July 25, 2008
Whoa, the name of this recipe is a mouthful, but I couldn’t think of of any other way to describe it other than, well, what it is. I was first inspired to make this when I saw this recipe on Elly’s blog. The idea sort of rolled around in my head for a while because I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to make it. I had seen someone on Food Network make a sauce using crushed grape tomatoes and I was toying with the idea of incorporating that into this dish. So, I’ve had it on my menu for a couple weeks, but it sort of kept being pushed further and further down the list. Tonight I finally decided to bite the bullet and make it.
It’s always a little scary for me when I go into the kitchen to make up a recipe as I go. It’s scary for my husband too because of the mounds of dishes I create for him to wash while figuring out my recipe for a dish. I always end up running around like a chicken thinking of things I want to add to the recipe. Sometimes it works out for me and other times it turns into a mini disaster. Luckily, this turned out very good! My husband really enjoyed it and he’s always a bit leary of things I just concoct out of my head. Now let’s see if I remember what all I put in. : P
Baked Shrimp with Feta and Tomato Basil Orzo
14-16 medium shrimp (give or take, cleaned and deveined-I used frozen uncooked)
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth
1 large clove garlic, minced (Use 2 if they are small)
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tsp dried basil)
1 cup grape tomatoes, washed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup orzo, uncooked
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper (or to taste)
crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 400. While the oven is preheating, boil water for the orzo and cook until just al dente. Set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Add the minced garlic and grape tomatoes. Stir the tomatoes around to coat in the olive oil. Let cook about 2 minutes and add about 1/4 cup chicken broth. Let cook another 3 minutes. Press one of the tomatoes with a fork to see if it pops. Continuing mashing all the tomatoes to make a sauce. Add salt, pepper, and chopped basil and stir. Add additional chicken broth if the tomato sauce looks to thick/dry. Stir in the uncooked shrimp and let cook about 1 minute. Stir in the orzo. Pour into a baking dish or into individual serving dishes. Top with feta, as much as you like, and bake for about 10 minutes or until feta begins to soften and shrimp are pink.
Makes about 3 servings.
I also made some baked creamed spinach to go along side our main dish. I’ll spare you the pictures because creamed spinach just doesn’t photograph well. But it was really good. I promise! I’ve had this recipe saved for a while and I’m not sure who or where I got it from. If you happen to know, please let me know! Thanks.
(with my alterations)
1/2 cup heavy cream (or sub. half and half)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I omitted)
1 clove minced garlic
black pepper and salt to taste
1 pound fresh spinach
*1/4 cup grated parmesan
*1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix heavy cream, butter, garlic,
nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil, then reduce
heat to simmer. In a separate bowl combine parmesan and bread crumbs.
Coarsely chop spinach in a food processor (I just used a knife), and gradually stir into the heavy
cream mixture. Sautee on medium-high heat and return to boiling, then remove
from heat. Pour into ramekins or a baking dish. Top with parmesan and bread crumbs mixture. Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes or until bubbly.
May 31, 2008
Do you ever see a recipe and instantly know you have to try it? That was the case with this one. I was sitting at home one lazy Sunday afternoon watching the Food Network and saw Giada make this on her show. I’ve never had any sort of carbonara, but I instantly knew I wanted to try this dish. It just looked so flavorful. Plus it was the perfect excuse to use some of the fresh basil I just planted. This dish tasted amazing! I changed it up a bit by adding the shrimp and omitting the fried egg on top but still the basil aioli was awesome and full of flavor! Another point for Giada on this one!
Giada’s Carbonara (with my alterations)
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, rubber band left on
1 pound linguini (I used spaghetti)
1 cup Basil Aioli, recipe follows
1 cup shaved pecorino (I used parmesan)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 to 6 large eggs (I omitted these)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*14-16 medium shrimp, tails removed, thawed if frozen
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water and let sit until cool, about 5 minutes. Remove from the water, remove the rubber band, and cut into 1-inch pieces.Meanwhile, add the pasta to the large pot of salted water used to cook the asparagus and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl. Add the Basil Aioli, cut asparagus, shaved cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and place on a long, rectangular serving dish. Saute the shrimp in a skillet with a couple Tbsp olive oil until done. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add these to the dish with the pasta.
I skipped the next step and used shrimp instead of fried eggs in the dish.
Place the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fry the eggs to your liking. Place the eggs on top of the pasta and serve immediately.
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large egg yolks*
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I only used 1/4 cup. I felt it had enough oil)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oilYield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Combine the garlic, egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, basil, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a food processor and run the machine to mix. With the machine running slowly drizzle in the vegetable and olive oil. Basil Aioli can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
*RAW EGG WARNING
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.
Source of original recipe: Food Network
April 28, 2008
First of all I’ll start off by saying, this is not my picture. These smelled so good after I cooked them, that we ate them too fast for me to take my own picture. I guess that must be a really good sign. So I apologize for not using my own picture, but I wanted you to envision the deliciousness that was my dinner tonight. : )
My husband and I were visiting my sister-in-law in Mobile, AL last weekend and she mentioned a little seafood place where her husband gets great po’boys so of course my husband had to have one while we were there. In fact, we made a special trip on the way home just to get a shrimp po’boy from this place. Picture a little hole in the wall place, right by the bay, and the smell of freshly cooked shrimp and crawfish wafting through the door before you even step inside. Well, the shrimp po’boys at this little place were as good as she said they were. And since we’ve been back home, I’ve really been craving one. I had some shrimp in the freezer so I decided I’d give them a shot and try to make them myself. They turned out fantastic! If you’ve never had a shrimp po’boy you should definitely try one. Of course if you can get really fresh shrimp like we had last weekend, then they’re even better but if not, frozen works just fine.
16-18 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined(thawed if frozen)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
olive oil or veg oil for frying
1 small loaf french or italian bread
Begin by setting up two shallow bowls. Beat the eggs in one bowl. In the second bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Begin by dipping the shrimp in the egg and then into the bread crumbs. Dip them again into the egg and then again into the bread crumbs. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Pan fry the shrimp 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on each side. Work in batches of 3-4 to prevent burning. Place shrimp on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Pile the shrimp on toasted italian or french bread with your favorite toppings. (I use cocktail sauce, lettuce and tomato on mine. I also brush the sliced bread with a little butter before toasting.)
Makes two sandwiches.
April 4, 2008
Thanks to Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures for hosting the Tasty Tools blogging event. This is my first blogging event by the way! Normally I’m just too busy to come up with anything for all the wonderful blogging events, but this is my first effort in getting better at that. The tool of choice for this event is the microplane. I got my first microplane not too long ago and I instantly fell in love with it. The first time I grated parmesan cheese with it, I vowed to never by store bought, pre-shredded parm again! The microplane does a much better job! I also love the fact that I can now make recipes that call for zest. Orange zest, lemon zest, lime zest. It seems like there are so many recipes that call for one of those and I’ve always had to skip that part because I had nothing to zest with. But that’s all changed now. When thinking about what I wanted to make for this blog event, I kept going back to limes. I thought about a dessert of some sort but wanted to do something a little different. That’s when I came up with this recipe for coconut lime shrimp. And these are delicious! The hint of lime zest in the breading adds a nice, fresh flavor. Thank goodness for my microplane or else I would have never discovered the wonders of citrus zest in my recipes. I can’t wait to use my microplane for many more tasks in the kitchen!
Coconut Lime Shrimp
14 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 tsp salt
canola oil for frying
Place your cleaned shrimp in a bowl and set aside. Begin by zesting one of the limes using your microplane. Reserve the zest for the breading. Slice the zested lime in half and squeeze the juice over the shrimp. You can cover and refrigerate for several hours or just allow to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the breading. In a shallow bowl or plate, combine the bread crumbs, coconut, reserved lime zest and salt. Next, break the two eggs into a shallow bowl and beat them until combined. One by one, dip your shrimp into the egg mixture and then into the breading. Again, dip each one into the egg and then into the breading again. This allows for a crispier shrimp when cooked. Heat about 2 ” of oil in a skillet over medium/hi heat. Once the oil is ready, fry the shrimp, working in batches of 3-4 at a time. Cook on each side about 2 minutes until the outside is golden brown. Place the cooked shrimp on a plate with a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Serve with the other lime, cut into wedges.
February 13, 2008
I’ve come to the realization we just don’t eat enough veggies. I personally could eat veggies all day every day. In fact if I didn’t like a good, juicy burger every now and some crunchy bacon from time to time, I could almost be a vegetarian. But my husband, well he’s another story. He would eat nothing but meat, bread, potatoes, and pasta if he didn’t have a loving wife that insisted he eat other things that are good for him. I don’t always bother making all the veggies I like because I would be the only one eating them. But I’ve become pretty creative at incorporating some veggies into our meals. He’s much more willing to eat vegetables if they’re in something rather than just piled on a plate screaming “I’m a veggie, I’m good for you!”. Ok, so they don’t really scream at you but they might as well as far as he’s concerned. So tonight for dinner I crammed as many vegetables into our dinner as possible. I made a really yummy veggie rice pilaf to go along with our spicy Cajun shrimp which I just sauteed in some olive oil and garlic, and sprinkled with Cajun spice mix. We also had some steamed yellow squash and broccoli (for me) and corn on the cob (for him). Such a great dinner!
Veggie Rice Pilaf
1/4 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 large green bell pepper,chopped
1/4 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
salt and pepper
Begin by cooking the rice and set aside. Then finely chop all the vegetables. Heat a skillet over medium heat with about 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add chopped veggies to the pan and saute 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and let simmer another 3 minutes or so. Add the pressed garlic and stir. Last, stir in the cooked rice, remaining broth, salt, and pepper. Let cook another 3-5 minutes until some of the broth is absorbed. Serve warm.
January 15, 2008
You can’t really get more simple or more rustic than this dish. Traditionally, a low country boil is done outside on a hot summer day, in a huge pot over a burner. Once everything is done, the water is drained and the contents of the pot are poured out onto a large table covered in newspaper where everyone serves themselves. I never really liked that part of it because all I could think about was the ink from the newspaper getting on my food. But anyway, I love the simplicity and unpretentiousness of this dish. The key to this dish is really the timing. You have to know just when to add all the ingredients to ensure everything is done at the same time. Unfortunately I overcooked the potatoes a little tonight and they came out sort of mushy. My husband and I still enjoyed it though. While this is normally a dish for a large crowd, I made it on a somewhat smaller scale and it’s still a great meal for 2.
Low Country Boil
-5-6 medium red potatoes, quartered (you could also use small red potatoes and leave them whole. It actually works better with the smaller ones.)
-4-6 small ears of corn
-1 lb cleaned, deveined shrimp with tails
-2 links Cajun smoked sausage, sliced diagonally
-2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
-1/4 cup salt
softened butter, sliced lemons, and Cajun Spice mix for serving
Begin by boiling 8 qts of water in a stock pot. Add the salt and Old Bay seasoning. Add potatoes and cook for about 10-12 min. Next, add the sausage and corn on the cob. Cook about 7 minutes and then add the shrimp. Boil another 3-5 min just until the shrimp are pink and heated through. Drain water and pour the contents of the pot onto a platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 2 Tbsp Cajun Spice Mix or additional Old Bay seasoning. Serve with lemon wedges and softened butter.
January 12, 2008
If you can’t tell from these last two posts, seafood was on sale at the store this week. While I’m not always the biggest fan of seafood, I do love shrimp. Fried, steamed, grilled, all kinds. It’s a good thing I love it because I’ve got a ton of it in my freezer right now. I thought a simple pasta dish would be good for dinner tonight and what better way to use up some of my shrimp. I thought I would throw some spinach in there for good measure, too. So that’s how I came up with this easy and delicious dish. Dinner was ready in about 20 minutes. This is a perfect example of a quick and easy dinner with basic ingredients, and just goes to show that dinner doesn’t have to be hard!
Shrimp Pasta with a lemon butter sauce
10-12 small shrimp, defrosted if frozen
4 oz vermicelli pasta
1/2 a lemon
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1 tsp dried parsley
Begin by chopping the spinach and placing it in a serving bowl. Boil water and cook pasta until al dente (about 5 min for vermicelli). Drain the pasta and place in the bowl on top of the spinach. The warm pasta will help the spinach to wilt down a little. In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter. Add garlic and juice of half a lemon. Cook the garlic 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter over the pasta and spinach and toss to combine. Toss the shrimp in the same skillet and cook about 3 min or until pink. Place the shrimp on top of the pasta and sprinkle with parsley. Squeeze additional lemon juice over the shrimp if desired. Serve warm.
January 9, 2008
No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That is really fish in my blog. I have said many times that I’m not a fan of fish. But my husband really likes it. Whenever we go to restaurants, he often gets fish and usually convinces me to try a bite. Most of the time I think it’s good, depending on how it’s prepared, but wouldn’t order it off the menu just for myself. It’s just not one of my favorite meals. I really do want to like fish because I know it’s so good for you. So, I decided I’d give it another try and make this blackened grouper since that’s one of my husband’s favorite dishes. It was actually pretty good. Again, not my favorite meal ever but definitely something I can eat. I really enjoyed the Cajun spice seasoning that I made to go on it. It provided great flavor to the fish.
4 grouper fillets
2-3 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp Cajun Spice Mix (recipe follows)
Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan. Season both sides of the fillets with the spice mix. Place the fish in the hot pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until fish begins to flake. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.
Cajun Spice Mix
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground red pepper
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
Source for the Cajun Spice Mix: Cooking Light
September 20, 2007
I don’t usually eat fish…of any kind. But I did as a kid and one of my favorite things that my mom used to make was salmon patties. I haven’t had them in years, but when I saw them on a food blog the other day it made me want to try them again. So I decided that’s what we would have for dinner tonight along with rice and steamed broccoli. I didn’t find out until I was starting dinner that my husband, who loves fish, doesn’t like salmon. Great. I told him if I could try them then he had to try them and if he didn’t like them he could eat a grilled cheese sandwich. : P They turned out good but I think I’ve decided I’m just really not a fish person. I have tried and tried to like it but in the end, it’s just not one of my favorite foods. It was different and the flavors were good so I guess if I was a fish lover, I’d call this a great meal.
1 can pink salmon, flaked, bones and skin removed
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Begin by sauteing the chopped onions in a pan with a little olive oil for about 5 min. Then combine the onions with the salmon, bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings in a bowl. Form into patties. In a skillet, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Place salmon patties in the pan and cook on each side for 3-5 min. They should be golden brown. Drain the excess oil off the patties by placing them on a plate with paper towels.
For the rice I just sauteed 1/2 cup chopped onions and 1/2 a chopped green bell pepper in some olive oil. Then I added cooked brown rice to the pan, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and salt and pepper. Let it heat through for a couple minutes.
August 2, 2007
I ran across this recipe a week or so ago. I had a few shrimp left in the freezer that I needed to use up so I decided to give it a try tonight. It was good but REALLY spicy! I will admit I coughed and sneezed my head off trying to cook the ginger and red pepper flakes. Even my husband was coughing and he was in the other room. LOL! I made a couple alterations based on the recipe reviews and it was still very hot. So, if you like spicy, you’ll like this one. I served it over rice and with some steamed broccoli. It was an easy and fairly healthy dinner.
Honey Ginger Shrimp
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (I only use 1/2 a tsp and it was very spicy)
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and honey; cook and stir until fragrant. Add the shrimp, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring as needed, until shrimp are pink and opaque. Deglaze the pan with chicken broth. Serve immediately.
Original Source: Allrecipes