Posts filed under Lekker

Lekker: I'M BACK BITCHES! (Also: Classic Shrimp Ceviche)

Wheeeeeee! Hello everyone! It's been so long since I logged into this site that I forgot my password, but DAMN it feels good to be back!

My last post was an announcement of a break I needed to take from the site due to my struggles with severe anxiety and depression. I am *so* pleased to announce that with the new year I seem to have turned a corner in my recovery, and I'm feeling great. Not quite 100% yet, but I'm feeling MUCH more like my usual buoyant, ridiculous, and energetic self with a whole lotta space for adventure this next year.

AT ANY RATE, part of feeling like myself again is being excited about delicious food and I have a good one for y'all today. My Dad turned 60 on Friday and to celebrate, my brother and his girlfriend and I threw him a Latin American themed dinner kicking off with a Classic Shrimp Ceviche appetizer.

If you're not familiar with ceviche get ready to try something new because it's absolutely idiot proof (no cooking required!) and quick to throw together. Ceviche is made via the process of using an acid (traditionally lime juice, though I've seen some other recipes use vinegar or other citrus juices as well) to "cook" seafood along with a few additional simple ingredients, served with tortilla chips or warm tortillas.

"But it's not cooked! It's raw seafood, isn't that going to make me sick?!"

Shut up, do you eat sushi? Right, newsflash, that's raw fish, and this isn't even raw fish. The seafood is "cooked" by the acids slowly denaturing the proteins, leaving the seafood with a firm and opaque appearance exactly as if it were cooked by heat.

Tilapia, halibut, and shrimp are common choices for ceviche but personally I find tilapia disgusting since the vast majority is farmed in Asia where the use of chicken feces as a food supply is common practice. Shrimp on the other hand is one of my favourite foods and I find it accessible and easy to work with in a quick ceviche.

So anyway, enough blathering! It's taken me longer to write that intro than it'll take you to actually make this.

Classic Shrimp Ceviche
makes 15-20 servings--though I don't even know how to classify this kind of "serving"--whatever, look this'll very easily serve 6 people as an appetizer, okay?

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed (If you're going to go fresh, make sure they're REALLY fresh--they shouldn't be squishy or smell fishy. It's perfectly okay to go frozen, too, just thaw them completely under cold water before beginning)
1-1.5 cups of freshly squeezed lime juice (DO NOT USE BOTTLED. I will disown you. Make an effort for once you lazy lout.)
1 avocado, diced small
5 or 6 ripe plum tomatoes, diced small
~1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves (no stems)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt & pepper, to taste
Optional: 1 green onion, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
Optional: 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped, or to taste

1. Dice the raw shrimp into smallish pieces--don't go nuts, just like, cut one shrimp into three pieces and that's well good enough. Toss them into some non-metal bowl and cover them with the lime juice. The juice should just cover them. Stick them in the fridge and let them marinate for about 3 hours, tossing occasionally.

2. At the 3 hour mark you should notice that the shrimp is opaque and firm. Add in all the other ingredients and toss until very well coated. If you want to add more lime juice, go ahead. Throw it back in the fridge and let it chill out for another hour or so, then serve! I dig serving it with tortilla chips, but you can use whatever you want because this is a free country.

Unless you're reading this from Russia.


Cerveza optional but highly advisable.



Posted on January 19, 2016 and filed under Lekker.

Lekker: Charred Romaine & Shrimp Salad

Ey yo! Welcome back. First things first:


So now that I've properly explained why I've been a bit MIA, I have a recipe for you!

I made this Charred Romaine & Shrimp Salad yesterday for my Sunday evening dinner because up here in New York for the summer, Sunday ALWAYS mean grilling--and lucky for me the person I'm currently tongue kissing is also a BOMB grillmaster, so I'm making good use of his talents.

I guess you could do this all on the stove in a hot cast iron skillet if you don't have a grill, but by all means give it a shot outside if you can. Nothing says summer like throwing EVERYTHING YOU OWN onto the grill, basically.

If you haven't already been charring your Romaine lettuce now's the time to give it a try (I am sorry, I know I sound like a pretentious food snob when I say that but OMFG you must must try it), but what really adds depth to this summery salad is cutting that richness with a few leaves of the fresh raw stuff to give it some crunch.

Feel free to omit the tomatoes if you want; I just think it's sacrilege to not include them in a summer salad for all their juiciness and gorgeous colour when they're in season. Oh, and the extra brilliant part of this salad is that you don't even need up whip up a separate dressing: the olive oil and lemon juice takes care of that in beautiful simplicity. 

Here we go punks!

P.S. That drink's one of my clean summer faves: muddled fresh mint leaves and peeled cucumber chunks topped with ice, vodka, and Poland Spring lemon-lime seltzer. Refreshing, low-cal, and the perfectly clean accompaniment for a rich salad!

P.S. That drink's one of my clean summer faves: muddled fresh mint leaves and peeled cucumber chunks topped with ice, vodka, and Poland Spring lemon-lime seltzer. Refreshing, low-cal, and the perfectly clean accompaniment for a rich salad!

serves 2

3 whole small-to-medium sized Romaine hearts
24 small-to-medium sized cleaned raw shrimp, tails left on, threaded onto wooden skewers (I was able to find these at my supermarket already assembled for only $2 a skewer)
2 ears of corn, shucked and wiped of silk
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 large tomato, diced (optional, I GUESS)
6 slices bacon, more if you are a needlessly indulgent sod
2 fresh lemons
Olive oil for brushing
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Lightly oil the ears of corn and season with salt and pepper. Toss those two on the grill over the area of highest/most direct heat to get a good char on them. Now's the time to add your bacon strips directly onto the grill as well, to cook to your desired level of crispiness.

2. While that shit gets going gently brush your shrimp with olive oil on each side so they don't stick to the grill, and then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over them and season with S & P. Grill for about 2 minutes a side or until light pink and cooked throughout.

3. While your shrimp are grilling, slice 2 of the 3 Romaine hearts in half lengthwise straight down the middle, making sure to keep the end bulb intact. Trim off any browned edges and gently dust off any visible dirt or grit. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and season with S & P. These we'll grill. If the tiny inner leaves are having trouble staying put use a toothpick to stab it all together, because when all else fails be violent in the kitchen. Wash and chop about 6 leaves of the third head--this will be your raw component.

4. Once your shrimp are removed from the grill, crank it up to high heat and add the Romaine lettuce heads cut side down. Grill over high heat for about 2-3 minutes or until you've got a nice char and the leaves have slightly wilted. Remove from heat.

4. Roughly chop the charred Romaine and toss with the raw chopped leaves, avocado, tomatoes, whole shrimp, diced bacon, and roasted corn kernels you've sheared from the cob. Squeeze the juice of the other lemon over the whole thing and call it a day--the olive oil you've used to grill half the ingredients will mingle with the lemon juice to create a simple dressing that lets the other seasonal ingredients shine. Buon appetito!

Follow us on Instagram at @tigrita_thelittletiger for more food pics and general frivolity, and on Twitter at @LekkerLiquor.

Posted on July 28, 2015 and filed under Lekker.

Lekker: Quinoa Tabbouleh

No, I didn't sneeze. It's food, I promise.

TABBOULEH! Know it? It's a Middle Eastern grain salad that's been around for eons upon ages, and typically it's not one of my favourite foods. Nothing against Middle Eastern food, of course--in fact I love it--but tabbouleh usually has a consistency that is not very pleasing to my tongue. With this recipe so chock full of fresh veggies and salty goodness, though, we've got zero problems.

And yes yes I know. Quinoa (KEEN-wah, if you haven't heard the yuppies talking about it as the next big health craze for the last 5 years) is not the traditional grain to use in tabbouleh. TOO BAD; that's what I had in my fridge and I like it better than bulgur anyway because it's got more protein per serving: 8 grams per cooked cup versus bulgur's 6. This is also an excellent swap if you're gluten-free since quinoa is technically a seed, not a wheat product.

I am *also* aware that traditional tabbouleh does not contain carrots, olives, or feta cheese, but if you're going to say no to those types of things I'm not sure I want to be friends with you anyway.

So, onwards we go to this strangely addictive light vegetarian lunch or dinner option (oooorrrr just add some grilled chicken to blow that whole vegetarian thing out of the water)!

This is the only time grain salads look pretty. Not pictured: olives and feta cheese.

serves two as a full salad for lunch or dinner; add grilled chicken if you want it a bit more filling

1 1/2-2 cups cooked quinoa (I used tri-colour since that's what I had)
2 Persian cucumbers, diced small (Persian cukes are the little wee ones packaged in a tray and covered with plastic wrap; I like them because they're super crunchy with minimal seeds but feel free to use an English hothouse cucumber--the super long ones wrapped in cling wrap--as well. Regular cucumbers don't have the kind of crunch you want here.)
1 large beefsteak tomato or 2-3 smaller Roma tomatoes, diced
2 scallions, finely diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
~1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped (Why are you bothering to measure a salad? Just take a "1/3 cup" to mean "a handful.")
~1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (or however much you want; I never let people tell me how much cheese I should or should not be eating dammit)
8-10 leaves fresh mint, finely chopped (Don't cheap out and use dried herbs! In this salad it's a total loss.)
8-10 leaves fresh Italian flat parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
Juice of 1 small lemon, pulp and seeds strained out
~1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

1. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked quinoa, diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, scallions, carrots, olives, cheese, mint, and parsley. Then in a separate small bowl whisk up the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper until well combined to become your dressing.

2. Toss the salad with your dressing (add a bit more olive oil if it looks too dry), and leave it to chill out in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

As I said, this dish is actually super addictive. I wasn’t a huge fan of it the first time I ate it, but after it sat in the fridge for an hour I had another serving, and the more I ate it the more I wanted to eat more of it until I was essentially just shoveling it into my piehole, grains and parsley leaves flying everywhere. I are sexy.

Buon appetito!

Posted on June 20, 2015 and filed under Lekker.