Shrimp Cakes

I had another post queued up but was just so psyched by this one so it is cutting the line!  I loooove shrimp and went all out – even pan frying these! Gasp! I tend to get annoyed frying things since they require so much babysitting. These stayed together pretty well and were worth it. The shrimp cakes were full of such great corn & chive flavor! Plus if you’re growing chives, chances are you have tonssss – or sub parsley, or green onion, or whatever herb suits you.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake

These shrimp cakes have a touch of lemon and some sweet corn and shallots provided freshness and crunch. My corn was leftover and I used some frozen shrimp since I like to have them on hand. I’d totally whip a bunch of these up for a group, or as mini appetizers, or they were great to just make 2 servings.

Shrimp Cakes (for 2 entree servings, or 4 appetizer portions)

Ingredients:

1 cup shrimp (shelled, deveined, defrosted, etc as necessary), about 1/4 pound
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chives, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
~1 cup corn, off the cob
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Rough chop the shrimp into approximately thirds – smaller pieces but chunks.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan and oil to medium heat. (I used a small cast iron pan and added oil to be less than a quarter inch deep.)
Add shrimp, mayo, cornstarch, garlic, chives, shallot, corn, lemon juice, egg, and salt & pepper into a bowl and mix well.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake
Test the oil temperature by dropping in a tiny bit of the mixture. If it sizzles, spoon in about 3 tablespoons for each shrimp cake (or your desired size). Pan fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake

I made these on a weekend afternoon and ate some of the more crumbly ones as lunch then the next night for dinner I just toasted these through and had them on salad for dinner. I looooved that these were full of shrimp and corn. I also really didn’t want them full of filler. I love me a good crabcake but wanted these to be different. The cornstarch makes them puffy and crunchy.

Make sure that oil is hot…otherwise they’ll be greasy and not crisp. I go with the small pan to just do a few at a time. Pop the done ones in an oven to stay warm if making for a crowd! I’d do little bites in advance for an app!

Shrimp Scampi Flatbreads

I was home to make lunch and was thinking about Shrimp Scampi but it seemed a bit much for lunch so I made it into a flatbread with a scampi-like sauce. I loved it and it was the perfect fit for a surprisingly quick lunch with the flavors without messing with dough or even boiling water. Cooking the shrimp and making the sauce in that same pan makes for a lot of flavor and was just so easy.

The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Scampi Flatbread

Ingredients:

1 garlic naan
5-6 shrimp
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup clam juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic
cracked black pepper & salt
1 teaspoon chopped chives
~2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon thyme

Directions:

Toast the flatbread.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook and flip once and cook for a few minutes per side.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Scampi Flatbread
Remove the shrimp and add in the clam juice, lemon juice, mustard, & garlic.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Scampi Flatbread
Whisk and bring to a low simmer. Add in more black pepper and chives.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Scampi Flatbread
Spread the sauce onto the naan and top with Parmesan and shrimp.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Scampi Flatbread
Sprinkle with the thyme and return to the oven for another few minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Scampi Flatbread
The sauce was veryyy flavorful. The clam juice, lemon juice, dijon, and garlic are fo-real. For pasta I’d probably save a bit of the starchy water to thin it out a little. I was so glad I made this one & got the flavor I was thinking about. It was easy to make a single serving and was a great reminder how quickly some classic flavors can take shape.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp & Chimichurri Sauce

I love the idea of a raw sauce to top meat and fish. Mine was grilled shrimp and Mr. J had steak tips. The arugula salad had avocado, cucumbers, and tomatoes. I’ll have to keep the idea of chimichurri around the next time I have handfuls of fresh herbs leftover from something!

The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Shrimp w/ Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup flat parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic, minced
pinch crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 olive oil
shrimp/steak
2 cups arugula
1 cup mixed greens
1 avocado
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped

Directions:

Preheat the grill.
In a blender or food processor, combine the parsley, cilantro, red wine vinegar, crushed red pepper, cumin, salt, pepper, and stream in the olive oil. Taste and add in more oil/vinegar as needed. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Shrimp w/ Chimichurri Sauce
Grill the steak/shrimp.
Toss together the arugula, avocado, tomato, and cucumber.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Shrimp w/ Chimichurri Sauce
Toss with some salad dressing. Add the grilled steak/shrimp and spoon some chimichurri sauce over the top.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Shrimp w/ Chimichurri Sauce
I liked the fresh-herby flavor of the chimichurri. I found it a strong so I made sure there was some on each shrimp, but I wasn’t trying to dress the salad with it. I used some creamy caesar dressing for the salad. I thought a more fatty-peppery dressing was good to contrast the chimichurri sauce.

Feta & Herb Crusted Salmon

My garden herbs are still kind of hanging on, likely because it has been 50-degrees! I used them with some feta for a Greek-inspired salmon or the topping would work nicely on chicken as well. I cooked it on the grill or it could be popped into the oven as well.

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Salmon

Ingredients:

1 salmon fillet
1-2 tbs crumbled feta
1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Directions:

Chop the feta and herbs and mix together with a little pepper (the feta will provide enough salt).
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Salmon
Preheat the grill or oven.
Make a foil packet sprayed with a little non-stick spray.
Place the salmon onto the foil and top with the feta/herb topping.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Salmon
Close up the foil and cook until your desired doneness.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Salmon
The herbs flavor cooked in really well. It was a his/hers dinner so Mr. J grilled some steak while I had salmon. With some roasted broccoli and some creamy white beans, dinner was really quite hands-off. It was a good reminder that the salmon I had hanging out in the freezer would defrost quickly and cook quickly with only a few ingredients. What a perfect use for some leftover fresh herbs you have from something else!

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Salmon

What I Ate: Angry Shrimp Wrap

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I’m lacking on the eat-more-fish goal this year. Baby steps…speaking of, the baby is trying to take some steps. For this quickie we did a his/hers wraps. His was Chicken Caesar and hers was Buffalo Shrimp! I liked this for a really quick, easily customizable dinner. Although it is a sandwich, it isn’t your average lunch-box option.
The Three Bite Rule - Angry Shrimp

Ingredients:

burrito-size tortilla
lettuce/tomato/cucumber/pickles as you wish
~6 medium shrimp, pealed & deveined
4 tbs buffalo sauce
2 tbs blue cheese dressing

Directions:

Prep the shrimp: peal, devein, defrost as necessary.
Heat a small skillet to medium low heat and add in the shrimp and buffalo sauce. Toss and cook until warmed through (if the shrimp are fully cooked – about 4 minutes) or until the shrimp cook through (if the shrimp are raw – 5-6 minutes).
The Three Bite Rule - Angry Shrimp
While the shrimp cooks in the buffalo sauce, prep the veggies.
Top the wrap with the veggies, shrimp, and a drizzle of blue cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Angry Shrimp
Wrap & enjoy!

This was pretty basic, as in simple…not being “basic”. Don’t even get me started with PSL and being “basic”. Such a lame descriptor.

This was tasty and just what I wanted. Again, not rocket-science, but this is real-life. It is definitely a whirl-wind to pick up the little dude at daycare, get home & see the pups, spoon feed the baby dinner, and then to know what’s up for adult dinner. It is a short window from 6-8pm to fit in baby playtime, dinnertime, bathtime, bottle & bed. Dinner sometimes just has to be dinner and this one hit the spot!

Lobster Cakes

I made some lobster cakes as a play on a crab cake. They were so good and though I plopped mine onto a salad, they would be great as an appetizer too!

The Three Bite Rule - Lobster Cakes

Ingredients:

1 cup lobster meat, chopped
2 tbs mayo
1 tbs grainy mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
4 chive sprigs minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Directions:

Mix together the lobster meat, mayo, mustard, and garlic gently to not pulverize the lobster.
The Three Bite Rule - Lobster Cakes
Add in the chives and green onion stirring gently.
The Three Bite Rule - Lobster Cakes
Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil to medium heat.
Form the mixture into 2-3 patties and roll them in the mixed breadcrumbs.
The Three Bite Rule - Lobster Cakes
To check the oil temperature, drop a few breadcrumbs into the oil and see if they sizzle immediately. If they do, then add the patties in to cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Try to let them really crisp on the bottom before flipping so you only have to flip it once.
The Three Bite Rule - Lobster Cakes
Remove from the oil and let them drain on paper towel to get rid of the excess oil.
The Three Bite Rule - Lobster Cakes
Serve on their own or on top of salad! Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Lobster Cakes
This is the best lazy-man’s lobster. It gets crunchy on the outside but is all lobster on the inside. There really isn’t much filler in these bad boys. I ended up adding a 2nd to my plate. I couldn’t resist!

Can you believe I fried them? I never fry things! They’d be good in the oven, if it isn’t too hot to have your oven on. ;)

I served it with honey mustard dressing that is just so easy and worth making yourself:
2 tbs honey
2 tbs dijon mustard
tiniest dab of butter (tiny as in 1/2 teaspoon – this makes all the difference)
shake it up and enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Lobster Cakes
Make your own honey mustard dressing. It is perfect to make a tiny bit for one or two servings or double/triple/quadruple this and have enough for a while.

Risotto with Grilled Asparagus

For my restaurant recreation this month, I was inspired by a lobster & asparagus risotto dish at Davio’s but I wanted to make it at home. It also served as a reminder that risotto doesn’t only have to be winter food. With Mr. J’s new grill, this still allowed him to fill his grilling quota with the asparagus. Seriously, he wants to grill bfast/lunch/din.

I made this as a his/hers dinner that he had with steak and I had with lobster. The lobster wasn’t real so it was perfect to use in a cooked dish. I think I’ll use the remainder into some lobster mac & cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto

Ingredients:

1/2 white onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup water
1 cup broth
1 cup white wine
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbs grated Parmesan
1 bunch asparagus
lobster or steak

Directions:

In a large saucepan, saute the onion in some olive oil over medium heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add in the rice and stir regularly for a few minutes to toast it, then reduce heat to medium low.
In a medium saucepan, heat the water, broth, wine, and mustard to low heat.
Add a ladle of liquid to the rice until absorbed. Continue adding, stirring, and simmering until absorbed. Then adding the next ladle-ful in.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
Grill the asparagus.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
Chop into 1-inch sections.
Cook the lobster in butter and/or grill the steak.
Gently fold in the asparagus and Parmesan into the risotto.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
Gently fold in the lobster meat.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
Serve and enjoy!

Mr. J’s was asparagus topped with some grilled steak.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
I liked the charred bits of the asparagus and I was careful to not overmix the asparagus. I didn’t want the pieces to be decimated or to lose all the grill marks into a blackened risotto!

The risotto was creamy and perfect. I think cooking it over medium-low heat is the ticket. If it is at a higher temp it really gets sticky versus creamy. It takes just a bit of patience, and about 25 min of cook time, but if somebody wants to keep an eye on it while the asparagus is grilling, it works out just fine. Or grill the asparagus first and let it hang out while cooking the risotto.

I could substitute grilled shrimp, or even salmon flaked apart, or grilled sausage…endless possibilities without even turning on the oven!

Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

I’m capitalizing on salads while I’m home on maternity leave. It is a good reminder how lucky I am to a) get a freshly cooked lunch at work, and b) that there’s always salad all ready with lunch. This salad took a bit more prep than just tossing some veggies with greens but I loved it and was so happy with my quick dressing! I’m counting this as my monthly eat-more-fish goal and my make-more-salad-dressings goal, though I will get my act together and eat more fish that isn’t just on salad.

Tuna Nicoise is the French cousin to our cobb salad. The cooking required is for the potatoes, egg, and green beans. You could include artichokes or seared tuna, or sardines if you’re feeling especially French. It looks so pretty before you dress it or before scooping bites of this and that. It is definitely a salad that feels like a meal.

The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Dijon Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp honey
salt & pepper

Directions:

In a jar, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, honey, salt & pepper (I forgot the balsamic until after this pic)
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Shake well for 1 minute.
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Taste & adjust as needed. Add more honey if it is too bitter for you, or more vinegar if it needs more of a kick.
Enjoy!

Making salad dressing is so easy, which is why I wanted to make it more often. I have all these ingredients on hand AND I didn’t make a ton. That allows me to have different dressings all the time without making a gallon and feeling the need to use it all before going onto the next one. This dressing is light and easy to tweak to your tastes. By having it over this salad, it made me thing that salad dressing is a great use over steamed green beans or to mix into tuna.

Part of what I loved in this salad was the roasted potatoes. I nuked a potato, cut it into cubes then pan fried it in herbed butter until crisp. These potatoes were definitely a star of this salad. The butter was leftover from my salmon baked in herbed butter. I steamed the green beans while the potatoes were crisping then shocked them in ice water to keep them from going limp.
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Each bite had me thinking that this is the best bite. Then I’d be all “mmm tuna and potato”, no that’s the best bite…”mmm egg and green bean”, no that’s the best bite. I love the fun stuff in salad, aka the heavy stuff that makes it pricey at a salad bar, and this one delivers on that. The greens below aren’t quite an afterthought, but they’re not what this is all about. I didn’t mess around much with the tuna – just half of a can (of chunk white tuna in water) with a tiny bit of Italian salad dressing to dress it really lightly.
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
I ate the exact same thing the following day for lunch, it was that good.

Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing

I’m sooo psyched to share this one! I was excited to make it, even more thrilled when I ate it, and just couldn’t wait to share it with you! I came upon the salmon, courtesy of my parents buying a big piece and giving me some. They deserve all the credit for making this month’s fish adventure happen, and making my own salad dressing made this a double whammy. Spell-check deserves the credit to helping me correctly spell whammy.

The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Mr. J doesn’t do fish so this was lunch for one and was quick & easy to make a single serving. There. Nothing stopping you. A reminder we can all use. In the time it took for the fish to cook, I mixed the dressing & prepped the salad.

Ingredients:

1 piece of salmon
2 tbs butter
1 tsp fresh or dried herbs or spice blend
3 tbs sour cream
3 tbs mayo
1 tbs garlic, minced
1 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp dill
1/4 cup English cucumber
leafy greens & tomatoes for salad

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Cut butter into pieces onto a piece of plastic wrap. Top with herb mix, salt, & pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Twist up the plastic wrap and mash the butter together to incorporate the spices.
Put the salmon onto a piece of foil and dot with the herbed butter. Fold up the foil to form a packet.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Bake for 20 minutes until cooked through.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
While salmon is cooking, add the sour cream, mayo, cider vinegar, garlic, dill, salt, and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate until serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Chop & plate salad ingredients. Optional: toss lightly with oil/vinegar. Place the salmon on top.
Add chopped cucumber to the dressing just before serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Spoon some dressing over the plate & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Ohh wow. So good. I loooved the herb & buttered salmon. It was flaky and the dressing was perfect. I liked the crunch of the cucumber in the dressing rather than in the salad. This was a delightful reminder that the butter makes it feel decadent while a small amount of dressing kept it fresh yet flavorful. My parents lightly dress salad with a healthier dressing so a creamy one can just be for some touch of flavor.

Clearly I enjoyed it:
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing

Garlicky Mussels

I love ordering mussels at restaurants. The freshness of the mussels and the flavorful broth with some kind of bread to sop it all up. I never made them because it seemed like one of those foods that you just get at restaurants, not something I’d make myself.

Spoiler alert: they were so easy and cheap.

Garlic Mussels - The Three Bite Rule

Ingredients:

1 pound Mussels
2 tbs garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbs butter
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs cream
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

Rinse and debeard the mussels.
In a large pan over medium heat, add the garlic, broth, wine, butter, lemon juice, cream, and garlic powder.
Garlic Mussels - The Three Bite Rule
Then add in the mussels and cover for 8 minutes.
Stir the mussels and check for any that didn’t open, discard those.
Serve them in a bowl and top with parsley and some crusty bread.
Garlic Mussels - The Three Bite Rule
They were so good. I’d say they rival any restaurant I’ve had them in. It takes a lot to feel full so while they were my meal, that’s precisely why they’re always on the appetizer section of a menu.

What do you think of as a “restaurant food” that you have been hesitant to make yourself?