Friday, August 25, 2017

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

You just can’t get any easier than this folks. I think it might have taken me all of 15 minutes from start to finish.  Easy enough to serve any time and yet fancy enough to serve your dinner guests.  I love this recipe and make it often.  By the way, leftovers are even better!

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

8 ounces pasta (linguine, spaghetti, angel hair)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/4 cup chicken stock (or use Chardonnay wine)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Shaved or grated Parmesan for garnish, optional

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Remove from heat and drain well.

In a large skillet melt the butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until just fragrant. 

Add shrimp in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until shrimp just turn pink (about 2 min each side); don't overcook or shrimp will turn rubbery.

Stir in wine or chicken stock along with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add drained pasta, the lemon zest and parsley. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil and toss well. 

Serve immediately, garnished with shaved or shredded Parmesan, if desired.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables

I use a lot of Costco Rotisserie Chickens for meals, sandwiches and casseroles I like to make.  One day I realized I still had a whole chicken still in the container in the refrigerator and I needed to use it right away.  So I came up with an idea to use the whole chicken and it has now become one of my favorite meals.  Love this recipe!

Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables

1 refrigerated Rotisserie Chicken
4 medium unpeeled Yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
4 medium carrots cut into chunks
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange vegetables in a casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and place on plate. Scrape off the jellied juices from the chicken and the container. Put the juices into a small saucepan and heat on low heat until they are liquid. Pour the juices over the vegetables. 

Cut chicken into individual pieces, leaving skin on and arrange in between vegetables.  Or you can tear the chicken off in pieces, remove the skin, and arrange between the vegetables.  In the photos I show you both ways.  

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in oven for about an 45-50 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Serve and enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Panko Breaded Patty Pan Squash

Wondering what to do with all that squash you still have in your garden? My favorite squash are those little Patty Pan squash that come in green and yellow. Some know them as summer squash or scallop squash. They are a tender summer squash, like zucchini or yellow squash. The scalloped shape makes them a bit of a novelty and kids are tempted to try them because of their fun shape. They taste like any other summer squash.

Panko Breaded Patty Pan Squash

6 small patty pan squash sliced 1/2 inch with mandolin 
2 eggs, beaten 
1 tablespoon milk 
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Beat eggs with a tablespoon of milk in a wide shallow bowl. Mix the panko, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and garlic powder in another shallow bowl. 

Dredge your squash into the egg mixture, then into the crumb mixture, taking the time to press the crumbs all around each slice. Place breaded squash onto a plate until you have enough to fill (but not crowd) your frying pan. 

In a large heavy fry pan (I use my Mom's old 12" cast iron skillet), heat the olive oil and butter until it shimmers. You can drop in a bread crumb and know it is ready when it sizzles. Place slices one by one into the hot oil being careful not to loose to much breading. Let slices brown for at least a minute or two. When the bottom is golden brown flip each slice over and brown the other side.

Let the cooked slices drain & cool on the paper towels or wire rack and repeat the process until all your batches have been turned into crispy fried deliciousness. I also use this same recipe for zucchini and other squash and even eggplant. 

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pull Aparts

These ooey-gooey miniature cinnamon pull-aparts make a comforting breakfast treat any time of year. I also call them my little personal monkey breads.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pull Aparts

4 – 4½ cups flour
4½ teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups warm water
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ cups sugar, divided
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon butter, room temp
1¾ teaspoon cinnamon, divided

Mix 2 cups flour and the yeast. Add the water, oil, sugar and salt. Beat on low for ½ minute and then on high for three minutes. Stir in the remaining flour until a moderately stiff dough forms.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl, greased side up. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide it into half, letting it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of the sugar, ¼ cup of the brown sugar, milk, butter and 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan.  Bring the syrup mixture to a boil and cook it for 1 minute. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Combine remaining ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Cut each loaf of bread dough into 24 equal portions and roll into balls. Roll each portion into the cinnamon sugar mixture and then lay three balls of dough in each greased muffin tin.

Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough balls. Then spoon the cooled sugar syrup over the dough in each muffin tin.

Cover the pan and let it rise for 35 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately loosen the edges of bread from the muffin tin using a knife.

 Cream Cheese Drizzle

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sugar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add salt, lemon juice, and milk; mix on low speed until smooth. If glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.

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Vanilla Crepes with Warm Blueberry Compote

Crepes are actually very easy to make and a lot healthier than pancakes. The ingredients are very simple and once you get the idea, you’ll find they are easier to make than pancakes too.  Fill them with whatever you like….chocolate, whipped cream, cream cheese and strawberries.  Here’s my favorite….

Vanilla Crepes with Warm Blueberry Compote
4 cups frozen blueberries, divided
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced and zested

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the water, lemon juice and zest, sugar and corn starch until smooth.
Add one cup of the blueberries and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened and the blueberries have started to break open.  Stir continuously.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add the remainder of the blueberries, and cook for 5 to 8 more minutes or until compote reaches your desired consistency, stirring frequently.  You do not want the compote to completely break down.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Vanilla Crepes

1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons melted butter
Powdered sugar
Whipped cream (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, egg yolk and vanilla. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until well blended.
Heat a round, smooth 9-inch pan over medium heat until hot. Coat lightly with cooking spray or melt a small amount of butter.  When the pan is hot, pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, and slowly tilt the pan to evenly spread the batter in a circle, until the bottom is completely covered.  

Cook for 45-60 seconds, or until the batter is just set and the bottom is lightly browned and then flip to brown the other side. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of batter.

Place the crepe on a plate, fill with 2 tablespoons blueberry compote, and fold the bottom up and over the filling, tucking in both sides as you go and roll.  You should end with the seam side down. Repeat with rest of crepes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.  Top with whipped cream if desired.

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