Archive | May, 2016

SPICY SHRIMP PASTA IN PARCHMENT

 

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This recipe makes use of a cooking technique called‘en papillote’ –  It is cooking in a  parchment package where the food is steamed in its own juices which yields a highly flavorful sauce and delicately cooked shrimp.  It is a quick, healthy, no-mess way to cook.  The packet may be assembled several hours ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to cook.  Remember it is important to open packet immediately after baking to prevent the shrimp from overcooking.  If you can‘t find parchment paper, you can use heavy duty aluminum foil.

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INGREDIENTS:

 

2 C                                        crushed canned tomatoes

1 T                                         tomato paste

2 clove                               garlic minced

2 t                                         minced anchovy filet  or 1 t anchovy paste (or to taste)

1 t                                         granulated sugar

2 t                                         crushed red pepper

1 t                                         smoked paprika

2-3 T                                    high quality olive oil

½ C                                       white wine (optional)

1 C                                        reserved pasta cooking water

1 #                                        linguini

1 #                                        16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Parmesan cheese

Minced parsley

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare pasta bowls:  Cut parchment paper squares to fit 6 (2 cup capacity) oven proof pasta bowls with a 3” overhang on all corners.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta reserving 1C cooking liquid.  Set aside.

Combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, anchovy, sugar, crushed red pepper, paprika, wine (if using), and olive oil in a bowl.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Set aside

Divide pasta equally among bowls.  Top with shrimp.  Divide the tomato mixture equally among the bowls.  If pasta seems dry add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to each packet.  Bring the ends of each parchment paper square together and tie with kitchen twine.  Take care to completely enclose the pasta shrimp mixture, crimping edges if necessary. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.  Remove twine and open packets at the table.  Enjoy the ohh-la-la coming from your guests!!!  Drizzle with additional olive oil and minced parsley and parmesan.

Serves 6

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MATCHA MELON BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

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Matcha is a green tea powder that is ground from premium Japanese green teas.  It is an antioxidant, highly nutritious, mood enhancing and a metabolism boosting locomotive to boot!!   Because the entire tea leaf is ingested, when you add it to a recipe, you are receiving 10X the benefit of traditionally brewed green tea.  Matcha has a pleasant “grassy” taste which I have found to be addictive.  By adding melon, banana, vanilla, Greek yogurt and a touch of honey, you can start your day with simple, protein packed breakfast.

INGREDIENTS:

½ C                                       Non-fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt

2 t                                         honey (if desired)                              

¼  C                                      fresh orange juice

1 C                                        frozen cubed melon, honeydew, cantaloupe or watermelon

½ ea                                     frozen banana

1 -2 t                                   high quality matcha

METHOD:

Combine ingredients in an electric blender.  Process on high speed until well combined.  Pour into tall glasses with or without ice. Garnish with cubed melon, berries or citrus.

Serves 2

 

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FRESH RICOTTA AND SPINACH DUMPLING WITH SMASHED TOMATO SAUCE

  ricotta gnocchi (2)

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This recipe makes use of extra house made ricotta cheese.  If you don’t want to make your own, substitute high quality store bought.  You could also substitute any light tomato sauce or even an herbed butter sauce for the topping. However, the acidity of the tomatoes is a nice counterbalance for the richness of the ricotta dumplings.

INGREDIENTS:

 

1 C                                        ricotta, homemade or high quality store bought

½ C + 2T                            grated parmesan cheese

2 eggs                                 eggs

¾ C                                       all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

2 ea                                      garlic cloves, minced

1 C                                        spinach, cooked and well drained and chopped

½  ea                                   zest of lemon

2 ea                                      pint cherry tomatoes

3 T                                         fresh, basil minced

1  ea                                    small shallot, minced

1 T                                         garlic, minced

1 ea                                      anchovy fillet, minced or equal amount anchovy paste

2 T                                         extra virgin olive oil

1 T                                         white wine vinegar

2 T                                         unsalted butter

Salt and pepper

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

 

METHOD:

 

Prepare smashed tomato sauce:  Combine halved cherry tomatoes, basil, shallot, anchovy garlic, oil and vinegar in a bowl.  Toss to combine and smash lightly with the back of a spoon or potato masher.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

 

Prepare the dumplings:  Combine ricotta, grated parmesan, eggs, garlic, lemon and chopped spinach in a bowl.  Add the flour 2T at a time until a slightly stick dough forms.  Roll dough into  3-4 ropes about the width of finger  (3/4” diameter) and cut into ¾” pieces.  Arrange in a single layer on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Dust lightly with flour and set aside.

 

Cook dumplings:  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add dumplings in batches and cook until dumplings rise to the surface.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet.  When all dumplings have been cooked, melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the dumplings and cook until golden, turning once.  Add smashed tomato sauce and heat through.  Serve with additional parmesan.

 

Serves 6

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