Summer pasta with shrimp and nduja

Quick and easy, truly! Sauce is made in less time that it takes to cook pasta. I know, many recipe writers state that but this time I can attest it’s true!

Ingredients:

shrimp, Frozen are fine, defrosted under running water (takes about 5 minutes or less)

garlic cloves, 2 minced

tomatoes, 2 small-ish, cut into chunks, or equal amount of cherry tomatoes, halved

nduja, 1 oz (no need to cut up; it will dissolve to create a luscious sauce)

lemon zest, and perhaps some juice

fresh basil or parsley, chiffondade

pasta, such as campanelle, 2 oz per person

Directions:

Defrost shrimp under running water.

Put up large pot of water to boil for pasta.

Peel and devein shrimp. Mince garlic. Cut up tomatoes into large chunks. Slice off a hunk o’ nduja.fullsizeoutput_1d92

Directions: When water boils, add salt and pasta. Stir, bring to boil and cook in usual manner.

Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, and then garlic and shrimp. Cook, stirring about 2 minutes. Add: tomatoes, nduja and lemon zest. Cook, stirring about another 4 minutes or so. IMG_6053If it’s dry, add in lemon juice. Cover and let sit waiting for pasta to finish cooking.

Dump the pasta into the sauce and give it a stir. IMG_6054

Chiffonade some basil if it’s handy. Otherwise parsley is good too.

Advertisements

Greens and beans

This is a classic Italian dish, and I believe is “classic” because it is so very delicious. The ingredients are interchangeable as long as there is plenty o’ garlic, greens and those thar beans!

Here is a pleasant summer variation, close to standard:

Broccolini

new or older onion, sliced in half-moons or quarters

garlic cloves, rough minced

chicken or vegetable stock

parmesan cheese

cannelini beans

Directions:

Cut up onion and garlic. Sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Rinse broccolini and add to sauté pan with S&P. Turn up heat and add stock. IMG_6042

Turn in stock, cover and cook on medium for about 5 minutes until just under crisp tender. Add beans to warm through about 3 minutes. IMG_6043

Serve with drizzle of lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, and grated parmesan.

Green beans, farro & shrimp summer dinner

In July when green beans are at their peak harvest, quick sauté/braise stovetop with garlic scapes, new onions and almonds. Serve with farro and some easy oven roasted shrimp. Healthy, balanced meal that is also delicious!

Lay of the land:

You’re going to sauté green beans in olive oil after first sautéing garlic scapes and onions. Add beans, toss to cook quickly and then add water, cover and cook for 5+ minutes to crisp-tender. Remove cover and increase heat to boil away liquid. If you have pre-cooked farro (rinsed and cooked in 2-3x boiling salted water 20-25 minutes), you can heat it on one side of the pan while you finish cooking the beans. IMG_6035

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with pan in the oven to heat up. You will defrost and marinate some shrimp perhaps in an Asian-style marinade.

When you add green beans to sauté pan, remove shrimp from marinade with tongs and toss into oven for 8 minutes, turning with tongs halfway through.

Summer party menu

I am not a hot dogs and hamburger on the grill kinda gal when I invite people over for a pool party (or frankly when I go to others’ parties). I am not averse to meat, if it is good. I patronize my local organic farms when I want a semi-annual steak, and certainly whenever I want a cut of pork. I have begun to greatly appreciate the Boston Butt cut of pork. It is forgiving — you stick in the oven and it is done, whenever. It also is a fatty cut which has the glorious advantage of essentially self-basting in its fatty porkiness which accentuates the good flavor.

Menu:

Little neck clams on the grill, served with melted butter (melted in small dish on grill). Clam broth is optional.

Grilled kielbasa. Buy the best quality you can find. Fatty pork is a happy complement to clams.

Reheated pork butt. I prepared the day ahead by slow-roasting in oven; I marinated the pork in Puerto Rican style a la Mark Bittman.

Potato salad

Deviled eggs. Because it’s not a summer party without ’em! These go early and fast!

Garbanzo salad

Cherry pie

Strawberry shortcake

Garbanzo quinoa vinaigrette

This is an easy and healthy-ish salad perfect for summer gatherings. With no dairy it can go outdoors without danger. And it’s super-easy to assemble, and flexible too. It’s just a simple vinaigrette including both lemon juice and white wine vinegar, heightened with hot pepper — fresh or dried flakes — and mustard and honey to balance. It’s beans with red onion and some carrots and red peppers or whatever is fresh in early summer.

2 large cans of garbanzos (chick peas), drained and rinsed

red onion, 1/2, sliced then quartered, and macerated in white wine vinegar for 15 minutes to mellow

Vinaigrette: lemon juice (~ 2 T), garlic scapes or garlic, mustard, honey, red pepper flakes or fresh hot hot pepper, minced, S&P, olive oil.

Mix together:

Garbanzos

Onions

Red or other color peppers — not green, diced

carrots — #2-3, cut into dice about size of beans or smaller

minced parsley

cooked quinoa, cucumber, garlic scapes, cumin, and/or garlic, optional

Variation: substitute lime juice for lemon juice; substitute black beans for garbanzos, and add cilantro and scallions.  Use cumin.

 

My favorite potato salad

I had a college roommate Elizabeth who taught me a high-fat way of eating toasted bagels: spread the hot bagel with butter and *then* smear with cream cheese. That way the bagel part is not dry, since it has the melted butter in it. That’s the idea behind my potato salad method. I combine the German potato salad method of dousing the just-boiled, hot potatoes with white wine vinegar and olive oil. The hot taters soak up the vinegar/oil. THEN I add a mayo mixture to the taters once they are cooled in refrigerator, which coats and gloms onto the outside. A winner!

Ingredients:

3 # potatoes — new, Yukon Gold, or other delicious, preferably organic potatoes, scrubbed, cut into large pieces and boiled with onion if you like until just tender when pierced with knife, usually under 20 minutes cooking time. Drain in colander. While sitting in sink in colander, drizzle over potatoes white wine vinegar and then olive oil. Let sit, and then later put on plate and put into refrigerator to chill.

3 T mayo (I like Hellman’s regular, not healthy, but I’m used to the taste)

2 T sour cream

1 t mustard — Dijon only

shallot, 1 T, chopped, perhaps macerated for up to 15 minutes in white wine vinegar

S&P

Herbs:    garlic scapes, chives and/or tarragon — fresh from the garden, chopped.

Directions: Chop up shallot and herbs. Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper and mustard. Whisk in herbs. Test by dipping piece of potato into dressing. Does it need more salt? A splash of vinegar to brighten? Let mayo mixture sit in refrigerator a bit to blend nicely ahead of time, such as while potatoes cool in refrigerator, or simply mix into cooled potatoes.

 

Spice for grilled rib eye steaks

It’s summertime, grill time.

One of my long time faves for the few times I grill steak is this spice rub from Gourmet Magazine. Even my dear departed Dad didn’t complain that I messed up his steak since he’s a bare steak kinda guy.

Here’s the rub:

Ingredients:

1 T kosher salt

1/2 t cumin, ground

1/8 t allspice

Mix up rub and rub it into steaks 1/2 hour before grilling, or when you light the charcoal.

And they give good advice of telling you to let steaks come to room temp for 1/2 hour. And other grilling instructions, here.

Leftover hint:

If you have steak leftover, particularly if like me you cooked it too rare, a great re-use is stir fry. Summer or sweet onions, garlic scapes, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, snow peas with rice and steak go together great! Try with Asian vinaigrette.