August 28, 2009

Spicy Seafood Soup!

Posted in Soups & Stews tagged , , at 10:45 pm by jenniec00ks

Yum yum yum!

Yum yum yum!

So I was just making myself a typical weeknight dinner (so Friday is sort of a weeknight!) and it was so good I decided to post it.  I found this recipe by Giada her latest cookbook, Giada’s Kitchen.  I sort of took the comments into consideration (about the Trader Joe’s frozen seafood mix, I happen to have just discovered Trader Joe’s after moving to Atlanta.)  I had a craving for tater tots, so I ate that with my soup instead of the garlic toast recommendation. Here goes!

2 servings that need an accompaniment (garlic bread, crusty bread, tater tots, whatever you’d like):

1 cup white wine (I used Starborough Sauvingnon Blanc, New Zealand, 2007, I’d recommend it.  ~$12/bottle)

1 cup Hunt’s garlic & herb spaghetti sauce (the kind I always use)

2/3 lb. Trader Joe’s Frozen Seafood Mix (Squid, scallops, shrimp)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 dash of dried red pepper flakes (this is for a mild soup, 2 if you like it spicy)


1. Heat the olive oil over low heat.

2. Add the finely chopped garlic, sautee for 2 minutes.  Do not let it brown!

3. Add the cup of wine and turn the heat up to medium.

4. Let it bubble for 3-4 minutes.  It should reduce by only about a third.

5. Add the cup of tomato sauce and stir in along with the red pepper flakes.

6. Let it come up to a simmer and let simmer 6 minutes.

7. Add the 2/3 lb. of frozen seafood, let it come up to a simmer again for about 2 minutes or until all the seafood is cooked through.  Shrimp turn pink and curl, squid turns from clear to opaque, and scallops get a whiter color and feel bouncy to the touch.

ENJOY!  I did.


August 27, 2009

Simple Spicy Shrimp in Photos

Posted in Appetizers tagged , , , , at 7:15 pm by jenniec00ks

((Remember: all pictures are clickable so that you can see the larger image and be hungrier!!))

springvegmas 020So this is actually a triple-hitter because I’ve got 3 (w00t!) fantastic seasonings of shrimp to go with pretty much anything or to become an appetizer by themselves.  First up, the one in the photos.  To the left is a rosemary & red pepper flake shrimp!  You can swap out the rosemary for ground dried sage and have a whole new flavor palette.  I’ll also be giving you the recipe for a sage & bacon shrimp.

I think these simple seasonings are an easy throw together since you should always keep shrimp on hand, and they’re SUPER quick to dethaw!  Check out my shrimp basics post for the rundown on the kind I use!!

1. Allocate 10 to 12 shrimp (31/40 count) per person for a dinner portion.  Preheat a skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil (per portion)!

springvegmas 0092. Version 1: Season each portion of shrimp with two pinches of finely chopped FRESH rosemary (1/2 tsp) and a dash of dried red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp, you can up this a bit if you like it spicy).  Salt & pepper to taste, but I don’t think these shrimp need either.

2. Version 2: Season each portion of shrimp with two pinches of DRIED ground sage (1/2 tsp) and a dash of dried red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp, ditto with the make it YOUR spicy tolerance)

springvegmas 0113. Cooking time depends on the size of the shrimp.  I’d say these shrimp need 2-3 minutes on the first side, and 1 minute on the other side.

Version 3

1. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat.

2. Season each portion of shrimp with two pinches of DRIED ground sage (1/2 tsp).  S&P to taste, but I don’t add either.

3. Add 2 strips of bacon, chopped up into small (1/4 in) pieces per PORTION.

4. Cook the bacon to your liking (I like mine just crisp)

4. Drain all the oil you can pour out of the skillet without losing the bacon pieces.  You should have the equivalent of a teaspoon per portion scattered around the skillet.  Sorry, this step is more of an art than a science.

5. Add the shrimp.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side in the bacon fat (YUM) and 1 minute on the otherside.

Final note! You want them just barely pink and curled.  If you let shrimp overcook, then they’ll be tough and rubbery.

May 27, 2009

Chili Pasta in Photos

Posted in Pasta: stovetop tagged , , , at 8:47 pm by jenniec00ks

chilipasta 008So this past Memorial Day weekend I was at home with some big appetites to feed.  This recipe will feed 4-6 people.  The picture on the left was taken after 2-3 helpings were gone.  Most all of my other recipes are really designed for 2 servings (I eat one for dinner and bring the other to work the next day).  While this recipe can be enjoyed piping hot, it also tastes great at room temperature; and can easily be made in proportions to feed an army.

My mom found the original recipe in a Cooking Light magazine, but here’s how I made it.

ChiliPasta 001


1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 box of wagon wheel pasta
8 oz. can of tomato sauce
14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (they’re becoming more common these days)
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium white)
1 can of pinto beans (~14 oz?)
2 cups water
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp chili powder*
1 tsp ground cumin*
1 tsp dried oregano*

* Don’t forget – if you don’t keep these spices on hand, try to find bulk bins that seem to be growing more popular at local grocery stores. I get mine from HEB, Sprouts, or Central Market.

For this recipe, you’re going to want to use a saucepan that you have a cover for.  If none of your pans have a cover, you can use a large piece of foil if you must.

ChiliPasta 002Add a teaspoon of oil over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, and ground turkey.  I really like the taste and lack of fat in ground turkey – but if you must use ground beef that’s any less than 96% lean, you probably don’t need the oil to begin.  And you probably should drain the fat after this step.

ChiliPasta 004

Anyway, season this mixture with salt and pepper to taste if you’d like.  Cook until the turkey is fully cooked (see above).  Then add the oregano, chili powder, cumin, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, and the pinto beans.  Give this a stir for ~1 minute.

ChiliPasta 004Then add the 2 cups of water and 1/2 the box of pasta.  Let this come to a simmer, cover the pan, and turn the heat down to low (enough to keep a simmer though).  Let this bubble for about 18 minutes or until the pasta is soft.

ChiliPasta 006ChiliPasta 007

Dish into bowls and top with your favorite cheese – I had a cheddar and monterey jack blend on hand and it blended well with the flavors.  As a side note, you can double the chili powder portion to 4 teaspoons of chili powder if you like it spicy.

Bon appetit!

Bon appetit!