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Where EAST meets the Northwest

Shrimp and Pineapple Brochette. (Melissa díArabian via AP)

From The Asian Reporter, V28, #1 (January 1, 2018), page 13.

Shrimp paired with pineapple brings elegance and sweetness

By Melissa díArabian

The Associated Press

After all the cooking and shopping that the holidays inspire us to do, Iím looking forward to pulling out some easy recipes that use pantry ingredients I keep on hand. One of my favorite items to keep in the freezer is frozen shrimp.

I have both cooked and uncooked versions. Raw shrimp cook up in minutes and have more flavor, so I use them for pasta dishes and easy sheet-pan suppers. But cooked shrimp have their place on my menu, too. I love how quickly they thaw for salads and appetizers and other cold preparations.

The downside to pre-cooked shrimp is the texture is a notch softer. My solution is to buy the large shrimp and then cut it in half. I know this may be counter-shrimp culture, so feel free to leave them large, but the solution works for us.

A super easy go-to recipe for shrimp for us is my Shrimp and Pineapple Brochette, which uses easy pantry ingredients ó you can even use canned pineapple ó to create something that still feels high-end.

Itís healthy and versatile, working as either a meal when paired with some greens, a first course, or even an appetizer for parties. Shrimp brings protein and elegance, while pineapple balances out with both sweetness and acid. I use prepared pesto for some fat and flavor, and I highly recommend keeping a jar of prepared pesto in the freezer to scoop out for recipes. But, if you donít have any, just substitute a bunch of chopped herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice for an easy, tasty version. And with skewers, I think it goes without saying that you can swap in whatever fruit you have in your kitchen ó grapes, grapefruit, orange segments, and even canned mango all work beautifully.

Food Network star Melissa díArabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, Supermarket Healthy.

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Shrimp and Pineapple Brochette

Servings: 4

Start to finish: 10 minutes

1 pound large cooked shrimp, cleaned, thawed if frozen

1 cup pineapple cubes, about 1/2-inch each, drained and halved if using

typical large canned chunks (grapefruit or orange may also be used)

1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

black pepper

a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt

chopped fresh mint, parsley, or basil, optional

12 small or 8 large skewers, or 24 toothpicks if making appetizer bites

Cut shrimp into halves or thirds, depending on size of shrimp. Thread the skewers with alternating shrimp and fruit. Lay the skewers on a platter.

In a small bowl, add the lemon juice to the pesto sauce to thin it and stir. Drizzle the pesto mixture over the skewers, aiming mostly for the shrimp. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil onto the skewers. Top with freshly ground black pepper, the kosher salt, and chopped herbs, if desired. Serve as a first course, an appetizer, or with a green salad for a light meal.

Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories (35 calories from fat); 4 g fat (1 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 145 mg cholesterol; 720 mg sodium; 1 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 16 g protein.

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