Quick & Easy Sauteed Shrimp with Peppers

One of the most popular restaurants in downtown St. Augustine is a Cuban/Spanish-style restaurant called The Columbia. Founded by a Cuban immigrant in the early 1900s, The Columbia originated in the Tampa area and is a mini-chain restaurant (there are a handful of them, all in the state of FL).  The food is very unpretentious and down-home. They have some of the best Cuban bread on earth (soft, warm, heaven!) and the sangria?! Don’t even get me started!! I’ve blogged about the sangria before – here’s their red sangria recipe and here’s the white sangria straight from their website. I prefer the white, but they are both great.

Before you think I’m a lush, let me get back to the shrimp!! This recipe is adapted from one in their cookbook (which of course, I own. I need a 12 step program for cookbooks!). All of the recipes in the book start with a good solid half cup of oil (or more! ACK!), so I adjusted that and a few other bits and pieces as I go along. This recipe was originally referred to as “Creole Shrimp”, but it’s not at all spicy. I think calling it Sauteed Shrimp and Peppers is much closer to the truth. If you have everything chopped, peeled, and standing by, this becomes a superfast and easy main meal. It would be great over rice, couscous, or just with a nice hunk of that Cuban bread!

Quick & Easy Sauteed Shrimp with Peppers

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 green pepper, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
handful of chopped parsley (about 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)

1) Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and pepper until the onion is soft and transparent and the peppers are softened.
2) Stir in the garlic, then add the shrimp. Saute for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp starts to turn pink. Add the paprika, wine, parsley, salt, and pepper, stirring for another minute until the sauce thickens slightly and the shrimp are cooked all the way through.

(46) Stuffed Pork Sandwich

It’s Monday and I just have that Monday ‘blah’ feeling. I almost said “forget it!” and skipped cooking dinner all together, but I hated to waste the thawed out pork chops. I’m SO GLAD that I didn’t skip this recipe!!! My husband actually cooked these while I made the side dish, so I can attest to it being easy. He hardly asked any questions & didn’t say any bad words 🙂

The flavors of this sandwich are great! The pickle and the cheese give the right amount of saltiness. I was also very taken by the complex textures of such a seemingly simple sandwich. You’ve got soft bun and tomato, then a snap of crisp Romaine. When you get to the pork it’s tender, but you still have to get your teeth into it… The cheese and pickle are a squishy treat in the middle!! I couldn’t get enough!! If you like Cuban sandwiches, please try this recipe!!



Stuffed Pork Sandwich

Source: Eating Well Magazine – January/February 2009
Yield: 4 sandwiches

The classic Cuban sandwich inspired this recipe. The original is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese and pickles pressed and griddled between two pieces of soft white bread. Our version cuts down on the meat and is served on a soft whole-wheat bun. Feel free to press it in a panini maker to make it crispy. Serve with vinegary coleslaw.

4 4-ounce boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
2 thin slices Swiss cheese, (1 ounce each), cut in half
4 dill pickle sandwich slices
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 slices tomato
2 romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half

1. Cut each pork chop nearly in half horizontally, stopping short of the opposite side. Open each chop and place between sheets of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even thickness, slightly thicker than 1/8 inch.

2. Place a piece of cheese and a pickle slice on one side of each flattened chop. Fold the chop over the filling, closing it like a book. Press the edges firmly together to seal. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the stuffed chops, reduce heat to medium and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

4. To assemble sandwiches, spread the toasted buns with mustard and top each with a pork chop, tomato slice and lettuce.

Nutritional Information
353 Calories; 15 g Fat; 5 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 79 mg Cholesterol; 25 g Carbohydrates; 29 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 612 mg Sodium; 522 mg Potassium

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