Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ina's Baked Shrimp Scampi

I received Ina Garten's Back to the Basics for Christmas. I just now made my first recipe from the book. Usually Ina's recipes are dead on, but I was a bit lukewarm on this one. I think it had to do with the fact that it was highly salty. I even used unsalted butter, but adding the extra salt called for in the recipe ruined it for me. Since I was in a rush after going to the gym, I didn't bother arranging the shrimp artfully in the pan - I just dumped them in and put the topping over the shrimp.

from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra-large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture. 

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.
Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

I wanted to make chicken marsala as I had some thin chicken breasts. I debated on whether to make the Cooks Illustrated recipe, which I heard raves about or whether to try something different. That's when I came upon this recipe from A Toast to Tiffany. I am glad that I tried this one, it was excellent. I even had leftovers for lunch the next day.

from Giada De Laurentiis

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut crosswise into 3 pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup dry Marsala wine
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus whole sprigs, for garnish
12 ounces dried fettuccine

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.

While the chicken cools, melt 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain. Toss the fettuccine with 3 tablespoons of butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Swirl the fettuccine onto serving plates. Spoon the chicken mixture over top. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.

Shrimp Creole for Mardi Gras

I love Shrimp Creole. I like trying new recipes so I googled until I found this one from Bakespace. It was very good and something I will make again. I used 1.25 lbs of 24/30 shrimp and cut the recipe in half. It worked out perfect. Shrimp Creole
from patentman on

3 pounds of cleaned, deveined 36/40 shrimp
1 lb cleaned, deveined 70/90 shrimp
2 cups diced bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
3 tbs of oil
3 cups chopped onion
3 tbs butter
4 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs chopped garlic
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with liquid
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tbs dried parsley
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs butter
1 1/2 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 tbs salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbs thyme leaves
2 tbs fresh lemon juice

Saute 2 cups diced bell pepper and 1 cup chopped celery in 3 tbs of oil in a 6 quart heavy bottomed pot over medium heat until they just get tender. About 8-10 minutes. Add 3 cups chopped onion and 3 tbs butter and saute for another 5 minutes until the onions get tender but not brown. Scrape the vegetables from the center of the pan, add 1 more tbs butter to the pan in the empty spot and put in 4 tbs tomato paste. Fry the tomato paste until it darkens.

After the tomato paste darkens, add 2 tbs chopped garlic and then mix the tomato paste, garlic and the vegetables together and saute for another minute until you can smell the garlic. Stir in 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp thyme leaves, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp salt, 2 bay leaves and saute for another minute. Add 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with liquid, 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, 2 tbs dried parsley, 2 tsp sugar and 1 lb cleaned, deveined 70/90 shrimp. Stir thoroughly and simmer for 1 hr.

Melt 2 tbs butter over medium heat in a nonstick pan. After the butter melts and starts to bubble, add 1 1/2 tbs all purpose flour and stir continuously until flour browns to a beige french vanilla colored roux. Immediately mix the roux into the simmering tomatoes, shrimp and vegetables along with 1/2 tbs salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1 tbs thyme leaves. Simmer for another five minutes. Add 3 pounds of cleaned, deveined 36/40 shrimp. I cook mine for another 45 minutes to an hour. You can just simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the shrimp are just pink if you want. After the simmering period you select is over, add 3 cups of chopped green onions and turn off the burner.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes then add 2 tbs fresh lemon juice and stir well.