Tag Archives: Shrimp

Pasta with Shrimp, Shallots, and Cherry Tomatoes in Madeira sauce

Perusing through one of my favorite magazines; Fine Cooking; which is also one of the only magazines I will not rip out any of the recipes, I keep the whole magazine. I do however use little post it tabs and mark out everything that looks and sounds like something we would enjoy. If I have a few of the ingredients on hand, I will add the balance of what the recipe asks for to my next grocery shopping list. There has been a few; OK a little more than a few occasions that after work I would run up town to the store and grab a couple of things needed to make one of the recipes for dinner that very night.

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A couple of weeks ago I came across this recipe, I had everything except the Madeira wine part; which I can only guess since it is in the title; was pretty a pretty important part of the recipe. I will also admit; I have heard of Madeira wine but it was not something I have used before. Straight from Wikipedia -”Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands See I didn’t know that, I wonder if my friend SF; who I know reads my blog knew this? I’m sure he did…Now that I have a whole bottle of it, I will be looking for some recipes to use it up with. I hate wasting any and ingredients; especially wine.

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5 medium shallots, 2 sliced crosswise into rings; 3 sliced lengthwise into strips
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
7 Tbsp olive oil; more as needed
Kosher salt
1½ pound jumbo shrimp (16-20 per lb) shelled and deveined, shells reserved.
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
½ cup Madeira – they asked for rainwater, my liquor store didn’t have it
1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes
¾ cup heavy cream
10 oz. campanelle pasta or similar
2 Tbsp capers, drained but not rinsed
2 Tbsp thinly sliced chives

In a small bowl, toss the shallot rings in the flour until coated. In a 10-inch skillet, heat 3 Tbsp od the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Working in batches, cook the shallot rings until golden brown, adding more oil if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt

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In a 2 quart saucepan, boil the shrimp shells in 2 cups of well-salted water until the water is reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 5-8 minutes. Strain and set aside the broth.

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Season shrimp with salt and pepper. In a 12 inch or larger skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil and butter over medium heat. Add half of the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining shrimp.

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Add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil, the garlic, and the shallot strips to the skillet and cook, stirring, until golden brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Madeira and cook until almost fully evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until most have burst and their liquid is reduced by half.  Add the cream and ½ cup of the shrimp broth; cook until the sauce thickens. 4-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Cook pasta according to the packages directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and add the pasta and capers to the sauce and toss. Adding shrimp broth if needed to loosen the sauce. Divide among 4 shallow bowls and garnish with chives and the fried shallots.

Shrimp, Sausage and Gnocchi weeknight dinner

What a beautiful weekend at the lake the weather was perfect; the water was cold but refreshing! We came back pretty late on Sunday and there was no time and actually not a lot of money; I’m sure some of you know when you come back from vacation no matter how long it was that money can be a little tight. I picked up a few basics just milk, bread and lunch meat for the guys and that was it for the week. Dinners for the week will have to be whatever I had on hand. Which in taking a quick inventory of my fridge, freezer and pantry; it didn’t look too bad.

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Tuesday night was just going to be me and the hubby; I opened the freezer and saw a half bag of shrimp, a handful of gnocchi, half package of Italian sausage and some broccoli. I opened the fridge and there was some leftover homemade chicken stock and yes even in my fridge a half a bottle of leftover white wine – it can happen! I figured a few fresh ingredients this might not be too bad. I had a couple of small shallots and a small onion from the garden and of course my all-time favorite garlic. Sounded like dinner to me.

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I know from a few cooking class students that without a recipe just by opening the fridge and freezer meals tend not to present themselves. I would like nothing else than to show people that with a few pantry/fridge staples. A homemade meal is just a few chops and a couple of stirs away.

Here is how I made a yummy meal from what I had on hand

2 small shallots diced

2 cloves minced garlic

1 small onion diced

2 tbs Olive oil

1 tbs Butter

Gnocchi

Sausage – casing removed and chopped

Shrimp – cleaned and deveined

broccoli

Fresh Sage chopped

White wine

Chicken stock

Sriracha – hot sauce opt.

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

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Heat olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium low heat. Add chopped shallots, onions and garlic till softened. Add sausage cook until browned. De-glaze pan with white wine. Let it reduce down; before it all evaporates add the chicken stock and the gnocchi; let it boil down till it makes a nice thick sauce in the last 10 minutes add the shrimp and broccoli; you don’t want to overcook either of them. The gnocchi actually helped thicken the sauce; which was an added bonus. Add some fresh chopped herbs of your choice and salt and pepper to taste; I also added some hot sauce to liven up the flavor a little.

Seafood Mixed Grill

I more often than not write my food blog on Sunday’s which the same day I post; which is probably why they never post at the same time during the day. Or maybe I like to keep you guessing; I know a few of you personally and you’re probably like will you post already!!! You know who you are. Today is Friday and I am getting ready to head to Lake Winnipesaukee for the weekend; it’s supposed to be a gorgeous here in New Hampshire and I can’t think of a better way than to spend it on the water hanging out with good friends and grilling on the boat. Did I tell you I LOVE having friends with boats; all the fun none of the headaches; though they are on the water a LOT more than I am; ahhh it’s OK I’ll take it when it get it.

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My husband reads The Week on Sunday’s and they have a Food & Drink section (never tried the drink part hmmmm I might have to change that) which sometimes has some recipes that pique his interest for me to make. Yeah I know he does that a lot. This past week there was a Grilled Mixed Seafood recipe that sounded delish and super simple. Literally it was seafood, lemon, olive oil and some fresh aromatic herbs oh and some crusty bread to sop up all the yummy love in the bottom of the bowl.

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I did have to purchase a grill basket (I threw out my very under used one years ago) don’t tell my son I bought something new he freaks out when I bring home another cooking utensil. He does most of the dishes and when he sees’ something new, oh and he knows when its new trust me. He asks what I am getting rid of so he has a place to put away the new purchase. It’s not like we are lacking in storage space, but what we do have I pretty much have filled up over the years. Not a proud moment but here is a picture of my utensil drawer that I just took…my son is crazy I could totally get a few more things in there!!!

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my junk drawer of utensils – organized chaos is what I all it!

Seafood Mixed Grill

2 lbs of assorted shellfish such as: Jumbo shrimp; Large sea scallops or diver scallops; Firm white fish – halibut, tilapia or barramundi; Mussels etc.

Handful of aromatic herbs such as: chives, scallions, thyme; parsley, tarragon or whatever you have on hand and love

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Here is how I made mine

4 Jumbo shrimp

Barramundi cut into 2” pieces

½ lb Large Sea Scallops

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

¼ cup + more for drizzling extra virgin olive oil

2 Fresh lemons – 1 thinly sliced the other is for squeezing

Chives, scallions, thyme and parsley – chopped

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Start your grill whatever kind gas or charcoal that you are using, place your seafood in a bowl toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I placed my basket over tinfoil in a sheet pan so I could transfer it to and from the outside grill without making a mess.

Scatter your seafood evenly over the bottom of the basket; lay the lemon slices over your seafood and scatter the herbs over the lemons and drizzle olive oil over everything.

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Grill for 4 minutes without moving the basket, carefully flip the basket over (I did not secure my basket as well as I should have and it came apart – sorry no picture evidence but I got it together and no harm no foul; well a little foul language) squeeze half a lemon over the seafood, grill for another 4 minutes or so till seafood is opaque and cooked through.

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Carefully open the basket and pour all the love in a shallow bowl or platter; drizzle with a little more olive oil and a little more lemon and serve with the crusty bread. It was YUMMY and I will make it again – soon!!!!!!

adapted from The Week magazine

Fettuccini Alfredo – Leaving tonight (Fri) for Italy

I am feeling especially loved this week! I will have been in Rome for one day while you are reading this. The week of my departure, it was just too damn cute; my in-laws were waiting for me when I got home from work to say Arrivederci. Our friends that we met up with in Montreal came and spent the night, no less their anniversary night with us, my dad came to visit me, and my Mom wished me safe travels. My Co-workers were so happy for me and excited for the stories and pictures for when I get back. I went out last night with some good friends and hopefully meeting up for lunch with some more good friends; just feeling loved; I must admit it brought ought a funny comment from me. Damn you guys do know I am coming back right? Yes my husband made it quite clear that I had to come home!

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It all started when I made the decision that I would go visit my daughter before she ends her time in Japan later this year. We talked a lot about either going to her “home” in Japan or maybe meet somewhere else; like somewhere in the middle; cut the flight time for both of us. I looked up all direct international flights from Logan in Boston and from her local airport and of course Tokyo. That at least narrowed it to a few countries.

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We chose Italy which was really a no-brainer; my dream is to eat my way from the North to the South or vice versa I’m flexible either would work for me. While this trip is not my “dream” trip it will definitely be an awesome adventure that I get to share with my baby girl who is turning 25 while we are in Florence. And what a better way to spend her birthday than to attend a 7 hour cooking class. It includes a walking tour of a food market to purchase our items of course, then we are brought out to the country to an old farmhouse where we will make our 5 course dinner and dessert while trying the local vino. Yeah it sounds amazing, I will report back if it is as awesome as it sounds.

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My husband was insistent that I write my blog sitting at a café in Rome; while I LOVED the idea, I mean really; how flipping cool would that be. Unfortunately since I was traveling alone I decided packing super light was the only way to travel and since we were spending time in two or more cities; I wasn’t going to lug my laptop. Next time during my “dream” Italian trip, damn straight I will be sitting at several café’s writing and sharing everything around me with you.

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It was delicious but this picture looks like it needs more pepper

In honor of my trip I am going to share my quick version of Fettuccine Alfredo that I made for my guys this last week with the homemade pasta I brought back from Montreal.

Alfredo Sauce

1 pint heavy cream

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano

Freshly cracked black pepper

Broccoli – cooked in the pasta water till aldente – optional

Shrimp – cooked in the Alfredo sauce or cook in garlic butter before adding – optional

Cook pasta according to directions using fresh or boxed works fine

Heat the heavy cream over medium low heat in a deep straight sided saute pan

Add butter and whisk gently to melt, do not boil but simmer for about 5 minutes or so to thicken. Sprinkle in the cheese and stir to incorporate; Season with freshly cracked black pepper.

Add cooked pasta to the pan and Mangia Mangia!

Arrivederci – I need to go pack now, I leave tonight!

New England Gumbo

I am definitely not from the South never living anywhere but NH; well technically I live in Southern NH; but I don’t think that counts. I do love food from all over the world so I thought I would try making a gumbo of sorts.  I say sorts only because I didn’t put okra in it and I don’t want to offend anyone; I have a feeling people who make a traditional gumbo will only call it so if it contains okra.

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I do love shrimp, sausage, cooked onions, garlic and chicken broth plus a little heat is a wonderful addition so how could it be nothing but delicious!  It was I think I am going to make it tomorrow night, I don’t have everything I need right now otherwise I would be making it right now as my mouth is watering  and have it for dinner tonight.  Who knows maybe I’ll pick up some okra and try it.  If I do I will make sure to share how it came out.

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New England Gumbo – only because that is where I live

¾ of cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 boneless skinless chicken breast chopped

1-2 links pork sausage either sliced; casing removed or crumbled in chunks

¾ cup flour

2-3 garlic cloves minced

3 quarts chicken broth

Bottle or can of beer

5 celery ribs, diced

4 Roma tomatoes, diced – Or use Can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes; squeezed while pouring; to break them up a bit

1 sweet onion, diced

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, with liquid

2-3 jalapenos cleaned and diced

2-3 Tbs. Cajun seasoning – make sure you find a good one, or double check how much salt is included and adjust accordingly

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a dutch oven, medium high heat cook the chicken and sausage through around 6-7 minutes.  Drain meat and set aside, add onion, celery, jalapeno and cook for 3-4 minutes just till tender, add garlic cook another minute; add oil and flour; cook and brown a little 5-6 minutes stirring so it doesn’t stick.  Add the Cajun seasoning stir to coat and gradually add the broth and beer.  Add the can of diced tomatoes with chile peppers.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring often.

Add Chicken, sausage, and shrimp into the broth mixture; Cook, stirring frequently, about 10-20 minutes.

Enjoy with corn bread and a beer – life is good!!!