I’m back in the office now (good riddance COVID) so quick dinners after a long day are key now. This dish was so good and super easy to pull together. First, I love to use as few pots/pans as possible, so the order of my construction here is key. I start by sautéing the spinach in a bit of EVOO, a touch of butter, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. After it’s fully wilted and cooked I removed it from my wok and placed in a bowl in my microwave to keep warm. After that I prepared my polenta using chicken stock instead of water – for added flavor. Polenta is a pain because it needs all of your attention (to avoid lumps & bumps). After slowly drizzling in all of the polenta to the boiling chicken stock I season with a little butter, salt, pepper, and mascarpone while constantly stirring for about 30 minutes on low heat until you end up with the desired consistency (we like it on the thicker side). Then back to the wok – I sautéed the butterflied shrimp (our fish monger had gorgeous tiger prawns that were huge). Before adding the shrimp I quickly sautéed minced garlic, diced fresh tomato and seasonings then tossed in the shrimp (or whatever protein you choose). When the shrimp turn pink they are cooked (time depends on size of shrimp).
To plate this gorgeous dish I put the polenta down first followed by the spinach and then the beautifully sautéed shrimp. I added a garnish of fresh sliced avocado (only because I had it around).
Add well cleaned, chopped escarole to rapidly boiling water (add a chicken bullion cube for extra flavor and to remove any bitterness from the escarole), cook for 7 minutes, strain and refresh with cold water. Then, sauté shrimp with a little EVOO, butter, lemon, garlic, red onion, fresh cherry tomatoes that have been halved, pepper, fresh cilantro (I have this growing on my patio so I’ve been adding that to everything!) When shrimp is cooked add escarole and combine. Viola! Dinner is served.
Pro-tip: This is a good recipe to improvise on – i.e. get rid of any vegetables that you have in the fridge – you can toss anything into this dish and it will come out great!
Not much of a recipe to share here, but this is what happened on my husband’s birthday this week. Easy dinner (got the lobster steamed at our local fish monger). The big boy was a little over three pounds!! We also had some little neck clams and filet mignon. Not too shabby!
I make this recipe only once a year. It’s super rich and delicious but not nearly as good as my grandfather’s recipe. I just can’t seem to be able to replicate his pizzagaina even so, whenever I serve this on Easter everyone seems to be happy. Enjoy!
If you need a healthy, easy to prepare side dish try this:
Buy a bag of fresh string beans (haricot verts if you’re fancy) snip off the stem side (top of picture below):
After snipping and cleaning, submerge the string beans into rapidly boiling, salted water and cook for 7-8 minutes (we like ours on the crunchy side but if you don’t, just cook longer). When done cooking, blanch the string beans by dumping into strainer and rinsing with very cold ice water. Blanching the string beans will bring back the bright green color of the string beans
(Science tip: Blanching stops enzyme actions which would otherwise cause loss of flavor, color and texture.)
Place blanched string beans in serving dish, drizzle with a little EVOO, season with kosher salt, pepper and diced red onion (or whatever spices you like) and serve!
I did an experiment the other day and tossed two packages of ground turkey, chopped red, yellow and green peppers (one of each) a chopped onion, cilantro, salt & pepper, taco seasoning and a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes into my slow cooker. I cooked it for six hours on high.
It came out great! I topped with some shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped red onions and fresh diced jalapeños and it was both a great presentation and delicious.
One of my favorite fish is Cod. I drizzle filets with a little EVOO, pepper or blackening seasoning and bake in the oven at 350 for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the filet.
I served this the other night over a bed of sautéed Brussel sprouts with bits of pre-cooked bacon tossed in with crushed grape tomatoes on the bottom layer.
Super fast, fresh and healthy.
Pro-tip: Half the Brussel sprouts and sauté in EVOO for about 15 minutes until softened, but so they still have a bit of crunch. When cooked, toss in the bits of pre-cooked bacon for added flavor. No need to salt if you use the bacon.
Now that the weather is getting nice we’ve been eating on the patio. I absolutely love eating outside with the fountain on and the great view that we have, it’s restorative.
We found a place nearby (shout out to https://naturesfoodpatch.com/) where they make their own sausages filled with unusual and tasty fillings (i.e. a chicken sausage with broccoli rabe and cheese and and pork sausage with bacon). We tossed some shrimp, asparagus, little neck clams and a filet mignon that we butterflied right onto a hot grill. We also had a side of our homemade pickles (see my pickle recipe: here )
Pro-tip: For the little neck clams, soak them in fresh water with a tablespoon of flour (this makes them release any sand they may be holding onto). Then put on hot grill until they pop open. Serve with melted butter mixed with garlic, a splash of fresh squeezed lemon and a little cilantro or parsley.
This dish was so delicious and simple. I always say that you just need to start with the freshest, closest ingredients you can find and whatever you make will turn out great. I started with some cherry tomatoes that I halved. I put them in a baking dish with a few cloves of garlic, Kalamata olives, some fresh oregano, basil and mint from the garden, drizzled the mix with olive oil and seasoned with S&P. I would have put a block of feta cheese right in the middle of it…but the husband…I baked the dish for about 40 minutes at 350 (I then removed half for hubby and added feta cheese to the rest and baked for another 10 minutes).
Next, I simply sautéed my shrimp in a little EVOO and a pat of butter along with some Vidalia onion, garlic and seasoning.
To plate this dish: I served it over cauliflower rice, so I plated that first, topped with shrimp, then with the baked tomato concoction. It was delicious, easy, hearty and a dish that I will definitely make again.