Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shrimp Alfredo Pizza

When I come up with ideas for new recipes one of 2 things usually happens. I make it and it fails miserably and you never read about it, I do have to threaten Annette never to mention it or I will make it for her again. Or I make it and it turns out good enough for me to publish and I don't have to hide behind things the next time I see you. Shrimp Alfredo Pizza was one of those recipes that I thought you may never see in print, but it actually turned out to be very good. My main concern was making an Alfredo sauce that would not be thin and run off the pizza and all over the stove. I used shrimp, asparagus and spinach on this pizza. You could use all veggies (any combination that you want) or chicken instead of shrimp.

Shrimp Alfredo Pizza

Alfredo Sauce:
1 5oz can of 2 % evaporated milk
3 oz low fat, low sodium chicken broth
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbs butter
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pizza Crust:
Make your favorite crust or buy one

2 tsp olive oil
12 oz shrimp
1 oz frozen spinach, finely chopped (you can use fresh)
6 small stalks asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
I cut some basil into ribbons and sprinkled on top for a garnish.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If you have a pizza stone make sure that is on the center shelf, so it heats up.

Sauce: put milk, broth and garlic in a microwave safe bowl and heat until steaming, about 3 to minutes. Remove and let this cool for a minute or 2 before using. In a large sauce pan over low heat add butter. When butter melts add flour and whisk until mixed with butter. Then add the milk mixture slowly and whisk it while adding. Whisk this mixture until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the parmesan and whisk until Parmesan is melted and incorporated into milk mixture. Poor this back into bowl and set aside.

Toppings: in the sauce pan heat olive oil. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, add the shrimp and spinach and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.

Spread the sauce over the pizza crust. Then spread the toppings over the sauce. Then place the shrimp over the other toppings. Cook for about 10 minutes. When it comes out sprinkle with basil if using.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seafood Risotto

This was the main course for Annette and my Valentines Day dinner. It was the best risotto that I have ever made or eaten. I based it on a recipe from Emeril Lagasse. The best part was there was enough left over for 2 more meals. It was like BIll Murray in Groundhog Day, but we just got to keep eating the same really good meal over again.

Seafood Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
Freshly ground black pepper
8 cups seafood stock*
2 cloves minced garlic
1 pound Arborio rice
1 pounds assorted shellfish and seafood, I used lobster tail, scallops and shrimp cut into bite side pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons chopped green onions, green part only
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

* I did not have any seafood stock, so I improvised and took 2 containers of chicken stock added an onion that I cut into quarters, 2 carrots and the lobster and shrimp shells and boiled for 1/2 hour. Then strained broth and it made a very good improvised substitute.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil, over medium heat. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper, and saute until the onions are slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Now add 6 cups of the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 12 minutes, stirring constantly. Add additional stock if needed.

Season the seafood pieces with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 7 minutes. Stir in the butter, half and half, cheese, and green onions. Simmer for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. The rice should be soft, with a little bite, if so remove from the heat. Spoon the risotto in the center of a shallow bowl. Garnish with parsley.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nutella Ravioli

Sorry about my absence from posting lately, life sometimes changes our plans for us. But I am back and I hope you like the results, I know my wife and I did.

I normally don't make desserts, but decided for Valentines I needed to create a somewhat healthy dessert that Annette and I would both eat. Raspberries and chocolate are a must. Then I notice the unopened jar of Nutella in the pantry and the wheels in my head started spinning. Here is the result:

Nutella Ravioli

5 oz frozen raspberries
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbs Nutella
2 tbs plain low fat yogurt
3 egg roll wrappers, cut in 1/2 (you could use wontons, but they maybe smaller so you may want to leave whole)
1 egg
1 tsp water
Fresh raspberries for garnish
powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small pan put the frozen raspberries, sugar and cornstarch. Over medium heat warm the berries and smash them with a spoon. this will create a juice. When the juice starts to boil it will thicken because of the cornstarch. Pour it through a sieve to strain the seeds out. Use this is used to dribble on the plate as a garnish. Set this aside to cool.

In a small bowl mix the Nutella and the yogurt. Make sure it is completely mixed as you want it to taste like Nutella not yogurt with Nutella in spots. Set this aside.

Take the egg and crack it in a small bowl. Add the water and mix together.

Take the 1/2 sheet of egg roll wrapper and on 1/2 of that put 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of the Nutella mixture. Then take the the egg wash and spread around the Nutella. Now fold the other half of the wrapper over the Nutella and seal. Start by pressing close to the Nutella and work outwards to get rid of air pockets. Then take a fork and press down on the edges creating a patterned edge that will seal the Nutella in. After you have made all six of these place on a cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake until wrapper starts to brown, about 8 minutes. Note the egg roll wrappers get crispy, next time I am going to try a different type of wrap to see if I can get one that is not so crisp.

Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar, raspberry sauce and raspberries.