Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shrimp Pasta Primavera

It's spring break this week so why not try out some lighter entrees.  This take on pasta Primavera  comes together in a half hour so it is quick enough for a weeknight.

Here are your ingredients;

  • 1 box of pasta (I used farfalle)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 head of broccoli chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil (drained, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup peas

And here is how you put the dish together:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions (reserve about a half cup of the pasta water)
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat add butter, garlic and onion for about a minute
  3. Add shrimp, broccoli, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  4. Cook for 3 minutes until shrimp are cooked through and pink
  5. In a small bowl whisk milk and flour and add to skillet along with the cheese, stir to combine
  6. Add sundried tomatoes and peas continue cooking until sauce thickens (about 3 minutes)
  7. If you skillet isn't large enough transfer everything to a large mixing bowl, add pasta and stir.
  8. If sauce is too thick just add a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up a bit

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ultra Easy Mac&Cheese

Another quick vacation is over and now I'm heading back into the kitchen with everyone's favorite Mac&Cheese!  Mac&Cheese is the ultimate comfort food but anything from a box contains a bunch of processed items that we can all do without.  So here comes a great tasting recipe that uses real food.

There you have it...6 ingredients is all that you need!!

Simmer the milk and noodles until tender

Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and you are done.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 cups dry pasta
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (do not use pre-shredded cheese)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

Here is what you are gonna do with that stuff:

  • Add milk and pasta to a sauce pan over medium heat until milk simmers (not boiling)
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is tender (mine took 12 minutes) - stir frequently
  • Turn off heat and stir in rest of ingredients until cheese is melted.
  • Add additional milk until you reach your desired level of creaminess 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Equipment Talk: Ice Cream Maker

As the weather gets warmer it's a perfect time to talk about another piece of kitchen equipment that I use...and this one actually gets used a Cuisinart Ice Cream, Sorbet, Frozen yogurt maker.  Sure its easy to just swing by the store and pick up some ice cream, but there is also something to be said for making it yourself so that you know exactly what is going into the stuff that you eat and feed your family.  The process is pretty simple, you just store the cylinder in your freezer so that its ready whenever the urge to make up a batch of ice cream hits.  You start with a base mix that consists of Milk, Cream, Sugar, Salt and Vanilla (extract or bean), you chill that for a few hours or overnight and you are then all set to make plain vanilla ice cream.  if you want something a little different you just add it to the mix...fresh berries...chocolate....butter toasted pecans, the possibilities are pretty limitless, I have also make a moscato sorbet.  Making frozen yogurt is much the same process, but you swap in yogurt and you are set.  The churning process takes about 20 minutes and you get a soft serve consistency...if you want it firmer, just pop the mix into the freezer for a few hours.

I store my ice cream in these little containers from Tovolo that I picked up at my favorite toy store Sur La Table for around $8...each one holds just under a full batch, the little extra i just toss into a small twist lock container.

So there it is, if you want more control over the ingredients and the freshness of your ice cream then I recommend getting yourself one.