Posts Tagged ‘shrimp’

It’s been a busy few months for me! I’ve moved to a new city and started a new job.  Most recently, my job took me up to Moose Factory, Ontario. It’s primarily a Cree community about 10 kilometres south of James Bay (the southern-most section of Hudson’s Bay) on the Moose River.  It was just gorgeous, truly a winter wonderland from mid-November onwards!

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Sunset on the banks of the Moose River

But the food situation could only be described as dire.  I was shocked at the prices and the resulting food insecurity (not to mention the boil water advisory on the reserve).  I saw families at checkouts with only canned food in their cart as that was all they could afford! I’m lucky to have a decent salary and was only buying for myself, but even something as simple as a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce quickly added up to $10-15!  Here’s some prices from my grocery shop in Kashechewan, a community nearby Moose Factory:


The frighteningly high food prices of Kashechewan, Ontario

All to say, when I got home to Ottawa this past weekend, I was craving a big and varied veggie stirfry.  I decided to make one of my favourite recipes, Lotus Land Linguini from  rebar: modern food cook book.  This medley of crisp veggies with a delightful spicy & creamy peanut sauce continues to be one of my absolute faves.   In it’s original form it’s vegan, but as a special treat I added some shrimp.  And to keep with the Asian theme, I served it with rice noodles instead of linguini (making it gluten-free too!).  I have yet to meet a friend or family member who hasn’t asked for the recipe.  Just the culinary treat I needed!!

– Bon appetit!




Crisp veggies in the wok!  Oh so delicious 

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Shrimp Wrap

It always surprises me how frequently I go to post an item, and Sitelle is already a step ahead of me.  Despite living 4,000 km apart, we somehow still manage to cook many of the same meals!  The day Sitelle made buttery  garlic shrimp, I had the exact same idea – although I ate the shrimp in a cold wrap.

Shrimp continue to be one of the richest sources of protein and they are loaded with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (not to mention absolutely they are absolutely tasty!)  For the wrap, I threw together my favourite sandwich ingredients with some tzaziki and lemon juice.  Just the refreshing pick-me-up one often needs at lunch!

Shrimp Wrap

1 wrap


buttery shrimp with garlic and parsley 

1 tortilla wrap

Tzaziki sauce

Cucumber, chopped

Tomato, chopped


Red Onion, chopped

Avocado, chopped

Lemon slice


To assemble wrap, spread tortilla with tzaziki.  Sprinkle veggies and shrimp on top.  Squeeze lemon slice over contents.  Roll up the wrap and bon appetit!

– Catherine

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I’m often asked “what is your favourite food, your favourite dish?”

That’s such a hard question! And my answer always begins by mentioning that it depends on the time of day, the season, and what else I’ve eaten recently. This is likely not very satisfying as an answer.

That said, this is one of my top 10 “simple dishes”. There are only 5 ingredients. And it can be an appetizer or a main course. And best of all, it reminds me of my grandparents in France.

Ever since I was little, I can remember carrying those funny-shaped shrimp fishing nets down to the beach with my water shoes in. I would wade slowly around the rocks, looking for the strange movement of the nearly transparent organisms through the water. I love it!

Over time, the shrimp accumulate in my fishing basket, perhaps accompanied by a few other sea-finds like escargots. I look forward to frying them up in butter, garlic, and parsley with my grandmother when I return. It is such a treat.


-1 lb shrimp (I prefer the ones with shells still on as this really boosts the flavour but some may find this messy)
-2 good-sized cloves garlic, germ removed, very finely minced
-leaves from 5 sprigs parsley, washed and finely chopped
-1 Tbsp butter
-pinch salt to taste


Wash the shrimp in cold water. Mince the garlic and parsley. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-low, and when butter begins to bubble, add the garlic for 30 minutes. Then add the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until both it is nearly cooked through. Add the parsley 2-3 minutes before turning the heat off, and sprinkle with salt to taste.


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While Sitelle was off adventuring in Belize last week, I spent a lovely time visiting family and friends in Ontario.  On the last evening with my parents, we decided to make saffron seafood bisque for supper.  As we sat down to our steaming servings, my father reminisced about the first time he tried this dish – during my parents first Christmas together.  Over 20 years later, it continues to be one of our family’s favourites.  The delicate flavours of the seafood are beautifully complemented by the saffron and held together by a creamy sauce infused with fresh vegetables and dill.

This dish is elegant enough that it can be served as the star of a New Year’s Day dinner, yet simple enough that it can be cooked on your average weeknight. The original dish is found in a 1987 December Gourmet magazine, and calls for a homemade fish stock made from shrimp peels and fish bones.  Over the years my family has significantly simplified the bisque, while preserving its essence.   And without fail, every last drop of this saffron seafood bisque is savoured.


Saffron Seafood Bisque

(6 servings)



2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of butter, divided

1 onion, sliced in rings

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 ribs of celery, finely chopped

1 red pepper, slivered

8 mushrooms, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

1 pound of shrimp (about 30*)

1.5 pounds of scallops

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Large splash of white wine

Generous pinch of saffron

¼ cup of dill, finely chopped



Over medium heat in a large frying pan, sauté the onions, celery, and garlic in 1 teaspoon butter.  When fragrant, add the remaining veggies and cook until softened. Transfer veggies and juice to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Melt the other teaspoon of butter, and sauté the shrimps until pink and the scallops until no longer translucent.   Transfer seafood and juice to the bowl with veggies.

Create a roux with the remaining butter and flour, allowing it to bubble until nutty.  Whisk in the broth and milk, before adding the wine, salt and pepper, and saffron.  Stir in any juices from the seafood and vegetables.  Bring sauce to a boil and allow to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes.  Incorporate the seafood, vegetables, and most of the dill stirring gently.

Garnish with the remaining dill. Delicious served over a creamy risotto or a bed of quinoa!


–       Catherine

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