Sunday, November 29, 2009

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese

In an effort to eat better, I've been checking out the Cooking Light recipes at  I became a fan of that site because it has recipes from some of my favorite magazines such as Cooking Light, Southern Living, and Real Simple.  For dinner last night, I decided to fix us something that originally appeared in the November 2003 Cooking Light magazine.  Rick wasn't too enthusiastic when I revealed that we were going to be eating turkey sausage, but he was pleasantly surprised when he had his first bite.  I probably could've gotten away with not admitting that it wasn't "real" sausage.  This recipe is extremely easy, and I did alter it a little bit.  Based on some of the reviews on the website, I decided to up the amount of basil used and added an extra can of diced tomatoes.  I also added a little bit of Italian seasoning.  For the tomatoes, I didn't use petite cut, but I did   Here is the original recipe.  Enjoy!!

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese
  • 3/4 of  a pound package of uncooked ziti
  • 1 pound turkey Italian sausage links
  • 1 chopped sweet onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  tomato paste
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 3  (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup  chopped fresh basil
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) 6 cheese blend
Preheat oven to 350F.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole dish. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mom's Dill Dip

So since I had to work on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and my mom was here and left all alone at the condo without anything to do in the morning, I decided that it would be a wonderful idea for her to make her famous dill dip.  I love the stuff!  I swear I think that she puts crack in it because I can eat the whole thing in no time!  Thanks to that dip, I became a fan of cauliflower as a child...something that has continued into my adulthood.  The holidays just aren't the holidays without my mom making dip.  Normally, I have to wait to Christmas to get some dip, but with a little begging and pleading from me, my mom agreed to do it!  I've made the dip myself, but I think the extra love that she puts in it makes it much better than mine.  She says that it's the Duke's mayonnaise.

And besides, it's not like either one of us actually cook for Thanksgiving!  Yep, as hard as it is to believe that someone who loves to cook as much as I do doesn't lift a finger for Thanksgiving, it's true.  I'm sure that someday, it'll happen, but right now, Thanksgiving consist of my mom and me only.  Since I've moved to Charleston, we have tried a couple of places to eat, and several years ago, we settled into a routine.  Every year, we go to Poogan's Porch in downtown Charleston for lunch.  I'm looking forward to it...especially their peanut butter pie!  Here's a link to their Thanksgiving menu.  Yum!!!!

Anyway, here is the recipe for my mom's dill dip!  You can serve it with any raw veggies of your choice!  I hope that you enjoy it!!! 

Mom's Delicious Dill Dip
3 tablespoons dill weed
1 pint mayonnaise
1 pint sour cream
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3 tablespoons grated onion
1 1/2 tablespoon season salt

Blend all ingredients together and chill before serving.  Makes 4 1/2 cups.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A blast from the past....good ole King Ranch Chicken

Way back in the early 90s when I thought cooking consisted of throwing a frozen meal in a microwave and pushing start or making spaghetti with sauce out of a jar, my friend Maria introduced me to one of the first real things that I learned to cook...King Ranch Chicken.  In fact, for a while, I think that it was the only thing that I knew how to cook! I'm sure that she had gotten the recipe from her mother, but for whatever reason, it was never made in my house when I was growing up.  Over the years, I've noticed that King Ranch Chicken has made an appearance in just about every church cookbook that I've ran across (including the one that my church recently put out), and there are quite a few versions out there (Southern Living must have had at least 5 over the years).  Some of them stray away from using condensed soups, and some of them have several layer which makes it some sort of tortilla lasagna.  I'm not a big fan of the layers because the chips end up super soggy.  

Since my cooking repertoire has grown, I honestly don't think that I've made it since the 90s, but I was thinking chicken and casseroles today, and it immediately came to mind.  Something about the cold weather just makes me long for a nice, warm casserole (and a trip to the tanning bed, too!).

What's not to like in King Ranch Chicken?  You've got Doritos (in this version anyway), cheese, and a mixture that my friends and I used to refer to as "barf" since it really does look like it, and not to mention how incredibly easy it is to make this dish that will feed you forever when you are a poor college student.  And well, even though I'm in my 30s now, I am a college student at least for a little while longer!  

Tonight, it's just me and the Tar Heels on TV night since Rick won't be coming over.  I don't blame him, though.  I've got to get up very early in the morning for my last clinical!  I'm going to miss my preceptor, Susan, and all of the wonderful nurses at Roper St. Francis labor and delivery!

"The barf"

My version of King Ranch Chicken evolved over the years as my cooking knowledge has. It's not the healthiest thing in the world, but it's still a simple, super comfort food. I've attempted to make it not-so-bad-for-you by using reduced fat cheddar cheese and soups.

 King Ranch Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use Campbell's low fat)

1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use Campbell's low fat)

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 bag of regular Doritos (coarsely crumbled)
2 cups reduced fat (2%) cheddar cheese

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet or heavy pan, heat olive oil and add chicken.  Saute until it is cooked and no longer pink in the middle.  Remove from the pan and place on a towel-covered plate to drain.  Add green pepper, onion, and garlic to the pan and saute until soften. 

While the chicken is cooking, combine the soups, Rotel tomatoes, and cilantro to a pot and heat over medium-low heat.  When the green pepper, onions, and garlic have finished cooking, mix with the soup.

In a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, add chicken and then cover with the soup mixture.  Add a layer of Doritos and then top with cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes uncovered or until the mixture is bubbling.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Crab and Shrimp Cakes!!!!

Even though it turned out to be a not-so-great night for UNC basketball last night, Rick and I did have a wonderful dinner. As tempting as it is to expound on how poorly my Heels played, I will concede that they are young and confine all my complaining to messageboards.  

On Thursday, we had snow crab legs, but because we didn't eat them all, I decided to make one of Rick's favorite recipes:  Crab and Shrimp Cakes!  The recipe is from and called Asian-Style Crab and Shrimp Cakes.  Interestingly enough, for an Asian recipe, it calls for using French bread crumbs when using panko is so much better.  This recipe is another one that is perfect for two!  I paired the crab cakes with the cole slaw that I posted a couple of months ago.  I love this meal because not only is it easy, but it is lightening fast!  You can bake them in the oven or fry them in peanut oil.  Last night, I opted for frying.  I've also been known to add green onions if I have them handy.

I served the cakes with a horseradish sauce that I made Thursday night to go with the crab legs.  I was hoping to replicate the crab sauce that Harris Teeter sells (which they have been out of for WAY too long). Usually, I serve the crab and shrimp cakes with a wasabi sauce.  I am going to include that recipe because I like it better than the horseradish sauce!

Here's the recipe that I use:

Asian Style Crab and Shrimp Cakes
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla) or soy sauce
  • 1 cup crab meat (or 6 oz canned crab meat)
  • 4 oz chopped shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
Mix first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Add crabmeat, shrimp and 3/4 cup panko and mix well. Season with pepper. Place remaining panko to a  plate. Drop 1/4 of crab mixture into panko and turn to coat. Shape into 2 1/2-inch-diameter cake. Repeat coating and shaping with remaining crab mixture and panko to 4 cakes.

Heat peanut oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add cakes and sauté until crisp, about 5 minutes per side. 

Another option instead of frying is to bake them in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes and flipping half way through.

Wasabi Dipping Sauce
1 cup light mayo
2 tablespoons wasabi paste (water and wasabi paste mixed together)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 small pinch of salt

Mix ingredients together and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Katie Classic: Spicy Shrimp Pasta

This recipe is one of the first ones that came into my cooking repertoire. The first time that I ever made it was back in 1998. I found it in the Southern Living 1997 Annual Recipes Cookbook, and it is super easy which was perfect for me back then. I've made a couple of changes from the original recipe, but I still love it to this day. I've made it for quite a few people and shared it with several of them. I also like it because it provides two nice size servings. I hope that you enjoy it, too!

Spicy Shrimp Pasta
8 oz of linguine
3/4 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup cooking wine with lemon
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (sometimes, I sub the Parmesan-Romano blend)
2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
5 teaspoons dried parsley

Cook linguine per box directions in water that has been salted and seasoned with garlic powder. Drain, return to pot, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add green onions and garlic. Saute until tender. Add Cajun seasoning and stir for one minute

Stir in shrimp and whipping cream. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in wine and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add sauce, Parmesan cheese, and red pepper to the pot with linguine and heat over low heat, stirring gently. Stir in parsley and serve immediately.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Adventures in Baking Part 3

The one of the really cool things about the foodie blog world is discovering intriguing recipes on other sites.  I like to check out the forum on the Foodie BlogRoll because you get the bloggers introducing themselves and sharing a little bit about their blogs.  I've found a couple that I follow now there.  One of the ones that I recently found and started following is One Couple's Kitchen.  They shared a recipe from Food + Wine for a Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake.

I became a fan of Nutella in Italy when I was an exchange student back in 1991.  I remember how excited I was when I found it for the first time at Fresh Market in Hickory.  Back then, I'd put it on bread or cookies.  I've never cooked with it, and when I stumbled across the recipe, I was probably as excited as I was that day when I saw Nutella at Fresh Market.  Nowadays, you can get it at any grocery store, thankfully.  It's been a while since I've had any, and with another SNA Bake Sale on Monday, I decided that it was a perfect excuse to try it out.  If I had found it a day earlier, I probably would've made it for the bake sale that the women of my church has with our annual barbecue this weekend! (I made Ghiradelli brownies...of course!) I like how SNA Bake Sales have become my excuse to try to improve my baking skills.  I will definitely miss it (and need to come up with a new excuse) now that my final semester in nursing school is almost over.  I've never made a pound cake before, but they were always present at all holiday get-togethers when I was growing up.  My Aunt Mary Gordon used to always make them, and like my Aunt Mable's macaroni and cheese, I will equate them of Thanksgivings and Christmases in Shelby, NC when I think of them.  I wonder what my aunts would have thought of this version.

In order to get my eggs to room temperature, I put them out on the counter prior to my going to church.  According to the reviews on the Food and Wine website, that was rather important.  When I came home, they still weren't there, but I went ahead and mixed with the vanilla extract anyway.  I decided to go ahead and bake the chocolate chip cookies that I had signed up to make to give the eggs some more time to get to room temperature.  It also gave ample time for the butter to soften, too.  Despite the fact that the Nutella jar says not to microwave it, I followed the suggestion from reviewers on Food and Wine and microwaved it for 30 seconds before spreading it on the batter.  I gotta tell ya....microwaved Nutella is much less viscous than it is straight of the jar, and I definitely had an accident that resulted in Nutella running down the side of the counter, onto the dishwasher and pooling in the kitchen floor!  Luckily, there were no kitties around to get in it, and Lysol Disinfectant wipes do a wonderful job with removing the evidence of my faux pas (and Rick wasn't here to laugh at me)!

When I went to take it out of the loaf pan, some of the bottom stuck to the pan, but I was able to piece it together, it also started to fall apart a bit (notice the pan holding it together in the pic...hee, hee, hee!).  It did cut okay, but unfortunately, in most spots, the Nutella sank to the bottom of the cake.  It's still very yummy and rich, though!  Definitely needs a glass of milk!

Here's the recipe:

Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, plus some for dusting
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 13oz jar of Nutella

Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.  Microwave Nutella for 30 seconds (uncovered).

Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix.

Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Would it really be a Low Country blog without Shrimp and Grits?

Before I moved to the Charleston area, I had never tried shrimp and grits.  I always thought that it sounded like a pretty cool dish since I pretty much like anything involving shrimp and I am a fan of grits.  Grits are definitely a Southern thing, and it's really hard, if not impossible, to try to explain what exactly grits are to someone born and raised outside of the South as I learned when my cousin had her bachelorette party in Charleston this summer.  I joined them for dinner one night at Magnolia's, and several of the girls were from up north.  It was amusing trying to explain grits to them when they saw them on the menu.  Magnolia's has awesome shrimp and grits, by the way, and even though I contemplating ordering something else, I couldn't resist and had to order them!  I knew I would regret it otherwise.

I am really lucky to have access to such wonderful local shrimp.  The shrimping industry is a huge part of life in the Low Country, but unfortunately, the downturn in the economy has really hurt the shrimpers.  I try my best to buy local whenever possible.  The picture is on that I took of shrimp boats on Shem Creek here in Mount Pleasant a couple of years ago.

Since first trying shrimp and grits, I've had them at I don't even know how many places around town.  Sometimes, they were awesome, and sometimes, they weren't.  You can get them with brown gravy or more of a tomato-y sauce with the grits.  Over the years, I've also tried out quite a few recipes in search of one that I would be proud to call my own.  The one complaint that I do have with making them is that to make a to die for dish, you've got to use heavy cream with the grits.  Not half and half, not low fat or even whole milk...straight up, bad for ya, hip-expanding heavy cream.  Trust me when I say that it is definitely worth it.  And no, instant grits will NOT do!!!!  You've got to use the stone ground variety.

Shrimp and Grits

For the Grits:

1 cup stone ground grits
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
6 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove minced
3/4  cup whipping cream

Bring chicken broth, whipping cream, butter and garlic to a boil in a heavy saucepan.  Gradually whisk in grits and return to a boil.  Continue to whisk constantly.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer uncovered until grits thicken, whisking often, for around 15 minutes.

For the shrimp:
2 pounds of large, uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup shallots, chopped
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced.
1/2 cup white wine
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh parlsey
2 tablespoons fresh chives
Creole seasoning
4 ounces of prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1-2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil


Season shrimp with Creole seasoning and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and green pepper and saute for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and shallots and saute for another 2 minutes.  Add shrimp and saute for 2 minutes.  Remove shrimp from the skillet.  Add wine and boil until reduced to glaze (around 5 minutes).  Add diced tomatoes (juices included), parsley, chives and prosciutto and simmer for 2 minute.  Return shrimp to the skillet and simmer for another 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Add grits into bowels, and top each serving with shrimp mixture.  It should serve 4-6.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

How do you feel about eggplant?

That was the text that I sent to Rick on Friday afternoon.  I'd had eggplants on my mind alll day after I passed quite a few attractive ones that were on display in the Horseshoe at MUSC today.  Every Friday, MUSC hosts a small farmer's market in the Horseshoe in front of that disappointing tent that is serving as a cafeteria while the old one gets renovated.  I find it amusing that there are all these delicious looking fruits and vegetables just a few yards from the tent, but hey, I'll readily admit that I have an odd sense of humor.

Rick didn't reply back via text but called to let me know that he'd never had eggplant before.  Honestly, I've never cooked eggplant before either, but I opted not to tell him that until afterwards.  I went on an internet search for eggplant recipes.  I wasn't sure what I wanted, but I did know that eggplant parm would be out since we did chicken parmesan recently.  Anyway, I have to be honest.  The way that I search for recipes online has evolved since I've started writing this blog.  No longer do I start with my old stand-by website or, but instead, I now start out with a google search of blogs.  One of the website recipes that I came across that really caught my eye was this one, but when Rick told me that the chicken that he had out was now probably bad (and that he wanted to do some grilling, too), I decided to save it for another day and keep searching.  I saw a ton of recipes for Eggplant Rolls which really got me thinking about how I could play with this concept to make something that was my own.

After picking up an eggplant, two green peppers, and two cucumbers (I feel some more tzatziki coming on...I've created a monster within myself!!) at the farmer's market, I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home.  I was looking for some sort of soft cheese to use as part of my filling.  In my mind, I was already picturing doing something similar to the pinwheel appetizers that I posted last week and using some prosciutto that I have in the refrigerator and some basil (which made me lament giving up on our basil over the last month or so) and maybe throw in some diced tomatoes and garlic...  I wanted a cheese that wasn't ricotta but not really cream cheese either, and the helpful guys at Whole Foods suggested Capricho de Cabra.  I had never heard of it before, but the friendly one helping me called it "a step above cream cheese."  A quick google search informed me that it is a goat cheese from Spain.  Sounds good to me!  

The look on Rick's face when I was slicing up the eggplant betrayed his skepticism about the meal despite his what he was saying. Too bad I didn't have my camera handy for that one.  In the end, though, the eggplant won him over!  Here's the recipe

Eggplant Roll-Ups

1 eggplant
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 4 oz package of prosciutto
3 cheese blend
1/3 lb of Capricho de Cabra, softened (you can use ricotta or cream cheese if you wish)

Provolone cheese, grated

Marinara sauce of your choice
Extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning grinder

 Preheat oven to 350F.  

Slice off the ends of the eggplant, and then thinly slice off one side of the eggplant so that it can sit stably on the cutting board.  Repeat on the opposite side of the eggplant. Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Put the olive oil on a plate and add some of the Italian seasoning to it.  Brush each side of the each slice of the eggplant with the olive oil and set aside.

Heat a grill to medium-high, and grill the eggplant (about 3-5 minutes per side depending on how thick the slices are) until they are tender.

Mix softened Capricho de Cabra, 3 cheese blend and basil in a bowl.

Place grilled eggplant on a cutting board.  Taking one piece at a time, put a slice of prosciutto on the eggplant and then spread the cheese mixture on it to cover it.  Starting with the larger end of the eggplant, roll the eggplant into a roll up and place in a baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining slices of egg plant.  Spoon marinara sauce over the eggplant roll ups and then top with grated provolone cheese.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Lovely fun with leftovers

Okay, so my motivation to study for my exam on Thursday may have hit an all-time low because here I am blogging about what I did with some of the leftovers from my Greek Shrimp Pasta meal instead of studying like a good little girl.  Since Rick didn't come over last night, I was left with way more seafood goodness than I can handle.  Yep, I had pasta leftovers for lunch and snacked on the tzatziki with some veggies during the day, and I'll probably have some more pasta tomorrow at my clinical.

Faced with the need to do something fast since I should be studying (instead of blogging) and not looking forward to having the pasta for the second time today, I had an excellent idea pop into my mind....making pita pizzas with the shrimp mixture!  As usual, last night I made more pasta than shrimp mixture so I opted to store them separately which came in handy when I made this super-easy study night meal.  So here's what I did...

1 pita
Feta cheese
Six cheese blend
Cheddar cheese

Shrimp mixture from last night (or if you'd like to make your own, take 4 peeled, deveined shrimp, a little bit of chopped onion, diced tomatoes, and artichoke hearts; season with basil, oregano, and parsley; and saute in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place pita on pizza pan.  Add shrimp mixture to pita and top with the cheeses.  Bake in oven until cheese is melted (10-15 minutes).  Enjoy!!!!

Okay, I'm off to go study some more!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  Hopefully, I'll be back to making meals with Rick this weekend! We have an excellent swordfish dish in mind....

Monday, November 02, 2009

Taking on Tzatziki

While I was at Publix gathering the few ingredients and necessities that I needed for my Greek Shrimp dish, I stumbled across Greek yogurt in the dairy aisle.  It was called Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt.  I lamented the fact that they didn't sell pre-made tzatziki sauce, but my mood was immediately lifted when I saw on the side of the container directions for making this white, tasty treasure.  Should I dare try to make my own based on this simple recipe?  Of course I should!  I bee-lined straight (back) to the produce department, grabbed two cucumbers, and headed to check out.  The original recipe can also be found on the Oikos website. With that to go on, here's what I came up with...  I gotta admit that I was pretty impressed with my first attempt, and I'm pretty picky about tzatziki.  You can serve it with pita bread, veggies, or in a gyro.  

Tzatziki Sauce

2 cucumbers

1 cup Greek yogurt
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and seed cucumbers.  The seeds can be taken out using a melon baller or a spoon once the cucumnbers have been halved.  Grate the cucumber and place into a small bowl that is lined with a coffee filter.  Use the filter to squeeze out the excess water and place the shredded cucumber in a medium bowl.  Press each clove of garlic and add to the bowl.  Add yogurt, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir together until well mixed.  Refrigerator for at least one hour.


Greek Style Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp

A friend of mine from high school also has a food blog, and today, she had a posted a recipe for Greek Shrimp Scampi.  Before I even read the recipe, just seeing the words "Greek" and "shrimp" made me think of one of my favorite recipes from called Greek-Style Pasta with Shrimp.  Prior to my moving to SC, I lived in the Triangle and worked part time at this Greek restaurant in Durham called Spartacus. It was my first restaurant job, and I loved working there!  It is a family-owned business, and they have wonderful food!  When I first moved, I missed it a lot.  For all of the wonderful cuisine around here, Mount Pleasant is seriously lacking in the Greek area.  I have to go all the way to West Ashley to find any that is decent!  Anyway, I stumbled across the recipe about a year or so after I moved here, and it really hit the spot.  The recipe is quick and easy, and since I use canned, diced tomatoes, I usually have everything that I need in my pantry (well, and freezer if you include the shrimp)!  Now, if I could just figure out how to make amazing tzatziki sauce like Spartacus has, I'd be all set!  Hmmm, I feel an experiment coming on...

Here is my adaptation.  It is excellent served with pita bread brushed with olive oil and Italian seasoning, wrapped in aluminum foil, and heated in the oven at 250 while making the sauce.

Greek-Style Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
4 tablespoons crab stock (white wine can be subbed)
Feta cheese

8 oz cooked Angel Hair Pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook angel hair pasta according to directions on box seasoned with garlic powder and salt (if desired).  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute for 30 seconds.  Add artichokes, tomatoes (and juice), crab stock, lemon, basil, oregano, and parsley. Saute for 5 minutes or until thickened a little bit. Add shrimp and saute until shrimp is cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.

Divide pasta into individual servings.  Top with sauce and feta cheese and serve.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Much Anticipated Pork Tenderloin

I think I've been talking about this pork tenderloin recipe for at least a week now.  It was one of the first recipes that caught my eye when I purchased Vera Bradley's Cooking with Friends Cookbook.  We were going to do it earlier, but it requires 24 hours of marinating time which means that I must think about it ahead of time...something that doesn't always happen when I'm trying to juggle nursing school and working part time.  Then we were going to do it over the weekend, but a sale on baby back ribs distracted us. Finally, the time has come for us to do the pork tenderloin!!!

Link within

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