Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Angel Hair Pasta With Shrimp and Broccoli

From Cooks.com. Below is their recipe with their proportions. In practice, I pretty much doubled it because I wanted to cook the entire box of spaghetti. Note that while this is an easy recipe, everything cooks in about 5 minutes so you have to start it all at once and keep track so nothing overcooks.

8 1/4-inch medium shrimp (I used frozen, pre peeled&deveined)
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons butter
1 bunch of broccoli, cut up
8 oz. angel hair spaghetti

Toss together: Shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper, 4 tablespoons olive oil. Marinate the shrimp for 3 hours in the refrigerator.

After marinating, remove the garlic pieces.
Add 3 tablespoons butter.

Cook pasta making sure it’s ready at or nearly when Broccoli and Shrimp are ready.

In a large saucepan, add broccoli and bring to a boil. Drain and return to saucepan; cover.
Editor's Note: Do not overcook. Broccoli will continue to cook after removed from heat. It should be a bright green color - emerald green, not olive green. Olive green indicates the broccoli has overcooked.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons butter. Add shrimp and saute, tossing often.

Toss everything together. Serve.

I wound up marinating the shrimp for about 5-6 hours.
This came out great with raves all around.
Next time I might substitute small shells for angel hair.
This might be a good recipe to pour the pasta over broccoli in colander method to cook the broccoli.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spaghetti with Butter and Parmesan With Peas

This recipe is from Mark Bittman's web site:

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons (1/2 to 3/4 stick) butter (I used 5 tablespoons)
1 pound long pasta, like linguine or spaghetti, or any other pasta
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste
About 1 cup cooked peas (I used a 9 oz package of baby sweet peas)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.

Meanwhile, bring the butter to room temperature (you can soften it in a microwave, but don't melt it). Put it in a warm bowl.

Cook the pasta until tender but not mushy; drain it, reserving some of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the butter, adding a little of the water if necessary to thin the sauce (I used about 2-3 oz). Toss with the Parmesan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the peas, and serve immediately, passing additional Parmesan at the table.

This recipe is almost word-for-word with the original. It's easy to make and is delicious.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Anthony’s Spicy Bacon Pasta

From Chicagoist:

4 strips of bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch wide strips

1/2 of an onion, coarsely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon of Rosemary (I used dried)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (or more, if you like it that way)

1 16-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, chopped (I used Red Gold brand diced)
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce (Red Gold brand)

1 box of pasta (Rotini)

Bring a pot of water to boil.

Sauté the bacon over medium-high heat in a heavy pan (11" cast iron skillet) for 3 minutes.

Add the onions and garlic and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Add the rosemary, sugar and red pepper and sauté for 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes (with juices) and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to low heat and simmer.

Start cooking the pasta. Stir the sauce occasionally, and when the pasta is done, the sauce should have reduced into a thick, red-brown savory ooze of tastiness. Drain the pasta, combine with the sauce and serve!

This was delicious. I added salt and pepper at the end to balance the spices. I had mine with Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout which made for a nice pairing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beans and Cornbread

I'm paraphrasing this recipe from The Pioneer Woman (she rocks).

4 Cups Dried Pinto Beans
4 Slices Thick-sliced Bacon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Rinse beans under cool water. Remove anything that ain't beans. Throw the beans into a pot. Cover beans with 2 inches of water. Slice bacon into into 1-inch pieces and put them in the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours, until beans are tender. Add water to pot as needed. Beans should have a thick broth.

Add salt and pepper. Stir together well and check the seasoning. I left it this way, but think I might try adding some chili powder next time.

1 Cup yellow corn meal
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Cup buttermilk
1/2 Cup regular whole fat milk
1 (large) egg
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Cup melted shortening (Crisco)
2-3 tablespoons shortening for pan

Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat (or in a hot oven) to get it pretty hot. Preheat oven to 450.

Add 2 or 3 tablespoons shortening to the skillet. Make sure to melt the shortening in the hot pan before you pour in the cornbread batter. This is the secret to the crispy, brown outside.

Combine yellow cornmeal, flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, add 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup regular milk and 1 egg. Stir together until combined.

Add baking powder and stir together. Add baking soda and stir together.

Pour this into the cornmeal/flour mixture and stir together until just combined.

Add 1/4 cup shortening to a microwave-safe dish and microwave until melted (took mine about 60 seconds at full power).

Pour melted shortening into the bowl stirring constantly until combined.

Now pour batter into hot skillet. It will sizzle around the edges.

Even out the batter on top, then bake in a 450-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cajun Fried Potatoes and Sausage

This would have been a Cajun dish if I found Andouille sausage. As it happened, the best I could find was a smoked beef sausage from Eckrich. I also approximately halved the recipe for tonight. I found this recipe here.

6 potatoes, peeled and sliced (red potatoes)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (used regular Kosher salt)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped (yellow medium onion)

Place sliced potatoes in a large bowl of cold water and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and replace water and allow to sit for an additional 10 minutes; drain and blot dry with paper towels.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to skillet and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, peppers, seasoning salt and pepper. Cover, lower heat to medium, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion and cook mixture until ingredients are tender, about 3 more minutes.

I sliced the potatoes about 1/4 inch. A little thinner would have been a little better.
I used my cast iron skillet. Easy clean up.
The meal tasted great and is a keeper recipe. I ate mine with Bell's Amber Ale. Yummm...

I used chorizo from Garden Fresh Market to make this on 9/18. Better all around.

Potato Information

With the exception of baking, I never remember which type of potato is best for what purpose (like pan frying, boiling, or mashing). I got this guide from The Cook's Thesaurus.

Potatoes with a high starch content, like russets, bake well and yield light and fluffy mashed potatoes. Those with a low starch content, like red-skinned potatoes, hold their shape after cooking, and are great for making potato salads and scalloped potatoes. Medium starch potatoes are called all-purpose potatoes, and they'll work in most potato dishes.

Best for baking: russet potato

Best for potato salads, gratins, and scalloped potatoes: Yellow Finn potato, new potato, red-skinned potato, white round potato, and purple potato

Best for mashing: russet potato, Yukon gold potato, Caribe potato, and purple potato

Best for soups and chowders: Yukon gold potato, Yellow Finn potato, red-skinned potato, white round potato, and purple potato

Best for pan-frying: red-skinned potatoes, white round potatoes, new potatoes, and fingerling potatoes

Best for French fries: russet potato, purple potato, Bintje potato

Best for purees: fingerling potatoes

Best for roasting: new potatoes, Bintje potatoes

Best for steaming: new potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes

Best for potato pancakes: russet potato, Yukon Gold potato