Friday, March 22, 2013

Recent Recipes

Here are just a few recipes that we have enjoyed the past few weeks:

I wanted shrimp pasta one night so I used this Sexy Shrimp Scampi recipe as a base for shrimp pasta.  Along with the butter, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, I added a fair amount of Italian seasoning to the shrimp.  After baking it, I poured the shrimp into already cooked linguine pasta, added some more butter to give it a bit more sauce, and squeezed some fresh lemon juice over it.  You can also add a bit of chicken stock to it.  With just a bit of Tabasco sauce, it's perfect.  It's a very light pasta so if you like heavy sauces and strong flavors, this might not be for you.  But I promise it's worth a shot.  It doesn't hurt that it's a super fast meal to whip up.

The perfect side dish for the shrimp pasta is asparagus.  I have been trying to find the perfect way to cook asparagus.  There are so many recipes out there for vegetables these days and its hard to sift through all of them to find the one just perfect for you.  I have found that for asparagus, besides having them drenched in melted cheese (a favorite as a kid), I really prefer recipes that allow its flavor to shine.  Lately I have just been cutting off the hard ends, putting them in a baking dish, covering them with a bit of EVOO and salt and pepper, then adding some freshly minced garlic.  I bake it at 425 degrees for about 15 mins and its perfect.  Obviously though, this isn't one of those recipes that you use to trick a vegetable hater into eating the vegetable, which I swear half of those on Pinterest claim to do.  It doesn't make my husband like the asparagus any more than usual but really the only time he has happily eating asparagus is when it was fried, and though that's delicious, it kind of negates the health benefits.

Because of our kitchen situation at the moment, I have been making a lot of Mexicanish dishes.  (Yes, I am well aware that Mexicanish is not a real word so please stop stressing about it.)  One day, after a not so great lunch that left me annoyed, I saw a recipe that Taste and Tell had just posted.  It was for beef and bean smothered burritos and as simple as that sounds, I knew I had to make it for dinner that night.  So glad I did! The beef and bean burritos were good, but what really made them great was the green chili sauce.  It was easy to make but so yummy.  We were happy to have lots of leftover sauce to use over the course of the week.  The sauce is flavorful but not spicy so perfect for people that don't do spicy.  We topped our burritos with lots of vegetables and they ended up being the perfect meal.  It was probably the first time I happily ate a burrito as leftovers.  Yum!

Another success was a pasta dish I made Sunday night.  I ran into a recipe for a homemade tomato-based pasta sauce with chipotle on SNACK THE PLANET.  I wanted to try this recipe for a few reasons.  The recipe used lots of vegetables, the pictures looked delicious, and it allowed me to use a few ingredients I already had on hand that would otherwise have gone to waste.  Upon taking a bite of the finished product, I realized it partially solved another problem for me.  When I make pasta dishes I usually just take canned sauces and add additional ingredients to doctor it up.  I prefer canned sauces that are very basic and don't have additional sugar added in.  The problem is that the brand I fell in love with just happens to cost a lot and isn't something I could purchase all the time.  I have dabbled in making sauces from scratch and have had some success but nothing that I have been super excited about.  This recipe changed that.  The hubby and I loved this sauce.  LOVED it.  We ate it over organic gemelli pasta (I'll admit I had to look at the package to get the name of the pasta.  No way I knew that off the top of my head.) and it was delicious, especially as leftovers.  I made a few changes but nothing major (no mushrooms for me).  So glad I found this recipe.  I can't wait to make it again.

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