Sunday, June 29, 2008
Boiled Shrimp -
We used 1-1/2 lbs. of shrimp, heads off, shells and tails on. Fill a medium size pot halfway with water. Add 1/3 cup Zatarain's Crab Boil (powder form) and 1 teaspoon of Zatarain's Liquid Crab Boil to the pot. Cut one lemon in half, squeeze both halves into the water and throw in the lemons too. Add teaspoon salt, and one head of garlic, cut in half cross-wise. Now add 1/4 onion peeled. Allow the water to come to a boil, add shrimp. Allow the water to come to a boil again, remove the pot from the burner and let the shrimp soak for 5-10 ten minutes. The longer the shrimp soak, the spicier, they will be. Drain the shrimp into a colander, eat warm or chill in the refrigerator before serving.
A.J.'s favorite cocktail sauce is 1/3 cup ketchup, 1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish, a couple of drops of fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of Lea & Perrins. Blend together with a fork and dip your shrimp.
Friday, June 27, 2008
This is more of a method than anything else. We're infusing olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes. You can pick your favorite herbs and infuse the oil to your taste to make your favorite comfort pasta.Pasta Mezanotte -
Cook 1 lb. of angel hair pasta until al-dente (about 7-9 minutes) and drain.
While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of extra virgin, 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes and 3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced. This is a slightly slow process to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor and the heat from the red pepper flakes. Once the oil begins to bubble around the garlic slices, turn off the heat.
Add the cooked angel hair pasta to the skillet, along with 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley. Combine and serve immediately.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
In the spirit of sharing, this summer squash recipe is so chock full of flavor even your vegetable hating children will love it. Our cute little 7 year old neighbor is now a squash lover.
Squash Casserole -
Drain squash and let cool just a little.
While squash is cooling, return pan to the stove and lower heat just a notch, add the reserved bacon grease and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add 1 medium onion finely chopped to the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons minced garlic and saute for another minute.
Remove pan from heat, add squash, salt and pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat leaf parsley, reserved crumbled bacon, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 teaspoons Louisiana Hot Sauce, 1/4 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of butter. Fold ingredients to thoroughly combine and then turn into a buttered casserole dish.
Sprinkle top of casserole with seasoned Italian bread crumbs, 1/4 Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a couple of pats of butter and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
I dug my spoon in the casserole before I took a picture. Sorry, I was hungry and I hadn't eaten in like 20 minutes, and it smelled so good and the way everyone was hovering when I took it out of the oven, I was afraid I wouldn't get my share.
Go make friends with your neighbors or go the grocery and get some summer squash!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Lemon Chicken -
Slice 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this strips.
Place about a cup of cornstarch in a medium size bowl.
In another bowl, mix 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of Asian Five Spice powder. I started with one egg and wound up needing 2...so use 2 eggs.
Coat the chicken strips first dusting each strip one at a time in the cornstarch, then dredging it through the egg mixture then again in the cornstarch. Fry the strips at medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok in about 1/3 cup of vegetable or peanut oil, 3 minutes per side Be careful not to crowd the skillet. Remove the strips from the skillet to a paper towel lined platter.
While the chicken is cooking, whisk together in a medium bowl, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice and 4 tablespoons tamari (aged soy sauce) or regular soy sauce and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together 1-1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
When the chicken is cooked, lower the heat just a notch and add 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and 2 finely chopped shallots to the skillet and stir fry for about 30 seconds, then add the lemon/soy sauce and let it come to a boil. Once the sauce comes to a boil add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir until sauce has thickened.
Return the chicken strips to the skillet and coat the strips with the sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes and serve. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve some fried rice (http://smokymountaincafe.blogspot.com/2008/02/asian-in-mountains.html) on the side.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Place the chops on a heat outdoor grill on medium-low heat and let then cook up. Turn the pork chops every 5 to 7 minutes until they are completely cooked.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Boil 1 lb. of penne in salted water just until al dente and drain.
Toss the cooked and drained penne, chopped chives, lemon zest (about 1 tablespoon), black pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce into the reduced liquid. Continue tossing the penne for a couple of minutes so it can absorb the liquid.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Meatloaf Patties and Mashed Potatoes -
Combine the meat, bread, and seasonings and form mixture into 4 large oval patties.
Oooh baby, baby this is soo good. Serve this to a man and he'll fall in love with you; serve this to your children and they will fall in love with you!
Friday, June 13, 2008
We're starting off with about 1/2 pound of fresh green beans. Snap off the ends, pull the strings off and wash gently with cool water and drain.
In a 2 quart pan, heat 1-1/2 tablespoons of shortening over medium-high heat. Yes, shortening...none of your friends are using shortening, it's important to be different.
Dice 1/2 Vidalia onion, 1/2 red bell pepper and 2 cloves of garlic.
Add the onion and bell pepper to heated pan and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon of seal salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. It's important to hold off on the garlic. If it's cooked too long, it will burn and make your dish taste bitter.
Add the beans to the pan and stir to mix all of your ingredients together.
Add 3/4 cup of chicken stock, cover pot, leaving top slightly askew and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Once liquid has evaporated, lower heat just a bit and brown up the onions, peppers and beans just a bit.
When I plated these beans, my tween and her daddy gathered around the plate like they were gathered around a camp fire trying to stay warm.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Chicken Scallopine -
Salt and pepper 5 chicken breast cutlets. Place the narrow end of the cutlet toward you and place a sage leaf on the cutlet crossways. Place a slice of Provolone cheese on top of the cutlet. Roll the cutlet and secure it with a toothpick.
Pour one 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes in a blender and mix until smooth.
Add tomato mixture to pan and add 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then return the chicken to the pan. Let chicken cook for 10 minutes, turn and let it cook another 7 minutes.
Plate chicken, ladle some sauce over the chicken and top with grated asiago or mozzarella cheese and serve immediately.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Back to the shells. Cheesy, creamy goodness, that will make you feel satisfied. Once your friends an family members try these shells, they will pledge their alliance to you forever.
Stuffed Shells -
Cook one 12 ounce package of large shells in salted water. When the shells are cooked, drain and let cool. While the shells are cooking, fry 1/4 lb. of cubed in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil pancetta until golden brown. Remove cooked pancetta from pan to a large bowl. To the large bowl with the cooked pancetta, add one 15 ounce container of whole milk ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cup shredded asiago cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley. Blend the cheese mixture with a fork and grab your shells and stuff them with the cheese mixture. Line the stuffed shells in a greased 9 x 13 dish. Drizzle marinara (16 oz. jar) over the top of the shells and top with 1/2 cup of shredded asiago cheese and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
The crunchiness of the pancetta...ok I just make this because I like pancetta. ~Enjoy!~
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Start off with two pork tenderloins, about 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. each. Use a sharp knife and remove the fat and silver skin.
Slice the tenderloins into 1/2 inch slices and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Set up an assembly station near the stove - first season 1-1/2 cups of flour with salt, black pepper and a healthy pinch of cayenne pepper.
Make an egg wash with two eggs, a splash of water and season with salt and black pepper.
Last, use 1-1/2 to 2 cups of seasoned Italian bread crumbs.
Heat 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy skillet at medium-high heat.
My tween was kind enough to help and be my hand model. Dust the medallion with the season flour.
Run the medallion through the egg wash.
Finally, dredge the medallion through the bread crumbs.
Gently place in heated skillet and repeat with the remaining medallions. Be careful not to over crowd your skillet or the heat will drop too much and you will have mushy medallions instead of crispy medallions.
Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes and turn them over.
Continue frying another 3 to 4 minutes and place on a paper towel lined platter.
Attract hungry kids to your house this evening and make these medallions, just remember to keep your wooden spoon handy!