Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tortellini with Peas and Ricotta

I have several new recipes to try on my menu! I was inspired by surfing the food network website and I am happy to get back to blogging more! Jeffrey leaves next week (for a whole month) so I want to send him off well!

My next blog is #300! I can't believe it! Watch out for my top 10 of the last 100!

 Tortellini with Peas and Ricotta
1 package refrigerated tortellini
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup marinara sauce
2-3 Tbsp ricotta
2 Tbsp parmesan
Dice onion
Measure out peas and marinara, grate parmesan.
Cook onion in olive oil until tender.
Add marinara and peas. Cover and reduce temp to low. Simmer for 8 minutes.
Cook pasta according to instructions.
Drain pasta and stir in sauce.
Spoon pasta into bowl and top with ricotta and parmesan.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Dressing

J is out of town so I went to Em's Friday and we made dinner. I always love to cook in her kitchen. It is sooo much bigger and she has amazing kitchen tools! AND cooking in her air conditioned home was so refreshing! I think this is why I haven't been blogging much lately. It is too hot to make dinner so I have been making dinners I know how to cook quick and easy so I can leave the kitchen!

Every since I made my Beer Battered Fish with Mandarin Salsa, I wanted to make fried shrimp with the same batter. It was perfect for the shrimp, so light and crispy! This dressing was soo yummy too. It can also be used on salad or as a marinate. I served the tacos with my Chipotle Corn, Em was impressed. We will cooking together a whole lot next month when J is away!

 Beer Batter Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Dressing
For batter:
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup beer
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper

Fillings, etc:
1/2 pound shrimp
corn tortillas
vegetable oil
(these are in the picture but I didn't use them: feta, chipotle hot sauce)

For Dressing:
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup cilantro
 Blend together first 5 ingredients for dressing.

 White blending on low, drizzle oil into dressing.
 Turn off blender and put cilantro into blender.
 Pulse a few times so it will break up the cilantro but keep its texture.
 Refrigerate until ready to use.
 Stir together batter ingredients. Heat 1/2 cup oil in skillet and dip (peeled) shrimp in batter then fry until golden on both sides.
 Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Salt the shrimp.
 Cook tortillas over gas flame for about 30 seconds on both sides. (You can do this on an electric stove too)
 Build your tacos with cabbage, diced tomato, avocado, fried shrimp and then drizzle cilantro dressing over tacos. YUM! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Halibut with Pecan Praline Sauce over Dirty Rice

Last Saturday was Meg's birthday. Since our birthdays are days apart we had a 3B celebration together! As always it is a fun filled event!! We had a tasty, (high calorie) dinner at Islands and then saw my new fav movie, The Help! It was the perfect girl's night out and a great way to close my birthday celebration. Love you Meg!!  (you too Em)
 As usual, Meg is our comedic relief! This face....love it!
 Blow it out girrrrll!

My turn!  
One last time, together!

I made this dinner for Em and I last week. It was fantastic! I may try making the praline sauce with brown sugar next time.
 Halibut with Pecan Praline Sauce over Dirty Rice
For Dirty Rice:
1 link of Italian Sausage
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion
1/2 red bell pepper. diced
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup white rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
3 green onions
For Fish and Praline Sauce:
1 halibut fillet
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp of whiskey or apple juice (I had neither so I used orange juice)

 Slice skin off fish. Mix paprika, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together and rub fish with seasonings. Set aside.
 Crumble sausage into pan and cook until done.
 Add diced onion, red pepper, olive oil and minced garlic. Cook until just tender.
 Add rice and cook for 1 minute.
 Stir in chicken broth and cover. Cook until broth is absorbed.
 Make sauce while rice is cooking. 
Toast pecans in skillet. Remove and set aside.
 Stir together sugar and water. Cook until reduce by 1/2.
 Stir in pecans and salt. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.
 Remove from heat and stir in butter and juice.
 Once broth is absorbed, stir in salt, cayenne and green onion.

 Brush grill pan with olive oil and cook fish for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
 Serve fish over rice and topped with praline sauce. Sooooo yummy! You can even make this dish with chicken!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Pistachio Pesto

Sorry for not blogging in a while! I have been pretty busy watching episodes of Mad Men on Netflix...haha! I just can't get over the clothes, hair, makeup and NAILs...of course the nails are my favorite.
I one of my favorite cookies at World Market the other day! i used to each these in Junior High and then I couldn't find them anymore. They are just as good as I remembered, think I will go eat one now!

I love Brussels Sprouts. This recipe was very good even though the pesto turned out to be more of a paste. I know I cooked them a little too long, but I like them that way!!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Pistachio Pesto
1 pound Brussels Sprouts
3 Tbsp olive oil
 salt and pepper

For Pesto:
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cloves garlic
2 springs parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Remove shells from pistachios.
Blend cranberries, parsley and pistachios together.
Drizzle 2 Tbsp of olive oil in while blending.

Remove top and stir remaining olive oil into pesto. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice bottom knob off sprouts and cut in half.
Spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake on 400 for 25 minutes.
Top with pesto.