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This dish easily wins the award for one of the fastest, easiest and most delicious recipes out there.  Total time – 45 minutes, which includes 10 minutes to peel and devein shrimp.  I bet most people have all the ingredients in their cabinet, except the shrimp.  :o)

Prep time:  10-15 minutes
Cook time:  30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb. raw shrimp (20-25 count), peeled and deveined
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup butter
½ onion or 1 shallot, finely diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 14.5 ounce cans of Red Gold, Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh basil
Black pepper to taste
¼ cup chicken stock
¼ cup heavy cream
1 lb. capellini, cooked al dente, drained – reserve a few tablespoons of the cooked pasta water*
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Good quality Romano or Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, shaved or grated

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and oil.  Add chopped onion (or shallot), garlic and red pepper flakes.  Reduce heat to low and cook until onions are soft and transparent, about 10 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes, fresh thyme, basil, black pepper and chicken stock.  Increase heat to medium low and continue cooking 20-30 minutes.  Add raw shrimp, cook until shrimp turns pink, about 5 minutes.  Add heavy cream and reserved pasta water, simmer 2-3 minutes.

Place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl, pour sauce over pasta and top with fresh chopped parsley and grated cheese.

*Make sure you GENEROUSLY salt the pasta water before cooking your pasta, about 2-3 tablespoons.

Buon Appetito!

 

Capellini with Tomatoes and Shrimp


According to Wikipedia “November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar. November retained its name (from the Latin novem meaning “nine”) when January and February were added to the Roman calendar. November is a month of spring in the Southern Hemisphere and autumn in the Northern Hemisphere”.  But to me, November means, football games, family holiday gatherings, raking leaves, cooler temperatures, and comfort food.

Wasn’t that long ago that I discovered (I know what you are thinking) spaghetti squash.  I REALLY don’t know why it took me so long either!  Well, this recipe is sure to delight everyone in your family, its the perfect “comfort” food for this time of the year.  And did I say, easy!  What you will need:

1 Spaghetti Squash
1 lb. large (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Weber N’Orleans Cajun Seasoning
¼ cup white wine, one that you would also drink :o)
¼ cup chicken stock
⅓ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, if desired
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds.  Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from oven, cool and remove squash using a fork.  You can use the skin as a vessel for the casserole, if desired.

In a large skillet, melt butter and oil over medium heat.  Add chopped shallot, garlic and Cajun Seasoning.  Cook until shallots are transparent, about 5-10 minutes.  Add peeled shrimp and cook until slightly pink, about 2-3 minutes.  Deglaze pan with white wine.  Add chicken stock, heavy cream and capers.  Remove from heat.

Place shredded squash in a casserole dish (or the reserved skins).  Top squash with shallot/cream mixture, add fresh parsley, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  Bake 10-15 minutes, or until top is golden in color.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Scampi

Baked Spaghetti Squash-Cajun Shrimp Casserole

You will love that one!  Now for the dessert…..

Crust:
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

Filling:
4 eggs
1 ½ cups Karo® Light corn Syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
For Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, butter, powdered sugar and salt with an electric mixer until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press firmly and evenly into a greased baking sheet (15 x 10 inches).

Bake crust 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

For Filling:
Beat eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, pumpkin pie spice,  and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in pecans.

Pour over hot crust, spread evenly.

Bake 25 minutes at 350°F until filling is firm around the edges and slightly firm in center. Cool completely on wire rack before serving.

Pumpkin Peach Pie Bars

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bars

Buon Appetito!

Happy November – Baked Spaghetti Squash-Cajun Shrimp Casserole with Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bars for Dessert


This is one of my favorites sauces to make, so quick and easy and yet so incredibly flavorful!  The history of this sauce is very interesting, one that most people are not aware of:

“LADIES OF THE EVENING:

Puttanesca sauce, most often employed for pasta, originated in Naples. It is made from tomatoes, black olives, capers, anchovies, onions, garlic, and herbs, usually oregano and parsley but sometimes also basil. It is an easy sauce, briefly cooked, and is very fragrant and spicy. Puttanesca translates as “in the style of the whore.” The name derives from the Italian word puttana which means whore. Puttana in turn arises from the Latin word putida which means stinking.

Restaurant encounter

Now I’ll bet your wondering how this tasty dish became associated with such sordid content. As is often the case when sifting through culinary history, there are multiple explanations. The first interpretation is that the intense aroma, (harking back to the “stinking” Latin definition), would lure men from the street into the local house of ill repute. Thus, the Napolese harlots were characterized as the sirens of the culinary world. Three additional accounts all hinge on the fact that Puttanesca sauce is easy and quick to make. The first is that the prostitutes made it for themselves to keep the interruption of their business to a minimum. The second is that they made it for the men awaiting their turn at the brothel. And the final version is that it was a favorite of married women who wished to limit their time in the kitchen so that they may visit their paramour. ”

SHRIMP IN PUTTANSCA SAUCE

I prepared this recipe when I was fortunate to be compete (and win) Food Network’s “Ultimate Recipe Showdown”, hosted by Guy Fieri, a few years ago.  However, my $25,000 winning recipe was Crawfish & Andouille Sausage Pizza.  Instead of shrimp for this dish, I used lobster, but if you choose shrimp, add about 1 pound raw, peeled and deveined, shrimp in place of the raw lobster tail.

Total Time:
30 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:3 to 4 servings
Level:Easy
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound lobster tails (either warm water or cold water)
10 to 12 kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed under cold water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small shallots, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup red Italian wine
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 pound Italian capellini pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat and season the water with salt.

Cut the lobster tails lengthwise, remove the meat from the shells and chop into 1-inch pieces. Pit and chop kalamata olives and rinse the capers. Set aside.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and heat through. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for an additional 30 seconds; do not brown the garlic. Add the tomatoes, wine, chicken stock, basil, parsley and anchovy paste. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the capellini to the boiling water.  Cook about 5 minutes, or until al dente.  Strain in a colander, do not rinse.

Stir the chopped lobster meat, capers, kalamata olives, butter, and pepper, to taste, to the tomato mixture. Cover the pan and simmer the sauce until the lobster meat is cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Place the cooked pasta in a large serving bowl, pour the sauce over the pasta and toss. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and the chopped parsley, if desired, and serve.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lobster-in-puttanesca-sauce-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Lobster in Puttanesca Sauce

Bon Appetito!

Happy September Calendar Photo – Shrimp (and or lobster) in Puttanesca (Ladies of the Evening) Sauce


Live at 9 – Rob’s Favorite Char-Grilled Oysters

I just LOVE taking pictures of my food and then upload them to Facebook.  Some people call this “food porn”….I call it “sweet temptations”.  One of my favorite photos is my char-grilled oysters.  I just wish I enjoyed eating oysters….but we won’t go there.  People always find it funny that I can make something taste so good when I won’t even eat it.  You just need to know which flavors go with what.  I suppose I have been blessed with this ability.

This is a very easy take on the famous “Drago’s Charbroiled Oysters” from New Orleans.  In this recipe, I steam open the oysters.  If you choose this method, be careful not to over steam them.  If possible, open them raw.

Char-Grilled Oysters

Char-Grilled Oysters

1 dozen oysters, steamed open*

Compound Butter

1 ½ sticks butter
⅓ to ½ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, whole
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Lemon Pepper

Prepare compound butter:

Place butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Divide butter into 12 pieces, 1 tablespoon each, for topping on oysters.  Remaining butter can be kept frozen for up to 6 months.
Heat the grill to medium high.

Place oysters on the grill, shell side down.  Cover grill and cook oysters for 2-3 minutes.  Place on tablespoon butter on top of each oyster.  Cover grill and continue cooking an additional 2-3 minutes.

*To clean, place oysters in a colander in and rinse under cold running water.  If necessary, scrub off any mud and debris with a scrub brush.

 

For Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe, Fruit Kabob Flag, Cucumber Boat and Yellow Squash Goose, click on the link below:

More Recipes

Char-Grilled Oysters

Char-Grilled Oysters

Buon Appetito!


Friday evening I posted a picture of our dinner on Facebook.  This post was followed by several requests for the recipe; here you go!

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi

Scrimp Scampi

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1 pound Italian Capellini
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, rinsed & drained
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, preferably 25-30 count
Freshly shaved or grated Parmesan or Asiago Cheese

Bring a large stock pot of water to a rapid boil over high heat; add salt and capellini. Cook according to pasta directions, do not overcook pasta.

While pasta is cooking, add extra virgin olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, about 1-2 minutes, add chopped shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes (if desired). Sauté 2-3 minutes (do not let garlic turn brown), or until shallots are soft. Add drained tomatoes, fresh herbs and shrimp. Cook an additional 4-5 minutes, or until shrimp turns pink, remove from heat.

In a large pasta bowl, toss drained capellini with sauce, top with shaved cheese.

Buon Appetito!!!

Quick & Easy Shrimp Scampi


Thank you all for supporting my blog…2014 in review. 2015 will be even bigger and better!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.