Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Wow, this was good. And super-easy.

This is mostly based on a recipe from Epicurious. Below it is as I made it:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp (raw, tails on)
2 heaping tbl minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 TBL lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons butter
cooked linguine for 4

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes, and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add garlic to oil remaining in skillet along with red pepper flakes, wine, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add butter to skillet, stirring until melted, and stir in shrimp. Remove skillet from heat.

Toss with cooked pasta and serve. Serves 4.

The original recipe called for a garnish of fresh chopped parsley. If I'd had any, I'd have used it. I think it would have been pretty. I also think that next time around I'll use fresh lemon and add a bit of lemon zest in the garnish.

ALCOHOL-FREE SUBSTITUTION:  If you're concerned about cooking with wine, you can substitute 1/2 cup double-strength chicken broth plus a splash of apple-cider vinegar.  I didn't notice a difference in the finished dish.

For your convenience: Printable recipe and shopping list!
Print Recipe | Printable grocery list

Sunday, January 23, 2011

French Country Bread

I got this recipe from the Wooden Spoon Bread Book (a really good book, especially for beginning bread bakers) and adapted it for the bread machine--because I'm lazy that way. If you like "artisan bread," try this one.

Makes 1 round loaf.

1 cup warm water
1/2 tbl salt
1/2 tbl sugar
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tbl yeast

Put all ingredients in your bread machine in the recommended order. Use dough cycle.

Prepare an 8-inch cake pan by brushing it with oil (bottom and sides). Shape dough into a round ball and place in prepared pan. Allow to rise 1 hour.

Mix 3 TBL warm water and 1 TBL salt. Brush carefully over the surface of the bread. Sprinkle a little more coarse salt on the wet surface if desired.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 375.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pie-Pan Enchiladas

This is my favorite kind of recipe. I took a little bit of this (sauce inspired by Amanda) and a little bit of that (enchiladas inspired by Barbara who was inspired by Katy who was inspired by the Pioneer Woman) and eliminated the time-consuming stuff (because I'm LAZY) and I really loved the result! (With all this great inspiration, how wrong could I go?)

So here you go. All in one place, my simple "enchilada" recipe from start to finish.

First, make the sauce. This makes just under 3 cups--almost twice what you need for the recipe. I like to double or even triple this sauce as it freezes well.

2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped green chilies and 1 tbl juice (I buy the chilies in a jar)
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 heaping TBL garlic, minced
2 TBL minced onion, mixed with 2 TBL water and allowed to sit 15 minutes

Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5-7 minutes.

5 "fajita size" (8-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon adobo without pepper
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (10-oz) Rotel
1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese or a Cheddar-Jack combo (like it spicier? Use pepper-jack!)
3 black olives, sliced (optional)

Brown ground beef, onion, adobo and pepper in skillet. Drain. Stir in the Rotel.

Brush some enchilada sauce all over the bottom of a deep-dish pie pan.

Place one tortilla in the pan. Brush enchilada sauce all over it. Add 1/4 of the beef-and-onion-and-Rotel mixture. Top with cheese. Add another tortilla and repeat these steps until you have four layers. Top with the last tortilla and pour remaining sauce over that. Add more cheese to the top and olive slices (if desired.)

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Slice like a pizza and serve.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 2011 Menu

Sunday, Jan. 2: "Christmas" with my family in northwestern NJ. Mom served spiral ham, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and vegetables.

Monday, Jan. 3: Tandoori chicken, cheesy potatoes (from a box), broccoli

Tuesday, Jan. 4: Shepherd's pie

Wednesday, Jan. 5: Cheesesteaks

Thursday, Jan. 6: Spaghetti

Friday, Jan. 7: ate out

Saturday, Jan. 8: Chili with rice

Sunday, Jan. 9: Slow cooker maple-dijon chicken. Good flavor but the texture was weird. I think I'd use this sauce on baked, bone-in, skin-on chicken as I loved the sauce!

Monday, Jan. 10: Chicken & noodles

Tuesday, Jan. 11: Beef paysanne, noodles, green beans

Wednesday, Jan. 12: Chicken piccata bites, broccoli, rice

Thursday, Jan. 13: anniversary dinner out

Friday, Jan. 14: Baked pork chops, cheesy potatoes (from a box)

Saturday, Jan. 15: Pizza

Sunday, Jan. 16: Italian roast beef sandwiches

Monday, Jan. 17: Chicken marsala

Tuesday, Jan. 18: Enchiladas (maybe Barbara's recipe with my sauce) I wound up making Pie Pan Enchiladas. YUM!

Wednesday, Jan. 19: Chicken & dumplins (Middle Sister's request!)

Thursday, Jan. 20: time to make the big batch of spaghetti and meatballs!

Friday, Jan. 21: takeout.

Saturday, Jan. 22: Pot roast with carrots and onions, noodles and gravy

Sunday, Jan. 23: Chicken Fajita Soup. I tweaked the recipe a bit and the changes are reflected here. On the side, French Country Bread or, as my kids call it, "Salty Bread."

Monday, Jan. 24: Cashew chicken, rice. I found a recipe in the newspaper that looks great! If we like it, I'll post it. (Note: not that great. I'll stick with my old method of making this dish, linked above.)

Tuesday, Jan. 25: Pulled pork sandwiches, tater tots, vegetable

Wednesday, Jan. 26: Chicken Swiss Melt, rice, broccoli

Thursday, Jan. 27: Spaghetti

Friday, Jan. 28: Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Saturday, Jan. 29: our church is having a bowling party so we'll be eating there

Sunday, Jan. 30: Chinese takeout

Monday, Jan. 31: Balsamic Chicken with Thyme, rice

Involving Kids in the Menu Plan

I don't generally ask my kids what they'll want to eat for dinner in the coming week, figuring that if I'm the one cooking it (and usually cleaning up) then I'm the one who gets to choose the menu.

But as I got Little Brother's breakfast ready this morning, I asked him what he might like to have for dinner this week.

"McDonald's!" he replied, which is yet another reason I don't much involve my kids in menu planning.

When I informed him that his choices were limited to things I could prepare here, he suggested that I make "that chicken that we used to have. The kind that Dad likes."

Pressed for more details, I was told, "It's tan, and it has spices."

Yeah, that narrows it down.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

According to the whiteboard on the refrigerator, here's the groceries we need:

The "I've Been Baking" Group:

The "Household Staples" Group:

The "I'm Ashamed to Admit We Buy this Stuff" Group:
chicken nuggets (after-school snacks for Middle Sister, who runs track and eats anything not nailed down when she gets home)
onion dip (to go with the three-pound TIN of chips my neighbor gave us)
peanut butter crackers
macaroni & cheese (not even the Blue Box--my kids like the store brand variety better!)

I will note that with the exception of the mac & cheese, my KIDS wrote down all the other things from that last group.

What's on YOUR list?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Good-Morning Breakfast Rice

This is a delicious and healthy way to start your day AND use up that leftover rice from dinner. It works equally well with brown or white rice.  It's like rice pudding without the hassle of separating eggs, baking, and all of that!

You'll find the recipe, including photos and nutrition information, at Cook and Count.


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