Tag Archives: lemon juice

Best Shrimp Scampi!

Best Shrimp Scampi!

shrimpyShrimp scampi is one of those delicious dishes that’s sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face just on aroma’s alone! Shrimp sautéed in olive oil and butter with lots of garlic, shallots, clam broth, and white wine topped with fresh lemon juice, parsley and Parmesan make’s for a grand party atop a pile of linguine!

This quickie gourmet sauce I have created for you in this shrimp scampi dish is a light sauce, yet packed with flavor. The way we do this is by concentrating the juice’s released from those sautéed shrimp along with a couple of bottles of clam stock simmering for a brief seven minutes. The traditional and time consuming way to create this lovely stock would be to simmer the shrimp shells in white wine for a while like you would for a lobster bisque stock. The objective here was to take a short cut to accommodate our busy every day lives without foregoing taste by using bottled clam stock. Voilà, you have an amazing flavor base for our shrimp scampi with linguine in seven minutes.

One of my favorite way’s to serve the shrimp scampi with linguine is by offering up a Parmesan with red pepper flake’s mixed right into it. It’s nice to offer two small dishes of Parmesan, one with the pepper flakes and one without. By adding the red pepper flakes to the grated cheese guests are less likely to accidentally sprinkle on too much because it’s dispersed throughout the cheese.

You might want to try some homemade pasta to go with this wonderful shrimp scampi or even a Caesar Salad.  Some chocolate crackle cookies would be great for dessert or homemade chocolate eclairs with an incredibly easy and luscious vanilla filling. Then again there those drunk blondie bars with the bourbon caramel sauce that are to die for! Enjoy! 🙂

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Ingredients for Shrimp Scampi with Linguine – 6-10 People:

  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs of peeled & deveined large shrimp (ask for a certain number of shrimp …2-5 per person depending on what other side dishes you are serving)
  • 2 bottle of Snows clam broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine – pinot grigio
  • 4 lg garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 2 lg garlic clove smashed
  • 1/4  cup finely chopped FRESH FLAT LEAF Italian parsley
  • 5 Tbsp salted butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb pasta – linguine or linguine fini
  • 2 lemons
  • Reggiano Parmesano
  • Red pepper flakes -OPTIONAL
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel and devein shrimp
  2. Bring large pan of salted water to a boil
  3. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp butter and 2 lg crushed garlic cloves to large sauté pan over med/high heat
  4. When the pan is hot add in the shrimp
  5. Saute for 2 1/2 minutes per side
  6. Remove shrimp and garlic – set aside
  7. Add in 1 tbsp olive oil, finely chopped garlic and shallots into the same pan and saute til soft (lightly golden) for about 2-3 minutes
  8. Then pour in both cans of clam juice with the garlic and shallots
  9. Bring to a boil over high heat, turn down to a low simmer for 7 minutes
  10. Add pasta to boiling salted water and cook until aldente (don’t over cook!)
  11. Let pan with the clam broth/garlic simmer and reduce by 1/3
  12. Add shrimp back into reduced clam broth/garlic
  13. Add in juice from 1 whole lemon and 3 tbsp of chopped parsley to shrimp scampi
  14. Add in salt and pepper here to taste
  15. Simmer on LOW for 2 more minutes
  16. Drain pasta and pour out pasta into a large serving platter or bowl
  17. Add in 4 tbsp of butter to pasta and toss, add in salt and pepper to taste …taste the pasta and make sure the pasta is PROPERLY seasoned at this point
  18. Pour the shrimp scampi mixture over the pasta
  19. Sprinkle with more fresh chopped parsley and grated cheese and serve…YUM!
  20. NOTE: Make sure that each person gets some of that tasty broth in their dish

Best Hummus Ever

Best Hummus Ever!

My Best Hummus Ever recipe is going to become a go to dish for you when you see how gosh darn easy it is to make it yourself! Chic peas, tahini paste, garlic, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt in a food processor, purée until smooth and violà you have an amazing dip. Wait, there is one caveat to this best hummus ever recipe. My secret to a silky, smooth homemade hummus is removing the skins from the chic peas. This is actually a very easy task that will take you about five to ten minutes and it makes all the difference in the texture and taste for your hummus. It’s still quicker than taking that trip to the market for the already prepared hummus.

Hummus is such a versatile kind of dip where you can change it up in so many ways to get a new flavor. You can add a teaspoon of cumin to give it a bright, floral and lemony flavor. You could add in smoked paprika, hot sauce, or even throw in some roasted red peppers when you go to purée the chic peas for a beautiful reddish roasted pepper hummus. The options really are endless so don’t be afraid to have some fun here.

Biting the bullet and buying the jar of Tahini paste is totally worth it because it will last a long, long time and you will get many, many hummus dishes from this! For all you local followers I buy my jar of Tahini paste at FoodWorks Natural Market in Guilford, CT.

If you like this best hummus ever recipe you may want to try my Michigan Sauce, yogurt chicken kabobs and tzatziki beef bourguignon where you make an amazing Indian spiced tomato-cream dish on the 2nd day or Sea bass with green goddess sauce. Then you can end the meal with the cake that won’t last or an apple sauce-caramel sundae!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can chic peas – garbanzo beans drained, rinsed and with skins removed (I used Goya)
  • 3 tbsp – In the show I said 1/4 cup but I actually think 3 tbsp is better (a little milder)… Tahini has a strong flavor.
  • Food Works in Guilford has Tahini Paste (note: this is a good investment because it will last a long, long time and you will get many, many hummus dishes from it 🙂
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ex-large garlic clove put thru press for a fine mash
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt – will add 1/4 tsp at a time
  • 1-3 tbsp water
  • a few dashes of Siracha or your favorite hot sauce (you can find Siracha near the Tabasco in the store)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Drain, wash and remove the skins from the chic peas by gently squeezing the peas between your fingers to loosen and remove the outer skin
  • Put the chic peas, tahini paste, a garlic clove put thru garlic press, olive oil and fresh lemon juice in the food processor and run for 1 minute
  • Stop and scrap down the sides of the processor
  • Add 1/4 tsp of sea salt, 1 tbsp of water and purée 1 minute
  • Stop and taste, you will probably need to add 1 tsp sea salt more and 1 tbsp water getting it to thin it out a bit (adding the water aerates the dip lightening it up)
  • Run the processor for 1 more minute
  • Check to make sure hummus is the thickness you want – you may want 1 tbsp more of water
  • Turn out hummus into a bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil
  • And, OR Sprinkle with paprika, OR top with 2 tbsp chopped kalamata olives or cucumber salad in the center of the hummus
  • Serve with blue chips, pita or naan
  • CUCUMBER SALAD: 1/4 cup finely chopped European cucumber, 2 tbsp finely chopped cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp finely chopped kalamata olive and red onion, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of s & p – combine all ingredients in a sm bowl

Chicken Piccata-Easy Gourmet

Chicken Piccata-Easy Gourmet

My Chicken Piccata-Easy Gourmet recipe really is an uncomplicated dish that will knock your socks off! The chicken cutlets are so tender that they are almost falling apart in it’s delicate wine-shallot sauce with capers, paper thin Baby Bella mushrooms and fresh squeezed lemon is truly amazing. It has a delicate zing from the capers, and a brightness from that fresh squeezed lemon at the end. I serve up this chicken piccata with fresh sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes that just seems to pull it all together almost making it a comfort food with the mouth watering wine gravy and mashed potatoes. It is a dish that you may just start to crave! It only takes about 30 minutes to make so it should definitely be part of your cooking repertoire considering how incredible it tastes!

Even my kids love it although I do put aside several pieces for them at the point right after I deg-laze with wine and before I add the mushrooms and capers because that’s just not their thing …yet! -This way everyone is happy.

I don’t use too much butter in this recipe. I don’t think there is a big need for that with all these amazing layered flavors from the chicken, shallots, mushrooms, capers, white wine, chicken broth and lemon juice.  The light flour coating on the chicken when dredging it to sauté helps to thicken the sauce right there.  I see many recipes adding a ton of butter “to thicken” it and it’s just not necessary. Enjoy making this tasty dish and be sure to watch it on my Chicken Piccata cooking show video either posted right here (listed under “videos” tab above) or on my YouTube channel.

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Ingredients: Serves 4-6 people if served with mashed potatoes and fresh sautéed spinach

  • 3 lg chicken breasts or 4 med. sliced into 3 and pounded thinly
  • 3 tbsp lg capers (or sm if you prefer…they’re all good)
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cups white wine (approx. 1/2 cup for each chicken deglazing and 1/3 c. for mushrooms and approx another 1/2 cup at the end to simmer…NOTE in my video I did say 1/4 cup at each stage but oops I used a little more than that : )
  • 1/3-1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 6 lg BABY BELLA mushrooms sliced PAPER thin
  • 1 wedge of lemon for the end
  • 6 lg garlic cloves just smashed to sauté and flavor olive oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper for flavoring flour
  • 1 recipe fresh sautéed spinach (can leave out garlic in recipe)
  • 1 recipe mashed potatoes (can leave out red onion)

Directions: Approx. 30-40 minute to prep and cook

  1. Either buy chicken breasts pounded out at your local butcher or cut each breast into 3 horizontally and pound out each one gently to 1/4″ thickness
  2. Put flour into shallow dish and season with s & p
  3. Dredge pounded chicken breasts in flour and leave in flour dish ready to sauté
  4. Heat large, shallow pan on med/high
  5. Add 3 tbsp-1/4 cup olive oil to pan while heating
  6. Add 3 garlic clove to olive oil and sauté til golden to flavor pan
  7. Remove garlic cloves and begin to sauté chicken breasts filling entire pan (this will be done in 2 batches)
  8. Make sure the pan stays hot enough on med/high heat while cooking breasts
  9. Cook chicken approx. 2 1/2 minutes on each side
  10. Add 1/4 white wine and deglaze, place cover over for 1 minute
  11. Remove cover and remove first batch of chicken to baking dish using a spatula to scrap out all of the gravy and bits
  12. Put pan back on med/high heat and repeat #5-#11.
  13. Now add 1 tbsp butter, finely chopped shallots and paper thin sliced Baby Bella’s to the pan and sauté til water renders out of mushrooms and they are a light golden
  14. OPTIONAL: you can finely chop the golden sautéed garlic cloves and add them back in at this point or not
  15. Deglaze mushroom and shallots with 1/4 cup wine and cover for 30 seconds
  16. Remove cover and add all the chicken breasts back into pan
  17. Add 1/4 cup wine and 1/4 cup chicken broth to pan and turn down to med/low
  18. Simmer 5 minutes ONLY …don’t want too much of the sauce to evoporate
  19. Either serve immediately or put into frig until your guests arrive and then PRE-HEAT oven to 325º and warm for approx. 30 minutes with pan COVERED-if too much of the sauce evaporates you can add a splash of white wine and chicken broth
  20. Add s & p to taste
  21. Right before serving squeeze a wedge of lemon on chicken breasts ( about 1 tbsp) and serve over mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed spinach