I woke up craving garam masala this morning and found this excellent salmon recipe by Elizabeth Yarnell courtesy of Leite’s. My only change to the recipe was to substitute coconut milk for yogurt which made it a bit richer (and more yummy I’m sure). You literally assemble the entire dish in one pot – rice (next time I’ll use 3/4 cup for two people), kale (I’d double this next time), salmon (oh how I miss Seattle salmon prices), sauce, and squash – and pop it in the oven for a half hour. It was done in 30 minutes though I made a note to check it next time after 27, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Yum!
Last night I had two girlfriends over for dinner. These are the kind of friends where we’ll sit and chat for hours and hours and then suddenly realize that its not only dark outside but it’s the middle of the night. That’s why I chose to make something that wouldn’t require a ton of thought or time to put together. I picked up some sheep/goat/cow (we tried to figure out what that would sound like – a fun game after a few glasses of wine) soft cheese and a smoky gouda with some seed crackers for appetizers and then made a lemon asparagus pea risotto with shrimp, steamed some artichokes, and served fresh strawberries over homemade vanilla ice cream that I’d churned earlier in the day. Everything was delicious though I’d try a different vanilla ice cream recipe next time as the texture was more like “ice milk” than ice cream. My new goal is to use the ice cream maker once a week so there will be plenty of time to perfect a vanilla ice cream recipe this summer. There are a bunch of recipes on the David Lebovitz and Pastry Studio websites that I’m itching to play with.
Spring Risotto with Shrimp (adapted from Gourmet’s Lemony Risotto with Asparagus and Shrimp)
- 4-5 cups homemade chicken broth
- 3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup fresh shelled peas
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Keep covered.
In a small saucepan, bring some water to a boil. Add asparagus and peas and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking, then drain.
Cook shallot in 2 tablespoons butter with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed.
Stir in 1/2 cup broth mixture and briskly simmer, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy and tender but still al dente (it should be the consistency of a thick soup), about 18 minutes. (There will be leftover broth mixture.)
Stir in shrimp and cook until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Cover for a minute or two if that helps speed up the process.
Stir in asparagus, zest, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, parmesan, parsley, and pepper to taste. (Thin risotto with some of remaining broth if necessary.)
I came across a recipe for mussels earlier in my reader this week and decided to try it on a whim tonight. We ate so many mussels in New Zealand last year and sadly, haven’t had any since. This recipe was simple and easy to make. It also looks pretty fancy for not very much work- always a plus!
The recipe comes from Andrew Scrivani’s making SundaySauce blog which is a beautiful compilation that is as visually appealing as it is mouth-watering.
2 lbs mussels, rinsed and scrubbed (I’d cut back to 1.5 lbs for two people)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes (too picante for me so I’d try 1.5 tsp next time)
2 TB olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups dry white wine (we used Verdicchio and then drank the rest of the bottle with dinner)
1. Heat the oil in a deep stock pot over medium high heat and add the garlic and shallot, add the crushed pepper, salt and pepper and saute until translucent and aromatic.
2. Add the parsley and the mussels and toss in the garlic mixture until all are covered and then quickly add the liquid. Cover the pot and allow mussels to steam until all are opened. This took less than 5 minutes.
3. Serve in a wide bowl with broth at the bottom for dipping with toasted garlic bread.
Serves 6 appetizer portions or 2 (huge) dinner portions.
I served them with roasted green beans and a simple green salad. Enjoy!