Jul 312013
 

A hearty shrimp pasta dish is the perfect summertime meal to share over a glass of white wine! Sauce to me is the most creative aspect of preparing a dish. Infusing the shells of the shrimp into the cream sauce enhances flavor.  To toss the shrimp shells means tossing the flavor!  Simple white cream sauce can turn any pasta into a restaurant quality meal!  It’s all about flavor and technique!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yokes
  • 2 cups Half & Half, light cream or milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb spinach fettuccini pasta
  • 1 lb large shrimp (shell on)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¾ cup asiago shredded
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh tomato optional

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Method:

Scramble 2 egg yokes in sauce pan with 2 cups of half & half or milk.  Thaw raw frozen shrimp, wash and shuck off the main shell leaving the tails on.  Add main shrimp shell casing to sauce. Begin heating on very low heat stirring frequently.  Never let the liquid reach a boiling point.  Remove from heat and strain out shells and return smooth sauce liquid to pan. 

Add ground nutmeg, sea salt, 1 minced clove of garlic and a couple more tablespoons of cream.  Maintain a very low simmer for 7-8 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in ¾ cups of shredded asiago cheese, stir well using a whisk and adding 2 tablespoons to finish sauce.

Prepare pasta of choice, drain and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add pasta to serving platter and generously pour over the asiago cream sauce.  Top with cooked shrimp and garnish with fresh basil.  Serve plated with freshly chopped tomatoes, basil and shredded asiago. 

Enjoy!

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Jul 312013
 

S’more have become so popular that America has honored this treat with its very own special day. Did you know that? August 10th is National S’mores Day!

Yum! S’mores is a big hit with my children and their friends anytime of the year. So I have taken to preparing s’mores in batches with less mess and hassle!! A tray of  s’mores baked in the oven is ready in 5 minutes for all guests to enjoy together! 

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Method:  Bake one half of the graham cracker with a marshmallow for 4-5 minutes on 350 F  degrees.  Meanwhile line up the other half of graham crackers along with chocolate squares on the serving tray.  I never place chocolate in the oven since it will becomes too gooey and will melt once topped with the toasted marshmallow half!

A tray s’mores passed around at a backyard BBQ doesn’t last long. Occasionally I get a little creative using chocolate graham cracker on one half and honey on the other!

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Jul 222013
 

Sirloin burgers taste so flavorful with a hint of hickory smoked sea salt! I’m convinced that a splash of Worcestershire sauce and olive oil make these lean sirloin burgers so juicy and yummy.  Hickory smoked salt adds wonderful flavor depth and a potato dinner roll makes for the perfect mini slider bun!

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Hand knead a teaspoon of Worcestershire and extra virgin olive oil with cracked pepper & hickory smoked salt to one pound of lean sirloin. Form small patties to the size of the bun and grill on medium flame for about 4-5 minutes each side.  Get creative with your favorite gourmet cheese or burger topping!

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Jul 222013
 

Everyone seems to love juicy watermelon in the summertime. I am a very picky watermelon eater.  It has to be sweet, crisp and ice cold! If the watermelon sounds hollow, it’s ripe and ready to enjoy. 

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Watermelon Salad is all the rage this summer!  I cube fresh, cold watermelon and serve it with fresh mint, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella.  Fresh, fresh, fresh!!!  Then drizzle crème de balsamic glaze over the tope. Don’t panic, you can buy a bottle of reduced balsamic glaze in the supermarket. 

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May 302013
 

Discovering our world of salts is a great way to play with flavor in food.  I was introduced to a variety of gourmet salts at a chef’s tasting this past year.  Nobody cares about this stuff until they try a juicy hickory smoked sirloin burger, right?! Immediately I was inspired to stock new minerals in my pantry! 

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  • French grey sea salt, or Sel Gris, is harvested using the traditional Celtic methods, entirely by hand, using only wooden tools. This preserves the pure taste of the French salt, and produces a very special moist crystalline texture. Sel Gris is also lower in sodium chloride content than average sea salts.
  • Murray River pink salt is from the basin of Australia’s largest river.  It is a pretty pinkish-peach color and offers a mild flavor that melts quickly. It is the perfect salt to use as a garnish or as a finishing salt at the table.
  • Salish Smoked Salt is an organic Pacific Sea salt that is dried over red alder wood. This smoky, brown salt is great to add to ground sirloin burgers or any BBQ meats. 
  • Alaea is a reddish brown Hawaiian table salt that is unprocessed and rich in over 80 unique natural seawater minerals.  The color due to the addition of a red volcanic clay called Alaea.  It is less salty than iodine salt and intensely crunchy.
  • Black mineral salt from India is actually pinkish gray with sulfurous mineral taste that is much like hardboiled egg yolks.  It is used in Indian cuisine as a condiment and added to chaats and chutneys and many other savory Indian dishes.

Gray salt was my all time favorite to finish and flavor enhance dishes. Now I experiment with a variety of different salts to marinade, enhance flavor or finish off prepared meals.  

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