Monday, February 16, 2009

Asian shrimp stew with steamed rice

I had made this before about a year ago and thought it had some potential, but needed some re-working. Since I had shrimp in the house left over from the vodka shrimp pasta, I thought I'd go ahead and give it another shot. The changes I made seemed to do the trick, as I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Even Nate, who normally hates any of my Asian cooking, gave it a 7!

Asian shrimp stew with steamed rice

1 cup white rice
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. coconut milk
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. frozen peas
1 onion, cut into 1" pieces
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp. ginger, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 scallions, sliced
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 c. peanuts, crushed

1. Cook rice according to directions.

2. Whisk together cornstarch, coconut milk, sugar and 1 cup of water; set aside.

3. In large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add peas, onion, garlic, ginger, red-pepper flakes, scallion whites and salt. Cook, tossing frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 6-8 minutes.

4. Add coconut-milk mixture; raise heat to medium-high. Boil until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp, cook until opaque, 3-4 minutes. Season with vinegar, water down if necessary.

5. Serve stew over rice, garnished with peanutes and scallion greens.

Emily's rating: 8 out of 10
Nate's rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna

This didn't turn out quite as well as I had hoped- even though I quadrupled the garlic and added nutmeg to the original recipe, it still turned out pretty bland. I think it's worth giving a second try, maybe making it with a blend of cheeses for the topping and adding more salt.

Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna

2 pkg. (10 oz. each) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
1.5 c. part-skim ricotta
4 cloves garlic, minced
2.5 c. tomato sauce
4 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 pkg. (16 oz.) lasagna noodles
1 c. part-skim mozzarella, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil lasagna noodles according to instructions.

2. Make filling: combine spinach, ricotta, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. In separate bowl, combine tomato sauce and prosciutto.

4. In 9x13" pan, spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce. Layer noodles 1/3 filling and 1/3 cup remaining tomato sauce. Repeat twice. Top with mozzarella. Bake until browned 35-40 minutes.

Emily's rating: 6 out of 10 (will redo with changes to recipe)
Nate's rating: 5 out of 10

Chocolate Rice Krispy Squares

Yum- definitely indulgent! I don't have a huge sweet-tooth, but I enjoy eating one of these as a small burst of chocolatey-goodness. Enjoy!

Chocolate Rice Krispy Squares

6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 bag (10.5 oz) mini-marshmallows
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
6 cups rice krispies
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with parchment, leaving overhang. Butter paper and set aside.

2. In large saucepan, combine butter, marshmallows, cocoa. Melt over medium, stirring frequently until melted, about 6 mins. Stir in cereal.

3. Press rice mixture into prepared pan; drizzle with chocolate. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into 16 pieces.

Emily's rating: 8 out of 10
Nate's rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lemon Vodka Shrimp Fettucine

I threw this together on Sunday night since I was torn between making a really quick and simple dinner and wanting to start using the shrimp I bought recently. This turned out much better than I expected and will definitely be going into the regular rotation.

Lemon Vodka Shrimp Fettucine

1 lb. fettucine or other long pasta
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup parmesan
1/4 cup oil
1 jar Vodka tomato-cream sauce

1. Bring water to boil. Add fettucine and cook for 11-12 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. While pasta is cooking, prepare shrimp. Soak in lemon juice for a few minutes and then toss with parmesan.

3. Heat oil in medium sauce-pan over medium heat. Add shrimp to oil and cook through, about 2 minutes on each side. Shrimp are ready when bright pink all over.

4. Drain shrimp from oil and toss with fettucine.

5. Warm sauce over medium-heat (or in microwave) and toss with pasta.

Emily's rating= 9/10
Nate's rating= 9/10

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rosemary-Fried Chicken


Healthy? No. Delicious? Yes.

Okay boys and girls, prepare for some delightful indulgence- this isn't a heart-friendly meal, but definitely worth the few extra miles at the gym it will take to burn this dish off.

Rosemary-Fried Chicken

3 lbs. of chicken (white or dark), cut into small pieces
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1.5 cups flour
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary, plus 4 sprigs
1 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. In large bowl, combine chicken, buttermilk, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Set aside.

3. In separate bowl, whisk flour, paprika, chopped rosemary and 2 tsp. pepper.

4. Lift chicken from milk, shake excess. Dredge in flour, shake excess.

5. In large pan, heat oil over medium-high with sprigs of rosemary, until rosemary begins to sizzle. Remove rosemary and discard.

6. Fry chicken in batches, 4-5 minutes per side.

7. Remove chicken to foil-lined sheet. Bake chicken for 15-20 minutes.

Emily's rating= 9/10

Cold Soba Salad

This one didn't turn out too great in the photo, but it definitely made for a nice light and healthy lunch throughout the week.

Cold Soba Salad

1 pkg. soba (8.8 oz)
1/2 cucumber, peeled into long ribbons
1/4 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. feta, crumbled

1. Cook soba according to directions. Drain.
2. In bowl, combine cucumber, cabbage, shallot, parsley, lemon juice and oil. Add soba. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
4. Toss with feta and serve garnished with parsley.

This salad actually gets better the longer it sits, as the flavours have more time to combine and soak into the noodles.

Emily's rating: 8/10

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

This was a recipe I adapted from a recent issue of Everyday Food. Much to the horror of my vegan and vegetarian friends, I just don't consider something a full meal unless it contains a dead animal, so I added some leftover shredded rotisserie chicken to the original recipe. I can't imagine making anything Mexican without a little cilantro, so I threw that in too and I think it adds a lot of needed punch. It tasted a little too much like watery salsa without it.

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans (and Chicken!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) black beans
1 pkg. frozen corn
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 cup tortilla chips, slightly crushed
1 tbsp. lime juice

1. Heat oil in large skillet. Cook garlic and chili powder, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, bean, broth, corn, cilantro and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Add chicken and lime juice. Continue simmering for 5 minutes to bring chicken up to temperature.

3. Remove from heat. Serve with crushed chips and sprig of cilantro.

Nate's Rating: 9 out of 10
Emily's Rating: 9 out of 10

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 packet fajita seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
8 corn tortillas
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1. Sauté chicken over medium heat in vegetable oil until cooked through. Remove from heat and shred with two forks. Return to pan and add fajita seasoning with 1/2 cup water (or whatever the instructions on the packet say). Sauté until sauce has reduced slightly. Remove chicken from heat, draining sauce into pan.

2. Add chicken broth and sour cream to remaining sauce in pan and simmer lightly.

3. While sauce is simmering, heat tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon 1/4 cup of chicken onto each tortilla and roll.

4. Place tortillas in square dish, seam side down. Cover with sauce and top with cheddar cheese.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

I think next time I will try adding some corn and black beans to the tortillas before rolling them. These tasted delicious but felt a little too unhealthy (all the cheese, flour tortillas, lack of vegetables) to really enjoy properly.

Nate's rating: 9 out of 10
Emily's rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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