Tuesday, October 30, 2007
This recipe came from the lovely pioneer woman. The secret to these spicy and savoury shrimp is combining them with olive oil, lots of black pepper, garlic powder, vermouth, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. We lined them up on a baking sheet and that's all the prep time we needed.
As for the garlic bread...a simple combination of shredded mozarella and parmesan cheese, garlic and butter was all it took to produce a delectably cheesy garlic bread to sop up all those juices from the shrimp.
Spicy, peppery and tender, these shrimp were too delicious for words and are a must-try for all you fellow shrimp lovers out there.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Here's how it's done:
Tequila-Lime Pasta with Shrimp
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1/2 cup tequila (you may also use rum or vodka)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lime juice (about 3-4 limes)
Sautee garlic, coriander and jalapenos in olive oil in large pan on medium-high until translucent and slightly softened (about 5 minutes, stirring often). Add tequila, broth and lime juice and reduce until mixture turns thick, about 5-7 minutes. Once paste is thick, remove from pan and set aside.
Putting it all together:
3 bell peppers (yellow, red and orange) thinly sliced
1 medium red onion thinly sliced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/2 pound of large, raw shelled shrimp
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 box of linguini, fettucini or spaghetti
Place thawed shrimp in small bowl and marinate in soy sauce for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil pasta until al dente. Sautee peppers and onions in oil on medium heat in large pan until slightly softened (about 5-7 minutes). Add flavour paste and combine thoroughly. Remove pan from heat, add cream and stir until vegetables are well coated. Increase heat until sauce comes to a gentle boil. Cook for about 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly, then add shrimp and soy sauce. When shrimp turns pink, add well-drained pasta, mix well and serve immediately.
One of the interesting things about this recipe is that it has HUGE flavour with no additional salt or pepper. The soy sauce adds just the right amount of saltiness while the garlic, lime juice, tequila and coriander makes for an incredible balance of flavour.
Want to make it your own? Here are some substitution suggestions:
Brandy or Grand Marnier for the tequila
Scallops, clams, or chicken breast for the shrimp
Lemon juice or orange juice for the lime juice
Just make sure to balance out the sweet with the tangy, so brandy and orange juice would probably make for an overly sweet sauce.
So this winter, when you're feeling cooped up and the snow is waist high, just stay in and indulge in this creamy, tangy and substantial pasta dish and, somehow, springtime will be just a little bit closer.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Basic Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
Two 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Season with salt and serve.
We added a lot of chili flakes because we like it spicy!
We used our canned San Marzano tomatoes.
We left the sauce a bit chunky, but you can process it to have a smoother consistency.
We added fresh parsley to the sauce and a dollop of basil pesto to the finished dish.
I love everything Mario Batali (bright orange clogs included) so I may be a bit biased for this recipe. It is homey, simple, and delicious. What more could you want?
Do you have a favorite tomato sauce recipe?
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The afternoon came and went and although it was somewhat successful, we felt we needed some comfort in the form of ice cream. Oh, I forgot to mention that it was also a beautiful, sunny
Vanilla Ice Cream
cups heavy cream
cup whole milk or half-and-half
vanilla bean, split lengthwise
tsp. vanilla extract
Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the remaining cream, the half-and-half, and the vanilla extract. Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, for at least eight hours or overnight. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod (reserve the bean for another use), then freeze in your ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
This ice cream was just what we needed. It was creamy and rich with just the perfect amount of sweetness. The vanilla specks were lovely and added that professional touch. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone that is looking for an easy yet tasty vanilla ice cream recipe.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
After a week of lots of left-overs and take-out, it was nice to get into the kitchen and make something with my own two hands. Sometimes the best remedy for a hard week is lots of chopping and stirring.
This week's CSA share left us with a bounty of beets, carrots, and other root vegetables. I decided to make a roasted side dish with beets, carrots, and onions.
The recipe is adapted from an old Gourmet magazine.
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large carrots, cut into chunks
2lbs red beets
3 oz crumbled feta (1/2 cup)
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then add 3 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well. Cook onions with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
Roast beets and carrots together until soft, approx. 45-60 minutes.
Add onions to dressing, then add beets and carrots, stirring gently to combine.
The salad was very fresh tasting and yet also very earthy. It was perfect for a day like today where we're not sure what season it is anymore. The dressing was quite tangy; a perfect balance to the sweet vegetables.
It's a great side dish, any time of the year.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Okay, so this is going to be hard to believe but with everything that we're able to cook, an omelette is not one of them. Shocking but neither one of us has ever made one before. Of course we've ordered them in restaurants but never felt the need to make one at home - well, until now.
How hard could it actually be?
This is the point where I tell you that I don't think I'll be making an omelette again any time soon. Don't get me wrong, the filling was delicious (we used fresh basil, aged cheddar and a smear of pesto) but the eggs were dry and over cooked.
How do they make the eggs stay light and fluffy and have a melty filling?
The eggs were way to dry for my taste, so I only ate the filling around the eggs. Even the cats wanted nothing to do with the eggs...they're becoming little food snobs.
I'll try making this again, but only if I get some good tips. So all you expert omelette makers, please help me make an omelette that is deliciously light and fluffy, with a gooey filling...well, at this point, I'd settle for even just an omelette that is edible...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Potato Leek Soup
3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)
2 large potatoes, peeled, diced
4 1/2 cups (or more) chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic; stir to coat with butter. Cover saucepan; cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Puree soup in a processor until smooth or with a hand blender. Thin with additional stock if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup back to simmer.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chives.
We were out of chives so we substituted with chopped scallions. We also added a sprinkle of shredded aged cheddar, and a tiny drizzle of a good quality olive oil.
It was a delicious, warming soup - a perfect meal for the chilly Fall season.
And Mony liked it, he really liked it.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I'm happy to report that the challah came out even better than my previous attempt. This time, it was soft and fluffy, and just downright beautiful to look at. I also decided to bake it as a round braided challah rather than a long loaf as that is much easier to handle. I kind of like the round challah better - esthetically it looks much more professional this way.
A sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds added that final touch.
Even Ms. Salty couldn't keep her eyes and nose away...
If you try this recipe, I would definitely suggest hand kneading over a mixer attachment. The end result is worth the little extra effort.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Yes, you read that right...a 1 winged turkey.
Who would have thought that from all the turkeys to choose from, I would choose the one who lost his wing. Poor guy; wingless and eaten for Thanksgiving.
Garlic green beans with slivered almonds
Maple roasted carrots
Parmesan & chive mashed potatoes
Roasted butternut squash
Mixed greens with clementine and red onion
Bread stuffing with sausage and fennel
Key lime pie
Vanilla ice cream
Everything was eaten up, some things more than others but that is expected, I guess. The turkey bones are in a huge pot right now making some stock -- hopefully enough to get two different soups out of it.
I wish I has some pictures of all the side dishes as they were really delicious. The butternut squash was a last minute addition thanks to Aimée who suggested it, as well as pairing sausage and fennel in the stuffing. That was a great addition to the dish.
The highlight of dessert was an apple pie that my sister made. The crust was flaky and tender, with loads of crisp apples.
I also have to mention my too-tart key lime pie that was not the greatest tart but looked very pretty!
And a carrot cake rounded out the dessert table...
So, overall, I think it was great evening with lots of laughter and good food -- everything that we've grown to expect out of Thanksgiving.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
We've just been really busy.
We've always said we wouldn't be one of those bloggers -- you know, the ones that post once every few months. Well, we started off strong but lately life has gotten in the way. Lately our evenings comprise of getting in from work around 7:30pm...dinner is either leftovers or something super easy, and then after a bit, just heading to bed to start another day. Between obligations at work, family crises, and house hunting; we've been spent.
But I think we're back. Things have quieted down a bit and, well, since I've been having dreams about posting, I think it's time to get back into the swing of things...AND what a better way to do so then to host a Thanksgiving dinner this weekend (14 people!!).
This is huge for me. Thanksgiving (us wacky Canadians celebrate this weekend), for us, has always been a great excuse to overeat, overdrink, and overlaugh in our family. This is the first year that I'm hosting and it is nervewracking and exciting all at once. I suddenly feel like a grown up.
So besides the usual huge turkey, I have no idea what else is on the menu...and it's 2 days away. Any menu ideas and suggestions would be much appreciated...anything from appetizers to desserts. What tried and true recipes have gotten you through the holidays?
Long story short, look forward to posts this weekend with all the turkey-day details.
The good, the bad, and the tasty....Stay tuned - We're back, and with a huge bang.
(We're sorry about the lull, we hope you still stick around!)