Cooking

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open-Faced Hawaiian Roll Sandwich

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open Face Sandwiches www.luc.edu

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open Face Sandwiches

It has been an intense few months.  How do I explain such a long absence?  I have one class left to finish my MBA!  I am working full-time and have spent nights and weekends in class or doing homework and projects.

As a quick break, I decided to experiment with shrimp skewers.  Then, I decided to use up a bunch of odds and ends in my kitchen.  I did open-faced sandwiches because I only had 2 “Jumbo” Hawaiian rolls left from a previous meal.  The shrimp were full of lemon-garlic flavor and the bright acidity of the lemon was balanced by the sweetness of the Hawaiian roll.  Lemon aioli is optional.  (I did not use it for my first batch and they were still delicious).

You can serve these shrimp skewers on their own, as a main course or remove the shrimp from the skewers and serve them atop a hawaiian roll & lettuce for an easy, delicious dinner!

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open Face Sandwiches www.morewinelesswhines.com

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open Face Sandwiches

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Open-Faced Hawaiian Roll Sandwich

1 lb shrimp (any size), peeled & deveined
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1-2 lemons
1/4 c white wine (i.e. Pinot Grigio)
3 cloves garlic, minced
dash of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 T parsley, minced

1 T unsalted butter
2 T extra virgin olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme
sea salt & pepper

Butter or Bibb Lettuce
2-4 large Hawaiian Rolls, Split
Lemon aioli (optional)
Skewers

Make marinade.

Whisk together olive oil through parsley and pour into a large bowl or Ziplock bag. Add shrimp and turn to coat in marinade. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes- 1 hour.

Place skewers in a shallow dish of water while the shrimp marinade.

Make the mushrooms.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter and olive oil. Once butter is melted, add mushrooms (working in 2 batches if necessary). Stir mushrooms occasionally, seasoning with salt and pepper as you stir. After 5 minutes, stir in thyme. Continue sautéing until mushrooms are light brown. Remove from heat.

Skewer the shrimp & grill.
Grill over medium heat, a few minutes per side, until no longer opaque. Do not overcook!
Remove shrimp from skewers.

Optional:  Grill or toast split Hawaiian rolls, about 1-2 minutes.

To Serve:
– Place half of a Hawaiian roll on a plate. Top with lemon aioli (if using), lettuce, sautéed mushrooms and shrimp.
– Serve alongside a salad. Enjoy!

Marinade the Shrimp     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Marinade the Shrimp

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Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Assembling Ingredients for Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter

This weekend, we were in the middle of the first real snowstorm in Chicago’s 2014-2015 winter season!  So far, we have received about 19″ of snow.  Yesterday and again this morning, my husband and I went outside to finish shoveling the driveway and sidewalks.  The snow is the heavy, “packing” kind,  perfect for kids wanting to make snowmen and forts, but really irritating for adults trying to clear footpaths!  Stella was jumping around like a kangaroo in the snow!  This was before it got too deep for her.  After a few more hours, we ended up clearing a path in the backyard so she could walk without having the snow reach up past her   fluffy tail!

Stella Bear Braving Chicago's Big Winter Snow       www.morewinelesswhines.com

Stella Bear Braving Chicago’s Big Winter Snow

When we got inside from shoveling, I wanted something quick, simple and a lot like buttered noodles.  I made this ridiculously simple dish that does not even need a recipe once you make it a few times.   I put 1/2 a box of orzo in a pot of salted, boiling water.  I drained the orzo and made my butter-olive oil blend fancy by flavoring it with lemon peel and sliced garlic cloves.  Then, I stirred in some lemon juice, Romano cheese and parsley to finish the dish.  Easy!

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter

serves 2

1 c. orzo
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 2″ lemon peel
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 c. parsley, minced
1/3 c. Romano cheese + extra for serving
sea salt & pepper to taste

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add Orzo. Cook according to package directions until ‘al dente.’ You are better off undercooking the orzo at this point. Drain into a colander and transfer to a medium glass or heat-safe bowl*. Return pot to medium heat. Melt butter in pan and add olive oil. Gently place the sliced garlic and lemon peel in the butter/oil and stir a little bit. BE CAREFUL! Let bubble until garlic just barely starts to turn golden, ~30-60 seconds.  (It will go from golden to burned quickly) Remove garlic and lemon peel from pan with slotted spoon. Let cool on a plate before discarding.

Pour flavored butter/olive oil over the orzo. Stir in lemon juice, parsley and Romano cheese. Season to taste with sea and freshly ground black pepper.  Enjoy!

 

*Note: You can keep the cooked orzo in the colander and just stir it into the saucepan once the butter/oil has been flavored and the garlic/lemon peel is removed. I do this to minimize dirty dishes. The problem is the orzo can stick to the hot sides of the pan if you do not stir vigorously and immediately. The choice is yours.

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter

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Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

The start of a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce www.morewinelesswhines.com

The Start of a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I am not too proud to admit that sometimes I just do not like bell peppers.  Maybe it stems back to frozen paninis in college that, once reheated in the microwave, left a bad, stale pepper aftertaste all day during class.  Regardless, I have been timidly trying main courses and side dishes that utilize bell peppers.

One recipe that is on my “To do” list is a classic Romesco sauce.  As a stepping stone to making a Romesco, I tried this Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce by Laura Calder of the Cooking Channel.  This recipe is absolutely wonderful!  I have served it with my Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Whole Roasted Chicken, and Quesadillas, to name a few.  I think it would be great as a little soup “shooter” with a cheesy puff pastry twist for dipping.  Just ideas.  Try it.  You will like it – regardless of whether or not you are a big pepper fan or not!

The peeled, seeded red bell peppers       www.morewinelesswhines.com

The peeled, seeded red bell peppers

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Original recipe by Laura Calder of the Cooking Channel.

2 red bell peppers
2 T. olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 T. white wine (I used some Chardonnay)
6 T. chicken stock (I used Turkey stock that I had frozen/leftover from Thanksgiving)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F (My oven has been set at either 400 or 450, depending on what else I am roasting). Set the papers on a cooking spray lined baking dish and roast for 20 minutes. Turn peppers with tongs & roast an additional 15-25 minutes, until flesh is soft and skin is browning in spots. Place immediately in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside 10 minutes to “sweat.” Remove plastic wrap, and gently peel and seed the pepper with your hands (Be careful! Peppers will be warm!) Tear or cut into strips/pieces and set aside.

Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add oil. Once hot, add shallot, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add white wine and cook 1 minute. Add stock and cooked red pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour into a small food processor or blender. Season to taste with lemon juice (1 tsp at a time), sea salt & pepper. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

The start of a roasted red pepper sauce        www.morewinelesswhines.com

The start of a roasted red pepper sauce

Easy Ingredient Prep for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce        www.morewinelesswhines.com

Easy Ingredient Prep for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce www.morewinelesswhines.com

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Simple and delicious.  If you like scallops, try this recipe.  If you’ve never eaten scallops before, start with this recipe.  The trick is to use high quality scallops that are free from additives.  One of the local grocery stores had a special on Peruvian Bay Scallops, so I used them instead of the traditional kind.  (These are smaller than regular scallops -think the size of a nickel-quarter instead of a half dollar) and cook very quickly.  I found several recipe variations using a simple combination of butter, olive oil, lemon juice & thyme, but the best one was from Bon Appetit.

Try to space the scallops out in the pan so they are not overly crowded or touching when you first sauté them.  I should have cooked up the scallops below in two batches to obtain a better crust, but I was impatient.  (Note:  they still turned out fine and tasted incredible).

Dinner - not too fancy, but really good     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Dinner – not too fancy, but really good

If you like pairing your food with wine, there are two New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc labels that I really like right now.  One is “90+”, which is like the Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s private label brand for the wine world.  The other wine is called “Wild South.”  I tried both of them at wine tastings first and then with these scallops.  Delicious!

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

I made these scallops for dinner on a Sunday night and they took me less than 10 minutes to prepare.  I served these with sautéed spinach, lemon orzo & a roasted red pepper sauce.  Everything was excellent (except the orzo)!   The recipe for the roasted red pepper sauce is coming soon!

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

 

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

Many variations on this recipe exist, but I will give credit for this one to Bon Appetit

1 lb. sea scallops, side muscle removed
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 sprigs fresh thyme
juice from 1/2 a lemon

Place sea scallops on a paper towel lined dish. Top with a second paper towel to draw out any excess moisture. Let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle tops of scallops with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add oil. Once hot, add scallops, salt & pepper side down. Cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes. Sprinkle tops of scallops with sea salt & pepper. Turn scallops using tongs. Add butter and thyme to pan. Continue cooking, spooning pan sauce over scallops, until scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in lemon juice. Serve scallops with the pan sauce.

Easy Prep for Brown Butter Scallops      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Easy Prep for Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

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Roasted BLT Salad

Roasted BLT Salad   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Roasted BLT Salad

This is another recipe I found in my “paper” archives.  It hails from the January 2013 issue of Better Homes & Gardens.  I have made this meal several times the past two summers.  It is a great way to use up some extra cherry tomatoes, which are abundant in my garden right now.  It is also a great dish to make when it is not summer.  Why?  You can do everything in the oven!  You don’t need fancy or delicate lettuce – just a sturdy romaine!  You don’t need garden fresh tomatoes, as roasting intensifies and sweetens their flavor.  I just happen to have a lot of tomatoes I am trying to use up from my garden.

I hope you enjoy this meal!

Roasted Weeknight BLT Salad        www.morewinelesswhines.com

Roasted Weeknight BLT Salad

Roasted Weeknight BLT Salad

6 slices cooked center cut bacon, broken into pieces (I used Applewood Smoked Bacon)
1 c. cherry tomatoes
2 T. fresh oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 baguette, cut into 1″ cubes
1 head romaine lettuce, quartered lengthwise
sea salt, garlic salt & freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

1/4 c. romano cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray. Toss cherry tomatoes with garlic, 1 T olive oil, oregano, some sea salt & pepper. Spread onto pan. Roast 20 minutes. Transfer tomatoes and juices to a medium bowl.

Toss bread cubes with a 2 T. olive oil, sea salt, garlic salt & pepper. Spread on pan. Bake 5-8 minutes. Drizzle romaine with a little olive oil, move bread to edges of pan and place romaine in middle of pan. Roast 3-5 minutes.

Toss bread with tomatoes and let sit for a little bit to absorb juices.

To serve:
Place 2 “quarters” of Romaine on each plate. Spoon bread and tomatoes over romaine. Top with bacon. Drizzle with a little olive oil (optional) and sprinkle with Romano cheese.

Enjoy!

Roasted Weeknight BLT Salad      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Roasted Weeknight BLT Salad

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Cooking, Gardening

Pesto, Goat Cheese & Grilled Bacon Crostini

Fresh Basil from the garden    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Fresh Basil from the garden

Summah, Summah, Summah Time… (Summah = summer)

I am a Gemini, born in the month of June, and have forever and always declared summer to be my favorite season.  Perhaps I am reveling in this summer even more because of the never ending Chicagoland winter.  Regardless, I have been celebrating summer with a bountiful harvest from my garden.

Making Pesto  www.morewinelesswhines.com

Making Pesto

My vegetable garden, which measures roughly 25′ x 8′, is flourishing.  It has been raining an incredible amount here and the plants are loving it.  Many of my tomato plants and sunflowers are tipping 5′ +, the lettuce is just petering out, the swiss chard, zucchini and herbs are growing like weeds and  I cannot find bare ground anywhere.

Making Pesto    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Making Pesto

The tomatoes and sunflowers have grown far taller than I expected and are shading out some of the basil.  I harvested the more shaded basil plants and trimmed a few of the huge plants toward the front of the garden for pesto.  This time, I made the pesto with pistachios and 3 different types of basil – Sweet Genovese, Ruby Frills & Emerald Frills.  My goal is to make a batch every week or two so that I have more for the freezer this fall & winter.

Sunflowers and Tomatoes in my garden   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sunflowers and Tomatoes in my garden

Goat Cheese atop Grilled Baguette Slices    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Goat Cheese atop Grilled Baguette Slices

For a quick, easy summer linner (lunch + dinner, usually served between 2-3 pm), I made pesto while my husband grilled some bacon* and toasted  baguette slices.  We schmeared the baguette slices with a little goat cheese and pesto then topped them with crumbled bacon.  The result?  Simple & delicious food, perfect for a 89 degree Sunday.

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Grilled Bacon Crostini   www.morewineelesswhines.com

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Grilled Bacon Crostini

Pesto, Goat Cheese & Grilled Bacon Crostini

1 baguette, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
extra virgin olive oil
6 strips center cut bacon, cooked and broken into pieces*
5 oz goat cheese
1 batch freshly made pesto
1 baguette, cut into 1/2″ thick slices

Make pesto. Set aside. Brush one side of baguette slices with a little olive oil. Place baguette slice, olive oil side down, on grill a few minutes, taking care not to burn the bread. Using tongs, turn the bread over and grill about 1 minute on the other side. Transfer grilled bread to a serving platter. Spread each baguette slice with some goat cheese, a spoonful of pesto and top with bacon pieces. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

*Note:  Yes, you can grill bacon.  Do it over medium to medium high heat over a gas powered grill  on a big piece of foil, with the edges turned up to make “lips.”  The dangerous part about grilling bacon is if you are not careful, you can end up with a terrible grease fire.  If this makes you nervous,  just cook the bacon in the oven/on the stovetop or buy the precooked kind (Trader Joe’s has a great variety).  If you are up for an adventure, the grilled bacon has a great smokey taste to it.  

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Grilled Bacon Crostini    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Grilled Bacon Crostini

 

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Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs

One evening, while exploring a new grocery store, I came across a pre-chopped, ready-to-eat package of rainbow cauliflower.  I had previously only cooked with the white kind, so I thought I would give cauliflower’s orange, green and purple sisters a try!

Coincidentally, I had bookmarked a recipe in The Food 52 Cookbook Volume 2 for cauliflower that I have been patiently waiting to try out.

This is simply the best cauliflower recipe my husband and I have ever tasted.  For the original recipe, click HERE or see below.  I kept the panko breadcrumb topping amount the same, but halved the amount of cauliflower.

Enjoy!

Rainbow Colored Cauliflower   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Rainbow Colored Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs

Barely adapted from recipe posted to Food 52 by TheThinChef

  • 1 lb cauliflower florets
  • 2 T + 2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided
  •  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • Zest of 1 small organic lemon
  • cloves garlic, finely minced with sea salt
  • 2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place cauliflower  in a large bowl. Add 2 T extra virgin olive oil,  a little sea salt and pepper for flavor; toss to coat.
  3. Spread cauliflower out on 1 large, rimmed baking sheets. Roast until edges start to brown, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 T olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add panko and remaining sea salt and stir. Cook, stirring constantly, until bread crumbs are golden. Add lemon zest and garlic and toss until mixture is very fragrant and bread crumbs are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Place in a small bowl and add parsley, stirring to combine. Set aside.
  5. Remove cauliflower from oven and place on serving platter. Top with bread crumbs and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

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