26 June 2012


The calendar says Summer, but as I sit here and type in my wool sweater the weather says otherwise.....We started Summer off on a good note, hovering around seventy and actually sunny, but now we have settled back into temperatures which make us known for being so temperate. High fifties and here we are almost July. Oh well, life has been good regardless of the weather not cooperating. We have been busy I have just been lazy and not taking as many photos as usual. I have been feeling stuck in a rut in the dinner department, so I tried something new and it infused a little excitement in me about being in the kitchen.

Sauteed Shrimp with Tomatoes and Wilted Arugula
  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned and shelled
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups baby arugula (three big handfuls)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 T fresh parsley
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Mince the garlic, shallot, and chop up the parsley.  Set them all aside.  In a large saute pan, heat up the olive oil and crushed red pepper on medium.  Once the olive oil is shimmering, throw in the garlic and shallot, and saute until they are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Add in the grape tomatoes, and saute until a few of them have burst (about five to seven minutes or so). Now that the tomatoes are nice and juicy, its time to add in the shrimp.  Cook until they are no longer transparent and are a nice pink color, roughly three to four minutes.  
Take the pan off of the heat, and throw in the arugula, lemon juice, parsley, and salt and pepper.  Toss everything together and cover with a lid/tinfoil so that the arugula can wilt.
I decided to put mine atop a bed of couscous, but you could use rice or eat it by itself.

Homemade Beecher's Mac and Cheese. I spent an afternoon down at the market and popped into Beecher's. I am a sucker for the tomato soup, so I always order that because I know I can come home and make my own mac and cheese.

SAUCE 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
7 ounces Flagship cheese, grated (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 ounce Just Jack cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
PASTA 6 ounces penne pasta (about 3 ¼ cups)
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Flagship cheese, grated
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Just Jack cheese, grated
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder Instructions
To prepare sauce, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir until cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or oil an 8-inch baking dish. Cook penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water and drain well.
Combine pasta and sauce in a medium bowl; mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top with cheeses and then the chili powder.
Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I like to thinly chop up mint and mix it into my fruit salad. It gives it a certain freshness and addition of color.

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