Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shrimp and White Beans

An old favorite.
Shrimp & White Beans

2 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 tbs onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
12 to 16 shrimp depending on size
2 oz spinach, you can use frozen or fresh but cut into smaller pieces
Olive Oil for drizzling
Crusty bread to eat with this

Put a nonstick pan on medium low heat, after the pan is hot add the bacon and let the fat render. Add the onion and let it cook until translucent. Add garlic and let it get fragrant 30 seconds to 1 minute. Now add shrimp and cook for a minute of 2. Add the beans and spinach and cook until shrimp are done and beans are heated through. Plate the mixture and drizzle with a good olive oil and eat with the bread.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sausage and Lentil Soup

This is a recipe that I learned in an Italian cooking class. Annette and I really like this and make it frequently. It is very hearty and will warm you up on a cold day. Sausage and lentils are a traditional New Years food in Italy. If you can't find escarole leave it out, you will still have a good soup.

Sausage and Lentil Soup

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. Cotechino Sausage, sliced longwise & then horizontally
1 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
2 14.5 oz cans Lentils or 1 pound dried
1 head escarole, chopped
3 cups water
salt, to taste
chili pepper, to taste

In a dutch oven over medium heat add the olive oil. When Olive Oil is hot add the sausage and cook for 3 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, escarole and tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add the lentils and water, bring soup to simmer, cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Season with salt and chili pepper. Serve Immediately.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Barbecue Baked Beans

This is a recipe that I modified, the original came from Healthy Cooking Magazine. Annette and I love the tangy quality of these beans. They seem like they should have a lot more fat and bad stuff in them. I am making some Carolina Pulled Pork today and these would make a good side dish for that. I think I included this recipe in the notebook I made of healthy recipes and gave to some of you. This recipe uses barbecue sauce, I use KC Masterpiece original, I like the smokiness. If you don't have a smokey barbecue sauce you can skip it or add liquid smoke, just be careful not to add to much.

By the way this recipe is so easy Annette made the beans for a church pot luck, I just photographed them.

Barbecue Baked Beans

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Canadian Bacon, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup barbecue sauce
14 ½ ounces pinto beans, 3 cans rinsed & drained, I use white beans if that is what I have on hand
3/4 cup water
¼ cup cider vinegar, I like mine tangy so I add a little extra
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, combine olive oil, onion, garlic and Canadian Bacon. Cook on medium-high for 4 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes. Add brown sugar, barbecue sauce and beans, mix well. Cook for 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving, if desired.

Monday, January 4, 2010

White Bean Soup

This is a recipe I decided to make today so I could use up some spinach, so don't look to closely and notice I forgot the spinach. It is only coincidence that my brother Bob asked that I post a bean recipe on the day I make bean soup. Everybody knows if he would have asked for it before I decided to make it I never would have made it, that's what brothers are for. I am submitting this soup to Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen. Watch for it there along with many other delicious soups.

White Bean Soup

1 tbs olive oil
1 cup carrots, cut into coins
1 cup celery, cut into 1/2 moons
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 15 oz can white beans
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 oz spinach, chopped
2 turkey sausages, removed from cases and broken up into small pieces
1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced

Add olive oil to a dutch oven or other deep heavy pot heated to medium high. Then add carrots, celery, zucchini or squash if using and onion heat until onions are transparent. Add sausage if using and cook until browned. Now add beans, tomatoes and garlic let this cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable broth and bring to boil. Turn down to low and add spinach. Let soup simmer until ready to serve.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lobster Ravioli with Champagne Sauce

For New Years Eve my wife wanted lobster tails and scallops. The local grocery had a good deal on small lobster tails, so I bought 3 of them. Turns out that my daughter wasn't going to be home. What do you do with an extra lobster tail. I turned it into a ravioli stuffing, worthy of the celebrating the New Year. The Sauce is loosely based on a recipe by Pam Anderson's, no not the one from Bay Watch, The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great. This recipe will serve 4 people.

Lobster Ravioli with Champagne Sauce

For the Ravioli:
4 oz Lobster Tail, cooked & cut into small pieces
4 Shrimp, cooked & cut into small pieces
1/4 c Ricotta Cheese
1 chive, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp dried herbs, I used basil and parsley
6 egg roll wrappers, cut in 1/2 this will make 12 ravioli
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp water

For the Sauce:
1/4 Cup chicken broth
1/4 Cup Champagne
1/2 Cup 2% Evaporated Milk
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tbs butter
1 1/2 tbs all purpose flour
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
3/4 -1 tsp dried herbs, I used Parsley, Basil & Oregano
Water from the Ravioli

To Make the Ravioli:
Mix first 5 Ravioli ingredients together and let flavors meld for 15 minutes. Crack egg in small bowl, add water and whisk. Then take 1/2 of egg roll sheet (mine were 6 x 6 inches, so I had 3x3 inch raviolis) and spread outer edge of 1 side with egg wash. Put about 1 tsp - 1 1/2 tsp of mixture in center of ravioli and fold top 1/2 over that. Press edges tightly together until they are sealed. You should start pressing at the center and work your way out toward the edge forcing any air pockets out of the ravioli. The biggest mistake people make when doing this is putting to much mixture in the center, so they don't get a good seal and then the mixture will leak out or rip. Add ravioli to a large pot of boiling water that is well salted. When the ravioli float to the top they are done, about 5 minutes.

To Make the Sauce:
In a large bowl mix first 4 ingredients. Put in microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until steamy but not full boil. Set aside and let this cool a little. In a high sided pot or pan add butter, when it melts add the flour and whisk until butter is absorbed. Add the liquids and constantly whisk until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the Parmesan and herbs and some salt and pepper. Let simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. If this is to thick add some pasta water to thin, add just a little at a time until it is at desired thickness. You will probably want it a little thinner then in the pictures here, sometimes you get interrupted while cooking and the sauce thickens back up. :-) But it was still delicious.