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Let’s Get Really Garlicky with Shrimp Scampi

I usually buy shrimp about every 10 days or so because it makes a good protein and it is one form of seafood that Sean really likes. Of course, if it were up to him, I would make fried shrimp or popcorn shrimp every time, but I do like to try different things with it every now and then. I have made shrimp scampi many times before, and it is almost always the same way, so I wanted to give something a little different a try. Personally, I like a lot of garlic, so this version of shrimp scampi worked out quite nicely.

Very Garlicky Shrimp Scampi

1/2 cup flour

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed

1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact

8 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Lemon wedges, for serving

In a small bowl, sit together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss half of the shrimp in the flour mixture to coat evenly, shaking off any excess. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent the plate with foil. Repeat the process with the remaining shrimp, adding more oil to the skillet if needed.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic softens and is fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, the lemon zest and the lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to very low. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, letting each addition soften into a creamy emulsion before adding more.

Return the shrimp to the sauce and mix gently to coat the shrimp well. Remove the shrimp from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the shrimp to a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with the lemon wedges.

I have to admit, it was very garlicky even though it didn’t seem like there was a lot of garlic in there. I did like coating the shrimp a bit with flour first to brown them nicely and the sauce came out nicely adding the butter in a bit at a time. I always serve shrimp scampi with white rice myself as I love the way the sauce tastes with the rice. This time though Michelle and Sean had it with pasta so you get the nice garlic and butter taste on the pasta.

That’s it for today. I have lots of recipes to use for this week, so keep checking back to see what I have for the day. Until then, enjoy the rest of the day and your weekend (even though it is rainy here in New York) and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Seafood

 

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Some Super Sunday Snack Food

The Super Bowl is coming this weekend (in case anyone wasn’t aware) and whether you’re rooting for the Giants, the Patriots, Madonna or the TV commercials, you want to have some great snack food to eat while watching. When we’re home for the day, we like to just make snack foods for dinner that day. It’s fun to get to eat a little bit of a bunch of different things. If you have some guests over, you can even put out a bigger spread. Lots of people buy 3-foot heroes, wings or pizza and are happy with that, but I like to make my own things and some things that guests may enjoy. Some things we have already made for past meal plans that can be good items to use, like pizza, guacamole, turkey meatballs, some buffet-style dishes like shrimp scampi or pepper steak, or even mini versions of the hamburgers for sliders. I am going to post a couple of recipes of things I plan to make, Buffalo Wings, Swedish Meatballs and one of Sean’s favorites,  Bacon & Cheese Pinwheels. I’ll also give you some links to other sites that have some great ideas for game time, party time, or any time snacks.

Just about everyone likes to have Buffalo wings and there are lots of different recipes you can follow. One thing I like about good wings is that they are both crispy and spicy. I have made wings baked in the oven before, and they are good, but there is something about deep-frying that adds great crispness to the wings. For this recipe, I am deep-frying. I have a deep fryer at home, so it makes it a little easier for me as far as bringing up temperature and avoiding splattering oil, both concerns when you are doing it on the stove in a Dutch oven. Use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature of the oil and make sure you use a deep pot to avoid bubbling oil. And yes, I buy whole wings and cut them myself; I hate the idea of paying more for wings that are already cut when I could just as easily do it myself with a cleaver or some poultry shears.

Buffalo Wings

3 pounds whole chicken wings

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1/2 cup hot sauce (I like to use Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce, or Ken’s Wing Sauce, but use whatever taste and heat you like)

2 tablespoons Tabasco (optional, if you want some extra heat)

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 to 2 quarts vegetable oil (for frying)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

4 ribs celery, cut into thin sticks

2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing (store-bought is fine, our house prefers ranch. You could always use the Ranch recipe I posted

Cut the wings apart at the joints and discard the wing tips. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the hot sauce, Tabasco (if using), brown sugar, and  vinegar. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven, with a candy thermometer attached to the side, over high heat until it measures 360 degrees.

Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch, cayenne, pepper and salt together in a large bowl. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then toss evenly with the cornstarch mixture. Add half the wings to the hot oil and fry until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels and keep warm in the oven while repeating with the remaining wings.

Toss the fried wings and sauce together in a large bowl until thoroughly coated. Serve with the celery, carrots and dressing of choice on the side.

The fried, unsauced wings can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 1/2 hours. Toss them with the sauce before serving.

For the Swedish meatballs, I am using a recipe that was given to Michelle at her wedding shower by my grandmother. She knew I really liked it and passed it on to her. It’s not a tough recipe, but there’s some work involved in this one. Trust me, it’s really worth it. The meatballs taste great.

Swedish Meatballs

20 gingersnaps

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 pounds beef, pork and veal mixture

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup flour

1-2 cups beef broth

Crush the gingersnaps in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Mix the milk, egg, meat mixture, onion, salt, celery salt, pepper and allspice until blended thoroughly. Form the mixture into small “cocktail” size meatballs. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter until starting to brown. Add the meatballs and cook thoroughly until browned on all size, about 5-7 minutes (you’ll have to do this in batches). Remove meatballs from the pan and stir in flour, whisking constantly until well blended and brown, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the beef broth, scraping up any browned bits and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs back into the pan with the gravy and simmer until heated through and thickened, about 5 minutes.

The last item I am making is Sean’s favorite, Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels. This is a Pillsbury recipe that is very easy to make. You can go to their website and get this and other recipes, but I will also provide the recipe right here.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium, optional. I usually leave them out; Sean doesn’t like them)
Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough and separate into 2 long rectangles; press each into 12×4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, cheese and onions. Starting with 1 short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
There are so many other things you can make for football parties, or any party. Here are a few links to places that you can find some recipes:
Epicurious – They have some great part recipes as well as some recommendations on beer and cocktails for your party.
Food Network – Always a good source for recipes anyway, but they have a section just on big game day recipes.
Bon Appetit – Another good source for recipes all the time, but they have a section for the game with their take on wings, chili, and more.
Williams-Sonoma – another great site, with lots of game day celebration recipes.
Hopefully this gives you lots of good ideas for game day. Do you have any game day snacks that you love to cook? Let me know! Post a comment on it and share with all of us. Tomorrow is back to cooking. it’s the end of the week and we are making Fish and Chips for dinner. I’ll also be letting you know about next week’s meal plan. I will let you know that we let Sean pick the whole week next week and he is going to help cook it, so you’ll be interested to see what he chose. Until then, enjoy your day!

 

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Appetizers, Beef, Cooking, Poultry

 

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A Nice Sunday Dinner

It’s another nice day here in New York. So far I am loving this mild winter with warmer temperatures and no snow. I don’t get around too well in the snow and cold anymore, so this makes things a lot better for me as far as doing things outside and getting to go places. Since today is Sunday, we are relaxing at home, reading and listening to music, and it’s a great day to cook a nice family meal. While this meal is probably better in the summertime when you can grill outside, it’s still a good one and one of my favorites. Today we are making Pan Seared Steaks with a Red Wine Pan Sauce, Sautéed Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Shrimp Scampi and Asparagus. It seems like a lot, but it really isn’t. You’ll probably spend more time peeling potatoes and shrimp than you will actually cooking, so if you can do some prep work ahead of time, your evening will go smoothly.

Pan-Seared Steaks with Red Wine Pan Sauce

Steaks

4 boneless beef steaks, 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick, trimmed (I am using boneless ribeyes, but you could easily use any type of boneless steak for this one, Check and see what’s on sale)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Red Wine Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 shallot, minced

3/4 cup chicken broth (use your own or store-bought)

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 teaspoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled (it does make a difference if it’s chilled)

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

Salt and pepper

For the steaks: pat the steaks dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the steaks on the first side, about 4 minutes. Flip the steaks over and continue to cook until the desired doneness (I prefer medium), another 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a clean plate, tent with foil, and let them rest for 5 minutes.

For the sauce, add oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, wine and brown sugar,  scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in any accumulated meat juice. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Off the heat, stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the steaks before serving.

It’s a very easy recipe to use. A couple of notes about cooking the steak. If you’re using larger steak and have more than one, cook only one at a time. Crowding them into the pan won’t sear them, it will only boil them and you won’t get a nice crust on them. Make sure you get your pan REALLY hot before putting the steaks in. If the oil smokes when it’s in the pan, it’s hot enough. Also, make sure you pat the steaks dry before you put them in the pan. If the steaks have been sitting in their own liquid before they are cooked, their exterior won’t brown nicely; they are just going to steam. Finally, use a conventional surface skillet for this one to make sure you get the nice browned bits for the sauce.

Now that the steaks are done, let’s move on to the shrimp. I love shrimp, made just about any way, and scampi is one of my favorites. This is great as a meal on its own served over white rice, but today we are using it as an accompaniment to the steaks.

Shrimp Scampi

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and pepper

1/8 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley

1/2 tablespoon dry white wine or vermouth

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, then season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the sugar. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half the shrimp to the pan in a single layer. Cook until the shrimp are curled and pink on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and cover with foil. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds (garlic burns fast, you need to watch it!) Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice parsley, wine and cayenne. Whisk in the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the shrimp with any accumulated juice to the skillet. Toss the shrimp until they are well coated with the sauce.

The shrimp takes next to no time to cook, so you could do this while your steaks are resting. Don’t cook the shrimp too long, they will be rubbery and you’ll regret it. Also, I often buy shrimp in the shell and save the shells when you are peeling; they can be used to make some fish stock for future recipes.

Okay we have our steak and our shrimp. We have made mashed potatoes before, but if you missed them, here’s my technique for making them from a past blog. Now we can move on to our other sides for the day. The first is sautéed mushrooms. They aren’t hard to cook, but take a little longer than the steak or the shrimp, so you may want to start them earlier.

Sautéed Mushrooms with Shallot and Thyme

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if large

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/8 teaspoon dried

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the shallot and cook until the shallot is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Leave the mushrooms in chunks instead of slicing them thin, They give you a more meaty, substantial texture this way and don’t dry out like the thinner slices can.

They are lots of ways to cook asparagus (steamed, sautéed, boiled) but I am going to broil them today. I like the way they taste, and frankly I don’t have room on the stove top today with all the other dishes going on, so it works out well. You can serve the asparagus fresh from the oven, room temperature, or even chilled if you prefer.

Broiled Asparagus

1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed off

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Adjust an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler. Toss the asparagus with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the spears in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the asparagus, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice (if using) before serving.

You could dress these up if you want with some Balsamic Vinaigrette like we made in an earlier recipe or sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese or fresh herbs instead of the lemon juice. Even just tossing with some sesame seeds and a little soy sauce would be good.

Wow, we made a lot of food today and none of the recipes were difficult. I don’t normally make dessert, and it is Sunday, when we usually have dessert, but Julie is bringing dessert over today and she is a much better baker than I am, so whatever she brings would be better than what I could put together. At some point I’ll post dessert recipes on here if anyone asks for one, but I know a lot of family members who are much better at baking, so maybe they would like to provide us with some good dessert recipes (subtle hint). Enjoy your Sunday dinner and relax before the rest of the week begins. Have a glass of wine or a martini and kick back, listen to some music and start thinking about all the snacks we’ll make for Super Bowl next week (I have some good recipes I will post on Thursday!) Have a great day!

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Produce, Sauce, Seafood, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

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