Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shrimp and Peas Pasta – A Week Night Wonder

This is a fast meal, full of bright, spring flavors that won’t weigh you down in the middle of the week using everyday Italian ingredients. I love shrimp. The most important thing to remember about shrimp though is not to overcook them. 2 minutes per side and that’s it. They’ll keep cooking anyway. You want them just pink and curled in on themselves so they burst when you bite into them. Paired with the sweet crunch of sautéed snap peas, the heat from a few red pepper flakes, warmth of a bit of white wine and the zing of fresh lemon juice and you’ve got yourself a bowl of greatness! I serve this tossed with whole wheat pasta, usually Farfalla because it’s roughly the same size as everything else but use whatever you like.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Old School Seasoned Breadcrumbs = Tasty Breaded Pork Cutlets

This week was a bit of a throw-back to my childhood. Any time I use pre-seasoned breadcrumbs I think of being a kid. These days we have all these fancy breadcrumb options, like panko, that are fantastic additions to everyone’s pantry, but once and a while I feel nostalgic and breakout the Italian seasoned breadcrumbs my mom used to cook with. Costco had a salt on pork cutlets, so we’ve been eating a lot of them. They’re great because they cook up fast and taste fantastic. I mixed my old school seasoned breadcrumbs with my mom’s favorite sprinkle cheese, pecorino, for a cheese, salty crust. If you use thin cutlets, they take less than 3 minutes to cook per side and you don’t use a ton of oil so it’s not exactly a terribly unhealthy dish. Paired with my sweet and tender roasted broccolini, you’ve got a meal in 12 minutes!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fresh Pasta Carbonara

Handmade pasta can’t be beat. Honestly, it is so worth the work. Truth be told, once you get the hang of it, making your own pasta is really not all that hard. It just takes some patience and a pasta roller. I got mine from a stoop sale in Brooklyn for $10 and it is one of the best kitchen tools I have. You can make a big batch of fresh pasta at once and freeze what you don’t need in smaller freezer bags. Toss the frozen pasta into boiling water and it not only separates easily in the water but also takes no more than 3 minutes to cook! Fresh pasta is simply the bees knees in my carb-loving opinion. And it was a strong desire for a heaping bowl of tender, delicate hand-cut pasta that led me to take a stab at tagliatelle and smother it in carbonara for this week’s pasta dream dinner. A creamy, indulgent and rich sauce, speckled with bit of cured meat that’s actually rather easy to make served over a pile of fresh pasta in all of its delicate glory. SWOON!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Roasted Lamb Shanks - a lamb love affair

I am having a full blown love affair with lamb. Seriously, someone needs to stage an intervention. It’s a tender and fantastically flavorful meat and no matter how cute and cuddly they are, lamb freaking taste goooooooood (sorry veggies, it’s true!) One of the best cuts of lamb is the shank and the easiest way to enjoy a lamb shank is to roast it. Roasting is like god’s gift to the lazy cook. I mean seriously, it works for everything. I mean it! Meat, veg, you name it…roasting it is bound to make it awesome. Wrap that lamb up with some herbs and spices, toss it in a low oven and leave it the heck alone. Go play cards, have a beer (or two), watch a movie….it’s the smartest way to kick back, enjoy a lazy afternoon and yet make people think you are a goddess in the kitchen. Not only will your home smell like heaven, but your dinner plates will be scraped clean by anyone you serve this to.