DINNER IN 30 MINUTES

Spiced Shrimp

(4 to 6 servings)

Start with a simple spice rub, then go one step further and add just enough oil to form a paste. The result is more of a clingy marinade, something to slather rather than sprinkle over the entree.

The reason is two-fold. Spices require a touch of oil to release the flavor. And the oil mitigates the heat so the spices cook, rather than burn, in the skillet. The result is a subtly spiced, not scorched, entree. This rub also works on salmon and tuna. If desired, serve with the sprightly cold-weather take on salsa (recipe below).

Adapted from the December issue of Cooking Light magazine.

About 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Winter Salsa (recipe follows)

Peel and devein the shrimp. Rinse under cool water and pat dry. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the cinnamon, salt, ginger, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, black and, if desired, cayenne peppers. Add enough oil to form a paste. Add the shrimp and toss to completely coat each shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

If using the broiler, preheat the broiler and line the pan with foil. Skewer the shrimp. Broil the shrimp, turning once, until pink and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side depending on the size of the shrimp.

If using a grill pan or skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until pink and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp.

Serve the shrimp hot, if desired with a spoonful of Winter Salsa.

For the Winter Salsa: In a bowl, combine about 5 cups chopped clementine, tangerine or orange sections (from about 6 clementines or 4 oranges), about 11/2 cups peeled, chopped jicama, 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root, 1 tablespoon finely chopped serrano chili pepper, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Per serving (based on 4, without salsa): 302 calories, 46 gm protein, 2 gm carbohydrates, 11 gm fat, 345 mg cholesterol, 1 gm saturated fat, 481 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

-- Renee Schettler

Shopping Cart

Anyone who has ever lugged a honey bear to the office knows the perils of honey made portable.

Rather than face that sticky mess again, we now stash these clever honey sticks in our desk drawers. Made from clover honey, the sealed, honey-filled straws are leakproof. All it takes is a snip from a scissors and the honey pours forth.

A box of 20 will set you back only $3.75; choose from original, chai, cinnamon and lemon flavors.

Stash Original Honey Sticks are available in original, chai, cinnamon and lemon flavors ($3.75 per box of 20 sticks); we found ours at Old Town Coffee Tea & Spice (215 S. Union St., Alexandria; call 703-683-0856) and at some Safeway and Target stores.

Also available by mail-order in 20- and 35-count ($5.95 to $7.95) boxes from Stash Tea (call 800-826-4218 or see www.stashtea.com). The larger-count boxes are available in eight additional flavors, including orange, peach, ginseng and echinacea.

They're crisp. They're juicy. They're tart yet sweet. (Actually, sweet yet tart.)

They're quite possibly the most enticing apple we've ever eaten out of hand.

And they're back in stores this time of year.

The Pink Lady apple -- with its slightly bumpy exterior, crisp interior, and a taste between a tart Granny Smith, a crisp Cortland and a sweet McIntosh, is back in produce aisles from late fall through early winter. Find them while you can.

We've found Pink Lady apples at many supermarkets and grocery stores this week.

Today's Tip

To easily and simultaneously remove the tail and vein of a raw shrimp, grasp the tail of the shrimp and bend it away from the inner curve of the shrimp until the tail and vein snap away. Then peel the remaining shell from the shrimp.

To Do

TONIGHT: Wine dinner at San Marco Restaurant. $44.50 excludes tax and tip. 7:30 p.m. 2305 18th St. NW. Call 202-483-9300.

SATURDAY: The Thirteen Desserts: A Provencal Tradition de Noel -- food tasting at French Country Living. Free. 3-4 p.m. 10135 Colvin Run Rd., Great Falls. Call 703-759-2245 Ext. 3.

SUNDAY: Holiday Gifts & Entertaining -- vegan cooking demonstration and lecture sponsored by Bethesda Co-op. $25. 8:30-10 a.m. 6500 Seven Locks Rd., Cabin John. Call 703-643-2713.

SUNDAY: Taste of Norway -- food tasting sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian Ladies Club of Washington. Free. Noon-2 p.m. Union Station, Main Hall, 40 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Call 202-289-1908 or see www.norway.org.

SUNDAY: French Christmas Desserts -- dessert and wine tasting at Le Relais Restaurant. $69 excludes tax and tip; $29 for desserts only. 4-6 p.m. 1025-I Seneca Rd., Great Falls. Call 703-444-4060.

SUNDAY: Italian wine dinner at Pino's Restaurant. $70 includes tax and tip. 6 p.m. 5765C Burke Center Parkway, Burke. Call 703-919-5418.

RESERVE NOW

DECEMBER 19: Winter Solstice Veuve Clicquot wine dinner at Equinox Restaurant. $90 excludes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 818 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-331-8118 or see www.EquinoxRestaurant.com.