Masala Fried Shrimp and Chilled Zucchini Soup

Sticking with the summer theme of light fresh flavors, these two back-to-back recipes from the July issue of Food & Wine seemed like they’d go well together.  Made for a lovely evening of food and wine and the company of one of our favorite people in the world.


Masala Fried Shrimp


  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, serrano, garam masala, cayenne, turmeric, mustard powder and coriander. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until deeply golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until curled and white throughout, about 2 minutes. Stir in the scallions and cilantro. Transfer the shrimp to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Just a note, I got a particularly hot serrano at the store so I cut the amount by half.  I also mixed some fat-free Greek yogurt with Vindaloo spices, some lemon juice and salt and pepper and served it on the side.

Chilled Zucchini Soup

Chilled Zucchini Soup

Chilled Zucchini Soup


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2/3 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
  • Julienned raw zucchini, for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a simmer; cook until the zucchini is very soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Working in 2 batches, puree the soup in a blender until it’s silky-smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Serve it either hot or chilled, garnished with julienned zucchini.
MAKE AHEAD The soup can be refrigerated overnight.
As recommended by Food & Wine, the whole dinner works really nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc.
Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a tasty lunch on a gorgeous San Francisco weekend and looking out at the city with good friends.  I used a recipe I found at Taste of Home as the inspiration for this recipe.  I have to say that tarragon is a spice I haven’t explored much, but it works really well in this recipe; I can see it moving into more regular rotation on the spice rack.

I’m back on trying to bring down points values wherever possible (you know, so as to reduce the impact of serving lunch with a side of brie and honey), so I made a few adjustments: using 1/4 of an avocado instead of half and using light mayo instead of the full fat version.  The flavors are so good in this salad that you don’t even miss the extra fat.

I seasoned the shrimp with salt, pepper and red chili flakes and cooked it about 1 minute on each side.

I also dressed some arugula with a light vinaigrette and used it as a bed for the salad.  Keep it to 2 Tbsp. to preserve the points value.

WEIGHT WATCHERS PLUS POINTS: 5 per serving (not counting wine and cheese)

This one works really well with Sauvignon Blanc.


  • 1/2 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and divided into quarters


  • In a small bowl, combine ingredients. Spoon onto avocado quarters. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.