Monday, February 4, 2013

Penne with Sauted Shrimp, Pancetta, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Cream Sauce

12 oz fresh or frozen shrimp
1 (16 oz) package penne pasta
Sun-dried tomatoes, approx 1/2 cup, to taste
Pancetta, approx 1/4 cup, to taste
Shredded Parmesan, approx 1/2 cup, to taste
Half a package (6oz) fresh baby spinach, to taste
1/2 tbls butter & 1/2 tbls olive (or as needed), for sauteing shrimp
1 recipe for cream sauce

Cream Sauce
6 tbls unsalted butter,
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbls flour
3 cups Half & Half
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sea salt, to taste

Thaw shrimp if frozen.  Rinse, drain, and pat dry; set aside until needed.

Place desired amount of sun-dried tomatoes in bowl of warm water and soak until soft.  Drain and pat dry; set aside until needed.

Cook penne according to package directions, drain, and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan melt butter until foamy, over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook approx 1 minute, being careful to not over-brown.  Add flour and whisk well.  Gradually add half & half and cream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  Keep stirring, cooking over medium heat, until just bubbly and hot.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

In large skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium-high to high heat.  When hot, sauté shrimp until done, approx 5-8 minutes.  Season with a little salt and pepper if desired.

In large dish combine hot penne, cream sauce, fresh spinach, and pancetta; stir carefully.   Spoon desired amount of pasta in bowls and top with shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, and shredded parmesan to taste.  Serve immediately.

Recipe by Jacey Sakoff

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spicy Fried Minced Pork

3 cloves garlic
4 shallots, minced
1 1/2" piece of ginger, minced
3 TBS sunflower oil
1 1/2 lbs lean ground pork
2 1/2 TBS Thai Fish Oil
1 1/2 TBS dark soy sauce
1 1/2 TBS red curry paste (I would use 2 for us)
5 dried Kaffir lime leaves, crumbled
5 plum tomatoes, chopped or 1 can
3 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste (I didn't use salt)
Boiled fine egg noodles; my kids preferred the cellophane noodles

1. Peel and finely chop the garlic, shallots, and ginger. Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and ginger and stir fry about two minutes. Stir in the pork and continue to stir fry until golden brown. 2. Stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce, curry paste, and lime leaves and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes over high heat. 3. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Because I was freezing this I only cooked it for 3 minutes. 4. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, spooned over the noodles. Garnish with coriander sprigs. (I didn't do this)

From "What's Cooking Thai" by Christine France

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Recipe from Cooks Illustrated
  • Chicken Tikka  
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 2pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 1cup plain whole-milk yogurt 
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • Masala Sauce  
  • 3tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1fresh serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
  • 1tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1tablespoon garam masala 
  • 1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 2/3cup heavy cream
  • 1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. 1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
  2. 2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. 3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
  4. 4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

    Serve over Basmati rice.

    Serving Directions from Freezer:  Thaw and gently warm in either sauce pan or oven.  Serve over rice.