Tag Archives: Spinach

Shrimp, Spinach, Tomatoes and Pasta

I love the recipe with Chicken, Spinach , Tomatoes and Pasta so much that I decided to make it with Shrimp. It turned out as delicious as I imagined it would. My daughter and grandsons are out here visiting, and I wanted to make a special dinner for her first night. I didn’t feel like making chicken again, so I made the basic recipe but changed it around a little bit for the shrimp. How can this be bad??  With cooking you can mix and match and screw around with the recipes, more or less seasonings, etc. With baking you really can’t, when you start substituting it gets very dicey and I don’t recommend doing it unless you’re just screwing around in the kitchen. There is nothing worse than going to the effort and expense of baking and having to scrap the whole cake because you tried to change an ingredient.  Usually with baking , I follow the directions carefully and try new ingredients before I will make them for any one else.   With cooking you can be more flexible and be a bit more daring. There is definitley room for error with cooking but not with baking. Baking is much more precise a science. Heed the advice and have fun with this recipe. This is what I did.

Ingredients:

2 boxes Cherry Tomatoes or little grape type tomatoes. During the summer you may want to use some of those beautiful fresh tomatoes either from your garden or from the farm stand. In the winter months stick with the small cherry types. I was able to obtain some fresh cherry tomatoes grown locally and they were sweet and delicious.

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper –to taste

2 Tablespoons Butter ( unsalted)

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

3/4 cup Chicken Broth

3/4 cup white wine ( I use whatever I have open) if no white wine in house double up on chicken broth

Shrimp , we used Ocean Garden brand or any Mexican White Shrimp shell on whites under 10 – 15 size.  Use whatever you like but I highly recommend this brand. I used enough for the three of us about 5 pieces each ( they are nice size) and cooked up the rest for shrimp cocktail for the next day. Joel recommends using Mexican White Ocean caught shrimp. The under 10 size means there are under 10 to a pound. These are the perfect size for shrimp cocktail and many dishes. They are rather costly though. Ask your seafood person for help , you’d be surprised how a little knowledge goes a long way in this area. We buy it by the box (5 lb.) and it comes frozen in a block. It gets defrosted, cleaned and deveined. You can also go into your local fish store and buy 1 lb. of shrimp about 10 – 15 to a lb. and have them clean it and devein it. We prefer the shrimp from Mexico or Equador, ask for white shrimp from Central or South America.

1 bag baby spinach

*crushed red pepper if you like a little heat ( totally optional)

1 lb. of spaghetti , I used perciatelli type of pasta. Use whatever type you like.

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. I like to keep a cup of the pasta water in case I need a bit more liquid for finishing the sauce. I always do this.

Clean and devein shrimp.  Thank goodness Joel does this for me, but you can ask them in your seafood dept. or fish store to do this they usually will,  it takes a lot of the work out of it.

Cut small tomatoes in 1/2, if you are using larger tomatoes just chop up.  Heat olive oil over medium high heat, turn heat down to low and add garlic for about a minute. Pour in wine and broth , raise the heat and allow the liquid to come to a boil. Allow the liquid to boil for a few minutes and it will reduce , cooking liquid should reduce by at least 1/2. Lower to a simmer and add tomatoes, I let them cook for a while, probably 1/2 hour or so for this sauce. The tomatoes will release their liquid a bit, and soften up .  Sprinkle some kosher salt and pepper now on tomatoes.  ( about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt) and a few grinds of the black pepper ( to taste) Let tomatoes simmer, while you cook shrimp. You can always turn heat off, and just turn back on when you’ll add the shrimp.

I pat shrimp dry on some paper towels, and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.

In another smaller frying pan, I add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over low – medium heat. When oil is hot , I add shrimp , I just quickly sear the shrimp about 3 minutes each side. Then I add shrimp to my tomatoes and simmer for a few more minutes. I add the pasta right in to my large skillet, and mix in pasta with the shrimp and tomatoes. Right before serving , I add in the bag of baby spinach and let it wilt, and that’s it! Plate it up! Delicious! Vegetable, Protein and Starch all in one bowl! Yum

Spinach Casserole–perfect for Holidays

cooking with candi 233I came across this recipe in my recipe file. I made it once a while ago and am re-visiting it because I had made notes on this lovely gratin. It’s super-rich and belongs on a holiday table. It goes well with meat and poultry. Made with frozen spinach, I bought the frozen organic spinach at Whole Foods frozen works better than the fresh stuff here. I am all for some plain roasted veggies but who can resist this beautiful gratin? If someone asks you to bring a side dish this could be the one. Go for it! and use a beautiful casserole dish , a 9 x 11 should work perfectly. I am making this one day ahead and will bring it to room temperature on Thanksgiving and re-heat it. Enjoy!

Shopping List:

onions, Gruyere Cheese (grated), 3 16 oz. bags of frozen chopped spinach, Panko Breadcrumbs

Pantry Items:

unsalted butter, onions, grated nutmeg, flour, cayenne powder, kosher salt and pepper, whole milk and flour.

Ingredients:

*should serve 10 people as a side

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium-sized yellow onions , chopped

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3 cups whole milk

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg ( or ground nutmeg)

pinch of cayenne powder ( gives it a little kick)

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere Cheese

3 16 oz. bags of frozen chopped spinach- thawed ( organic spinach is nice but not necessary)

1 tsp. Kosher Salt

1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black or white pepper

Topping:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups Panko seasoned breadcrumbs

Sea Salt to taste ( if no sea salt use kosher salt)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Squeeze all of the liquid out of the thawed spinach, by the handfuls, (very important ) get all of the water out. Set spinach aside. You’ll want it as dry as possible.

Heat milk to a simmer in saucepan, not to a boil but a simmer.

Melt the butter in another pot, add onions and cook until translucent but not browned, app. 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the hot milk and whisk until it thickens up, this is the roux. Add the nutmeg and cayenne. Turn off the heat.

Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. Add the spinach and mix well.

Pour into a well sprayed 9×11 glass or ceramic baking dish. Prepare crumb topping.

Melt butter in a medium skillet, add panko, sprinkle with a little sea salt and stir until lightly browned.

Gently smooth the topping on top of the gratin. Cook for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes until bubbling.

Shrimp, Spinach, Tomatoes and Pasta

I love the recipe with Chicken, Spinach , Tomatoes and Pasta so much that I decided to make it with Shrimp. It turned out as delicious as I imagined it would. My daughter and grandsons are out here visiting, and I wanted to make a special dinner for her first night. I didn’t feel like making chicken again, so I made the basic recipe but changed it around a little bit for the shrimp. How can this be bad??  With cooking you can mix and match and screw around with the recipes, more or less seasonings, etc. With baking you really can’t, when you start substituting it gets very dicey and I don’t recommend doing it unless you’re just screwing around in the kitchen. There is nothing worse than going to the effort and expense of baking and having to scrap the whole cake because you tried to change an ingredient.  Usually with baking , I follow the directions carefully and try new ingredients before I will make them for any one else.   With cooking you can be more flexible and be a bit more daring. There is definitley room for error with cooking but not with baking. Baking is much more precise a science. Heed the advice and have fun with this recipe. This is what I did.

Ingredients:

2 boxes Cherry Tomatoes or little grape type tomatoes. During the summer you may want to use some of those beautiful fresh tomatoes either from your garden or from the farm stand. In the winter months stick with the small cherry types. I was able to obtain some fresh cherry tomatoes grown locally and they were sweet and delicious.

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons Butter ( unsalted)

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

3/4 cup Chicken Broth

3/4 cup white wine ( I use whatever I have open) if no white wine in house double up on chicken broth

Shrimp , we used Ocean Garden brand or any Mexican White Shrimp shell on whites under 10 – 15 size.  Use whatever you like but I highly recommend this brand. I used enough for the three of us about 5 pieces each ( they are nice size) and cooked up the rest for shrimp cocktail for the next day. Joel recommends using Mexican White Ocean caught shrimp. The under 10 size means there are under 10 to a pound. These are the perfect size for shrimp cocktail and many dishes. They are rather costly though. Ask your seafood person for help , you’d be surprised how a little knowledge goes a long way in this area. We buy it by the box (5 lb.) and it comes frozen in a block. It gets defrosted, cleaned and deveined. You can also go into your local fish store and buy 1 lb. of shrimp about 10 – 15 to a lb. and have them clean it and devein it. We prefer the shrimp from Mexico or Equador, ask for white shrimp from Central or South America.

1 bag baby spinach

*crushed red pepper if you like a little heat ( totally optional)

1 lb. of spaghetti , I used perciatelli type of pasta. Use whatever type you like.

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. I like to keep a cup of the pasta water in case I need a bit more liquid for finishing the sauce. I always do this.

Clean and devein shrimp.  Thank goodness Joel does this for me, but you can ask them in your seafood dept. or fish store to do this they usually will,  it takes a lot of the work out of it.

Cut small tomatoes in 1/2, if you are using larger tomatoes just chop up.  Heat olive oil over medium high heat, turn heat down to low and add garlic for about a minute. Pour in wine and broth , raise the heat and allow the liquid to come to a boil. Allow the liquid to boil for a few minutes and it will reduce , cooking liquid should reduce by at least 1/2. Lower to a simmer and add tomatoes, I let them cook for a while, probably 1/2 hour or so for this sauce. The tomatoes will release their liquid a bit, and soften up .  Sprinkle some kosher salt and pepper now on tomatoes.  ( about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt) and a few grinds of the black pepper ( to taste) Let tomatoes simmer, while you cook shrimp. You can always turn heat off, and just turn back on when you’ll add the shrimp.

I pat shrimp dry on some paper towels, and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.

In another smaller frying pan, I add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over low – medium heat. When oil is hot , I add shrimp , I just quickly sear the shrimp about 3 minutes each side. Then I add shrimp to my tomatoes and simmer for a few more minutes. I add the pasta right in to my large skillet, and mix in pasta with the shrimp and tomatoes. Right before serving , I add in the bag of baby spinach and let it wilt, and that’s it! Plate it up! Delicious! Vegetable, Protein and Starch all in one bowl! Yum