I had a craving for a Shrimp Primavera today. I went with a simple pepper, mushroom and onion combination. Super tasty; I perhaps could have seasoned it a bit more but the flavors of each ingredient came through nicely as I made it.
1/2 pound angel hair or desired pasta cooked according to package directions (reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water)
extra virgin olive oil
1 bell pepper
1/2 medium onion
8 o.z. mushrooms
12 o.z. shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh tomato – cut into wedges
3-4 cloves garlic
1 Tbs fresh basil
In skillet heat about 1 Tbs olive oil. Cut pepper, onion, jalapeno and mushrooms into chunks. Saute about 5 minutes until desired tenderness. Remove from skillet and set aside. In same skillet heat a little more olive oil. Add shrimp; season with salt and pepper and cook until shrimp is cooked though about 5 minutes depending on size of shrimp. Return veggies to pan and stir in tomato, garlic, basil and reserved pasta water. Toss with pasta and serve with parmesan cheese.
Thought I would make a fast and easy lunch today with some leftover chicken and pasta. The chicken was already seasoned so I didn’t add any additional spice. Quick to throw together and best of all it made a couple of meals for me today.
1 cup cooked pasta
1/3 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup diced cooked chicken
1 green onion ~ sliced
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Mix together all ingredients and serve! Doesn’t get much easier than that.
We made some quick and tasty chicken and noodles tonight. I was looking for something easy to fix after a busy day and this fit the bill perfectly.
4 carrots – cut into bite sized chunks
4 celery stalk – sliced
1/4 cup onion – diced
8 o.z. mushrooms – sliced
1 Tbs butter
2 boneless chicken breasts – diced
6 o.z. egg noodles
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper and a pinch of thyme and cayenne if desired
In large skillet combine carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, and butter. Cook for about 5 minutes. If using raw chicken add to the vegetables now and cook for about 5 minutes more to sear the chicken. Add the chicken stock and noodles and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until noodles are cooked to desired tenderness. (if using pre-cooked chicken add during last few minutes of noodle cook time). Season as desired.
Charles made an awesome beef stew today with some leftover tip roast. I liked the thick heartiness of it from the tomato paste; it was spicy but he used some of the hot homemade beef stock we’d frozen so it really had a kick. Just omit the crushed red peppers if you like a milder version; I am sure it would be terrific without the heat.
2 Tbs butter
1 medium onion ~ diced
2 celery stalks ~ sliced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic ~ minced
3 cups beef stock
2 cups water
2 cups carrots – sliced
2 cups potatoes – diced
2 bay leaves
1 can tomato paste
3 cups leftover beef roast ~ cubed
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onion, celery, and crushed red pepper in butter over medium low heat for about 15 minutes.
Stir in garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add stock, water, carrots, potatoes, and bay leaves; bring to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until veggies are tender. Add tomato paste and beef; heat through. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Charles wanted to make some plain collard greens today so I let him give them a whirl. I still love the spicy greens with balsamic and lemon juice but these were tasty too. Of course the great flavor from pork jowl helps! He slow cooked the pork jowl for about 45 minutes over low heat to render out the excess fat and crisp up the meat; bacon or diced ham could be substituted if desired. I forgot to take a picture today so I have inserted my spicy collard greens pic but it will look about the same just taste a bit different!
1 bunch collard greens
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups pork stock (chicken stock would work fine too)
1/2 cup sliced pork jowl ~ cooked till crispy and diced or crumbled
Cover collard greens with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and return to pot; add remaining ingredients and cook an additional 10 minutes until onion and collard greens are tender.
I don’t use my crock pot much. It’s one of those things that finds its way to the nether regions of the cabinets and rarely sees the light of day. I don’t have anything against it; I just forget about it! I decided today to do a roast in my lonely old crock pot. Wow, it was so tasty. I know I’ve tried chuck roasts before and they don’t always come out the way I imagine but this tip roast was perfect.
1 1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms
1 onion ~ sliced
3 # sirloin tip roast
3 Tbs Sherry
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp crushed brown mustard seed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
Place mushrooms in crock pot; add sliced onions on top. Pour in sherry, vinegar, Worcestershire and half of the spices. Place beef on top of mushrooms and onion and sprinkle with remaining spices. Cover and turn on crock pot. Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours. (I actually started on high for the first hour and the cooked another 8 on low). My crock pot was full. I had to press down on the roast to make sure the top would set on firmly. Once ready to serve cook some noodles and strain the broth into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and thicken with cornstarch. You will need about 1 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1 – 2 Tbs cold water to thicken each cup of liquid ~ I had about 6 cups of liquid so I used 3 Tbs cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water ~ add this to simmering liquid and heat until thickened. Either ladle over the top when serving or stir it all together.
There are hundreds of ways to make potato salad; I couldn’t even begin to guess which is my absolute favorite but this one came out quite tasty. It would even work well warm. Based on a loaded baked potato I took some new baby potatoes I found at the farmers market today and gently boiled them and added in all the yummy ingredients.
The only thing I lacked today was green onion so I used a little Vidalia I had. The green onion is a better choice I think; plus it would have added a bit of needed color with the green. Delicious either way!
Potato Salad ~ with garden fresh new potatoes, bacon and sour cream
about 2 – 2 1/2 pounds new potatoes
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup diced onion ~ preferably green onion
5 strips cooked bacon ~ crumbled or diced
1/2 cup cheddar cheese ~ shredded
Cut potatoes in half or quarters as needed to make them large bite size. Cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook 8 – 10 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse with cool water. Refrigerate until chilled a bit. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Check for seasoning and creaminess. I ultimately added another 1/4 cup sour cream but test before adding.
This is one of my favorite summer salads. I went by the farmers market today and one of the venders had some fresh cucumbers. I couldn’t resist but make this combination. Charles loves spicy food so the jalapeno was a great touch. I don’t care to eat the jalapeno slices myself but I do enjoy the way the heat permeates through a bit and adds a nice flavor. I am sure I will post another variation or two by the time the summer is over but here is my first creation.
Cucumbers and Onions ~ Refrigerator Pickles with a twist
4 small cucumbers
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato or 4 – 5 cherry or plum tomato
1 jalapeno if desired
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar ~ cider works well; today I used rice vinegar but choose your favorite
If desired peel cucumbers. Slice cucumbers and onions; cut tomatoes into wedges and thinly slice jalapeno.
Mix sugar and vinegar and pour over cucumbers. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
I thought I’d try a different twist on my cream cheese dip tonight. I decided to go with a southwestern flair; cilantro, lime, and jalapeno just sounded tasty. The sweetness of the red pepper and the tartness of the lime worked very well with this spicy combination. I don’t think I would change a thing. I couldn’t decide if bread or tortilla chips would be better; I tried both but enjoyed the crusty toasted baguette the best. This can be made ahead and baked just before serving. It also reheats very well should you be lucky enough to have leftovers!
Southwestern Cream Cheese Dip
1 8 o.z. package cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet red pepper ~ diced
1/4 cup jalapeno ~ diced ~ I used 1 large jalapeno
2 Tbs green onion ~ thinly sliced
1/2 tsp lime zest
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 cup cheddar cheese ~ shredded
1 tsp cilantro ~ chopped
Allow cream cheese to soften at room temperature for about an hour. Mix in sour cream and mayo until fully incorporated. Add pepper, jalapeno, onion, lime zest and juice, chili powder, 1/2 cup of cheddar, and cilantro. Spread into small buttered baking dish or pie pan. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes until hot and bubbly.