Cheesy Polenta with Shrimp and Tomatoes

I was inspired to try my hand at polenta. It seemed like a good way to make a his (beef)/hers (fish) for dinner some night…also without needing the oven. Polenta cooks so quickly that it can really be a pantry shelf staple that becomes an afterthought.

The Three Bite Rule - Polenta & Shrimp


1 cup polenta
1 cup water
1 cup milk
salt & pepper
1 cup grated white cheddar
5 large shrimp
olive oil
2 tbs butter.
1-2 cups arugula
1 cup red wine


Over a low boil, reduce the red wine by half…about 10 minutes.
In a large pot, bring the water and milk to a boil. Add in the polenta and whisk to combine. Then cover and cook over medium for about 15 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Polenta & Shrimp
Peal and devein the shrimp.
In a flat skillet, cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil and melt 1 tbs of butter.
Add the other 1 tbs butter to the reduced wine.
Pan fry the shrimp, arugula, and tomatoes for about 3-5 minutes.
Check on the polenta. If it is too dry, add more milk or water and stir in the cheese.
Spoon the polenta into a bowl and top with the shrimp, then with the wine.
The Three Bite Rule - Polenta & Shrimp

Shrimp Tacos with Corn Lime Salsa

I love shrimp tacos and I wanted to mess with a different salsa. I didn’t go spicy and wanted the corn to be toasty and pop with each bite. I threw in some broccoli slaw for a crunch. The shrimp was fully cooked so the grill was for char and smokiness. This dinner took 15 minutes without turning the oven on. Perfect for summer!

Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule


1 1/2 cups corn
1 lime
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup red onion chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbs honey
6 jumbo shrimp
1 cup broccoli slaw
flour tortillas


In a dry, hot pan, roast the corn until lightly browned, about 5 minutes on high heat. Then let cool to room temperature.
Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule
Mix together the tomato, lime juice, lime zest, onion, garlic, and honey.
Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule
Mix together and then let sit.
Skewer the shrimp, then brush with honey, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule
Grill the shrimp until lightly charred.
Toss the corn into the salsa.
Assemble tacos with tortilla, broccoli slaw, salsa, and shrimp.
Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule
The salsa was subtle. I liked the honey and lime flavors with the corn but I think I’d add more of kick next time. It was good and made dinner feel different, which is what I was going for. My grocery store never has cotija but had I found feta in the fridge I might have thrown that on there for more contrast.

Crabcakes with Remolade Sauce

I had my Momma over for lunch so I figured we’d have something only the two of us would like. I mixed up a couple of crabcakes and some remolade to be dressing, serving it over salad. It seemed springy and fresh. The remolade would be easy to make in advance. The crabcakes would be pretty fast fried, but baking them is easier, and keeps them from being greasy.

Plus, you’ll want to put the remolade on ev-ry-thing.

The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade

Ingredients for crab cakes:

8 oz crab meat
3 tbs chopped white onion
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
3 tbs mixed breadcrumbs & panko
2 tbs chopped parsley
1-2 tbs mayo
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

Ingredients for remolade:

1 cup mayo
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp grill rub
1 1/2 tsp horseradish
1 tsp pickle juice (or relish)
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground pepper


Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Add crabmeat, onion, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, parsley, mayo, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
Gently mix together until combined.
Form into patties and bake 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 10 more minutes.
While the crabcakes are baking, mix together the remolade.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
Blend together. Taste, add more horseradish or hot sauce to taste.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
Toss together mixed greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
Drizzle remolade, or use to dip.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
I loved the kick in the remolade without being spicy. The horseradish was perfect. Real remolade has cajon or creole  seasoning, but I substituted since I hate one-time ingredients.

What I Ate: His & Hers Caesar Salad

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 love caesar salad for the fresh greens, the salty Parmesan, and crunchy croutons, and garlicky dressing. It isn’t the healthiest salad, but it is ohh-so-good. It made for such a quick dinner to welcome spring. The simplicity is the charm.

I topped mine with grilled shrimp. I squirted the shrimp with a touch of lemon, salt, and pepper. They only needed to grill for a few minutes for the charred flavor.

The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Mr. J had his topped with steak. The steak marinated all day in a teriyaki marinade.

The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Salad with Grilled Steak
I toasted a few slices of wheat bread, tossed with olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt. Instant croutons! While the steak & shrimp was grilling, I whipped up a quick caesar dressing I’ve made before.

Sometimes the easiest meals are exactly what I want. Other times I want lots of complicated components juggling more than is necessary for a random week night. It was awesome to blend the dressing, toss the salad together, and get the grill going. I had everything made, cleaned up, and plated by the time the steak & shrimp was off the grill. #winning

Mojito Shrimp

It was another his/hers night here at the Chilton household…I’m seriously on a quest to get more deer out of the freezer. I was planning something with shrimp and Mr. J was forced to eat some venison. He braised it. It smelled to-die-for but my 3 ingredient shrimp was so amazing and such a reminder how easy shrimp is to throw together. Also, my shrimp had taken up some permanent residence in the freezer so I was also a culprit of freezer real estate taken over by food we’re not using.

I often cook shrimp in lemon and garlic but wanted to think about what else goes well with the flavor of shrimp. Not lemon this time, but lime! Perfect! Fresh herbs were on sale so I didn’t feel as bad shelling out big bucks for an herb I had 1 plan to use. I did get a fancy herb keeper for xmas so there’s hope that the mint can find another use. I’d be all about mojitos if it weren’t 4-degrees outside.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp

I made shaved brussels sprouts as a side dish but thought it’d be a perfect bed for my little shrimp. Trader Joe’s sells them shaved, which is awesome, or you can chop up whole ones, discarding the base. Jasper’s Corner Tap in San Fran does a side dish of brussels sprout petals which is also an amazing way to use them.

Mojito Shrimp over Shaved Brussels Sprouts


~5 large shrimp
10 mint leaves
3 tbs lime juice
2 tbs melted butter
3 tbs bread/cracker crumbs (optional)
2 slices of bacon (optional)
10 oz bag of shaved brussels sprouts, or 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts


Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Defrost, peal, devein the shrimp (as needed).
Chop the mint.
Toss together shrimp, lime juice, butter, and shrimp in a small baking dish.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
Sprinkle with salt & pepper and bake for 5-7 minutes (my shrimp was fully cooked already).
Heat a large pan to medium high heat.
Fry the bacon until crisp and 75% cooked.
While bacon is cooking, chop brussels sprouts if using whole ones.
Add in the shaved brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
After the shrimp has cooked for the 5-7 minutes, stir, then top with breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (optional) and bake another 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
Toss the brussels sprouts letting them caramelize a little bit.
Lay a bed of brussels sprouts onto the center of the plate.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
Top with shrimp and drizzle a spoonful of the liquid on top of the shrimp.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
I went a little overboard with the lime juice so I toned it back for your quantities, and increased the butter a bit so your liquids have better balance than mine did initially. The lime was quite strong so I added the breadcrumbs to it. It would be fine without those…just use my lime/butter quantities as a reference.

This was really good. The mojito (aka lime & mint) flavors would be great with chicken, or pork, or other fish…such a great way to have fresh flavor in the dead of winter! The shrimp would be great on a grill, or even indoors on a grill pan. I popped mine into the toaster oven, since they were fully cooked I was just looking to get them warmed and the flavors incorporated.

Parmesan Pesto Tilapia

Mr. J isn’t into fish and I don’t do red meat so sometimes we do his-and-hers with shared sides. I went grocery shopping thinking maybe I’d get salmon, but the tilapia was a steal so I got some which ended up being 2 servings. I popped half in the freezer for another time. We shared some mashed potato/cauliflower and roasted asparagus.

I don’t cook fish that often and I was so happy and surprised by this. I threw it together and think the sauce would be great on other white fish, or chicken, or pork. Seriously, buying pesto pre-made is really handy for a lot of uses.
The Three Bite Rule - Parmesan Pesto Tilapia


1 tilapia fillet
1 tbs pesto
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp mayo/olive oil
1 tsp parmesan grated
salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Sprinkle each side of the tilapia with salt & pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Parmesan Pesto Tilapia
In a small bowl, whisk together the pesto, lemon juice, mayo, and parmesan together.
The Three Bite Rule - Parmesan Pesto Tilapia
Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and spoon a few tablespoons of sauce onto the bottom the baking dish. Lay the fillet on-top, spooning the rest of the sauce over the top.
The Three Bite Rule - Parmesan Pesto Tilapia
Bake 20 minutes. Then flip the fish and bake another 10 minutes.

I absolutely loved this. I thought the sauce was bright and powerful enough to flavor the fish. The lemon seemed appropriate for the fish but the pesto was the shining star on this one. This super simple sauce will reappear again, I’m sure.

The Three Bite Rule - Parmesan Pesto Tilapia
Leftover pesto? Use pesto in grilled cheese. Use pesto on potato pizza. Use pesto in your lasagna. Use pesto aoli on a panini. Use pesto in your tomato soup or wherever you might use basil.

Scallop BLT Pizza

I made this scallop BLT pizza because I love just about anything on pizza. I mean, have you seen all the pizza toppings I’ve fallen in love with? This combo of scallops, bacon, and alfredo provides the luscious and decadent part while the tomatoes and arugula balance it out with freshness. We had a great scallop pizza last year in Maine for our anniversary.

I love topping pizzas with raw greens (like this Greek one, or this BLT one, or Big Mac pizza, or this prosciutto fontina arugula one) but if that’s not your thing either spinach or arugula would be great chopped up and cooked on the pizza.


pizza dough
2 slices of bacon
3-4 sea scallops
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
3 tbs flour/wheat flour
salt & pepper
1 cup light alfredo sauce
1 tomato, sliced into chunks
8 oz shredded mozzarella
2 cups arugula (or spinach)


Preheat the oven (and pizza stone if using one) to 400 degrees.
Pan fry the bacon until crisp. Remove from heat to drain and chop up.
Rinse scallops and remove the connective tissue on each one, if there is any. Pat dry.
Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Spread pizza dough onto the pizza stone or pan and bake for 5-10 minutes. The point is to get it pre cooking so when the pizza is topped, it doesn’t have to cook much longer.
Heat a heavy skillet to medium and add butter & oil.
Toss the scallops in the four mix and pan sear each one for about 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping once (they’ll go into the oven again too so don’t overcook).
When the pizza dough is pre-cooked a bit, remove from the oven. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees. Top the crust with alfredo sauce, cheese, bacon, and tomato.
Cut scallops in half horizontally, or into quarter chunks if you prefer.
Add cut scallops to the pizza, with the seared side facing up.
Return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Toss arugula with a very little drizzle of olive oil and add onto of the pizza.
Slice & enjoy!

I added a little sprinkle of Parmesan and chives before the arugula, mostly because I had some. I liked everything that was going on for this pizza. It was reminiscent of bacon wrapped scallops.

This is seriously a cheap way to serve scallops. I bought 3 scallops for 2 of us. I did slice them in half but there were lots of pieces to spread over the pizza! Bay scallops aren’t the same but maybe I should branch out for meals like this. I also only used 2 slices of bacon. It seems like plenty when spread around. I would always like more, but this amount is the smart choice. I pre-portion bacon and freeze it. Otherwise a pound can disappear verrrry quickly.

Shrimp and Couscous Salad

Sometimes it is just too hot to really cook. I don’t like when it is this hot out. I don’t know how people like the 90s. Yuck. It was too hot to cook, we had just been away for the weekend, I hadn’t planned anything so I was digging around to see what I could whip up. I came up with this salad-y dish that was perfect!



5 medium-large shrimp, pealed, deveined, and cooked (I used frozen)
½ cup Israeli couscous
¾ cup chicken/veggie stock/water/white wine (liquid of your choosing)
2 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tsp butter
1 cup edemame (I used unshelled, if they’re in the pods cook and pop them out earlier)
½ cup bell pepper, chopped
salt & pepper


Add couscous to a medium pan over medium heat to toast for about 3 minutes.
Shake them around until they start getting a little tan colored.
Add in the liquid (I used chicken stock) and cover for 5 minutes.
Cook edemame (mine was frozen and deshelled and just needed to boil for 5 min).
Chop pepper and cut shrimp into 3rds or leave whole, depending on your preference while couscous is cooking
Remove from heat and add in butter and mustard.
Drop in edemame, peppers, and shrimp.
Stir until combined and sprinkle in cracked pepper and kosher salt.

This was so easy and I was using what I had. I didn’t have anything citrus based, but that would be really fresh and perfect for shrimp. I liked the butter and mustard flavors. The peppers are raw but warm up a bit from the heat of everything else. They add a good crunch. I loved this one dish meal. I’ve made couscous before sort of like this but this time, it got to be the whole meal!


This could easily have a bunch of substitutions. Salad dressing would be a good substitute for the mustard if that isn’t your thing. It would nix a lot of calories to use water instead of chicken stock in the couscous, and to omit the butter, but I figured it was under 400 calories anyway so I’d live it up. I would have chopped spinach if I had some or cherry tomatoes would be great. My cucumber was questionable but I thought that would be a good crunch. This could use any veggies you had around.

I loved the colors and felt so summery eating outside on the deck!

Pan Seared Scallops

Today I have a quick restaurant-style dinner. Pan seared scallops are such an easy preparation. They require so few ingredients and cook perfectly. I upped the ante with a really easy sauce too.

3-4 sea scallops per person
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
2 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tsp butter
splash milk
1 tsp cream cheese

Heat a heavy pan over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil and butter when warmed.
Mix flour, garlic powder, and salt/pepper.
Toss scallops into seasoned flour and sear in the pan for 2 minutes per side.
While the scallops are cooking, heat mustard, butter, milk, and cream cheese over low heat.
Serve scallops with creamy mustard sauce.

The scallops are slightly sweet with a slight crunch on the outside. The butter flavor they are cooked in plays off the mustardy sauce for a subtle flavor.

I love scallops prepared this way. They’re easy (as in less than 10-minutes of cooking) and are full of flavor. I served them with roasted broccoli and polenta cakes. It felt special for such a simple dinner.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

There aren’t enough foods wrapped in bacon. I can sense when scallops wrapped in bacon are a passed appetizer near me. It is like radar. I work the cocktail hour scouting what waiter has them near by.

I decided I should make some myself. I think the challenge was really to get the bacon crisp and not to overcook the scallops.


3-4 sea scallops per person
½ strip of bacon per scallop
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil


Rinse scallops and trim any connective tissue.
Pat dry. Again, pat any excess water off.
Wrap each half strip of bacon around each scallop and secure with a toothpick, through the center. Or try using 2 to make an X to get it going. Generously salt and pepper both sides.
Melt butter and oil in a hot skillet.
Place scallops in, bacon side down.
Don’t overcrowd the pan so you can rotate the scallops, crisping the bacon on each side.
At the 4th rotation, pan fry both top and bottom.

These were tricky. I made sure to (account for and) pull out each before serving. The bacon held well. If anything, they weren’t quite as crisp as I would have liked. I think the scallop maintained its integrity.
Four scallops per person was too much. They were huge! I served them with some roasted broccoli and parmesan risotto.

I have lots of meals and a whole vacation recap ahead. I’ve been under the weather and I’m trying to vacay detox while still getting prepped for the holidays. Bear with me! I’m shooting for Monday ;)