Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Treat Yourself Tuesday #2

I have so many deadlines in my future and it's starting to make me wonder if I can finish them all on time.

So, I got to thinking about deadlines today.  Where would we be without that nagging voice in the back of our heads pushing us to get things done?  Paying the bills - there's a deadline.  Getting homework done - there's a deadline.  Even our precious sleep hits a deadline when the alarm clock goes off.  There's definitely a deadline in cooking.  If you wait too long to take certain things out of the oven they can burn and slow servers create a deadline every time they put a food order in. 

Slowness is simply not accepted in my life.  But what about the times I want to slow it down and forget those stupid deadlines?  That is why I created Treat Yourself Tuesday.  I need to take a minute or two out of each day to bring myself back down to reality. 

Today was the best day of school I have ever had.  We had wine training and learned about food and wine pairings.  I definitely believe that food and wine go hand in hand.  There are so many things to learn about the world of wine and my little brain has been stimulated.  I want to absorb every single bit of information I can about this sometimes intimidating drink.

Chateau Grand Traverse Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc from Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa... in class today :)
This makes me wonder... is it possible to pair our school and work lives with a little enjoyment?  The answer is - most definitely!  For my simple enjoyment tonight, I'm going to fix up a new dish and savor every single mouthful.  I'm not going to think about the endless deadlines ahead of me or feel bad for taking a few moments to treat myself.  I hope you can do the same!

Citrus Marinated Shrimp with Grilled Onion and Orange Salad 

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, stems discarded, seeded and thinly sliced, plus 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined large shrimp
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large sweet onion, cut crosswise into 3 thick slabs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 large navel oranges—peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

-In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice with the garlic, adobo sauce and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper; let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
-Preheat a grill pan. Thread the onion slices on skewers to hold them together. Brush the onions with some of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the slices over high heat, turning once, until softened and charred, about 3 minutes per side. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop the onions and transfer them to a medium bowl. Add the sliced oranges, chipotles, cilantro and the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
-Drain and thread the shrimp onto 6 metal skewers. Brush lightly with the remaining olive oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Serve the shrimp with the onion and orange salad.

After my wine training today, I would suggest a Sauvignon Blanc to enhance the citrus flavors in this recipe.

Deadlines are scary, but if you take a little time to Treat Yourself, those deadlines might seem a little less daunting.  So go ahead and do something (doesn't have to be cooking!) just for you and stop to realize that this very moment is a gift, just for you!