Monday, September 26, 2011

Pasta Shells with Shrimp and Garlicky Bread Crumbs

This recipe came in my inbox from I knew it was right up our alley and printed it out for later. Well, tonight was later and I'm glad I was signed up for Here's the link. It's look like they contribute the recipe to food & wine.

Don't be scared off by the teaspoon of anchovy paste. It tastes like a Caesar dressing and is great with the shrimp.

Pasta Shells with Shrimp and Garlicky Bread Crumbs my way

1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
~1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves , peeled, cored and pressed 
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound medium pasta shells
3/4 pound small bay shrimp, cooked
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small head shredded curly endive 
~1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

In a medium nonstick frying pan, heat the 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat. Add the bread crumbs, garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta shells until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Whisk together the lemon juice, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1/3 cup oil slowly, whisking.

Toss pasta and shrimp, the curly endive, and most of the Parmesan together. Drizzle with dressing and mix thoroughly (I didn't use all the dressing). Serve the salad warm, topped with the garlic bread crumbs and the rest of the Parmesan.

This salad was terrific. Mike and I both loved it. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Za'atar Chicken

Abigail went to Doha, Qatar for her dad's 50th birthday. She really enjoyed the food especially  food spiced with za'atar. She brought some back and we discussed cooking with it. I had used it before and loved the flavor. I found a recipe in food & wine for Grilled Chicken with Za'atar. Here's the link I started this recipe last night while making the halibut with tomatoes. I served it with the leftover butter beans and made a salad out of them.

Chicken with Za'atar my way

1 heads of garlic, top third cut off
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 bone in chicken thighs, skin removed
1/8 cup za'atar 
juice of 1 lemon
1 small serrano chile, seeded, minced
1 teaspoons dried marjoram
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Put garlic on a sheet of foil and in a pan. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon oil and wrap tightly with foil. Roast until tender and golden brown, 40 minutes. Let cool.

Place chicken in a baking dish. Sprinkle with za'atar. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of skins and into a small bowl; mash into a paste with the back of a fork. Add 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, chile, and marjoram; whisk to blend. Pour over chicken; turn to coat. Cover; marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake for about 25 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook another 25 minutes until it is tender and well cooked.

Butter Bean Salad with roasted red bell peppers and red onions

3 cups cooked Italian butter beans (see 09/18/11 post)
1 small red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped
1/4 medium red onion, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, peeled, crushed and peeled
1/8 teaspoon anchovy paste
splash of cousin Dan's red wine vinegar or good red wine vinegar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Stir together 1st 3 ingredients. Combine the remainder of the ingredients and make into a paste. Toss salad with dressing. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with chicken.

These dishes were a good combo, very enjoyable. Mike was very pleasantly surprised. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Home grown tomatoes!

My friend, Cooper, gave us tomatoes from her garden. I was looking for recipes to use the tomatoes and I found one from Food & Wine by . Here's the link

Cod with Fresh Tomato Sauce my way

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled, cored and pressed 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
5 fresh oregano sprigs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
zest of 1 orange
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1/2 pound capellini 
1-2 tablespoons butter
2 6-8 ounce skinless halibut fillets, preferably from the tail
Fresh basil, chopped for garnish

In a large, deep skillet, heat ~3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and saffron and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, bay leaf, cloves and season with salt and black pepper. Cook the sauce over moderately low heat, stirring and crushing the tomatoes with a spoon, until the sauce is thickened and the liquid is reduced, about 35 minutes. Discard the oregano, cloves and bay leaf.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, approximately 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter and season with salt and pepper.

Nestle the cod in the tomato sauce and cook, turning the fillets once, until just opaque throughout, about 12 minutes, 6 minutes per side. Add orange zest and basil.

Spoon the pasta into bowls and top with the cod and sauce.

This was delicious and healthy. We drank Chardonnay with it. We could have used some crusty bread to sop up the sauce. Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Coconut milk chicken

I made an appetizer a couple of weeks ago that had a coconut milk dip. I thought I'd use the leftover coconut milk to make some curry chicken with veggies. Here's the dish that I came up with.

Curry Coconut Milk Chicken with carrots and sugar snap peas

4 bone in chicken thighs, skin removed
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled, cored and pressed
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon cumin
3 carrots, peeled and sliced in rounds
1 cup white wine like Sauvignon Blanc
1 14 ounce can light coconut milk
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, stems removed
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup brown basmatic rice
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in pan with cover that can go from stove to oven. Add chicken to pan and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes a side. Remove chicken and pour off fat. Add onions and cook until the begin to soften, Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add spices and stir for about 1 minute. Add carrots and stir with spice mixture. Use wine to deglaze the pan. Bring it to a boil and let reduce for a few minutes. Stir in coconut milk and add chicken back into pan. Cover and bake chicken for about 45 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and vinegar. Mix to combine. Bake another 10-15 minutes. Chicken should be falling off the bone and very tender.

Meanwhile cook rice in chicken stock for about 45 mintes until all the liquid is absorded. Serve chicken over rice with extra sauce.

Mike loved this and wished he had some naan to sop up the sauce. Good idea.

This was awesome and easy once you get it in the oven. It would be good with different vegetables like broccoli or zucchini. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Summer succotash salad

I haven't been writing much this summer. It seems the things I make are old favorites that I've written about before or dishes that aren't really recipes. Summer vegetables, herbs or fruits tossed together or roasted and called a meal. I did make one salad recently that I wanted to share. Before Abigail left to go back to NYC we hit the farmers markets several times. One weekend we drove north a couple of exits up 101 and went to the Marinwood Farmers Market. It was tiny, about 6-8 vendors but really lovely. We appreciated how it was not overwhelming, we had choices and all the bases were covered. I bought some beautiful dried Italian butter beans, not sure what I would do with them. They made me think of succotash and here's my take.

Summer succotash salad

1/2 pound dried Italian butter beans (you could substitute large meaty white beans)
2-3 cups chicken stock
3 ears of corn, shucked
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
a handful of basil, coarsely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, peeled, cored and pressed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
splash of cousin Dan's homemade red wine vinegar, substitute some good red wine vinegar or your favorite vinegar

Soak beans overnight, drain and rinse. Cook beans in chicken stock and water with a pinch of salt until tender, approximately 40 minutes. Drain and cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook corn for 5 minutes. After it cools cut the kernels off of cob. Place corn in large bowl with tomatoes and basil.

Combine lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss beans with corn-tomato mixture and add dressing. Stir to coat and taste for seasoning. I served this with grilled salmon to Mike and my friend, Pam, visiting from Vegas. We all had seconds. When I took the leftovers to work I realized that a few shakes of hot sauce would be a good addition. Enjoy!