Friday, August 28, 2009

Capellini with garlic shrimp and homemade pesto

If you want to feed a crowd and please them, this is your recipe! Amazing! Of course, from one of my favorite Chefs ever (and the most handsome one --don't tell my husband I said so!) Curtis Stone.


- For the Pesto:

1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

- For the Pasta:

12 cherry tomatoes on the vine (mine didn't have the vine)
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
9 ounces fresh linguine (I used capellini)
2 garlic cloves, minced
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Parmesan shavings, for garnish


To make the pesto: Grind the basil, pine nuts, and grated Parmesan cheese with your food processor. Slowly add the olive oil, grinding until a smooth sauce forms. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. The cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place the vine of tomatoes in an ovenproof skillet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper (I also drizzled some balsamic vinegar). Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 8 minutes, or until heated through.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking, until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and the shrimp and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are just cooked and the garlic is tender. Stir the pesto into the shrimp mixture.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta in a large bowl with the shrimp-pesto mixture, adding enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten the sauce so that it coats the pasta evenly.

Using a two-prolonged carving fork, swirl some pasta around the fork. Slide it off the fork, letting it mound in the center of a plate. Repeat. Arrange the shrimp and the roasted tomatoes around the pasta. Garnish with the cheese and serve.

**This is a variation of the dish: I used fetuccini noodles and topped with some bacon bites

Source: Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone

Sunday, August 9, 2009

AMAZING Doughnuts!!!

We love doughnuts in our family. We've established a tradition as a family. Saturday morning is our doughnuts run! I don't like to fry at home, but sometimes you have to do it, and this is one of those times! So, absolutely worthy it!


- Raised doughnuts:
2 pkgs. regular or rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105−115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all−purpose flour
Vegetable oil
Creamy glaze or chocolate glaze


Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2−quart bowl. Add milk, salt, sugar, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed scraping bowl occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place, until double, 50−60 minutes. (Dough is ready when indentation remains when touched.) Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2−inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured doughnut cutter. Cover and let rise until double, 30−40 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees. Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula.

Turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side.

Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface); drain. Dip the doughnuts into creamy glaze, set on rack, then when slightly cooled spread chocolate glaze on top. Can dip in sprinkles or other toppings after chocolate if desired.

- Creamy glaze:

1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4−6 tbsp. hot water

Heat butter until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chocolate with White Chocolate Chunks Cookies


1/2 pound unsalted butte,r at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds good white chocolate, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Add the cocoa and mix again. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Fold in the chopped white chocolate.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields: 40 to 45 cookies.

Source: Copyright 2001 Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Eggs Benedict with Homemade Hollandaise Sauce


8 slices Canadian bacon
4 English muffins, split
2 teaspoons white rice vinegar
8 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hollandaise sauce, recipe follows
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


Brown the bacon in a medium skillet and toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water. Add white rice vinegar to the cooking water. This will make the egg white cook faster so it does not spread. Bring to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.

To assemble: Lay a slice of Canadian bacon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Homemade Hollandaise Sauce


4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
Pinch cayenne
Pinch salt


Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

Source: Television Food Network

Egg Toasts

The other day I was watching TV and saw this recipe and decided to give it a try. We love it! It is reach, simple and delicious. Sounds like something you would be willing to try?


4 slices of bread (whatever kind you like, I used whole wheat)
4 eggs
2 Tbspn. of butter
Salt and Pepper to taste


Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut a shape out of the bread. Melt the butter in a griddle or frying pan. Place the bread in the pan and break an egg into the hole. Lay the cutout shape in the pan wherever it will fit and toast until golden brown. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper.

When the egg is cooked on the bottom and before the bread becomes too brown, flip the egg nest to toast the other side and finish cooking the egg, about 1 minute.


Source: Paula Deen