Wednesday, September 21, 2016

9-20-16 OLD & NEW

As usual, I left dinner planning to the last minute, which explains why I was staring at the open refrigerator scratching my head.  I saw several pieces of grilled chicken tenders and a small container with the half can of diced tomatoes, both remnants of last night’s dinner.  Next I checked the freezer and saw a package of shrimp, and knew immediately what I wanted to do.


1.     Pasta
2.     Grilled chicken
3.     Shrimp
4.     Onion – garlic – celery – Basil
5.     Diced tomatoes
6.     Sweet Vermouth
7.     Butter
8.     Heavy whipping cream


I began by preparing the Soffrito – cooking the diced onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil over med-low heat.  Next I added the tomatoes, basil, and wine, lowered the heat slightly, and cooked for about 15 minutes.  I diced the twp chicken tenders and added them to the pan.  I knew the pasta would take about 10 minutes to cook, so I waited until the pasta was in the water before I added the shrimp to the sauce.  About 5 minutes before the pasta was ready I added the butter and cream.


What a delightful dinner!  I think it could easily be repeated, using Sun Dried tomatoes in oil in place of the diced tomatoes. I started using celery in the "make ready" stage and enjoy the added flavor it gives to the sauce.  It is definitely a do over.

Monday, September 12, 2016



1.     De Boles artichoke wheat Capellini
2.     Asparagus
3.     Peas
4.     Artichoke hearts
5.     Olive oil
6.     Onion
7.     Garlic
8.     Basil
9.     Tarragon
10. Butter
11. Heavy whipping cream
12. Fresh lemon juice
13. Dry white wine
14. Vegetable broth
15. Salt & pepper
16. Grana Padano cheese


I had no predetermined plan when I started tonight’s dinner.   With a limited pantry, I settled on the ingredients available: Asparagus, frozen peas, and frozen artichoke hearts. It began like almost all of my meals – sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil.  I cut the asparagus into 1” pieces, partially thawed the frozen peas and Artichoke hearts in the microwave and added them to the pan, along with a cube of frozen chopped basil, about 1/3 cup of vegetable broth, and some dried Tarragon.  Several minutes later I splashed in some dry white wine (Pinot Grigio), and a few minutes later some fresh lemon juice.  Everything simmered over low heat while waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil.  While the pasta was cooking I added a small amount of heavy whipping cream - no more than ¼ cup.  The pasta was added to the sauce, and served with a sprinkling of Grana Padano cheese.


This was as much fun to cook as it was to eat.  With my usual objectivity I am giving this a 10+.