Saturday, September 24, 2016

Smoky Shrimp and Corn Chowder

I love soup and chowders in the Fall... when the air starts to get that chilliness to it, Soup just hits the spot. I saw this on a cooking show on PBS and had to give it try. 

Smoky Shrimp and Corn Chowder

I bought frozen shrimp which I let thaw out in the refrigerator. Then I washed and shelled it. I husked 3 ears of corn. This I put on my Traeger smoker, which I had set to 275 degrees. I set my shrimp on a vegetable grill tray that I sprayed with a non stick cooking spray. I put the tray in the smoker along with my husked and rinsed corn on the cob. I let this smoke for 30 minutes.
1 pound smoked large shrimp (smoked for 30 to 60 minutes at 300 degrees F)
        •       2 ears corn,  smoked with shrimp
2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots or 1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed, thoroughly washed, shaken dry, and thinly sliced
4 red new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
                1 Tablespoon flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken or fish stock, preferably homemade
1 cup heavy cream
After the corn and shrimp are smoked; set aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add the shallots and leeks and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, 3 minutes, stirring often.
 Increase the heat to high and add the potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook until the potatoes are browned and crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the flour and season well with salt and pepper. Cook another minute. 
 Stir in the chicken stock and simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. 
While the potatoes are cooking, chop the smoked shrimp into bite size pieces and cut the corn off the cob. Add to the chowder along with the cream and simmer until the soup is richly flavored, 5 to 10 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. 

 Ladle the chowder into bowls and serve with crusty french bread.

Tips: I boiled by shrimp shells in the chicken broth while the shrimp and corn were smoking. Then I strained it and used that broth in my soup instead of regular chicken broth. 
I also made a white sauce with the heavy cream, like you do for macaroni and cheese only without the cheese. Then I added to the soup when it says to add the cream. This just makes a thicker chowder like soup. Feel free to just use cream if you like. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Grilled Mushroom and Zucchini Carbonara

I love pasta.... most anything made with pasta is delicious! I saw this recipe on the internet, on Facebook maybe? or pinterest? It was made with Asparagus and mushrooms, but since asparagus season was mostly over and my garden was springing forth with zucchini... I substituted.  Love a good Carbonara pasta and this was yummy for sure! Enjoy with a side salad and Crusty french bread or bread sticks!

Grilled Mushroom and Zucchini CarbonaraServes 6 to 8Total Time: 50 minute

2 Zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound dry spaghetti
4 large eggs
6 slices bacon,  cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Parmesan, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat  your outdoor grill and turn to medium heat
Place the zucchini and mushrooms into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss gently to evenly coat. Spray a grill tray for veggies with a non stick cooking spray. Place tray on the grill and spread your prepped zucchini and mushrooms over it. Close grill lid and let cook for 10 - 15 minutes until crunchy tender. Stir every 5 minutes so they cook evenly.
While the vegetables are roasting, bring 6 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, add the bacon to a large sauté pan and cook over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crispy, and most of the fat has rendered off. Turn off the heat and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan and a generous amount of the pepper until well-combined, set aside.
Return the sauté pan to medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid to the sauté pan. Toss in the spaghetti and heat for a few minutes until the bubbling has subsided and much of the water has evaporated.

Temper the egg mixture by whisking about 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water into it. 
Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture to the pasta while quickly stirring. Continue stirring until the egg mixture has thickened, adding additional cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick.
Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Gently toss the spaghetti with the grilled zucchini and mushrooms, and serve immediately. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.  

Stirring while mixing the eggs and pasta is very important! If the pasta and eggs are not mixed quickly enough, the eggs will scramble and the sauce won’t be creamy. It helps to temper the egg mixture with the pasta water before stirring into your pasta.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Veggie Saute

I love a good stir fry kind of dish. I have been trying to eat healthier lately and love putting quinoa in with my rice ... I make 1 cup rice cooked according to package directions and 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions them stir them together before serving. Love the little pop quinoa gives each  bite. I watched a "good eats" episode one day and they were cooking with oils... one kind Alton Brown used was sesame oil! LOVE the stuff but a little goes a long way, so when he did this recipe on his show I had to give it a try. BUT I tweaked it just a titch and paired it with my asian meatball recipe (click here for the meatball recipe) and served over my rice and quinoa mixture. Delicious!

Veggie Saute
adapted from Alton Brown's Vegetable Saute recipe

4 teaspoons sesame oil (found with the other asian foods on the asian aisle)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced ginger (love the stuff you can get already minced in a tube)
8 to 10 baby carrots,  julienned (or you can cheat and buy the already julienned carrots and use 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground Black pepper
2 cups sugar snap peas
half of a bag of Cabbage / cole slaw mix (I like the tri-colored kind, it had carrots and purple cabbage too)
2  or 3 green onions, chopped (both the white and green parts)
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar (found in the asian aisle)
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro (*or you can use the chopped in the tube if you like--see note below)

Place the Sesame oil in a large skillet and heat on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and julienned carrots and sauce for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper while they cook. Next add the sugar snap peas and cook for another minute. Next comes the cabbage / cole slaw mix and the green onions, continue to sauce for another minute or two.
Remove the skillet from the heat and drizzle the rice vinegar over the mixture. Toss to combine.
Now you can garnish with chopped Cilantro.
I served mine on a mixture of Rice and quinoa and topped with my hoisin meatballs and sauce.

**If you are using the Cilantro in the tube, add with the cabbage and green onions so it gets mixed around with everything.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chicken and Artichoke Parmesan Casserole

I always love trying out new recipes, I got my latest food network magazine and this recipe was in it and of course I had to try it. I tweaked it here and there for my tastes and with what I had on hand.  You can find the original recipe here I also am trying to eat healthier since losing 25 pounds so I served this on spaghetti squash. To do that preheat your oven to 350 and cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or so until tender when poked with a fork. Turn over and cook a couple of minutes longer. Remove from oven and shred with a fork.  Yummy! 
Chicken and Artichoke Parmesan Casserole
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 10 -ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers (that you buy in the jar)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28 -ounce can crushed tomatoes, 
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (skin removed)
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, (I used 1 heaping Tablespoon of the minced Basil in the tube you can find in the produce section at Walmart)
1 small container Ricotta cheese 
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cooked spaghetti or spaghetti squash for serving.

Preheat the broiler.
 Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted red bell pepper slices, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is soft, about 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to the skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken and basil; season with salt.
Dollop the ricotta cheese over the chicken artichoke mixture in the skillet by teaspoons full. Use as much as you like. I used about 1/2 of a small container.
Combine the two breadcrumbs together with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle the crumbs over the chicken mixture and top with the grated parmesan.
Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook until the breadcrumbs are browned and the cheese is bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool, 5 minutes. Served over Cooked Spaghetti or if you like cooked Spaghetti Squash. Enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Cravin' Craisin Cookies

One day while grocery shopping at a local market, they had some awesome oatmeal raisin, cranberry cookies... and of course me and my hubby had to get one. They were the best ever cookies I had eaten in a long time. So of course I had to try to make them at home.... came across a recipe that was close and I tweaked it just a bit. Yes!! these are my new favorite oatmeal raisin cranberry cookies. Delicious! These have become my new Scrabble treat to take to my parents. Enjoy!

Craving' Craisin Cookies
  1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oats, powderize 1 cup in blender or food processor-Leave the other         cup whole
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup golden raisins and 1 cup craisins, chopped in food processor-not too fine, but not whole
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla; beat well.
2. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the raisins and craisins. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.
3. Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. 

Yield: about 5 dozen.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Hoisin Lime Glazed Salmon with roasted Vegetables

I have been wanted to try cooking with fish more. Which is hard to do living in Idaho, but I found some great fillets at Walmart of all places. I love Hoisin sauce.... so of course I had try this recipe. I tweaked it a bit but it turned out delicious. Enjoy!

1 and ¼ lbs of salmon fillet, all in one piece
4 cups fresh mixed vegetables, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces (I used bell peppers, onions, green beans, carrots and broccoli)
Cooking spray
Kosher salt and pepper
½ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon minced ginger ( the kind in the tube in most produce departments)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
Coconut rice to serve on the side (recipe here, I didn’t add the beans for this recipe- just leave out)

1 Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic, lime juice and sesame oil in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Once the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce has started to thicken. Set the sauce aside.
2 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil, coat with cooking spray. Place the salmon fillet on one side of the pan; season the salmon with salt and pepper and lightly brush with the hoisin glaze. On the other side of the pan, place the mixed vegetables. Spread the vegetables out into one even layer. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and spray them with cooking spray. If you need to you can also put the salmon and veggies on separate baking sheets. 

3 Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and broil for 8 minutes. You made need an additional 1 or 2 minutes depending on how big you cut your veggies and how thick the salmon is. Remove the pan from the oven and brush more glaze over the salmon. Drizzle glaze over the vegetables to taste and then toss to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve the salmon and vegetables with coconut rice, and any extra glaze on the side for dipping or drizzling

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fruit Salsa

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and have wanted to try it out for a while. Last weekend I decided to give it a go... So YUMMY! If you are going to make a brunch this is a perfect treat/ appetizer / beginner......while you are cooking eggs or frittata or whatever you want for brunch. Loved it. You can put any fruit you want in it or add to what I put in it. I might try adding kiwi or melon next time. Yum!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Crisps
3 10-inch Tortilla Chips (or use about 1 tortilla per person)
Cinnamon Sugar
Cooking spray

1 apple ( I like Pink Lady apples)
1 lime (you can use lemon if you like, I just had a lime)
1 cup strawberries, rinsed and the stems cut off
1 cup raspberries, rinsed and drained
2-3 Tablespoons Raspberry Jam

First, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next spray your tortillas with cooking spray. Using a pizza cutter slice tortillas  into strips then diagonal wedges about 2 inches long. Place on your prepared baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Turn tortilla strips over and sprinkle this side with cinnamon sugar as well. 
Bake for about 8 to 11 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.

While your Crisps are baking: Zest your lime into a large bowl. 
Next slice your apple into large chunks and place in a food processor. Pulse about 10 times or until apple is finely diced. Add to your zest in bowl and squeeze the juice from the lime into the bowl, toss with apple. Next add your strawberries and raspberries to the processor and pulse again about 10 times or until berries are about the same size as the apple. Add to the bowl with the apple along with 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Jam. Stir to combine. Taste, if you need more jam or a pinch of sugar add at this point. 
Serve with warm cinnamon crisps and enjoy!