Friday, October 21, 2016

Fra Diavolo

While traditional Fra Diavolo gets its spice from the sauce, this Fra Diavolo gets all its heat from the pasta itself! 

This recipe uses one of my favorite things from the frozen seafood case. Prepackaged, cooked and shelled seafood. I really love mussels and if I have the time, steaming them is a great joy. But, when I want to whip together a pasta, having to do all that first kind of takes the fun out of it. Find them if you can, but if you can’t get the precooked ones, I’ll include a recipe for basic steaming underneath. You can use cooked shrimp for this as well if you have them handy, but you’ll only need half the oil.

Fra Diavolo?

1 pkg Peperoncino Pasta
½ pound mussels, cooked and shelled/thawed*
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed**
¼ cup fresh or frozen green peas
4 tbsp Garlic Olive Oil, divided**
¼ cup white wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pepper pasta until al dente, 6 or 7 minutes. Rinse, drain and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, combine the wine, tomato paste, whipping cream, and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat and whisk until dissolved together. Add 2 tbsp of Garlic oil, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese. Increase the heat to high and cook about five minutes, or until thickened slightly, whisking constantly.

In a large sauce-pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsps of Garlic oil to medium low. Place the shrimp in an even layer of the bottom of the pan, do it in batches if you have to. Without moving them, cook for 2 minutes and then flip and repeat. They should be firm and evenly pink on each side.

Add the shrimp, peas and mussels to the sauce-pan and let simmer for another minute. Flip the pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Serve.

*Cooking mussels isn’t hard, just time consuming. For the steaming liquid, I like a combination of white wine and vegetable broth with big chunks of garlic and parsley in it. Here is a link to the best steaming method, this is the way I do it, I can’t write it any better. Steaming Mussels.

**Fresh Shrimp vs Frozen Shrimp. I prefer fresh shrimp most of the time, but I have a bunch of frozen shrimp in the freezer left over from a party. If you use the pre-cooked kind, you can toss them right in when you put the mussels and peas in. I like to give them a little spin around a saute pan anyway. You won’t need all the remaining olive oil, just toss them with one tbsp of the garlic oil and saute on medium for about a minute. Then go ahead with the recipe as planned.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Columbus Day!

This is the second version of the coupon. The original coupon code "101016" has been replaced with "1016"

For some reason the code 101016 did not work. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Maple Glazed Carrots

I have so many recipes for carrots hanging around! I looked up a recipe for something a long time ago and stumbled through the internet until I found the website of a Carrot Museum. That's right, long, orange rabbit food, with its own museum. Sure, it is a virtual museum instead of a physical one, but that's no problem. As it is a UK-based museum, it would be a bit hard to get to over a weekend. Visit it if you can, it's pretty neat.

Anyway, it's fascinating and I might just have to start using more carrots. Do you have any good carrot recipes?

Maple Glazed Carrots

1 ½ - 2 lbs carrots
2 tbsp Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
2 tbsp Maple Balsamic

Preheat your oven to 400° and coat a large baking pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Rinse and chop your carrots into small pieces, about 1inch long. Place them in a large bowl.

In a sealed jar, shake the balsamic and olive oil until well combined. Pour over the carrots to coat and immediately turn them out onto the prepared baking pan.

Bake 30-40 minutes or until starting to brown and get crispy. If you carrots are thinner, start checking them at around 25minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Lazy Pasta

Autumn has come on with a will. Serves me right for saying it was too hot last week. We need the rain anyway.

Usually, when I'm feeling the crush of the day and just need something quick and easy, I make Sesame Noodles. A quick whisked sauce, some cooked pasta, and it's done. This didn't take any more time, and will probably go right into the weekly menu for me. The ingredients are things I usually have on hand and can be played around with a bit. Spinach is my favorite, but I think that an arugula mix would be a nice touch too. 

Lazy Pasta

1lb long pasta
1lb ground meat (I like turkey)
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Zesty Onion Olive Oil
2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil Garlic Ginger
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Traditional Balsamic
¼ cup Chicken or beef broth

In a large pan with high sides, heat the Zesty Onion Olive Oil to medium high. Cook the ground meat until done and browned on all sides. Add the onions and continue sautéing until they are translucent and beginning to brown.

Turn the heat to medium-low and add the spinach and broth. Meanwhile cook the pasta until al dente, drain and set aside. When the spinach is nicely wilted, add the pasta to the pot and toss well to coat.

Whisk the soy sauce and balsamic together to drizzle over each serving.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Herb Potato Salad

I don't know about you, but with the beginning of Fall, I was actually hoping for cooler weather. Silly me.

So this isn't really the season for potato salad, but if you can still grill outside, is the season ever really over?

Herb Potato Salad

7 cups white potatoes, peeled and chopped
8oz sour cream
2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp Italian Herb Olive Oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender, but still firm. 15 minutes. Drain and chill.

While potatoes are chilling, whisk the dressing together in a bowl. Pour over potatoes and toss gently.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Carolina Chickpea Slaw

As it gets cooler, don't let thoughts of coleslaw stay with summer! This is hearty enough for any time of year, and it has cranberries in it, so that's fall-ish.

Carolina Chickpea Slaw

½ large head of cabbage, finely shredded
1 medium bell pepper, shredded
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots cut into matchsticks or grated
1 cup broccoli florets, small
½ cup edamame
½ cup chickpeas
¼ cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup Olive Oil (Persian Lime is fun here)
2/3 cup White Balsamic
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir often until well combined and very fragrant.

Place the slaw ingredients in a large bowl, and pour the sauce over it. Toss well to combine.

Cover and refrigerate until cool, at least 1 hour. This is even better if you make it the day before! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Aush: Afghan Noodle Soup

I love pasta. I love the texture of the different cuts and the different mouth feel of different grains. I love finding the perfect cut of pasta to go with what I'm serving. But. I have never cooked pasta in broth before. Like most people, I cook my pasta in water, drain and rinse it. But this might be a game changer. Because while I love pasta, most of the time, it just tastes like pasta. The sauce does all the flavor work. But this time, things are different. There is no draining, so all that broth stays around and infuses into the pasta itself. And it's awesome.

I love this soup hot or cold. If you have it cold the next day, the broth soaks in even more and you can just eat it up with a fork. This is supposed to be a soup, but the starches from the pasta make it remarkably thick. I love the texture of it as is, but add another cup or so of broth if you want it to be thinner.

Aush: Afghan Noodle Soup

1lb pasta, small pieces
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white beans
½ cup tomato paste, about one small can
1lb ground beef or chicken
3tbsp – ¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tsp dried mint leaves
2 tbsp Curry Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth

Heat the Curry Olive Oil to medium high in a large pan. Add the ground meat and the garlic and cook, stirring frequently until fully cooked and browned on all sides.

Add the tomato paste and vegetable broth to the pan. Bring the heat up to a high simmer and add the pasta. Simmer for about 6-8 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. If it absorbs the broth too fast, splash in a little more broth or water.

Drain and rinse both cans of beans. Add them with the herbs and stir until well mixed and warmed through.