Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Capellini with Shrimp and Creamy Tomato Sauce

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup sweet (red) vermouth
1 (14- to 15-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 lb. capellini (angel-hair pasta)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook capellini according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook shrimp and garlic with oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes total. Do not overcook! Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

Stir in vermouth and tomatoes, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add cream and briskly simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice.

Return shrimp to sauce and cook just long enough to heat. Serve over hot pasta.

Yield: 4 servings


I added some large scallops (halved) to this dish, searing them along with the shrimp. This is a very quick and delicious meal. All you need to add is some crusty French bread and a crisp green salad.

Original recipe from Gourmet magazine (Paul Grimes)

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Crab Cakes

1 Tbsp. butter
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 egg
1/2 tsp. minced fresh parsley (Italian/Flat leaf)
Cayenne pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 lb. white or claw crabmeat, picked free of any bits of shell*

1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in heavy skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until the pepper is tender, approximately 3 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, mix the cream, mustard, egg, parsley, cayenne pepper and 1/2 cup bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl. When vegetables are done, add them to the bowl, mixing well. Gently fold in the crab meat.

Form the mixture into 8 patties, about 1/2-inch thick. In another mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs with the Parmesan. Gently pat this topping onto both sides of the patties. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

After crab cakes have had time to chill, heat a large skillet with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Sauté the crab cakes in the hot oil for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. These crab cakes can also be baked for 7 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree (F) oven.

Serve with a small dollop of dill sauce on top of each crab cake.

Yield: 4 servings

Adapted from original recipe by Paula Deen


I've tried a couple of recipes for crab cakes and these are by far the best! My husband and I love them so much and can make a meal of them when combined with a large green salad.

The original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of butter (combined with 2 tablespoons of oil) for frying. I think the straight oil makes for a crispier cake. I used Japanese Panko bread crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs. I used 2-6 oz. cans of crab (drained), so I wound up with a little less than the specified pound. It didn't seem to make a difference.

* I prefer lump crab meat. Claw meat is a lower quality and doesn't taste quite as good.

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Dill Sauce

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed or 1 Tbsp. fresh dill sprigs, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. Dijon mustard (optional)

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and blend (by hand) until smooth. Cover and chill.

Yield: 1 cup

Recipe adapted from San Juan Classics Cookbook

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Walnut Salad Dressing

1 green onion (chopped fine)
1/2 tsp. flat-leaf parsley (minced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 Tbsp. dried tarragon
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar
1 3/4 cups mayonnaise
2/3 cup buttermilk

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: 1/2 quart


I like to had a handful of coarsely chopped walnuts, as well as the finely chopped portion.

We got this recipe from one of our favorite restaurants in Fort Worth, Texas. Unfortunately, Waterstreet has since closed.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pasta with Sausage and Cream Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz. pasta, cooked al dente and drained

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. minced fresh Italian parsley

In a large skillet, melt butter. Stir in sausage and fry until brown. Remove sausage and drain grease. Return sausage to skillet and stir in cream, wine, 1 tablespoon parsley, nutmeg and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Simmer for 3-4 minutes

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place pasta in heated serving dish. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sausage mixture and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Toss until pasta is coated. Pour remaining sausage mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

Yield: 6 servings


This is excellent on basil-flavored fettuccine. I've added sautéed asparagus, mushrooms and tomatoes to the mixture, as well. I don't bother with the heated serving dish.

Adapted from Creme De Colorado Cookbook

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