Have you ever wondered what food item is most commonly stolen from grocery stores worldwide? (Stick with me here…I’m going somewhere with this.)
The answer surprised me. It’s cheese. In the United States, cheese actually ranks fourth behind meat, candy, and baby formula. (France skewed the global figures.) These stats are one more reason the following story is so crazy.
Not that you or I would ever steal anything, but IF we did, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be salad dressing, right? Well, I was talking with an acquaintance of mine a few months ago after he left work at a large national yogurt company to take on a unique opportunity at a boutique condiment company called Tessemae’s. An interesting story unfolded and proved to be quite a testimonial for Tessemae’s all-natural products.
As the mother of three athletic boys, Tesse had to figure out a way to get them to eat their veggies. To avoid the artificial ingredients so often found in store-bought options, she perfected her own homemade recipe. When one of her son’s friends broke into their home and stole a container of homemade salad dressing–and nothing else–they new they were onto something. These shenanigans ultimately inspired Greg, the oldest son, to start a business with his mom to sell her creations to the world.
Those who have followed my blog for a while know that I like to make my own salad dressings–but you also know that I enjoy a good shortcut as much as the next person! To test out my first bottle of Tesse’s original dressing (which I’m happy to say was give to me–not stolen. 🙂 ), I thought back to an old recipe for grilled shrimp marinated in honey and Italian dressing. Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic dressing is mild and versatile like Italian. It complements fresh, everyday ingredients yet is an ideal building block for bolder flavors. I like how the hint of lemon enhances a simple salad of mixed greens, blueberries, avocado, almonds and crumbled feta cheese. I’ve also used it in place of olive oil to sauté mushrooms and kale, which I also topped off with a handful of feta, although Parmesan would be nice, too.
The following shrimp dish a variation on that old Italian dressing recipe that my family loves. It’s beyond easy and can be served as an appetizer or entree. I’ve made it for company several times and it’s always devoured quickly. We like the following amount of spice to balance the honey—it’s lightly spicy but doesn’t overwhelm those who don’t tolerate a lot of heat. Feel free to add extra cayenne or a splash of your favorite hot sauce if you like a little fire.
A flavorful 3-ingredient marinade makes this lightly spicy recipe as easy as it is delicious. For added heat, feel free to increase the amount of cayenne to taste.
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (I like Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds uncooked medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on*
- 8 skewers (if wooden, soak for 30 minutes before using)
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the salad dressing, honey and cayenne. Remove 1/4 cup of the mixture to a separate bowl; cover and refrigerate the reserved portion for basting later. Pour the larger amount of marinade into a large, zip-top bag; add the shrimp. Seal the bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate the shrimp for 1-2 hours.
When ready to grill, drain the shrimp and discard the marinade. Thread the shrimp onto eight metal or soaked wooden skewers. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, rub on the grill rack to coat lightly.
Grill the shrimp, uncovered, over direct, medium heat for 5-7 minutes, turning the shrimp several times. Baste the shrimp several times with the reserved marinade after the shrimp is partially cooked on both sides. The shrimp will turn a nice pink color when cooked, and the meat inside should be white and opaque. The extra marinade will caramelize nicely. Just be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as it will become tough and rubbery.
Alternatively, you may broil the shrimp 4 inches from the heat for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Baste with reserved marinade. Grill or broil 2-3 minutes longer or until shrimp are pink and firm, turning and basting frequently.
- Frozen shrimp works well. Thaw completely before marinating and make sure to drain the excess water very well to avoid diluting the marinade.
Tessemae’s Organic Lemon Garlic dressing is a light-tasting, all-natural option to your favorite Italian vinaigrette. It also happens to be paleo, kosher and vegan as well as gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free.
Tessemae’s just launched a Savor Summer sweepstakes with prizes including a Big Green Egg, culinary classes, grill packages and more. To see the full list of prizes and to enter, simply visit their Facebook page.