Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Favorite Pasta

Tonight we had Rachel Ray's You Won't Be Single for Long, Vodka Cream Pasta. This is a pasta recipe that I crave periodically. The recipe was started by sauteing minced shallots and garlic in a combination of olive oil and butter until softened. A generous amount of vodka went in to the pan and was reduced by half. Some chicken stock was then added along with a can of crushed tomatoes and brought to a boil, and then simmered.

While the sauce simmered, the penne rigate went into a pot of boiling, salted water for the requisite time.

While the pasta cooked, a nice salad of romaine, fresh plum tomatoes and sliced cucumber was pulled together.

Once the pasta was cooked al dente, some heavy cream was added to the simmering sauce and allowed to come back to the simmer before the cooked pasta was added and allowed to warm through with the sauce. The pasta got a nice sprinkle of fresh basil and was topped with cheese on the plate. We grilled some shrimp to add some protein to the pasta dish.

The salad was dressed with our Best Salad Dressing in the World.

Gerry and I agree:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Asian Influence Dinner

Tonight's menu was Vietnamese Caramel Chicken with Fresh Herbs over Jasmine rice, with a side of Cucumber-Peanut Salad and it was fabulous.

While the rice was cooking, the caramel sauce was started by melting sugar over medium-high heat in a skillet until the sugar turned the color of iced tea. Once browned, a mixture of chick broth and fish sauce was added to the skillet and whisked until smooth; then removed from heat.

The chicken breasts were seared in a skillet on both sides; before being removed. In the same skillet went in ginger, shallots, garlic and jalapeno to saute briefly before the chicken and caramel sauce were added back in and cooked for a few minutes for the chicken to finish cooking and the caramel sauce to thicken.

The chicken was served over the rice, drizzled with the sauce and garnished with chopped scallions, cilantro and and basil.

The Cucumber-Peanut Salad consisted of thinly sliced cucumber and red onion dressed with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes and salt and was allowed to marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.

A very good dinner!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Meatless Monday with a Kick

To keep the meatless Monday tradition, today we celebrated with poblano chile peppers. For lunch, we had leftover Spicy Poblano and Corn Soup which I made from my Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Cookbook yesterday for lunch. It's a thick soup, very much like a chowder with a good kick of spice from the poblano chile peppers.

We carried over the Poblano Chile Peppers to dinner with Refried Bean Poblanos with Cheese which were spicy and wonderful. We took 4 poblano chiles, and halved them lengthwise. They went into the microwave for a few minutes to soften. While the chiles were cooking, we mixed some vegetarian refried beans, cooked rice, and picante sauce. This bean mixture went into the pepper halves and cooked to warm through. A sprinkle of reduced-fat 4 cheese Mexican blend went over the top and back in the oven to melt.

We had a side of an Iceberg Lettuce wedge of salad topped with a Creamy Chipotle Salad Dressing which was a lot spicier than the Poblano peppers. The dressing for the wedge was some light ranch dressing processed with a chipotle chile pepper and a scallion to a smooth consistency.

It was a very flavorful day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Red Snapper with Herbed Butter

We dined on fish and fresh veggies tonight. I roasted 6 oz. snapper fillets on two slices of fresh lemon which did a nice job of delicately flavoring the fish. I sprinkled a mixture of salt, paprika and black pepper over the fillets before popping them in a 425 degree oven for 13 minutes.

While the fish was in the oven I sauteed a chopped zucchini, a mixture of red, yellow, and green bell peppers, and a minced clove of garlic in a little olive oil.

Once the fish came out of the oven it was topped with an herb butter; 1 tablespoon butter, fresh chopped basil and parsley with lemon zest.

This dinner was very good and we felt that we were eating extremely healthy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Break's over - Tomato Soup with Pasta

It's really easy to get out of the habit of blogging, but I'm back starting today. I made a very light dinner tonight since I wasn't sure if Gerry would be eating anything after his flight back in town.

I made Tomato Soup with Pasta from Cuisine for Two, it was quick, easy and delicious! It started with onion, celery and garlic sauteed in olive oil for a few minutes. A can of diced tomatoes, chicken broth and orzo pasta went in and simmered until the pasta was done. The bowl of soup was garnished with a little lemon zest, fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.