Monday, August 3, 2009


Planning a vacation makes for rather contentious conversation around our house. (“Dreaming of” is actually far more accurate than “planning”, but that’s beside the point…) I like to see cities and towns, take in the culture, shop the markets, and partake in as much of the local cuisine as my belly will allow. He likes to head for nature, do strenuous physical activity, and get as far away from everybody else as possible. What is it we have in common again?

Further complicating the choice of vacation destination is the very small matter of the budget (pun intended). Despite my intense desire need to see more of Europe, it is not on the list of options this year. My top choices of France, Italy, and Spain will have to wait *sigh*.

It seems we’re going to have to keep it in the western hemisphere. So what’s my next choice? I do not have one. There isn’t a single, solitary place on this side of planet Earth that I desperately long to visit. He doesn’t believe me, so he keeps asking the question over and over again, hoping that my answer will change. I wish it would change too, but it doesn’t.

We even resorted to the process of elimination. Seattle? Too close to home. Canada? Not conducive to basking on the beach. Hawaii? Too expensive. Oregon coast? Been there, done that. Oaxaca? Tales of civil unrest still scare us. We’ve decided and undecided on San Francisco, like, 7 times already—we love it but want to see something new. The result: no result.


I know, I know, deciding on a vacation destination is a fine problem to have. But still, I take it seriously. If hungerlust [noun: a very strong or irresistible impulse to consume foods in faraway places] kept you up at night, you would know exactly what I mean.

And then he said, “All I wanna do is go someplace where I can play on the beach and have a $3 ceviche.” Hmmm, a beach in Mexico—now I think we’re getting somewhere…

Hubby frequently reminisces about the enormous, unbelievably cheap, impeccably fresh ceviche he ate once upon a time on a beach in Mexico. He loves Mexican food. Recently, he requested “something fresh and light, like ceviche, but not ceviche” for dinner. This is what I made for him.

Mexican-Style Baked Shrimp
Printable Recipe

1 cup diced tomatoes
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound large shrimp (26/30 count), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Toss together the tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, oil, and lime juice in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide half of the tomato mixture among 4 individual baking dishes. Season the shrimp generously with salt and pepper and divide among the baking dishes, arranging them in a single layer. Divide the remaining tomato mixture among the baking dishes, spooning it evenly over the shrimp. Arrange the baking dishes on a baking tray and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the shrimp are just cooked through. The shrimp will be firm to the touch, the color will be opaque and pink, and they will begin to curl when they are just cooked through. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately.

Serves 4. Serve this quick and easy dish with Guajillo Salsa and either tortillas or Mexican Rice on the side.


Frank said...

Yum! My kind of dish--quick and easy, and tasty!

veron said...

I love shrimp and give me garlic with it and I'm all set. I see your dilemma but SF is my most favorite place this side of the continent. :)

cheapappetite said...

So, what's your husband said about your braised shrimp? did he like it? Or he still prefer the mexican Ceviche? Looks very good though.


Lucy Vaserfirer said...

He loved it! And yes, he still loves his ceviche, but he has room in his heart for both.

einmaleins said...

Europe is still in the Western Hemisphere and air tickets are cheap. Travel by train and staying in inexpensive hostels and bed and breakfasts are a much better experience then the US counterparts.
Go for it!!

On the other hand, I just bought myself some Lonely Planets of the Pacific Northwest, since I lived here for almost 9 years and haven't seen much.

But, when travelling with the goal to discover great food is the goal the Pacific Northwest is not neccesarily the best destination... want another burger basket??

Annie said...

Your husband sounds like my husband and your trip dilemma sounds exactly like a conversation we have every year when we become "vacation antsy" as we put it.

I think the next time this discussion arises, I will make this baked dish and know that we are not alone.

I love your site, you are on my blogroll.

I♥blogs said...

This was fantastic! I added a dash of cumin and a sprinkling of oregano flakes. Super easy, delicious and really healthy! Thanks for sharing!

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