Cooking in Paradise

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This summer my family vacationed in Maui.  It was our second trip to the island, and we decided to stay in a condo rather than a hotel resort.  It was definitely the right decision for a cook.  I had an incredible modern kitchen with all the amenities a cook could ask for, and not to mention an ocean view from the kitchen.  Everyday I couldn’t wait to wake up, make my coffee, and sit on the Lanai staring out toward the ocean waiting for the world to wake up.  If I had a kitchen like this at home I would never leave.  This particular evening we decided to stay in and make dinner.  My husband offered to barbecue shrimp since the grill faced the ocean near the pool.  The kids swam while we prepared dinner.  It was a perfect evening with an absolutely fantastic dinner.

Time-30 minutes



Shrimp and Marinade

1 pound medium raw deveined/shelled shrimp, 6 wooden skewers soaked in water, juice of 1 lemon and zest, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 Tab of honey, 1/4 tsp of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1 serrano chile chopped, 2 garlic cloves chopped, 1 TBS of cilantro chopped, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle pepper adobo juice.

Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette 

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup of seasoned rice wine vinegar, 1 TBS of honey, 2 garlic cloves chopped, 1 canned chipotle pepper, 3/4 cup canola oil, 1 cup of cilantro, 1/2 tsp of salt.


Baby mixed green salad mix, half a yellow pepper sliced, 1 fresh avocado sliced, 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, cucumber, tomatoes and 1 cob of grilled corn kernels.


Place wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes so when on the grill they will not burn.  In a separate bowl add all the ingredients of the marinade then allow the shrimp to marinate in the sauce until the salad and vinaigrette are ready.


To prepare vinaigrette add lemon juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, and chipotle pepper into blender and mix.  While it’s mixing open the inner lid of the blender top and slowly drizzle the canola oil to help the vinaigrette emulsify.  Emulsification means the liquid and oil mix together to become one.  Once emulsified add cilantro and salt then blend one last time to finish the vinaigrette.


Prepare the grill to medium-high heat.  Skewer the shrimp and bring both your shrimp and corn cob to the grill.  Grill the shrimp on each side for 2-3 minutes until then turn pink and curl up.


Grill the corn until it’s charred on all sides.


Take the charred corn and shave all the kernels off the sides to add to salad.  Assemble the salad with all it’s ingredients then add shrimp skewer on top.  Drizzle vinaigrette on salad and enjoy.  Garnish with lemon wedge.


Enjoy with a glass of chilled white wine mahalo!

The Author

First off, I'm not a writer. This should be abundantly clear as you read this bio. I'm not a trained Chef either. I'm a Mother, Wife, Registered Nurse and Fraudulent Chef. Why a blog you ask? Well, I don't want to be a line cook, executive Chef, or a restaurant owner. I just want to cook what I want, when I want, and for who I want. Cooking is a creative outlet for me. I don't even consider myself a blogger because I don't blog often. So advertising dollars and web fame is not my motive. Finding the time to cook, write up a recipe, photograph it while maintaining a job and household is challenging. However, it has given me great joy over the years to see people carrying on dishes that I've developed. It's also an online cookbook that I can reflect on. My cooking is an expression of the strong women in my life and inspired dishes from my favorite restaurants. I'm a recipe impostor of dishes from restaurants I love. Furthermore, many of the recipes are spruced up from my childhood. I'm a Mexican-American, native Californian who has spent time in New York and married a first generation Costa Rican. My cooking reflects all of these aspects. Karen's Kitchen is not a Mexican food blog. As much as I'd like to fit into a pretty little red, white and green box. I find it too limiting and reject the notion of creating a Latino point of view because it makes a blog cohesive. So my recipes are all over the place, with no rhyme or reason. Home cooks never apologize for not graduating from culinary school. You will find that my recipes are easy to follow and geared for the home cook. They look amazing and will make you look like a Domestic God/Goddess in front of your loved ones. It's my hope that you find the love for cooking and make some of my recipes your own. Cheers to cooking, eating and surrounding yourself with lovely people.

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