Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Orange-Marinated Shrimp with Guacamole

What's the buzz in Belchertown? Well, right now "The Good People of Belchertown" are in a very emotional state, politically. Lawn signs keep popping up like mushrooms in front yards all over the town. (I always wonder where they come from. Are there secret meetings where they are being distributed? Also, I have never actually seen someone putting up a sign. As I said - they seem to appear over night.) The whole ruckus started with a dissent over whether or not to renew the contract for the police chief. At this point I have to say again that I have only lived here for four years and still neither fully understand the town politics and organization nor how the "small town mind" works. In short, I am an outsider. But as such, small town life is often rather funny to observe (the current "lawn sign war" for example). Before coming here, I did not have any experiences with lawn signs. I guess Germans don't feel the urge to express themselves in writing in their front yards. With those current goings on, I also had the idea to just drive around town with a map and check off the houses where people have a) lawn signs I don't agree with, b) an American flag, and/or c) a pick-up truck. But as HubbyGrouch pointed out, this "mapping of idiots" would hardly leave anyone for me to talk to, so I abandoned the idea.
Enough of that. Tonight, we had a nice Mexican meal for dinner. It was simple and quick to prepare, with the orangy shrimps and creamy guacamole making a nice combination.

24 large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 dashes cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika powder
2 tbsp orange juice
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
2 ripe avocados
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 fresh green chili, seeded and finely chopped
1-2 tbsp lime juice

Combine the shrimp with the cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika powder, orange juice, zest, oil, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mash the flesh of the avocados with a fork and mix in onion, chili, lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Place the shrimp on a parchment lined baking sheet and broil in the oven 2-3 minutes per side. Serve the the guacamole and tortilla chips.

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