Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pretty / Spicy

We have skipped right over the rest of spring and landed squarely in the middle of summer, minus the humidity, which makes it all the more wonderful!  We live in an old house that has plaster walls which stay really cool.  This is not so good in the winter but it feels so great when it is hot outside and you walk into the house and it is cool and a little dark.  Some days I look around and just see all the things I would change about this house and some days it seems just right.  

I had a little trouble on the inspiration when I planned the menu this week but together with having a few things around the house and having 1 meal left over from last week I managed to put something together and I only spent about $35 on groceries for the whole week!     

This Week's Menu:

I had shrimp it the freezer because the last time I had to buy it it was buy one get one free on the bags.  This looked like a simple and tasty way to use it.  The sauce was flavorful without being over powering.  

1. Angel Hair with Spicy Shrimp
From Real Simple
makes 4 servings

3/4 lb angle hair pasta (I used a whole grain version that was so good I couldn't even tell the difference)
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb medium shrimp peeled and deveined (fresh or frozen and thawed)
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 t crushed red pepper
kosher salt
2 T butter

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and return to pot.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute (be careful not to let it burn).  Add the shrimp, wine, red pepper and 1/4 t salt.  Simmer until the shrimp are opaque, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the butter until melted.  Toss with the pasta and enjoy!
This was on the dinner menu but I ended up not making it until Saturday morning.  It was a filling breakfast that sustained me through a bike ride and a couple hours of studying.  Jeremy even managed to get the broccoli down, although I don't know how much he enjoyed it.  I think it came out very pretty.  

2. Broccoli, Potato and Bacon Frittata
makes 2 - 4 servings

5 eggs
1 T ricotta cheese
1 T milk
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 small red potato
1 T Parmesan cheese
kosher salt and black pepper

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  
Cut the potato in half lengthwise and slice across into thin half moon shapes.  Places in a pot with water to cover, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Steam the broccoli until bright green and tender about 10 minutes. 
In an oven safe, non-stick skillet, cook the bacon until done but not overly crispy.  Remove the bacon and wipe out the skillet leaving a small amount of bacon fat in the pan.  Return the skillet to low heat, add the bacon, potato slices and broccoli and stir gently to combine.  
Whisk together the eggs, ricotta, milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a bowl until the ricotta is no longer in clumps.  Pour into the broccoli mixture.  Let it cook on the stove top, without stirring, until the edges begin to set.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the center is just set, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan (it should slide right out of a nonstick skillet) and cut into four pieces.  Serve with tomato dipping sauce (a.k.a. ketchup) if desired.           
With the beans and rice on the plate this really feels like a meal in a restaurant.  You could make any kind of filling you like.  This one is from the Cabbage Town Cafe Cookbook and is called "Adam's Enchilada Filling"  I don't know who Adam is but I like the way he thinks about enchiladas!  

3. Enchilada Dinner
filling from Cabbage Town Cafe Cookbook
makes enough filling for 4 large enchiladas

1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 T light vegetable oil
2 green peppers, diced
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 can enchilada sauce
4 large tortillas

Toast the almonds in a dry skillet until lightly browned, don't let them burn, it can happen fast.  Heat the oil in a skillet.  Add the green peppers and cook over high heat until they are tender and the skin is blistered.  Add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes more.  Add the spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring.  Remove from heat and mix in the almonds and Cheddar cheese.   
Fill the tortillas and top with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  Heat under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  For the sides you can use black beans, pinto beans or re-fried beans and a Spanish rice mix or the recipe for red rice found at the bottom of that post.
I have been making this salad for a while now.  It's actually a good one for cold weather because of the warm toppings.  I really like the flavor combinations, especially the hard boiled egg.  I don't know why but for some reason adding an egg to a salad makes it feel like a meal to me. 

4. Spinach Salad with Hot Salami Cubes
from Real Simple
makes 2 servings 

2 T olive oil
1/4 lb hard salami (such as Genoa), cut into 1/4" cubes (I get this from the deli counter so I don't have to buy more than we need and I have them slice it 1/4" thick to make the chopping quicker on my end)
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T honey
2 T red wine vinegar
1/8 t kosher salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/2 red onion, sliced into rings
4 cups spinach
2 eggs, hard boiled

Heat 1 T of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the salami and cook until sizzling and browned, 2-3 minutes.  Remove the salami using a slotted spoon.  Add the mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, pepper and the remaining 1 T of oil.  Whisk to form a thin emulsion.  Add the onion and salami and cook over medium heat until the onion wilts.  Divide the spinach among plates and top with the salami mixture.  Serve with the eggs.      

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Anonymous said...

Can't wait to make all of these (well, except maybe the salami one :) ). I'm jealous of your warm weather - we were skiing 6 inches of fresh snow. Brrrr.

Andrea said...

Twila, You could probably make the salad without the salami, I think it would still be pretty good.

Snake Charmer said...

these recipes look soooo delicious i'm actually hungry now :) cannot wait to try these out!

Anonymous said...

Just made the enchiladas. Added kidney beans to the mix because I'm too lazy to make a side dish. Also too lazy to grind whole coriander into powder - just added some oregano instead. Was still super yummy! Thumbs up from us.