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Friday, March 22, 2013

Angels and Devils Pasta

Who doesn't love shrimp? Seafood pasta is a break from heavier Italian sausage or meat pasta. This recipe is light and zesty.


                                                    

                                                   Angels and Devils Pasta

1 package Angel hair pasta
1# medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbl spoon olive olive oil (Reserve 1 Tbl spoon for garnish)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsps. red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
juice of 1lime
1 tsp grated lime zest
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta in 4 qts. boiling water until tender (7-8 minutes)

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tbl spoon olive oil. Saute shallots for about 4 minutes until soft. Add sliced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add shrimp. Saute until white, about 4 minutes, tossing to keep coated with oil. Add tomato sauce, herbs, seasonings, and pepper flakes. Bring to simmer and remove from heat.

Portion Angel hair pasta on plate. Top with shrimp and sauce. Squeeze lime juice over shrimp. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on zest. Top with Parmesan cheese.  Serve with buttered and toasted bread.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tucson-Style Tilapia with Black Bean-Corn Hash

Fish should always be a part of your dinner menu, but if you don't like the heavier taste of salmon or tuna, try tilapia, a white-fleshed fish that's mild in flavor. I like to spice things up. Here's the way I serve it in Tucson.


                                   Tucson-Style Tilapia

4 pcs. tilapia (2 per serving)
1 1/2 tbls olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 tbls flour
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbls butter
salt/pepper to taste

Place flour and spices in plastic bag and shake to mix thoroughly. Add fish 2 pieces at a time and shake to cover thoroughly. In a medium skillet, add 1 1/2 tbls olive oil. Cook tilapia 6 minutes per side until meat is flaky. Remove fish. Add butter. Stir skillet to loosen bits. Add white wine to de-glaze. Cook until wine is reduced by half. reserve liquid for hash.

Black Bean-Corn Hash

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, not drained
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Rinse and drain black beans. Add black beans and corn (with liquid) to a pot over med-high heat. Add spices. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes while tilapia cooks. Drain. Add liquid from tilapia. To plate, cross 2 tilapia fillets on top of black bean-corn hash. Drizzle with lime juice. Top with salsa. (Recipe follows)


Salsa

1 small onion, small diced
1 tomato, small died
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tsps lime juice (Save lime)
salt/pepper to taste

Mix ingredients ahead of time. Let sit 30 minutes. Add 2 tsps salsa per portion.

Serve with white wine or beer.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ragin' Cajun Feast

I love Cajun cooking. I lived in the Louisiana swamps for a few years and got to know the people and the food. I'll be in New Orleans in June for the World Horror Convention. This recipe is just to whet appetites.


                                               Jambalaya and Stuffed Peppers 

Jambalaya

2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
2 chicken breasts, diced
8 oz Andouille sausage, diced
2 tbl olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbl chopped garlic
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 bay leaves
1 tbl Old Bay or Cajun seasoning
1 tsp hot sauce
salt/pepper to taste


In a heavy sauce pot, add olive oil at medium heat. Saute chicken and sausage for 5 minutes until brown. Add onion, peppers, celery, garlic and seasonings. Cook 5 minutes until onion is soft. Add tomato sauce. Add rice and chicken stock. Stir. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Finish with hot sauce and salt/pepper



Stuffed Peppers

1 cup water
1/2 cup Arborio rice
2 green bell peppers, seeded and sliced in half lengthwise (Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Cool)
1 tbl olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbl Old Bay or Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup shredded cheese (Your choice. Cheddar is good)
1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cook rice and set aside.

In a saute pan at medium heat, add olive oil. Saute onions, celery, garlic until soft. Add seasonings, tomato sauce and heavy cream. Reduce to almost dry (Au sec). Stir in cooked rice and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into pepper halves. Place on greased cookie sheet. Cook in 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. 

Makes a perfect side dish to Jambalaya.