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Grilled Shrimp with Cherry Salsa

July 29, 2013

I love this recipe- very simple and very much in season. Grab those cherries while they are still around and make a delicious salsa!!

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Place the shrimp in skewers and sprinkle with salt and smoked paprika. Marinate for two hours in the fridge.

Cherry Salsa

  •  1 cup red or white cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • Juice of a medium lemon
  • 1 serrano chili, chopped
  • Salt

Transfer all the ingredients to a bowl. Mix well and let marinate for an hour or two.

Grill the shrimp till done and serve with salsa on top.

Herbed Ricotta and Potato Gnocchi

July 22, 2013

This is my first try at making gnocchi at home. I am not a big fan of the potato variety.. so I decided to make them with ricotta and potato. I also added herbs and some Romano cheese. The result was absolutely delicious. I paired it with a simple marinara sauce….The trick to fluffy gnocchi is not over mixing and over kneading the dough…

  • 1 one pound russet potato
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup freshly ground Pecorino Romano
  • 1 cup plus more flour

Cook the potato till soft to the fork. Take the skin off and put the potato through a potato ricer into a bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, chives, egg and cheese. Mix well. Gradually add the flour, one tablespoon at a time till the dough comes together and not sticky- try not to over knead the dough. Separate into four sections and roll each into ½ inch thick logs on a floured surface. With a knife, cut bite-sized gnocchis. Place on a floured cookie sheet and let sit for an hour. Make the sauce in the meantime.

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Marinara Sauce

  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (chopped or whole, if whole, crush them with fingers)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi for 2 to 3 minutes or till they float to the surface. Serve with marinara sauce and freshly grated cheese

Bolognese Sauce with Spaghetti

July 21, 2013

I would highly recommend this recipe for bolognese sauce- it is easy to make and really delicious! The pancetta and sausage flavor it amazing.. definitely worth a try…

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup pancetta, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large Italian sausage links, meat taken out of the casings
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ pound spaghetti, cooked al dente

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, rosemary and thyme. Stir and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add one teaspoon of salt. Add the pancetta and sauté on medium heat till the vegetables are soft and pancetta is crispy. Add the beef and sausage and separate vigorously with the back of a wooden spoon while stirring. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the white wine and scrape off all the golden brown bits from the bottom. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low heat with lid on for 2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes or so to check the consistency. Once the consistency is according to taste, check for seasonings and serve with spaghetti.

Leftover Quesadilla

July 17, 2013

I love, love creating something completely different with my leftovers in the fridge. I had the grilled chicken and plum sauce from yesterdays posting. I decided to reuse them through the week and create quesadillas. My favorite tortillas to buy right now are the habanero lime ones from Trader Joes. They are not super spicy but have a nice kick to them.

It was a very quick meal to put together which is very convenient through the week. I paired it with some mild mozzarella cheese and the quesadillas were delicious. I served an avocado salad and a glass of refreshing Rose!!

  • Left over grilled plum chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • Left over plum barbecue sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Tortillas of choice
  • Olive oil

Heat a non-stick pan with the olive oil. Add the tortilla. Place the shredded cheese and the chicken pieces on the tortilla. Drizzle some sauce and top with the other tortilla. Cook well on both sides or till the cheese melts. Cut and serve with salsa.

Romesco Sauce Stripped Bass

July 15, 2013

I was watching one of the other day and saw a chef making this romesco sauce. It looked really yummy and quite simple to make. It started with onions and garlic.. but before I added them to the pan, I first sauteed the fish quickly. I then added the aromatics, including roasted red peppers, tomatoes, blanched almonds, sherry vinegar and smoked paprika. I sauteed all the yummy ingredients and blended them till I achieved a smooth sauce. I then added the sauce back into the pan and cooked the fish gently. I served the yummy dish with couscous- which is the easiest and quickest starch to make. My daughter loves eating it. I make the whole wheat variety. It was a delicious meal and we enjoyed it with a glass of rose…

  • 1 to 1½ pounds striped sea bass, skinned and cut into 3 inch filets
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Brown the fish pieces briefly on both sides and sprinkle with salt. Take out and keep aside. Reheat the pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds, red peppers and tomatoes. Mix well and cook on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and paprika. Mix well and cook on low heat with the lid on for 5 minutes. Blend smooth in a blender. Transfer back to the pan and reheat. Add the fish into the sauce and cook gently on a low heat till the pieces are cooked. Taste for seasonings and serve with couscous.

Coconut Rice with Shrimp

July 14, 2013

This is another one pot meal- yay! I love, love coming up with a lovely one pot meal. I especially love making them if I have a sauce already in the fridge. I had made the chimichurri sauce the other day and I had a whole lot left over. I started thinking what to do with it.. I had lots of ideas but in the end I decided on the rice dish. The sauce was full of flavor with parsley, cilantro, garlic and lots of citrus. I sauteed it in the pan and browned jumbo shrimp to infuse tons of flavor into the dish. I added delicious coconut milk, chicken broth. The main flavor in the dish is the sauce but the coconut milk and the shrimp bring it to a different level. The dish was a big success.. everyone loved it.

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, tails taken off
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chimichurri sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup rice
  • Salt
  • 1 cup frozen petit peas, thawed
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté for a minute. Take them out on a platter and sprinkle some salt. Cut the shrimp in half and keep aside.
Add the chimichurri sauce into the pan and saute for a minute. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the rice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat as holes begin to appear on the surface. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes. Add the peas and shrimp on top and cover with lid.
Cook for another 10 minutes or till the shrimp is fully cooked. Mix well and add salt, lemon juice and cilantro. Mix well and serve hot.

Quick Garlicky Spinach

July 8, 2013

I love the creamed spinach at steak houses but it has loads of calories. I make my spinach usually just with a bit of olive oil and garlic- it does the trick for me.. I will sometimes add a splash of half and half to the creamy effect. It is a great, quick side to make…

  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté on low heat for a minute. Add the spinach and sauté on medium heat till the greens have wilted. Add salt and serve.