Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fra Diavolo Sauce and Pasta

Oh my, that was quite a party yesterday here in Bloglandia. Thank you, Vanessa, for being such a charming hostess and introducing us all to each other. It's going to take some time to make my way around the room, so please be patient with me.
While getting ready for yesterday's party post, last week I worked most of each day right up until dinner time. I was so tired on Wednesday, especially, that all I could think of making was this simple and delicious pasta dish.

Fra Diavolo Sauce and Pasta

serves 4

4 T olive oil, divided
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 oz linguine pasta
8 oz small shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 oz bay scallops
1 oz chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh basil
Parmesan cheese (optional)

In large saucepan, heat 2 T olive oil with the garlic over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, pour in the tomatoes. Season with salt and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions and drain.

In large skillet, heat the remaining 2 T olive oil over high heat. Add the seafood. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the shrimp turn pink. Add to the tomato mixture, and add the fresh herbs. Cook until the sauce just begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Serve sauce over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

**Note: I used a 12 oz bag frozen uncooked shrimp and half a bag of frozen seafood mix from Trader Joe's which had calamari, shrimp, and bay scallops. I thawed the seafood and drained it well before sauteing. The squid was a particularly nice addition.

I started with 1/2 tsp pepper flakes - I just had this feeling that 1 whole tsp would wind up being atomic. But, if you are a strong soul, go for it!

I also didn't have any linguine on hand, so used rotelli, and it was just great.

copyright 2009 What's Cooking?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ginger-Soy Broiled Salmon

When I've been working hard all day, I barely want to think about what's for dinner - and I've also usually left the decision to the very last minute. At these times, simplicity is best, and I love a recipe that seems to cook itself!

Ginger-Soy Broiled Salmon
Serves 4


2 T low sodium soy sauce
2 T lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T freshly grated ginger
1/4 C olive oil

4 (6 oz) salmon fillets

Combine marinade ingredients in a glass baking dish and add fish pieces. Cover well and place in fridge for an hour, turning once.

Move fish to a foil-lined cookie sheet and broil until cooked through.

copyright 2009 What's Cooking?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chocolate-Apricot Bars

I guess you've figured out by now that I've got a bit of a sweet tooth... OK, maybe more than one! That's why I'm on a perpetual diet. Thankfully, Weight Watchers realizes that most of their clients have at least one sweet tooth, and have come up with some recipes to satisfy without breaking the caloric budget. This recipe for Chocolate-Apricot Bars is one of my favorites:

Chocolate-Apricot Bars
Serves 12

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.5 C all purpose flour
3 oz (1 C) uncooked quick oats
1/4 C firmly packed light brown sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 C reduced calorie tub margarine, well chilled (I use Smart Balance)
2 T chilled water
3/4 C apricot spreadable fruit
2 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Spray a 9" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In medium bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and salt. With pastry blender (or 2 knives), cut in margarine and water until mixture is a crumbly dough. Press dough into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden.

Evenly top bar mixture with spreadable fruit and bake 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate in microwave oven on High for 90 seconds, stirring halfway through cooking time. Or, you can use a double boiler on the stove top. Evenly drizzle the chocolate over the cooled apricot bar mixture. Cool completely, then cut into 12 equal squares.

Each Serving Provides:

200 calories
3 g Protein
6 g Fat
25 g Carbohydrate
87 mgs Sodium
0 mgs Cholesterol
1 g Dietary Fiber

copyright 2009 What's Cooking?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Black Bean Burgers

Marble Man and I are still following our diet plans, as well as attempting to save some cash at the grocery store. Vegetarian meals seem like the best bet for meeting both of those goals. These Jamaican-flavored black bean burgers are really delicious, AND they look like beef burgers on the plate! It's kind of freaky how good they look... and then that first bite is a symphony of flavors. I guarantee, you'll be hooked on them once you try them.

Black Bean Burgers
serves: 8

2 T olive oil
1 1/2 C chopped onion
2 -3 cloves minced garlic
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 C black beans, drained
1 1/2 C cooked rice
a few dashes of tabasco sauce
1 C plain bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
black pepper

Heat 1 T oil and saute the onions, stirring until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, allspice and nutmeg and saute for two more minutes.

Pour into a food processor along with beans, rice, and tobasco sauce. Pulse repeatedly until mixture is chopped, not pureed.

Transfer to a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Shape into 8 patties and fry in remaining 1 T oil over medium heat, about 4 minutes per side.


copyright 2009 What's Cooking?