Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Helllllloooooooo…..

What’s up guys? It’s been forever, I know. This holiday season was a crazy one! I believe I mentioned it, but my boyfriend and I moved over the holiday… so much hard work, packing, moving boxes and furniture, and then cleaning. I am so thankful all that is over! The last time I moved, it was out of my parent’s house and so this is the first real move I’ve ever done. I just can’t believe how much stuff one can accumulate in 6.5 years.  Anyway, that is over now so hopefully, fingers crossed, I can now commence regular blogging. I miss it so much!

I thought I’d come back with one of my favorite recipes to share. I first made this shrimp scampi years ago, and have made it probably a dozen or so times since, which is a lot for me since I am forever wanting to try new recipes, rather than repeat them. I have yet to try an Ina Garten recipe that I haven’t liked, and this is one of my favorites of hers. I really must try some more of her recipes- but first I need to locate my cookbooks!

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3/4 lb linguine

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for salting pasta water

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 lemon, zest grated

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons)

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to directions.

2. While pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and saute about 1 minute. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.

3. Remove from the heat, and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the shrimp mixture. Toss to coat.

Source: barely adapted from Ina Garten via foodnetwork.com

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Sauteed Cajun Shrimp

Happy happy Friday! I’m always excited for the weekend… I’m especially excited about not having to set my alarm at night, and being able to stay up late and read or watch “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” if I want to… two things that are on my agenda for the weekend. My best friend is also coming over tomorrow for another installation of our Horror D’ouevres, and I’m really excited for that too 🙂 Can you believe that this weekend also signals the end of June? I certainly can’t! This week also brings the 4th of July, and while I don’t have any plans to watch fireworks, I’m still looking forward to the holiday, and a day off of work. As a kid, we always used to go visit my family out in Missouri for a week in the summer, and we were always there for the 4th. The laws there are not as strict regarding fireworks there as there are in Connecticut, and so it was always our tradition to buy a bunch of fireworks, and take turns setting them off in my Grandparent’s backyard. It was so much fun to actually set off our own fireworks, rather than just watch them…. although a good fireworks show can be fun as well.

This recipe comes from one of my favorite series of cookbooks, the Everyday Food series. The magazine (which unfortunately is now defunct), was one of my favorite food magazines, and I am still mourning the loss of it. The recipes were simple, but excellent, and were perfect for quick and delicious weeknight meals, which are the type of meal I am most drawn to, as that is the type of meal I cook most frequently. This meal fits the bill perfectly. Just a few ingredients,  super quick and simple, but still so flavorful, and not boring at all. I used turkey kielbasa in this dish to make it healthier, but I think that andouille sausage (pork, turkey or chicken) would be even tastier, if you can find it.

Sauteed Cajun Shrimp

Sauteed Cajun Shrimp

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 can (14.5 oz) low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup long-grain white rice

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, sliced lengthwise into thin strips

8 oz precooked andouille or kielbasa sausage (I used turkey kielbasa), halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions:

1. Heat 1 1/2 tsp of oil in a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook about 3-5 minutes, until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the rice, season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

2. Meanwhile, place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add remaining 1 1/2 tsp of oil. Add the bell peppers, and cook about 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are crisp-tender. Add the sausage and shrimp, and cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is cooked through, and the sausage is heated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Serve shrimp and sausage mixture over the rice.

Source: Everyday Food: Light

Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry

I think a recurring theme on my blog seems to be a love for quick and easy meals. Most of the meals I cook are weeknight meals. Meals that have to be pretty simple to put together since I am usually exhausted when I get home from work. I love meals that have simple ingredients, easy prep, but are still full of delicious and exciting flavors. I love to cook the more elaborate meal from time to time (usually this can only happen on the weekend), but I’d estimate that probably more than 75% of the things I cook are of the quick and easy variety, and this is something I have no problem with. Stir-fries are one of my go-to weeknight meals. I’m always on the lookout for a good one. I love that stir-fries encompass both protein and veggies, eliminating the need for multiple side dishes, and other than the prep work of slicing and dicing your ingredients, the actual cooking part is very quick. I also love the flavors that go into a stir-fry- soy sauce, garlic, ginger, honey in this one for example, chile sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce in others… This shrimp and broccoli stir-fry makes for a wonderful weeknight (or weekend) meal. It comes together quickly, is healthy, and most importantly, is very tasty! I loved the slight sweetness from the honey, spiciness from the red pepper flakes, the saltiness from the soy sauce, and the tang from the rice vinegar. A great balance of flavors!

Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 1/2 tbsp canola oil, divided

1/4 cup scallions, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces

2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups broccoli florets

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp honey

1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl, add the cornstarch and toss together. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan, and swirl to coat. Add the shrimp, and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the shrimp from the pan (place in a bowl or plate).

2. Add 1 1/2 tsp of oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the scallions, ginger and garlic, and cook for about 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove the scallion mixture to the same dish that the shrimp is on.

3. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan, and add the broccoli. Cook for about 1 1/2-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the shrimp/scallion mixture, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 1 minute more until the shrimp are cooked through and the broccoli is tender. Serve over rice if desired.

Source: Cooking Light, June 2013

Mushroom and Shrimp Noodle Bowls

I subscribe to a lot of food magazines- Cook’s Illustrated, Bon Appetit and Every Day with Rachel Ray among others. While I find some of the things in Rachel Ray’s magazine a little hokey (such as the nicknames for certain foods), and there are months where I’m not really compelled to make any recipes, there are other times where I get one of her magazines and I want to make everything, and this is what keeps me a subscriber. That, and I’ve yet to make a recipe of hers and not like it. This past issue (the April issue) was one of the later. There were so many recipes I wanted to try, and up first were these mushroom and shrimp noodle bowls. Making this recipe also gave me an excuse to buy five-spice powder, an ingredient that I’ve never cooked with before. I loved the complexity it gave this dish, and while it still would have been tasty without it, it gave it a little extra something that added more interest to these noodle bowls. There are many variants of five-spice powder, so depending on the mixture you buy it could contain star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel (these five are common ingredients), anise, ginger, nutmeg, tumeric, black pepper, orange peel or galangal. Therefore, your noodle bowls may have variation in flavor depending on the brand of five-spice powder. I bought a blend at Whole Foods (the only blend I could find), and theirs contained orange peel, tamari powder, lemon peel and organic spices (which spices are not specified). Regardless of what may or may not have been in the mix, I loved the flavors in this dish.

Mushroom and Shrimp Noodle Bowls

Mushroom and Shrimp Noodle Bowls

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Salt and pepper

1 lb spaghetti (regular or whole wheat)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

3/4 mixed mushrooms (i.e. shiitake, cremini, hen-of-the-woods or maitake)

1/4 head savoy or napa cabbage, thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 small red chile pepper, thinly sliced

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated

1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1/4 cup tamari, soy sauce, or liquid amino

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook spaghetti until al dente.

2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry 3-4 minutes until any liquid evaporated, and they become browned. Add the cabbage, scallions, chile pepper, garlic and ginger. Season with pepper. Stir-fry, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp and the five-spice powder. Stir-fry, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and the tamari or soy sauce, lower the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the shrimp are cooked through.

4. Serve the mushroom and shrimp mixture over the pasta. Either mix together, or place the pasta in bowls and ladle the shrimp-mushroom mixture over the top.

Source: Every Day with Rachel Ray, April 2013

 

Shrimp Potstickers with Scallion Dipping Sauce

What a week, huh? I for one am glad it’s over, and I’m hoping the week will be a calmer, happier, and more peaceful one! I don’t want to dwell on the negative, and so I’ve decided to focus on the positive of this week- green grass, buds and flowers on the trees, buying some pansies to plant, celebrating my mom’s birthday, and working on some spring cleaning and organization! We celebrated my mom’s birthday yesterday with a delicious meal made by my brother and his girlfriend- asparagus with burrata, bacon and almonds…escarole with candied walnuts, pears and a blue cheese dressing… homemade pasta with a tomato, eggplant and olive sauce! They are both such good cooks, and very adventurous in the kitchen. They are not afraid to make anything, including homemade croissants and corned beef, among other things. I have to admit that I’m a bit more timid when it comes to cooking complicated and elaborate recipes, although I’m working on that. I made the dessert- a chocolate stout bundt cake with a ganache frosting (the recipe was the same as the Guinness Chocolate cupcakes), and Carrot Cake cupcakes with molasses-cream cheese icing (recipe coming soon). I was so stuffed by the end of the night I could barely move. It was worth it though!

Potstickers are something that I was very intimidated to make the first time I decided to make homemade ones, but they are actually very simple to make. The assembly is the only thing that takes a little time, but one you get the hang of it, it moves very quickly. An awesome part of making dumplings is that you can make a bunch, and then freeze whatever you aren’t using that day, and then have a delicious appetizer waiting whenever you need it! I love to make extra for that purpose. These shrimp potstickers were wonderful, as was the dipping sauce. The flavors of garlic, ginger, scallions and soy sauce go together so well, and create such a flavorful dumpling!

Shrimp Potstickers with Dipping Sauce

Shrimp Potstickers

Makes about 40 dumplings

Ingredients:

1/2 head napa cabbage, chopped fine

3/4 tsp salt

12 oz shrimp (any size), peeled and deveined

4 scallions, minced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 tsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

About 40 wonton wrappers (My package had 48 wrappers)

8 tsp vegetable oil

About 2 cups water, plus extra for moistening wrappers

1 recipe scallion dipping sauce (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Set a colander over a bowl, and in it toss together the cabbage and the salt. Let stand about 20 minutes until the cabbage has slightly wilted. Press the cabbage against the colander with a rubber spatula to press out the excess moisture.

2. Add the shrimp to a food processor, and pulse about 10 times, until the shrimp is chopped up pretty finely.

3. Add the shrimp to a medium bowl, along with the cabbage, scallions, egg, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and pepper. Mix together thoroughly to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the refridgerator to chill. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.

4. When chilled, make the dumplings! Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to place finished potstickers on. To make the potstickers, take a wonton wrapper (covering the rest with a damp paper towel, or plastic wrap), and place on a clean surface. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of filling into the center of a wrapper. Moisten 2 sides of the wrapper, and fold in half to make a triangle. Press together with your fingers to seal. Place the finished potsticker on the prepared baking sheet and continue making the rest. When all are assembled, you can either cook them immediately, or freeze them for the future. (To freeze, place baking sheet in your freezer with the assembled dumplings, covered with plastic wrap. Let freeze for several hours, and then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Do not thaw before cooking.)

5. To cook, place a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium high heat, and brush with 2 tsp of vegetable oil. Add the potstickers, in the pan, flat side down (10-12 per batch). It’s okay if the dumpling touch each other, or overlap very slightly). Cook for 5 minutes, until the undersides are golden brown (do not move the dumplings, just lift a little to check for browning).

6. Reduce the heat to low, add 1/2 cup water, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Then, uncover the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 3-4 minutes longer (without moving), until the bottoms of the potstickers are brown and crisp, and the water is evaporated. Remove the potstickers to a plate lined with a couple of paper towels to adsorb the oil.

7. Repeat process with remaining potstickers. Serve with scallion dipping sauce!

Source: barely adapted from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Scallion Dipping Sauce

Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients:

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp mirin

2 Tbsp water

1 tsp chili oil (optional)

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 scallion, minced

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix together. Serve with potstickers!

Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Pan-Seared Shrimp with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze

Pan-Seared Shrimp with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze

A miraculous event has occurred… I have been able to open the windows in my apartment! Woohoo!! It’s the little things in life, right? The last couple of days the temperature has reached the mid-70s and I couldn’t be happier about it. My animals have been excited to. Every time I have gone to open up a window, my cat has dashed over and jumped up into it immediately, even if other windows are already open. I can’t blame him though, it has been far too long since I’ve had fresh air in my apartment. Next up, looking for the buds on the trees to start appear! I’ve also started thinking about what I want to grow in my garden this year! I’m thinking basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, lettuce… maybe some bell peppers, cucumber, zucchini… there are just so many options, and I want to grow them all!!!!! I can’t wait to be able to walk out to my little garden and pick vegetables and herbs to use in my cooking.  I am just so excited 🙂

Now, onto the recipe. I love a good shrimp recipe. Shrimp is healthy, quick, relatively cheap, and it lends itself to endless variation.  These pan-seared shrimp caught my eye immediately when I was perusing the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, and they definitely lived up to my expectation of them. The sauce is sweet and a little spicy from the ginger and red pepper flakes, and is super-quick to put together. That, combined with the rapidly cooking shrimp, make this a perfect weeknight meal! I served these shrimp with Jasmine rice, and roasted sesame green beans (recipe coming on Friday), and it was an awesome dinner.

Pan-Seared Shrimp with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze

Pan-Seared Shrimp with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 lb extra-large shrimp. peeled and deveined

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp ginger, grated

2 tsp water

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions:

1. In a small bowl stir together the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, water, soy sauce and scallions.

2. In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over high heat. While heating, mix together the shrimp, salt, red pepper flakes and sugar in a medium bowl.

3. Add half the shrimp to the preheated skillet in a single layer. Cook about 1 minute until the edges turn pink and they are starting to brown. Remove from heat, flip each shrimp over and cook about 30 seconds more. Remove shrimp to a large plate.

4. Repeat with remaining shrimp- add remaining Tbsp oil to the skillet, add the rest of the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for a minute, remove from heat, allow to cook 30 seconds more.

5. Now return the first batch of shrimp to the skillet to combine with the second batch. Add in the hoisin-ginger mixture. Toss the shrimp and the sauce to combine. Cover the skillet, return to the burner, and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until cooked through.

Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Shrimp Previously: Chipotle Shrimp, Grilled Shrimp and Sausage Skewers with Smoky Paprika Glaze, Paprika Shrimp Quesadillas

Paprika Shrimp Quesadillas

Who doesn’t love a delicious quesadilla?  I mean, it’s basically cheese and a tortilla filled with any delicious combination of veggies/meats/whatever you can dream up?! Any food that derives from the word “cheese” is automatically awesome, right?  Some of my favorite combos are chorizo and jalapeno, and chicken and peppers.  I’ve actually never made one containing shrimp before, but this one is delicious.  The shrimp are so flavorful on their own, especially with the addition of the smoked paprika (my new favorite spice), but the combination of them with the cheese, scallions, cilantro, and tomatoes make them even better…. and it’s such an easy meal which makes it perfect for a weeknight.  




Paprika Shrimp Quesadillas


Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients:
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1 lime, juiced
A small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
8 large tortillas
2 plum or vine tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 scallions
2 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
Guacamole and/or sour cream for serving
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or a grill, griddle or grill pan to medium-high.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Toss shrimp with a drizzle of olive oil, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Add the shrimp to the pan, and cook until done, about 4-6 minutes.  When done, add lime juice, toss, and remove from heat.
3. Remove the shrimp from the pan, and chop into smallish pieces.  Place in a bowl, add cilantro, and toss together.
4. To assemble the quesadillas, place half of the tortillas on  foil-lined baking sheet(s) (you will need 2 baking sheets, or you can do this in 2 batches).  Sprinkle cheese onto each.  Then sprinkle on shrimp, tomatoes and scallions.  Top each with another tortilla.  
5. Pop into the oven and bake 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted.  
6. Cut into wedges and serve.
Notes:
  • Alternately, you can do this all on a grill, as the original recipe calls for.  (If you are lucky and it’s not raining when you are making these!)  For grilling, preheat your grill to medium-high heat.  Once you toss the shrimp with the spices, thread them onto a skewer and grill for about 2 minutes per side.  Pour the lime juice over them before removing from the grill.  Then chop and sprinkle with cilantro.  To make the quesadillas on the grill, it’s easier if you place the ingredients on half of each tortillas and fold over, so that only one side is open.  Spray with cooking spray, and place on grill for about 5 minutes, turning once.
  • Even without the extra-smokiness that grilling these would have given the quesadillas, they were still awesome!  I used hot smoked paprika, rather than sweet smoked paprika.  Feel free to use either, just make sure it’s the fancy smoked stuff!
  • The original recipe calls for avocado to be inside of the quesadilla as well, but I decided to make guacamole instead.  It’s totally up to you.