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Judy Rodgers: Her Philosophy, Restaurant and Recipe for Salmon with White Beans, Bacon and Red Wine

6 Dec

Judy Rodgers, 1956-2013

Raw ingredients trump recipes every time; farmers and ranchers who coax the best from the earth can make any of us appear to be a great cook. JR

Twenty years ago, having recently arrived in San Francisco and feeling the financial sting of a first and last months’ rent and security deposit, the plan was made that as soon as the checkbook took a rest, we’d dine at Zuni Café because that was THE place to get a taste of the iconic California cuisine that in part fueled the pull westward. This was my kind of eating. Food that didn’t stretch too deep to the side of unusual but was far from typical and showcased the fresh ingredients that California is known for. Continue reading

Shrimp Sauté with Tomatoes and Kale on Quinoa

4 Dec

Shrimp SauteThis is a great all-season recipe that handles many variations, an especially useful feature for making a last-minute meal and avoiding a trip to the store. Raw frozen shrimp is available at most supermarkets and is a good thing to have on-hand in the freezer. Check that it’s peeled and deveined to spare you the task. You can take or leave the mushrooms. Spinach can stand in for kale. Pasta can replace quinoa. And in summer, whole cherry tomatoes are a great alternative for the canned San Marzanos. Whatever way you go, it’s full of flavor and an excellent leftover.

For defrosting the shrimp, the package instructions typically indicate that a slower thaw is preferred but the quick way works fine too. The easiest way is to put the shrimp in a bowl in the morning, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dinner. If they’re still slightly frosty, you can place them in a colander, rinse with water and then let drain before putting in the bowl to marinate. For the quick thaw, run under cold water in a colander for 6-8 minutes and then drain and proceed.

Because you’ll be adding ingredients every couple of minutes, it helps to take the time to pull everything together before you start.

Begin with quinoa or pasta preparation. Then marinade the shrimp.

Shrimp

After sautéing onions, mushrooms, garlic, herbs and salts, crush the tomatoes individually over the pan.

Shrimp and Quinoa Saute

Next add greens, either kale or spinach, and blend in slowly until wilted.

Shrimp and Quinoa Saute

Add the raw shrimp last, heating it in the sauce just until it turns pink.

You’ll find this sauce is even better the next day. Keep the quinoa stored separately. Enjoy!

Shrimp Sauté with Tomatoes and Kale on Quinoa

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

Quinoa or Pasta

Start by preparing quinoa (here is a great basic recipe) or boiling water for pasta.

Shrimp

  • 16 ounces frozen, raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher or Herb Salt
  • 1 grind of Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • Half of a Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced Mushrooms (8 large/12 small, optional)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 grind of Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano whole peeled Tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh Spinach, stems removed, or 10-12 Kale Leaves, stem and rib removed and cut in ribbons
  • 1/2 cup Milk, Cream or combination
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  • Fresh Basil, sliced (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Thaw shrimp according to package instructions. See notes in post above.
  2. When defrosted and drained, place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, regular or herb salt, black pepper, thyme, and lemon zest and juice. Optional: Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Let flavors meld until the sauce is prepared.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan or pot over medium flame and add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Heat for a minute and add onion. Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes until slightly soft.
  5. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and red pepper flakes.
  6. Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add whole crushed garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds to infuse flavor.
  8. Crush tomatoes with your hands and add to sauce. Use just the tomatoes and not the liquid. Stir to combine.
  9. Add spinach or kale and stir occasionally for 2-4 minutes until wilted.
  10. Add shrimp and fold into the sauce. Cook until shrimp has just turned pink, about 5 minutes.
  11. Stir in ½ cup milk, cream or a combination and stir for 30 seconds to blend in.
  12. Remove from heat.
  13. Fish out garlic cloves.
  14. Serve over quinoa or pasta.
  15. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese and basil.

NOTE: This is a great make-ahead recipe. When ready to serve, just reheat on the stovetop. If you are planning to eat the same day, slightly undercook the shrimp so that they don’t get overdone when reheated. Excellent leftovers.

You might also like:

Sausage Spinach and Tomato Sauce

Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Pasta

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini

Thanksgiving: Recipes, Gadgets and Food News

26 Nov

Wordle

EAT

TURKEY

Local Diestel Ranch birds do have that idyllic image tied in. But being fed a 100% vegetarian diet milled right there at the farm and slowly raised in the Sierra Nevada Foothills does increase the price tag.

Diestel

Click on image for more information

Check out this interesting breakdown of what it costs to bring that turkey from farm to feast. A true bargain.

Continue reading

Friday Food: Links to Recipes, Restaurants, Gadgets, News and More

16 Nov

Wordle

Below is a weekly list of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend.

EAT

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks               

Want to innovate the cheese platter this holiday? Check out this appealing new book by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith of Cowgirl Creamery, two cheese makers based out of Pt. Reyes who share recipes and what it takes to become a cheese pioneer. 

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks

Click on Image for Ordering information

Continue reading

Broccoli Two Ways and Its Showdown with Kale

14 Nov

Not sure why it was the chosen one, but broccoli in my house got an early distinction as the acceptable vegetable, even in an era of a broccoli hating president. It’s easy to steam and mix with a little butter and became the one chicken finger side, in addition baby carrots in a bag, that my kids did not ignore entirely.

Broccoli Melts Butter

Photo illustration from Victors & Spoils

Continue reading

Friday Food: Links to Recipes, Restaurants, Gadgets, News and More

1 Nov

Wordle

Below is a weekly food roundup, locally and beyond, of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend!

EAT

Gluten Free Flours                    

As alternative flours surface more and more, from coconut and corn to millet and amaranth, here is a helpful guide from Carrie Vitt of Deliciously Organic with information on those that are easy to locate or make. You’ll also find a recipe for her Gluten and Grain Free Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

Continue reading

Classic Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini

1 Nov

This recipe has a steady spot on the dinner rotation and for good reason. It’s easy to prepare, contains no unusual ingredients and even though chicken tetrazzini might have a gut-buster reputation, can be altered to the lighter side.

Continue reading

Marin County Farmers Markets: Finding the Fall Bounty

23 Oct

Although the seasonal transitions in Marin do not hold the drama found in the east given our more subtle color and temperature shifts, the farmers markets are the place to be if you want to get that fall feeling. I recently had a post published on Summer Tomato the blog of Darya Rose, a San Francisco advocate of local, seasonal foods and author of the book Foodist whose approach centers on food enjoyment rather than restriction. Continue reading

Friday Food: Links to Recipes, Restaurant, Gadgets and News

18 Oct

Below is a weekly roundup of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. To link to recipes, click on the image. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend! Continue reading

Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet

8 Oct

Shepherds Pie is crave worthy food. Homey, flavorful and satisfying. This recipe has been adapted from Cooks Illustrated and I admit, for someone who disses this publications’ sometimes overly step-intensive preparations, there are a few like the Best Roast Chicken and Blueberry Muffins that prove that Cooks Illustrated is not always such serious business. This one has no unusual ingredients and although there are two separate elements, it comes together fairly quickly. And the leftovers are just as delicious as round one. Continue reading