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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Sorry about the poor quality pics on this one, I guess I was not in the mood to focus this day. 
Here is a meal that I had made before I started this blog and LOVED it!
Logan was home for this one and we both really liked it the second time around also.
It is SO incredibly simple to make and has a really great well rounded flavor with the saltiness of the capers, sweetness of the tomatoes and spicy zing of the red pepper flakes.  
Wow, I sounded pretty official there didn't I?? ;)
This is something that will definitely be a staple in our house, 
the ingredients are almost always on hand...
and you could always substitute chicken or sausage if you are not a seafood fan
or just leave out the shrimp it would be just as tasty.  
One tip I would give you is that this was not very good leftover because the pasta got soggy, so make the amount of pasta you will eat and then save the leftover shrimp and sauce and make fresh pasta when you want leftovers.
You have to try this.

Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Pasta
1 lb penne 
2 lbs fresh or frozen med shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 T capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cans diced tomatoes in juice

Bring pot of water to a boil; add a generous amount of salt.  Cook pasta until al dente, drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, season shrimp with S&P.  Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet, add shrimp (half at a time if necessary) cook until lightly browned on both sides and opaque throughout, 3-4 min.
Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to med; add garlic, capers, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes with their juice.  Cook, stirring occasionally until tomatoes are softened and sauce thickens, 10-15 min.  Season with S&P.
Add sauce and shrimp to pasta; toss to combine and reheat over med-low if necessary before serving.  
Serves 6. 

Paige Rating: ****
Logan Rating: ***

Is anybody out there??

I hope some of you are still out there...I have been a horrible blogger.  
It's so hard to find the time!
I know you are sick of the excuses, so I will spare you and just get to the food.
This soup was different for sure and definitely not my favorite. 
When I was seasoning it I tasted it and was not a fan at all.
But once I topped it with the leek garnish it was MUCH better.
In fact I scarfed down the whole bowl pretty quickly.
So moral of the story is, don't skip the garnish, it really makes this dish!
I've never cooked with parsnips before, they were definitely different.  
I think next time I would do less apple and more parsnip and potato, it was a little sweet for my taste. 
However the leeks helped a lot in that department. 
I would say this is definitely a good dish to try, but next time I would make a few changes and also serve it as a starter or addition to a meal not as a meal itself...

Creamy Parsnip Soup
2 T butter
1 lb sliced leeks (soak in water before using)
1 lb parsnips, trimmed, peeled and cut crosswise
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 in pieces
1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into 1 in pieces
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth (or you could use vegetable)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I never cook with heavy cream, makes me feel to guilty, so I used fat free 1/2 and 1/2)

Heat butter in large pot over med heat, add leeks (reserving 1/2 cup for garnish).  Cook stirring for 5 minutes.
Add parsnips, apples, potato, broth and 4 cups water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered until veggies are tender, 20-25 min.
Working in batches, puree soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return to pot, stir in cream.  Season with S&P, top with leek garnish.
Serves 4.

Leek Garnish
1 T butter
1/2 cup prepared leeks (that you reserved)

In a skillet, heat butter over med-high heat.  Add leeks; cook, stirring until golden brown, about 3-5 min.

Paige Rating: **

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sadness

I was planning on having people over for the super bowl.
And I was going to cook this...
and this...
and this...
and this..
BUT NOW due to incapacitation from a gnarly cold and subsequent cancellation of my party
I will be eating this...
Chicken Noodle Soup


Hope you all have a great Superbowl Sunday!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Ok I know I'm making up words again, but this risotto seriously needed a new word to describe it!  
It was THAT good.
This is by far one of my favorites and I literally ate it 4 times for leftovers and NEVER got sick of it.
This was my first time making a true risotto and while it was a lot of work it was totally worth it.
I can't say enough about this dish and at the same time I don't have the words to explain how good it is!
So my solution for you is to TRY IT!

Mushroom and Parmesan Risotto
2 cans vegetable broth
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed ( I couldn't find these so I used dried oyster mushrooms)
2 cups water
3 T unsalted butter
8oz mixed fresh mushrooms cut into 1/2 in pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, more for garnish

In a medium saucepan, bring veg broth, porcini and water to boil; cook until porcini are tender, about 1 minute.  With a slotted spoon, remove porcini coarsely chop and reserve.  Reduce heat to low and cover to keep warm.
In a saucepan, heat 1 T butter over medium high add fresh mushrooms and chopped porcini; season with S&P.  Cook, stirring frequently until tender 3-5 min.  Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to med low.  Add 1 T butter and onion to saucepan; season with S&P.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, 3-5 min.  Add rice and cook stirring 1 min.  Pour in wine, cook stirring until absorbed, about 2 min.
Ladle in 2 cups warm broth cook, stirring occasionally until almost completely absorbed (about 5 min).  Continue to add broth (1 cup at a time) stirring occasionally and allowing liquid to be almost absorbed before adding more, until rice is al dente and mixture is creamy, about 25 min total.  (you may not need all the broth or all the time). 
Remove from heat.  Stir in parm, remaining T butter and half the sauteed mushrooms; season with S&P.  Serve immediately, topped with remaining mushrooms and garnished with additional cheese.
Serves 4.

Paige Rating: *****

Chicken Parm

This meal is a staple in our house, even before the blog came along.  Its just so easy and I seem to always have the ingredients on hand.  I generally serve this with pasta, but a nice light salad dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil was a great compliment this time.  Ok so MAYBE, just MAYBE I also had a small helping of pasta...its not a crime! :)
I usually don't cook the chicken in a pan first, but it was a great way to ensure that the crust was crispy, which made it much better than my usual chicken parm.  This recipe was so incredibly easy and I encourage you to have breadcrumbs, chicken, cheese, and marinara on hand at all will always make a delicious and quick meal!

Chicken Parmigiana
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 chicken cutlets or 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups jarred tomato sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
6oz mozzarella cheese, cut into eight 1/4 in thick slices

Heat broiler.  Combine bread crumbs and parm in a shallow bowl.  Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.  Dip chicken in the beaten egg then dredge in breadcrumbs, turning to coat both sides.
Spread tomato sauce onto bottom of a baking dish.  Heat 2 T of oil in a non stick skillet over med heat.  Place chicken in skillet cook until golden brown on both sides.  Transfer to the baking dish.
Top each cutlet with a slice of mozzarella.  Broil about 4 inches from the heat source until sauce is hot and cheese is melted and lightly browned in spots, 5-8 min.
If you are using chicken breasts and not cutlets, they will need more time to cook.  I put mine in the oven for about 15 min before I put them under the broiler.  Just make sure you check to see if they are cooked through before eating them!
Serves 4.

Paige Rating: ***