Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Buffalo Shrimp and Summer Quinoa Salad

I've always loved anything drenched in buffalo sauce. I love the flavor, the perfect amount of heat; it's seriously good on everything. It never occurred to me how easy it would be to make it myself.

Back in the days where I could eat anything, buffalo sauce was my go-to dipping sauce. Especially for fries, but I wasn't picky. I'll put it on burgers, chicken strips, fish, whatever. My friends and I used to go to this restaurant back at school called Wingers who had their own signature buffalo sauce that they put on all their specialty menu items. My days at Wingers are a thing of the past, but thankfully, my days eating buffalo sauce aren't!

My friend Jamie is another buffalo sauce lover. Like, probably more than me even. So of course, when I decided to make this recipe, she was the first person I invited over.

The quinoa salad is a fresh addition to these heat-packed shrimp, added to the meal to cool your palate between bites of buffalo. I made two versions, one with tomatoes for my parents and jamie, and one without for me.

My one word of advice is to be careful not to cook the shrimp too long, they can get a little rubbery if they are overcooked.

Buffalo Shrimp

1/3 c. olive oil
4 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1 pound jumbo shrimp, shells removed, tails on
1/2 c. Franks hot sauce
1/2 stick butter

Whisk together the oil, garlic and vinegar in a large bowl until it looks murky. Season with salt and pepper. Add the raw shrimp, toss with your hands until all shrimp is coated in marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once time is up, turn oven to the broil setting, about 500 degrees. Place the shrimp on a broil pan, coat with remaining marinade and put in oven, door cracked, for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, then stir in hot sauce. Bring to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low to keep warm. If shrimp begin to look pink, use tongs to flip them over, and let them go no more than 2 minutes on the other side. Once shrimp is pink, remove from oven and toss in warm sauce. Serve warm.

Summer Quinoa Salad

2 c. water
1 c. uncooked quinoa
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 can. artichoke hearts, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced (optional)
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, about 12 minutes. Let quinoa cool before adding other ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper. When quinoa is cooled, add jalapenos, tomatoes, artichokes, carrots and parsley. Add dressing and gently toss to combine.

Both recipes serve 4.

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