As much as I love heavy, hearty meals, I need a break sometimes. For this installment of Spectrum Seasonal, I wanted to focus on whiskey as the ingredient, but prepare something light with a hint of summer. To me, cilantro and lime always make me think of summertime. So I used lime juice and zest in a glaze for carrots and in the marinade for the shrimp. I also chucked a handful of cilantro and some lime juice into the rice.

Initially I was worried about the heaviness of the glazed carrots combined with the lightness of the rice and shrimp, but everything complimented each other fairly well. The Sriracha in the shrimp marinade built up a small amount of lingering heat in the mouth; this played well with the sweetness of the glazed carrots. The scent of lime and cilantro had the intended effect and provided a summery touch to the dish.

Ingredients – Shrimp Marinade

⅓ cup whiskey

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp. Sriracha

2 ½ Tbsp soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 heaping tsp. grated ginger

1 lime – zest and ½ the juice

20-25 shrimp

Place all the ingredients, except for the shrimp, in a large resealable plastic bag or a large non-reactive container. Mix well and dump in the shrimp. Reseal the bag or cover the container and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Turn the bag over or toss the shrimp in the container about half way through to make sure the marinade gets all the shrimp. After the marinade process is done, ideally you would put them on a skewer and put the shrimp on the grill. If you don’t have a grill, you can just sauté them in a non-stick pan over high heat. The shrimp are done when they’re pink.

Ingredients – Whiskey-Glazed Carrots

1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into thick circles

½ stick butter, cut into smaller pieces

½ cup whiskey

½ cup brown sugar

2 limes – 1 zest and 2 juiced

½ tsp. salt

Pepper

Chives, finely chopped

Melt 1 Tbsp of the butter over high heat in a skillet. Put in the carrots and try to get a decent brown on them, should take no longer than 90-120 seconds. Remove the carrots to a plate. Take the skillet off the flame and add the whiskey. Return the flame to a high heat until the alcohol burns off, about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium and add the rest of the butter. After the butter has melted, add the lime zest and juice and stir. Now add the brown sugar and stir until it’s fully incorporated. Add the carrots, stir to coat and cover for five minutes. Remove the lid, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for five more minutes until the glaze is thick and the carrots are done. Garnish with some chives.

Ingredients – Cilantro Rice

1 cup rice

2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)

½ tsp. salt

½ – 1 cup of finely chopped cilantro

In my experience, making rice on the stove top is different on each stove. I’ve had to change my method each time I’ve moved to a new apartment. A good rule of thumb is if you’re on an electric burner, you can put the rice, salt and liquid in cold and bring it to a boil; reduce the heat to low once it reaches the boil. For a gas stove, bring the liquid to a boil. Then turn the heat to low, add the rice and salt. For both methods, after 20 minutes, remove the pot from heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Once the rice is ready, mix in as much cilantro as you like.

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