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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Cooking

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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Asparagus, Fiddlehead Fern & Morel Mushroom Risotto

Asparagus, Fiddlehead Fern

Asparagus, Fiddlehead Fern & Morel Mushroom Risotto

I received an email from one of the local markets that they had just received some fiddlehead ferns and fresh morel mushrooms.  What would I do with the fronds and morels once I brought them home?  No clue, but I went in search of them regardless, knowing they would be part of the evening meal.

Fresh Fiddlehead Ferns  www.morewinelesswhines.com

Fresh Fiddlehead Ferns

I wanted to do something fresh, filling and delicious but without the addition of cream.  Enter my friend risotto.  I have a few favorite ways to make risotto, one of them being with a mix of dried and fresh mushrooms, pancetta and saffron.  Eventually, I will share that recipe.  For this dish, I started with my seasonal ingredients.

Asparagus, Fiddlehead Fern and Morel Mushrooms with White Wine Butter Sauce

Asparagus, Fiddlehead Fern and Morel Mushrooms with White Wine Butter Sauce

You could almost just prepare the asparagus, fiddlehead ferns and morels in the white wine butter sauce and forget about the risotto if you are pressed for time.  I will leave that up to you!  No matter which direction you choose, you will have a great recipe base to sample some of spring’s fleeting delicacies.

This is how you know it is ok to add more broth to your risotto

This is how you know it is ok to add more broth to your risotto

Personally, I’m not a huge fiddlehead fern fan, but they are a fun, seasonal ingredient and “just work” in this dish.  The morels for this recipe cost $7.80.  They are not cheap, but are worth the once a year splurge.  Enjoy!

Asparagus, Fiddlehead Fern & Morel Mushroom Risotto

6 c. low sodium chicken broth

4 T. unsalted butter
1 bunch asparagus
16-18 fiddlehead ferns (optional)
18 small morel mushrooms (can substitute with other mushrooms)
1/2 c. dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)

1 T. Canola Oil
2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 c. minced shallots
1.5 c. Arborio rice

1 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano + 1/4 c. for serving
2 T. Parsley, chopped (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.) Broth: Pour chicken broth into a large saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer. Reduce heat to low and maintain a gentle simmer.

2.) Asparagus, Fiddlehead Ferns & Morels: Heat a medium frying pan over low-medium heat. Add 4 T. butter. Gently melt and allow to turn a rich golden-tan, stirring occasionally with a spatula. Once the butter is browned (but not burned), add morels and asparagus. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Add fiddlehead ferns. Sauté additional 5 minutes. Turn heat to high. Pour in white wine. Sauté 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat and set aside.*

3.) The Rice:Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Melt 2 T. butter & 1 T canola oil. Stir in minced shallots and sauté until golden. Stir Arborio rice into the shallots and continue stirring, 2 minutes longer until oil coats all of the rice. Begin adding broth, 1/2 c (4 oz) at a time, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Once most of broth is absorbed or you can run your spoon down the center of the pan without liquid immediately covering the space back up, add another ladle full of broth. Continue to do this 18-25 minutes, or until all of broth is gone.** Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper as you go, taking care not to add too much salt..

4.) Bringing it all together: Add the reserved spring asparagus, fiddlehead ferns & morels along with any sauce left in the saucepan to the rice. Stir. Slowly stir in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve garnished with fresh parsley and extra parmesan cheese.

*You can forget about the risotto if you like and just prepare the asparagus, fiddlehead ferns and morels up to this point. Serve them as a side dish, mixed in with an omelet, atop grilled chicken or as part of an antipasto platter!

** I use a 4 oz ladle to scoop the broth out of the pot. A measuring cup will work, too.

 

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Cooking, Reflections, Traditions

Chicken and Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

Chicken & Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

Chicken & Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

If you listen to the stories of countless immigrants regardless of country of origin, you will hear different stories with very common threads:

  • The iron will to make a new, better life
  • The desire to assimilate and become successful in American culture
  • A careful preservation of heritage and traditions revolving around family, holidays and food

I am a 4th generation American.  America is my home and I am grateful to live here.  My ancestors hailed from Italy, Ireland and Germany.  I married a 3rd generation Italian American.  My husband and I have a passion for Italian American food.  This cuisine, above all others, comforts, nourishes, and brings back the old and welcomes new memories with our families as we cook.

One of my favorite comfort foods growing up, which was served only during holidays, is Braciole, (pronounced bra-zschOL).  If you have a thick Chicago accent, change the pronunciation to (bra-ZHALLL), accent on the “all” part of the word.  Braciole is a meat roll-up that has been browned in oil, then allowed to finish cooking in a tomato sauce.  As a little girl, my Papa would make braciole and meatballs and let them simmer in tomato sauce.  We would eat them over a heavy pasta we referred to as “sinkers.”

I took this memory, coupled with a recipe from The North End Italian Cookbook by Marguerite DiMino Buonopane to make a variation of this dish using chicken and prosciutto.  This cookbook was also the inspiration behind another one of my recipes, Chicken Soup with Escarole and Polpettini.

I hope you enjoy this updated version of braciole as much as we do!

Chicken & Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce Ingredients

Chicken & Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce Ingredients

Rolling up the Chicken &Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

Rolling up the Chicken &Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

The rolled up the Chicken &Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

The rolled up the Chicken & Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

Browning the Chicken &Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

Browning the Chicken &Prosciutto Braciole with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

Chicken and Prosciutto Braciole with Whine Wine Mushroom Sauce

Original recipe from The North End Italian Cookbook by Marguerite DiMino Buonopane

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large garlic clove, finely minced (optional)
1/4 c. freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. fresh parsley, (1 T. set aside for garnish)
4 thin slices prosciutto
2 T unsalted butter
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 c. white wine
8 oz.mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used white button mushrooms, but you can get creative)
1/4 c. chicken broth
2-3 T unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Pound chicken breasts to 1/4″ thickness. Sprinkle each chicken breast with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now, place the smoothest side of each chicken breast down, facing the cutting board you are working on. Spread a little garlic over the “rough side” of each piece of chicken (if using). Then, sprinkle each chicken breast evenly with both cheeses and parsley. Place a single, thin slice of prosciutto over each chicken breast. Roll up each piece of chicken, tucking the filling as you go. Secure each chicken breast with 2-3 toothpicks.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 T unsalted butter & 2 T olive oil. Swirl in pan until butter is melted and oil is hot. Add chicken roll-ups, browning slightly on each side. Work in 2 batches if necessary to give each chicken enough space in the pan to brown.

Transfer browned chicken to a medium-sized baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While chicken is baking, drain any excess fat from the skillet. Return the unwashed pan to the stove over medium heat. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to high and add mushrooms. Continue to stir the mushrooms and wine, 5-8 minutes longer, over high heat. Stir in chicken broth and reduce heat to low once sauce begins to thicken. Just before serving, stir 2-3 T unsalted butter into the sauce to finish.

Once chicken comes out of oven, remove toothpicks if you are a nice cook,  transfer to serving dish and spoon white wine mushroom sauce on top. Sprinkle with reserved fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

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