Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Deviled Shrimp Ragu

Greetings!  Sorry it's been so long, but being here alone and with this intensely long, hot summer, well...there's just not been a lot of cooking going on here.

And another pretty bad photo (see the link below for a much better shot!)  Had this recipe not been so good, I never would have posted it.  But it is so good!!!

I found the recipe on  It's my #1 go-to site for recipes because you can plug in whatever ingredients you're wanting to use.  I happened to be wanting a shrimp recipe, plus I thought I'd like to use some smoked paprika.  When I first saw that this recipe called for using ketchup (?!!!) I hesitated.  But "Chef John" on allrecipes has always come through with some outstanding recipes.  This one has to be at the top of my list.

He notes that he uses the shrimp alone as an entrĂ©e or could be served over rice or noodles.  I used rice.  Doesn't really matter.  This shrimp is a standout.


1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined shells reserved
1 bay leaf
1 pinch smoked paprika
1 cup water
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground dried chipotle pepper, optional
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp minced garlic
salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives

Cooked rice or noodles, optional

Place shrimp shells into a saucepan with bay leaf and 1 pinch of smoked paprika over medium-low heat; cook and stir shells until they turn pink, about 5 minutes.  Pour in water, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer shrimp stock for 20-25 minutes.

Mix lemon juice, ketchup, brown sugar, ground chipotle pepper (if using), 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, garlic, 1 pinch of salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

Strain shrimp stock into a bowl; discard shells and bay leaf.  Whisk shrimp stock into ketchup mixture and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until small wisps of smoke rise from the skillet.  Cook shrimp in the hot oil until bottom sides of shrimp are seared and browned, about 3 minutes.  Stir in shrimp stock mixture and cook until shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes.  Transfer shrimp to a bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving sauce in skillet.

Bring sauce to a boil and cook until sauce has reduced and thickened, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in cold butter, turn off heat, and let residual heat of pan melt butter.  Stir until butter has incorporated into sauce and sauce is slightly thickened.

Stir shrimp into sauce and toss with chives.  Serve shrimp with sauce.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shrimp and Asparagus

I had some shrimp and mushrooms on hand and did a search on Allrecipes to find a recipe using these ingredients.  I found this recipe and after reading some of the comments, made some adjustments.

First and foremost, the original recipe had way to much fat in the way of butter and olive oil.  I used just enough to cook the mushrooms and shrimp.

I made this last week so my recipe is loosely based on my memory.  If you'd like, compare mine to the original and make adjustments to fit your taste.

SHRIMP and ASPARAGUS (2 servings)

1/2 lb fresh asparagus, cut into about 1" pieces
4 oz angel hair pasta
1-2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 lb uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
Parmesan cheese
S&P to taste

Steam asparagus.  Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, set aside.

Saute mushrooms in a mixture of EVOO and butter.  Saute until mushrooms are limp.

Place butter and lemon juice in a saucepan.  Heat until the butter has melted.  Place the shrimp in the saucepan and cook until the shrimp turns pink.  Add the mushrooms and shrimp.

Toss the shrimp and vegetables with the cooked pasta.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  S&P to taste.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Mustard Potato Salad

This recipe is kind of a note to myself.  I don't think I've ever made potato salad the same's always off-the-cuff and sometimes it's pretty good and sometimes is only so-so.  This batch came off quite good and, if nothing else, is a great basic recipe to start with and alter it to your tastes.

A few notes.  Generally I prefer red-skinned potatoes, but I have a bag of russets that need to be used.  Also, sometimes I do like a Miracle Whip-based dressing, but I usually stick with mayo.  Also, the recipe I worked from (I think it was in, but can't find it right now) called for dill pickles).  I only had hamburger chips, so that's what I used.  The mustard I used was dill mustard, a yellow-mustard with dried dill weed (the brand is Silver Springs.  A plain yellow mustard would just fine.  I generally boil the potatoes, but this time I had the oven on and so I just baked the potatoes.

One last thing, I don't like too much dressing.  This amount was a bit more than I used.  So if you're like me, you won't need this much (I ended up making up another batch of potatoes, eggs, onions, and celery to use it up).

Again for me, this is a great basic recipe to start with.  Fine tune it to your tastes and/or what you have on hand.

POTATO SALAD  (3-4 servings)

6 small potatoes (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds), cooked and cubed
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
sweet onion, chopped

1/2 cup mayo (I use 1/2 regular, 1/2 reduced-fat)
3 + Tbsp yellow mustard
2 Tbsp pickle juice
6 hamburger pickle chips, chopped (or 1/4 cup dill relish in lieu of juice and chips)
S&P to taste
celery seed to taste
Cajun seasoning to taste (I use Nunu's)

Whisk dressing ingredients.  Check seasonings.

Stir dressing into potato mixture until coated as you like.  (If I'm going to have the salad around for a few days, I mix the dressing into the salad at time of serving.)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This is a great, easy dip recipe to have on hand.  I make a batch and then just heat up a single serving each time.  I've had mine in the fridge for a couple of weeks and it bakes up nicely.

There are many variations on Artichoke Spinach Dip.  This is a great basic recipe to which you can make many changes.  The only thing I changed was to add a can of water chestnuts (chopped) simply because I like the which crunch it adds.

A tip to myself:  a 10 oz package of frozen, chopped spinach can be drained and pressed dry and then divided into four 1/2 cup portions and refrozen.  So I can make four batches out of one package of spinach.  And a note to others:  If you can find them, try using artichoke bottoms instead of hearts (Reese's brand is what I was able to get).  They're all meat and don't have those annoying spiky leafs you'll get in cans/jars of artichoke hearts.  Publix was good enough to special-order them for me.


1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (I use reduced-fat)
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup Parmesan and/or Romano shredded cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 (14 oz) can artichoke bottoms or hearts
1/2 cup frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 can water chestnuts, chopped, optional
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).  Lightly grease a small baking dish (I used my NuWave oven and baked for about 12 minutes).

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayo, cheese(s), garlic, basil, garlic salt, S&P to taste.  Gently stir in artichokes, spinach and chestnuts (if using).  Either sprinkle in the mozzarella on top after putting into baking dish or (if making individual portions) stir it into the mixture.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish.  Top with mozz.  Bake into preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Zucchini and Squash Bake

I wish I could remember where I originally saw this recipe because I adjusted it to use what I had on hand.  And incredibly, it came out wonderfully (I say this because I'm not particularly good at changing up recipes).

When I mixed it up (it was still warm) I thought it was good as it was.  But the recipe I was working from said to bake it for an hour.  So I did bake the next serving and it was even better!

This amount made about 4 single servings.  I think it would also be good to add some pasta sauce and use only mozzarella (omitting the Velveeta and cheddar).  I added a bit of anise seed because the Italian sausage I used didn't have enough flavor for my taste.

ZUCCHINI and SQUASH BAKE (4 servings)

8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 small onion, diced
4 oz Italian sausage, crumbled
1 small zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
16 grape or cherry tomatoes
2 oz Velveeta
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1 1/2-2 cups cooked rice
1/8 to 1/4 tsp anise seed, optional

Saute the mushrooms in equal amounts of EVOO and butter until cooked.  Set aside.

Saute onion and Italian sausage until sausage is cooked.  Add zucchini, squash, and tomatoes.  Saute until until vegetables are cooked.  Stir in cooked mushrooms.  Add Velveeta, mozzarella, and cheddar.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cooked rice and anise seed.

Bake at 350 for about an hour.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fish with Chorizo Tomato Sauce

OK, I finally put my old photos on my laptop (since the desktop crashed) and found a couple of old recipes I didn't get to post. 

This is a Publix demo recipe and it is so good!!!  I just happened to have everything on hand and am so glad I made this.  The chorizo and capers are a new and unique (to me) addition to a fish dish.  Easy to make on top of everything.


1 shallot, finely chopped
2 fresh medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 oz cured chorizo, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp capers
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 (6 oz) flaky fish fillets (ex: orange roughy, tilapia, Swai, flounder)
1/2 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped, optional

Chop shallot (2 Tbsp), tomatoes, and chorizo.  Preheat large saute pan on medium 2-3 minutes.  Place oil in pan, then add shallots, capers, and chorizo; cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until shallots have softened.

Stir in tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and red pepper; cook and stir 8-10 minutes or until tomatoes are softened and saucy.

Reduce heat to medium-low.  Nestle fish into sauce, pour wine over fish, and cover; simmer 5-6 minutes or until fish is 145F (or opaque and separates easily).  Meanwhile, chop oregano (if using).  Spoon sauce over fish and sprinkle with oregano.  Serve.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Spiced Salmon with Mango Salsa and Cauliflower "Rice"

Greetings, again!

It's been a difficult month but I have some recipes I've been wanting to share.  I'm still having computer problems so I'm having to copy photos from other sources.  Probably a good thing since I'm not a very good photographer.

Also, Jim has been working out of state for several months and, therefore, I'm just not doing much cooking.  But I want to keep a record for myself of those really outstanding recipes I don't want to forget.

And this one really tops the list.  Another demo from Publix, this is the simplest and one of my favorite salmon recipes.  Our Publix happens to have sockeye salmon on sale and it's the best I've had in a long time.  I've already made this recipe three times in the last two weeks.  And I've actually simplified it by simply spraying the fillet with cooking spray and then just sprinkling both sides with smoked paprika, cumin, and salt.  The complete recipe is below.

And this cauliflower "rice" recipe is wonderful!!!  The cauliflower gives you that bit of texture and the hominy really adds a new flavor dimension.  The cheese and chives really round it out.


1 mango
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 limes, for juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 lb sockeye (or coho) salmon fillet, skin removed
Cooking spray  

Preheat grill (or grill pan).  Peel mango and cut into 1/4" cubes (1 cup).  Chop onion (2 Tbsp) and cilantro.  Squeeze limes for juice (1 1/2 Tbsp).  Combine mango, onion, cilantro, lime juice, agave, and 1/4 tsp salt.

Combine all spices and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.  Cut salmon into four equal pieces.  Coat both sides of salmon with spray and spice mixture.  Place salmon on grill (or in grill pan); grill 3-4 minutes on each side or until salmon is 145F (or opaque and separates easily).  (Or bake salmon in oven preheated to 400F for 8-10 minutes.) 

Serve mango salsa over salmon.

Cauliflower "Rice"                        

1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lb)
1 (15.5-oz) can hominy, drained and rinsed
Cooking spray
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
tablespoon dried chives

Cut cauliflower into florets and place in food processor bowl; pulse until finely chopped (resembling rice).  Transfer into medium bowl.

Place hominy in same food processor bowl; pulse until finely chopped, then stir into cauliflower.

Preheat large saute pan on medium 2-3 minutes.  Place cauliflower mixture in pan and coat with spray; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until tender.  Remove pan from heat; stir in cheese and chives.  Serve.