Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grilled Marinated Shrimp

So we decided that shrimp was on the menu for tonight and we began our search of the Internet for a recipe. We had to use what we had in the fridge so we were a tad limited on ingredients. Well I found this recipe and it turned out so good. I didn't have lemon so I used lime instead, and I also cut the original recipe in half since we were using 1 pound of shrimp. We served it with some brown rice and fresh green beans. It was the perfect filling, light meal.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. hot pepper sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached

In a mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, parsley, lemon (lime) juice, hot sauce, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, salt and black pepper. Reserve a small amount for basting later. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag with shrimp. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat grill for medium-low heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes per side, or until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chicken Braised in White Wine

So it was one of those nights where I thought Jim was in charge of dinner and he thought I was in charge of dinner. We both knew that bone-in chicken breasts were defrosted and ready to be cooked but neither of us had anything planned. Luckily I already had this recipe from Katie over at Good Things Catered printed out and I knew I had everything for it, so Chicken Braised in White Wine was the meal for the night. We only had two chicken breasts so I cut everything in half (except for the flour mixture since these were really big chicken breasts). I really like using the dutch oven. It's relatively easy cleanup and in all reality, it doesn't take that long for chicken with bones to cook.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tbsp, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large bone-in chicken breasts
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 oz white button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1-2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl (Ziploc bag), combine 1/3 cup flour, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil to almost smoking. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes (I added a little more olive oil too). Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, to reduce, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and add the garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook until the chicken is very tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf and plate chicken, potatoes and mushrooms. Place Dutch oven over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp. of flour and whisk to combine, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes (I had to add a little chicken broth since I wasn't left with much liquid). Pour thickened braising sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

It was Jim's turn to come up with dinner. We had already taken some Jennie-O hot Italian turkey sausages out of the freezer so that's what he had to work with. Well he found this recipe and it turned out really good! The recipe actually calls for sweet sausage and we used hot, so I would like to try this out with the sweet sausage next time. And the recipe also calls for heavy cream but Jim decided to use Half & Half instead...it worked fine.

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk
sweet Italian sausage - we used hot in links but we just removed the casings
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream - we used Half & Half
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender. Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce. Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

We needed a side dish and had some fresh green beans, but I wanted to add a little something to them. I just get sick of the same old steamed green beans after awhile. I found this recipe and it was so good! Definitely a keeper!

3/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. garlic chili sauce
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. canola oil - I used olive oil

Arrange a steamer basket in a pot over boiling water, and steam the green beans 3 to 4 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, garlic chili sauce, and honey. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring 2 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Serve immediately.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

It was a night where I really didn't feel like putting all that much effort into dinner. Jim was taking his 3-4 hour "nap" after work in order to stay up for a Wings game so I was on my own. This is what I came up with. All the measurements are approximate since I basically just threw a bunch of veggies on a pan and roasted them.

2 handfuls baby carrots
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1-2 cups broccoli florets
1 medium onion, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb. pasta, cooked (I used rotini)
Parmesan chese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and get the water boiling for your pasta. In the meantime, prepare all vegetables and place on a baking sheet. Liberally coat the veggies with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix around to ensure veggies are coated with oil. Place in oven for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes is up, stir the veggies around. Place back in oven and cook for another 10-20 minutes, depending on how tender you want your vegetables and exactly which vegetables you used (you can use anything really). Once the vegetables are roasted, add them to the cooked pasta and mix. I added fresh basil and a little Parmesan cheese to mine.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Creamy Shrimp with Corn and Bacon

I love making shrimp dishes. They come together so fast so they're great meals to make on nights when you don't have much time. I found this one in my Real Simple magazine and knew it was one I wanted to try. It was delish!

1 cup long-grain white rice - we used brown rice
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 tbsp. spoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 10-ounce package frozen corn

Cook rice according to whatever type you are making.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel, let cool, then break into pieces. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Stir in the shrimp, corn, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the bacon; serve over the rice.