Since we planted our vegetable garden, I have been eagerly anticipating the day when my herbs and veggies would provide us with delicious ingredients for some summer recipes. One look at my cilantro plant told me that day had finally arrived. Our cilantro plant has been thriving in the window box. Our other herbs are doing well also, but something about that cilantro was calling my name tonight.
Tonight’s dinner is typical of what happens at least once a week in my house. Typically, I plan out my meals for the week, but sometimes, whether it is a scheduling conflict or that I forgot to take a protein out of the freezer to thaw, I off-road a bit and make something up on the spot. That’s exactly what I did tonight. I knew I wanted to use some fresh cilantro from our garden, so I went to the fridge and assessed what was available to me. I saw a head of cauliflower that I had initially planned to roast in the oven with steak one night, a bell pepper and some shrimp. I pulled these out in addition to an onion, lime, some garlic, crushed chili pepper flakes and a few stems of cilantro from my garden. Chili Lime Shrimp was my answer.
In a large Ziploc bag I combined the shrimp (peeled and deveined with the tails left on), the juice and zest of one lime, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and some salt. I shook this around and placed in the fridge to marinate while I prepped the rest of my ingredients.
I riced the cauliflower in the food processor and chopped up the bell pepper and onion. I decided to make cauliflower rice with sautéed peppers and onions. I added the peppers and onions to a hot frying pan with some oil and sautéed for a couple of minutes until the onion was soft. Then I added the cauliflower along with one cup of water. If I had chicken broth, I would have used it, so I had to settle for water. I mixed it around good and then covered it and turned the heat to medium-low.
While the cauliflower rice was cooking, I thought that I wanted something a little crunchy. I didn’t want to bread my shrimp in a crispy coating because I wanted to keep it a little lighter, so instead I thought about a crispy topping. I added some oil to a frying pan and let it heat up. Then I added about 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper. I toasted this in the frying pan until it turned a nice golden brown. Then, I put it aside and added a bit more oil to cook my shrimp.
With shrimp, timing is critical, so I had to wait until my cauliflower was about 5 minutes away from being finished. I added all the contents of my Zilpoc bag to the frying pan, including the liquid and let this cook until the shrimp turned pink and were no longer translucent.
To assemble my dinner, I spooned some of the cauliflower rice into a dish and then added my cooked shrimp on top. I spooned out some of the liquid from the pan and then added some fresh lime juice and pepper. To top it off, I sprinkled on the toasted panko breadcrumbs, some chopped cilantro and a little bit of Sriracha for some extra kick.
If you give it a try, let me know! Enjoy!
Crispy Chili Lime Shrimp with Cauliflower Rice
This bright and vibrant dish screams spring with fresh lime, cilantro and a hint of spice.
- 1 – 1 1/2 lbs fresh or frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to suit your spice preference)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 medium cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1-2 stems chopped cilantro leaves
- Sriracha to taste
- Fresh lime juice to finish
- In a Ziploc bag, combine shrimp, lime juice and zest, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 tsp salt. Let marinade in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until you achieve a rice like consistency.
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat (Any oil with a high smoke point like Safflower or Grapeseed oil). Add the onions and peppers and sauté until the onions are soft. Add the cauliflower and chicken broth/water. Bring to a simmer then turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is soft but not mushy and liquid has been absorbed.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, heat half of the remaining oil. Add the bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper and toast until lightly browned. Put aside.
- In the same frying pan used for the breadcrumbs, add the remaining oil and the contents of the Ziploc bag, including the liquid. Cook until shrimp is pink and no longer translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Scoop cauliflower into a bowl and top with the shrimp mixture. Garnish with chopped cilantro, panko bread crumbs, Sriracha and a fresh squeeze of lime juice.