Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

List of ingredients:
1 pound of peeled fresh gulf shrimp
1/2 tsp pepper flakes
2 tsp olive oil
1tsp salt
1/2 black ground pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbsp of butter
3/4 cup of white wine
1 green onion chopped
1 C of chicken broth with 1 tbsp of flour whisked in
2 tbs of minced shallot
1 garlic clove minced
2tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of chopped parsley
about 3/4 of a package of any style pasta boiled al dente and ready to go. (Don't forget to boil pasta in salted water! it makes a difference!)

place shrimp in a ziplock bag with the first six ingredients and let marinade for about an hour in the fridge. 

Melt Butter in pan and get hot. Add shrimp and saute till pink then dump on a plate and set aside.  add white wine chopped green onion and shallot and garlic clove and let simmer down a bit. whisk in your chicken broth and lemon juice and let simmer for a while. The flour will help it thicken just a bit. Add 1tbsp of the chopped parsley and the last 2 tbsp of butter and stir it in and then toss your pasta in the sauce. I cover this and let sit for about 10 minutes so the sauce marries with the pasta. 
Plate the pasta and add the shrimp on top...sprinkle each plate with the last tablespoon of parsley!
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!! Good Luck and What's for supper?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My recipe for the best Chicken n Dumplings

 Okay the worst part about "my version" of Chicken and Dumplings is that it is a two dinner process. I mean that is a bonus for me.... two dinners for the price of one! You need to buy a whole chicken to roast... and on that night you need to roast it. How do I roast mine? Well in a small bowl i mix about 2 tbsp of melted butter, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of salt, some pepper, 2 tsp of poultry seasoning, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar or 1 tbsp of lemon juice and some fresh herbs  like thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage all chopped roughly and  thrown in. Mix it well and then rub it under the skin of the chicken and all over the skin outside.Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the bottom of the pan your cooking in ( i use a stone ware circle baker). Do not pour the water over the chicken! Wash your hands and cook the chicken for an hour breast side up at 375 degrees. Okay so serve what you want with this ( recommend something filling for sides so you have plenty of leftover chicken) and then after dinner pick all the chicken from the bones and discard the for the juices in the bottom of the pan....SAVE it ALL! once cool pour this through a sieve/strainer into a ziplock bag and you can freeze till ready to make the chicken and dumplings!

NOW FOR THE CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS! I make this to serve 4 people.
1 ziplock bag of of reserved chicken juices from roasted chicken
all the left over chicken you picked off the bones
2 cans of chicken broth
1 pack of mary b's frozen dumplins (super sav usually has them)
1cup of water
and a little fresh thyme and parsely
salt and pepper

Put everything but the dumplings in a very large soup pot...let it come to a boil and stir. add the dumplings one at a time and in an alternating criss-cross pattern so they don't stick together and reduce heat to a med-low. once they are all added you can stir gently and then cover and simmer on low for about 15-20 min. taste and see if you think it needs salt and pepper. I usually have to add just a little salt. ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Roasted red pepper pasta and chicken

A friend of mine asked me one day " Do you just make this stuff up?" and after I thought about it for a second I realized "why yes, yes i do sometimes just make this stuff up". Like this dinner here for example. You should give it a try! This is fabulous because you get the roasted taste from the bell peppers and sweetness from the tomatoes and peas.  Really a great summer dish!
3 boneless skinless breast cut in 2-3 inch cutlets.
2 tbsp of balsamic vinagar
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tblsp of Herbs de provence (of you dont have this use a little italian seasoning)
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper
few tbsp of Parmesan cheese
1/2  c white wine
2 garlic chopped
2 oz of cream cheese
1/3 cup of 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 c of fresh green peas
about 4 or 5 slices of roasted red pepper from the jar chopped
few slices of sundried tomatoes (not in oil) find them in the produce section of target or walmart.
about 2 cups of whole wheat pasta boiled al-dente and ready to go.(don't forget to salt your pasta water before makes the pasta taste better!)

Place your cut up chicken in a ziplock bag and the next 6 ingredients into the bag with the chicken and let it sit for about 30 minutes to marinade. (good time to cook the pasta and to maybe make a green salad?) 
Alright now swirl some olive oil in the pan and heat. put in the garlic and let it brown a little and then remove the garlic and cover with plastic so it can finish softening. Add the chicken and brown evenly on both sides. place on a plate and top with Parmesan cheese. pour in the white wine and scrape up the brown bits let that reduce a little and then add the 1/2 and 1/2 and cream cheese and whisk it around till a sauce forms. add your sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, the garlic you let roast and soften and green peas. taste to see if it needs a little salt and pepper... i added a little of both then let this simmer for 5 minutes and then add your pasta and toss. plate your pasta and add the chicken pieces to the plate! ENJOY!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mustard Herb Chicken~Orzo~Brussel Sprouts

How about this for supper?
Ingredient list for the whole meal:
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
3 minced garlic cloves
olive oil
few sprigs of thyme( i keep an herb garden all summer...once you start using fresh herbs its hard to go back to dried!)
1 cup of orzo
2 tbsp of honey mustard (I saved some packs from mcdonalds left over from lunch and used them)
5 tbsp of half and half
1 package of brussel sprouts
1/2 c of chicken broth
2 tbsp of butter
1/2 white wine

For the chicken mix the olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. pour/rub over chicken really good. Cook in a skillet with a little olive oil. pull chicken and set aside. pour the white whine in and deglaze the pan scraping up all the bits from the bottom and let that simmer down to reduce a bit. and while it does cut the bottoms off the brussel sprouts and begin cooking your orzo (salt your water before you boil the orzo, it always makes pasta taste better!). throw brussel sprouts in a pan with 1 tbsp of butter and a little olive oil at a med heat and salt and pepper them. let them come to a good sizzle and shake them around  and let them roll in the pan. once they begin to brown a little throw in the chicken broth and cover for about 15 min till they get dark green and soft. Now back to the pan that was deglazing~ you need to put in your honey mustard and 3-4 tbsp of half and half and 1 tbsp of butter and whisk it all around making a sauce. drain your orzo and add some of the sauce you just made to it plus a little more half and half to make it creamy.  place the chicken in the remaining sauce and coat it. when you plate it make sure you drizzle all the sauce till its gone....cause trust me it is that good!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

hiding the figs to make the jam

No one in our household cares for figs but if I throw in a little Jello then it is a whole new ball game! Today I spent the day making this variation of fig jam which my boys love.  Below you find the recipe and may be surprised to find some variations you want to try! Let me know how they turn out!

 8 cups of figs, tops trimmed and cut in halves
6 cups of sugar
4 small or 2 big boxes of strawberry jello
6-8 pint jars cleaned and ready to go
1 huge pot  with water to cover your jars at a boil

put everything in one big pot and stir as you bring to a boil. I set the heat right at medium and as it got hot i brought it down just a little. It gets hot pretty fast. Now you can leave the figs in halves if you like chunks in your jam, but i took out my immersion  blender and pretty much turned mine into a puree. This mixture needs to cook down for about 45min to 1 hour. And yes you have to keep stirring it! Have your jars ready to go!
once your mixture cooks down your going to begin putting it in the jars almost to the rims. Wipe the tops of the jars clean and put on the lids. Screw the lids down tight and place them in the boiling water (make sure the tops are covered by the water). Boil them for about 20min. Remove with tongs and place on towels to cool. If you hear a "ping" or "ting" sound....well that would be the sound of success.
*If you want to puree your figs and do not have and immersion blender then just throw them in a food processor before you put them in the pot.
* Alright now for the flavor variations: I have tried Strawberry, Raspberry, and the Blackberry fusion Jello. These are all fantastic. I thought about cherry but none of us really like anything cherry flavored so I didn't do it. Let me know if you get brave and try out any new flavors!
Good luck and "Whats for supper?"