumbo or medium large shrimp, peeled save the skins and deveined.

For the shrimp stock:
The reserved skins from the shrimp.
2 celery stalks
¼ wedge of a white onion.
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Seasonings for the cold cocktail broth:
The juice of one small Valencia orange
3 large limes + 1 or 2 more to garnish.
¼-1/2 cup ketchup sauce
A few dashes of your favorite Mexican Bottled Hot Sauce, I prefer Cholula, Valentina or Huichol.

Prepare cocktail with:
2 roma tomatoes, small diced
1 small white or purple onion, small diced
1 medium cucumber seedless such as jade or English cucumber, small diced. 
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
1 chile Serrano or Jalapeno with seeds.
1 small Hass avocado

Serve with:
Saltine crackers or Tostadas
Plantain Chips
And a really cold light Mexican beer (I prefer Modelo Especial or Victoria oh yeah!)

Preparation Method:

1. Place two glass serving bowls in the freezer. (Mason jars, or glass mugs will work too.)
2. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, reserve the skins and leave 4-6 unpeeled, tail-on shrimp for garnish.Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_peel-and-devein-the-shrimp
3. In a non-reactive pan place the shrimp skins, along with the celery stalks, onion wedge, thyme, a pinch of sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Add 3 cups of water and simmer for about 15- 20 minutes.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_save-the-skins-to-make-a-broth
4. Meantime, prepare all your vegetable accoutrement. Dice and chop the tomato, cucumber, onion, serrano or jalapeno peppers, limes, avocado and cilantro. Set aside.
5. Check on your broth. With a slotted spoon, remove the skins and all the vegetables from the broth. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the hot broth and simmer the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes or until they change color and curl up.~Shrimp cook very fast so be attentive! You do not want rubbery overcooked shrimp!~

Mexican-shrimp-cocktail_how-to-boil-shrimp-
6. With a slotted spoon, pull out the shrimp a little before you think they are ready. They will keep cooking with their residual heat. Place the shrimp on a plate with ice underneath. (see picture below).
7. Fill a bowl halfway with ice and place a metal or glass bowl on top of the ice. Place a fine sieve on top of the bowl and drain the broth. With a wooden spoon, start whisking to cool off the broth until the temperature of the broth feels fresh and cooler.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_cooling-the-broth
8. You should have around 2 to 2-1/2 cups of broth left, transfer the broth into a liquid measuring cup if you have more than 2 ½ cups discard the extra broth.
9. Start seasoning the broth. Squeeze the juice of 3 limes, the juice of 1 small Valencia Orange, add Ketchup (I used my favorite: Sir Kensington’s spicy ketchup!) add a couple of dashes of hot sauce, the sea salt, and whisk. Taste and adjust flavor for salt or pepper.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_Season-the-broth
10. Pull out the frozen glass serving bowls and start arranging your cocktail. Start by layering the ingredients and add the seasoned broth at the end. No rules here! You can add as much or as little veggies as you want. Avocado is a must, highly necessary!, A little extra squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle some cilantro and an extra dash of hot sauce…Prepare for the stampede!.. you are gonna love it. Enjoy!
Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_ready-to-serve!Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_authentic

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

www.yes-moreplease.com

Refreshing, light this Mexican cocktail its perfect for a pool party or a weekend of leisure at home. remember to have a very very cold beer, Ceveza bien fria! Enjoy!

Course Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 4 sailors or 4 mermaids

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 ibs. Jumbo Shrimp, peeled, save the peels and deveined

For the shrimp stock:

  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 wedge of a white onion.
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Seasonings for the cocktail broth:

  • 1 the juice of one small Valencia orange
  • 3 large limes, plus 1 or 2 more to garnish.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ketchup sauce
  • A few dashes of your favorite Mexican Bottled Hot Sauce, I prefer Cholula, Valentina or Huichol.

Garnish with:

  • 2 roma tomatoes small diced
  • 1 small white or red onion, small diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, such as jade or English cucumber. small diced
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Chiles Serranos or jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 small Hass avocado

Serve with:

  • Saltine crackers or Tostadas
  • Plantain Chips
  • And a really cold light Mexican beer (I prefer Modelo Especial or Victoria oh yeah!)

Instructions

  1. 1. Place two glass serving bowls in the freezer. (Mason jars, or glass mugs will work too.)

    2. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, reserve the skins and leave 4-6 unpeeled, tail-on shrimp for garnish.

    3. In a non-reactive pan place the shrimp skins, along with the celery stalks, onion wedge, thyme, a pinch of sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Add 3 cups of water and simmer for about 15- 20 minutes.

    4. Meantime, prepare all your vegetable accoutrement. Dice and chop the tomato, cucumber, onion, serrano or jalapeno peppers, limes, avocado and cilantro. Set aside.

    5. Check on your broth. With a slotted spoon, remove the skins and all the vegetables from the broth. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the hot broth and simmer the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes or until they change color and curl up.~Shrimp cook very fast so be attentive! You do not want rubbery overcooked shrimp!~

    6. With a slotted spoon, pull out the shrimp a little before you think they are ready. They will keep cooking with their residual heat. Place the shrimp on a plate with ice underneath. (see picture below).

    7. Fill a bowl halfway with ice and place a metal or glass bowl on top of the ice. Place a fine sieve on top of the bowl and drain the broth. With a wooden spoon, start whisking to cool off the broth until the temperature of the broth feels fresh and cooler.

    8. You should have around 2 to 2-1/2 cups of broth left, transfer the broth into a liquid measuring cup if you have more than 2 ½ cups discard the extra broth.

    9. Start seasoning the broth. Squeeze the juice of 3 limes, the juice of 1 small Valencia Orange, add Ketchup (I used my favorite: Sir Kensington’s spicy ketchup!) add a couple of dashes of hot sauce, the sea salt, and whisk. Taste and adjust flavor for salt or pepper.

    Pull out the frozen glass serving bowls and start arranging your cocktail. Start by layering the ingredients and add the seasoned broth at the end. No rules here! You can add as much or as little veggies as you want. Avocado is a must, highly necessary!, A little extra squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle some cilantro and an extra dash of hot sauce…Prepare for the stampede!.. you are gonna love it. Enjoy!

    Happy Cooking!

Music Pairing: Vereda Tropical-Esquivel

 

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