Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shrimp with Roasted Peppers and Spinach

 Garlicky shrimp, buschetta topping, and spinach 
tossed with pasta is delicious and ready in 
the time it takes to boil the pasta.
This recipe uses ingredients I usually have on 
hand for that 'what's for dinner tonight?' 
moment. Especially if you don't want to go out.
I always keep a bag of shrimp in the freezer
 for quick dinners like this one. 
Extra fast when you use a jar of bruschetta topping.
 Mince the garlic and saute in oil for 2 minutes. 
Measure out the remaining ingredients 
so that you can quickly add as needed:
a cup with all the seasonings, 1/2C bruschetta,
 1/2C broth, 1/2C cheese, 3T butter.
 Add the shrimp, peppers, salt, pepper, red pepper 
flakes and saute for 1 minute, then stir in the broth
 and cook for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are 
just turning opaque. Don't overcook at this point.
 Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheese, then
 Stir in the spinach, pasta and butter.
Toss until the spinach wilts and the 
butter and cheese melt.
A delicious dinner in under 20 minutes.

Shrimp with Roasted Peppers and Spinach

12 oz L or XL shrimp, peeled and thawed if frozen
2T olive oil
3 cloves, minced
1/2C sweet pepper bruschetta topping
1/2t kosher salt
1/2t pepper
1/4t red pepper flakes, crushed
1/2C chicken broth
1/2C shredded Parmesan cheese
3T butter
4C fresh baby spinach (6 oz bag)
8 oz linguini pasta (or thin spaghetti),
   cooked and drained

1. Heat a large saute pan on medium for
     1-2 minutes.
2. Add olive oil and garlic; cook 2-3inminutes
     until fragrant.
3. Add bruschetta topping, shrimp, salt, pepper,
     red pepper flakes and stir 1 minute.
4. Add broth and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly
     reduced and the shrimp have just turned
5. Reduce heat to low and stir in the butter,
     spinach, cheese, and pasta.
6. Toss until butter and cheese melts and the
     spinach wilts. Serve.

*L raw shrimp comes in a 12 oz bag in the freezer
  just rinse under cold water and peel. Thaws in minutes.
*if bruschetta topping isn't available, finely chop
  1/2C roasted red pepper


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti

This is one of our comfort food 
family dinners. It's an old standard.
This dinner comes together very quickly.
Make the sauce first and while it simmers 
you can make the meatballs.
I hadn't made it in years. 
Very basic ingredients
 Dump all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan,
stir together and let the sauce simmer while
 you make the meatballs
In a large bowl combine the meatball ingredients.
You can use either Italian or plain breadcrumbs.
I do think fresh garlic and parsley make a big
difference in the taste. I always have a
pot of parsley growing on my patio or
in my garden. Buy yourself a pot and you'll
have fresh parsley for a long time.
 After it's thoroughly mixed, roll into balls.
 You should get about 22-24.
 Saute in about 2 T olive oil quickly to brown.
I turn them using two spoons.
 Add the sauce to the meatballs, or add the
meatballs to the sauce. Just be sure to get
all the flavorful browned bits.
 I have also, on occasion, just added the meatballs
right into the sauce without the browning step.
If that's how you like it, do it that way.
 Cover and simmer 30 minutes or a
little longer if you have skipped the
browning step.
Serve over hot spaghetti and
sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
And teach your children the
'Meatball Song'

Turkey Meatballs

1 can diced tomatoes-15 oz
1 can tomato paste- 6 oz
1 can water- 6 oz 
1 can mushrooms- 4 oz
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t oregano
1/8 t red pepper flakes (opt.)
Combine in a saucepan and simmer for
 one hour Add the meatballs for the 
last 30 minutes
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 C breadcrumbs
1/4 C parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Shape into meatballs. Heat 3 T
olive oil in a large skillet and saute the 
meatballs until browned but not thoroughly
cooked. Add to the sauce in the pan, 
scraping in all the browned bits. Simmer
 in the sauce another 30 minutes. 
Serve over hot spaghetti.


tip: I use seasoned breadcrumbs, if I only have
plain I'll add about 1 t Italian herbs.
Use 1 t garlic powder if you don't have fresh.

Links: Six Sister's Stuff,
Stone Gable, Coastal Charm,
Between Naps On The Porch,
A Stroll Thru Life

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chocolate Skillet Cake

A little bit country!
A chocolate cake baked in a cast iron skillet.
Two of my favorite things! PLUS it mixes
 quickly and bakes in only 20 minutes. 
PLUS you get to eat it while it's 
still warm. Gotta' love that!
Whisk flour, sugar, soda, and salt in a bowl.
Boil butter, oil, cocoa, and water in the skillet.
 Remove the skillet from heat and add the 
flour mixture. Mix well.
 Whisk in the sour cream, egg and vanilla.
 It's all mixed-up right in the skillet. Easy-peasy.
 Pop into a preheated 350 oven.
Bake until done, about 20 minutes.
Now make the frosting.
Bring the  butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil.
 Remove from heat and whisk in the XXsugar.
 Chop 1/2C pecans and add to the pan. 
 Add the vanilla and stir to combine. 
Pour over the warm cake and spread with a spatula.
 Tie a bandana around the handle for
country cuteness.
Now cut yourself a piece and pour a
tall glass of cold milk. Top with a
scoop of vanilla ice cream for
total decadence.

Chocolate Skillet Cake
Combine in a bowl:
1C flour
1C sugar
1/2t baking soda
pinch salt
In a 10" cast iron skillet combine:
1/4C butter (1/2 stick)
1/4C vegetable oil
1/2C water
2T cocoa
Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Whisk in the flour ingredients.
Then mix in:
1/4C sour cream or buttermilk
1 egg
1/2t vanilla
Pop the skillet into a 350 oven for
20 minutes, just until a toothpick
comes out with a few moist crumbs.
While the cake cools a bit, make the:

In a medium saucepan bring to a boil:
1/4C butter (1/2 stick)
2T cocoa
3-4T milk (as needed)
Remove from heat and whisk in:
2C powdered sugar
1/2C chopped pecans
1/2t vanilla
Pour over warm cake, spread 
with a spatula. Serve warm with
vanilla ice cream


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream

This is a delicious Julia Child recipe I first made
 many years ago when her cookbook 
Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 
was all the rage. It's called 
Supremes De Vilaille A Blanc
when made without the mushrooms and 
Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons 
with the mushrooms. Devine!
A few simple ingredients. Once you've mastered 
this technique it's really quite easy 
and quick to make. I'll go thru each step.
Flatten chicken slightly to a uniform thickness.
 Rub the chicken with drops of lemon juice.
 Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.
 Heat the butter in a 10" skillet until foaming.
Stir in the minced shallots. 
Saute a minute without browning
(Can also use green onions).
Then stir in the mushrooms and saute lightly 
a minute or two without browning. 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken and turn to coat both sides
in the butter. Cover with foil.
Place in a hot 400 oven
 for about 12-15 minutes. Do not over-bake.
When the meat is springy to the touch it 
is done. If there is no springiness, 
it is overcooked.
 Remove the chicken to a platter and keep warm 
under the foil while you make the sauce.
 I return the platter to my turned off oven 
along with the dinner plates.
Leave the oven door ajar if it is still too hot.
 Make the sauce: Pour the broth and wine into 
the skillet and quickly bring to a boil.
 Boil on high heat until the liquid is condensed 
and syrupy .
Stir in the cream.
Boil down again
until it is thickened.
Remove from heat and taste for seasoning.
Add a few drops of lemon juice.
Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts.
 Sprinkle with 2T chopped fresh parsley.
Serve at once.
Serve with risotto or rice cooked in chicken broth, 
and buttered green beans, asparagus, 
artichoke hearts or creamed spinach. 
Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream
Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2t lemon juice
5T butter
1T minced shallot
1/4 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
salt & pepper as needed
1/4C chicken broth
1/4C white wine or vermouth
1C whipping cream
lemon juice as needed
2T minced fresh parsley
Rub the chicken with drops of lemon juice.
Season both sides with salt & pepper.
Heat the butter in a 10" skillet until
foaming. Add the minced shallots and 
saute one minute without browning. 
Then stir in the mushrooms and saute 
lightly for a minute or two without browning
Add the chicken and turn to coat both sides 
with the butter and cover with foil and place in
a 400 oven for about 12-15 minutes. Check
after about 10 minutes. Meat should spring
back when lightly pressed with your fingers.
Remove pan from the oven and place the
 chicken on a platter and tent with the foil 
to keep warm while you make the sauce.
Pour the broth and wine into the skillet
and boil down quickly over high heat
until condensed and syrupy. Stir in the cream
 and boil down again until thickened slightly.
Off heat taste carefully for seasoning
Add a few drops of lemon juice.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and
sprinkle with parsley, and serve at once.
Bon Appetit!