Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shrimp Scampi


What a great dinner! I haven't had shrimp in forever. With my picky husband, shrimp is the closest thing I can get to fish.
This was my first Emeril recipe and I was very impressed. We'll definitely be making this again. My changes are bolded below.

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 small onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup shrimp stock, recipe follows (I used chicken stock)
2 tablespoons cold butter 2 tablespoons
chopped parsley leaves (I used dried parsley)
Lemon slices, for garnish
Rice, as accompaniment (I used 1 box of linguine)
Cook the linguine as directed.
Season the shrimp thoroughly with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough oil to lightly coat the pan. Add the shrimp and quickly saute until just starting to turn pink, but not cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions and saute just until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, white wine, and stock, and reduce by 2/3, about 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp back to the pan and swirl in the butter. Finish with the parsley and check for seasoning. Toss everything together and top with Parmesan cheese.

Spicy Lentils with Sausage


I found this recipe in the Detroit News a while back. Once I saw it, I knew I had to try it. It's so hearty and flavorful. Plus, with Lent rolling around, you can omit the sausage and have a tasty vegetarian dish. Definitely give it a try. It's the perfect weeknight meal.

I used the steamed lentils from Trader Joe's to save on time. I highly recommend these. They are sooo good!!!

1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup red and/or yellow peppers, finely chopped
1 14-ounce can peeled diced tomatoes
1 cup V-8
2 cups prepared lentils
1 small can of diced green chiles
Pinch of dried basil
Crushed red pepper to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 pound sausage (chicken or pork), browned and sliced (optional)

Cook the sausage as directed. Slice and set aside.

Prepare lentils, as directed.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions, garlic and peppers. Sauté until soft. Add the tomatoes and V-8. Stir well, cover and simmer for 20 mins.

Add cooked lentils, seasonings, chiles, cooked sausage and heat thoroughly.

Serve in shallow soup bowls. You can top with goat cheese or Parmesan cheese. YUM!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Braised Lentils with Spinach

I found this recipe on Elly's blog and I highly recommend it. It's such a flavorful, easy way to prepare lentils!

I will definitely be making this again!


1/2 cup brown lentils
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. olive oil
1 sprig thyme or a pinch of dried
1 small carrot, diced
1 small piece celery, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
4-5 mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup fresh spinach, shredded or chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Place lentils and bay leaf in a small pan and pour cold water in the pan so that it reaches about 3" above the lentils. Cook at a rolling boil until lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over moderate heat and add olive oil and thyme. Saute the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms until tender.

Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add lentils and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced enough to coat lentils--a couple minutes. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce

I found this recipe on one of my new favorite blogs to read - Simply Recipes. This recipe originates from the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I'm always looking for new ways to cook up pork chops. I ended up using boneless center cut pork chops, as we prefer thinner chops. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly.

This recipe turned out perfectly and the sauce was absolutely delicious. I will definitely make it again!


1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 center-cut rib or loin pork chops, bone in (preferred), about 1 1/4
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions or shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional)

1 Melt the butter in the oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Season chops with salt and pepper and brown them, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat slightly if the chops brown too quickly.

2 Remove chops from the pan and pour off most of the fat. Add the green onions or shallots and cook on med high heat until softened, about 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the stock and return chops to the pan. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until chops are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3 Remove the chops to a warm platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Raise the temp of the pan to boil the pan juices, reduce the juices by half, about 2 minutes. Add cream and boil 2 minutes more, until sauce reduces and thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in mustard and parsley. If you want, add more mustard to taste. Spoon sauce over chops and serve.

Serves 4.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chicken Marsala

This is one of my favorite ways to eat chicken. I found this recipe on Katie's blog and knew it had to be a good one. This turned out really, really great and I'll definitely make it again!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5-6 oz each), fat trimmed
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbsp oil
2 ½ oz. (about 3 slices) pancetta, cut into 1 by 1/8 in. pieces
8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced (about 2 c.)
1 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp tomato paste
1 ½ c. Marsala (I only like dry, the recipe calls for sweet)
1 ½ Tbsp juice from lemon
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves


-Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position on the over, place a heatproof plate on the rack, and heat the oven to 200 degrees.

-Pat the chicken breasts dry.

-Place flour in a shallow baking dish or pie plate.

-Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.

-Working with one at a time, coat both side of chicken with flour.

-Lift the breast from the tapered end and shake to remove excess flour and set aside.

-Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large 12-in heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.

-Place the floured chicken in a single layer in the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

-Using tongs, turn the cutlets and cook on the second side until golden brown and the meat feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 5 min longer).

-Transfer chicken to the heated plate and return plate to the oven.

-Return the skillet to low heat and add the pancetta.

-Sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits, until the pancetta is browned and crisp, about 4 min.

-With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain.

-Add the mushrooms to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high.

-Sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom, until the liquid released by the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 min.

-Add the garlic, tomato paste, and cooked pancetta and cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 min.-Off the heat, add the Marsala.

-Return the pan to high heat and simmer vigorously, scraping browned bits from the pan bottom, until the sauce is slightly syrupy and reduced, about 5 min.

-Off the heat, add the lemon juice and accumulated juices from the chicken.

-Whisk in the butter, one Tbsp at a time, until incorporated.

-Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

-Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.