Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shrimp Portofino

It's lent! And that means seafood on Friday's. We love seafood, of course we do, we live in Louisiana. But for some reason, I don't cook much of it. I'm trying to venture out a little bit, so thought I would try my favorite shrimp dish from Macaroni Grill. I found this recipe online at work, but now that I'm home, I can't find the link to include it here. If you google it, you will find several recipes that call for artichoke hearts, and that is not the one I used. So I'm sorry I can't link to the original source.

This dish was very good. I especially loved the butter sauce. I will make that again and pour over pasta and served with grilled chicken. It has a very distinct flavor.

24 large shrimp (peeled and deveined) (I used one pound of shrimp)
3 cups sliced mushrooms (washed and sliced ( 1/4 inch thick)
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts (couldn't find these, so used slivered almonds)
6 cups fresh spinach leaves (only used about 4 cups)
6 cups cooked vermicelli
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh garlic (minced, up to 4)

Lemon Butter Sauce:
1 tablespoon shallots (minced) (used yellow onion)
1 tablespoon fresh garlic , minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed) (only used about 1/4 a cup, per many reviews)
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 lb lightly-salted butter (cut into tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread pine nuts over bottom of sheet pan and place pan in oven on top rack. Roast until golden brown, approximately 2 to 4 minutes.

For the Lemon Butter Sauce:
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots and garlic until translucent. Add white wine and reduce slightly more than 1/2, whisking occasionally. Add cream and reduce by 1/2. Add lemon juice and reduce by 1/2. Add white pepper. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining butter 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking continuously after each addition to completely incorporate butter. Continue to simmer, whisking until sauce just coats spoon.

In separate large skillet over medium-high heat melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add garlic and sauté until garlic is translucent. Stir in mushrooms, shrimp, and pine nuts. Sauté several minutes or until shrimp are done and show color. Remove skillet from heat and gently stir in spinach. Place warm pasta on plate with shrimp mixture to the side. Pour lemon sauce over cooked pasta, permitting a bit of sauce onto shrimp.

Monkey Bread

Mmmm, Monkey Bread. I put this together Saturday night for breakfast Sunday morning. So quick and easy and yummy. Source:

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) (I didn't use any)
1/2 cup raisins (I didn't use any)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monkey Munch

One of my favorite show is Jon and Kate Plus 8, a reality show about a couple that has a set of twins and sextuplets. She served this to her kids recently and it sounded delicious! It was easy to make and is goooddd!

The recipe came from the Chex website. They call it Muddy Buddies, but I like Kate's name of Monkey Munch better.

9 cups Chex® cereal (any variety) (I used rice)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla (totally forgot to add this)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation Directions:
1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, stir together chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. (forgot the vanilla, but it was still good) Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Stove-Top Directions: Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside. In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.