Shrimp in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Image Shrimp & Fresh Pasta in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

 “It’s no secret that I love tomatoes, homemade pasta and seafood…

…and the multiple combinations and possibilities using herbs, wines, butters and cream. Having worked in many restaurants, we often made tomato and cream sauces, calling them “Rose Sauces”. The term was used as a quick way to communicate to our guests about the color of the sauce, but it did not succeed in describing the flavors or ingredients to them. Over time, I dropped that term from my menus, and wrote descriptively about tomato sauces; offering critical ingredients that dominated the flavors of the dish. If made often, you will see when combining tomatoes and cream, the results can vary depending upon the type of cream and its origin, or where the tomatoes and garlic were grown. These factors do influence the flavors in your…

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Shrimp in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Shrimp & Fresh Pasta in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

 “It’s no secret that I love tomatoes, homemade pasta and seafood…

…and the multiple combinations and possibilities using herbs, wines, butters and cream. Having worked in many restaurants, we often made tomato and cream sauces, calling them “Rose Sauces”. The term was used as a quick way to communicate to our guests about the color of the sauce, but it did not succeed in describing the flavors or ingredients to them. Over time, I dropped that term from my menus, and wrote descriptively about tomato sauces; offering critical ingredients that dominated the flavors of the dish. If made often, you will see when combining tomatoes and cream, the results can vary depending upon the type of cream and its origin, or where the tomatoes and garlic were grown. These factors do influence the flavors in your sauce. This fact holds true for the origin of all your ingredients. So I am careful and choosy when making classic sauces. For this dish, I decided to bring back a classic sauce using fresh pasta, tomatoes, cream and shrimp. * Note: If you do not eat, do not want, or do not have shrimp on hand – this sauce and dish work equally as well without. You may also choose to omit the cream, and use as a delicious “any day” Tomato Sauce.

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Natural, Quality Ingredients

The tomatoes I used for this recipe are ripe whole tomatoes in puree (canned) from Italy, the cream is local and organic, the garlic and basil were grown in upper Bucks County. This is an easy recipe that anyone can make at home. So, Let’s Get Cooking! 🙂 ” ~ Chef Bruce

 Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

(with Shrimp & Fresh Pasta}

Prep Time: 20 minutes ** Cooking time: 20 minutes

* Natural Ingredients: (Serves 2)

4 ounces fresh pasta (you may use dry as well).

** Cook the pasta according to directions, but do not over cook the pasta. The pasta will be added to the shrimp and sauce so it will be cooked a bit more in the sauce.

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Fresh, Homemade Pasta

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

10 Shrimp, shelled and deveined *

1 Tblsp Chopped fresh garlic

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or chopped fresh chilies

1/4 cup dry white wine (I prefer Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)

1/2 cup diced tomatoes in puree, or use your own fresh tomato sauce

1/2 cup fresh cream (I used organic half & half)

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh milled black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

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Simmering the Tomatoes, Herbs & Spices

* Method:

  1. Place a 10 or 12 inch sauté pan on medium flame. Add the olive oil and butter.
  2. When the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, add the shrimp to the pan in single layer. Cook the shrimp on both sides for about one minute each side.
  3. Add the garlic and stir but do not burn the garlic. Add the white wine and cook for about one minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the cream, salt, milled pepper and basil. Bring to a boil again and then add the cooked pasta.
  6. Stir all ingredients together and taste if more salt or pepper is needed. If you think you need more sauce, just add a few tablespoons more cream.
  7. Plate, and serve. If your pasta absorbs the sauce, you may add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock. Enjoy!
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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce w Pasta

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Easy Butter Pecan Caramel Candy Recipe

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Home Made Butter Pecan Caramels

Butter Pecan Caramels

I love sweets. There. I said it.

I must have a sweet treat after dinner every night. But we try not to eat processed foods anymore.

What’s a girl to do?

That is why I began my quest to make my own sweets. By making my own all natural desserts and treats, I can satisfy my sweet tooth without compromising our goal of eating as few food additives as we can.

I’d been making a lot of chocolates and such lately, and was craving something different. So I set out on a Google Search to find something yummy for my tummy. You can find a recipe for almost everything on the ‘net today. I am not sure how the idea of Squirrel Nut Zippers came to me. For some reason, it did.

My Inspiration: Squirrel Nut Zippers

Squirrel Nut Zippers are individually wrapped, odd little caramel-type candies I used to see only at Halloween time.Back in the days when candy didn’t have to be ‘sealed for your protection’. Anyway… Lo and behold, someone had posted a home made version of them! [original recipe link at page bottom] I couldn’t wait to try it!

I love that this recipe is super easy. I love that it is made in one bowl and one pan. I did not love that it called for corn syrup, as I don’t use it. Instead, I substituted honey in one trial, and  Brown Rice Syrup in another. Both worked fantastically. The original recipe also calls for walnuts. Neither of us likes walnuts, so I substituted pecans. WOW! It taste AWESOME! I made them twice in two months, so they must be good! Well, what are we waiting for?

Let’s Get Cooking!

Butter Pecan Caramels

Butter Pecan Caramels

Easy Butter Pecan Caramels

*Ingredients (makes 40 – 50 small candies) 
All Natural Ingredients

All Natural Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I use raw cane sugar)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Honey, Maple, or Brown Rice Syrup (or light Karo syrup)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (or other nuts of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
Sprayed Pan Lined with Parchment, then nuts

Sprayed Pan Lined with Parchment, then nuts

Method:
  • Prep a 8″ X 8″ casserole dish with cooking spray on bottom and sides, and then line pan with parchment paper. DO NOT skip the parchment paper step!! You need it to remove the candy from the pan.
  • Sprinkle nuts evenly on bottom of pan and set pan aside.
  • In a large microwave safe glass or ceramic bowl (i used corningware) mix together butter, sugars, honey / syrup and condensed milk. The caramel will bubble up when cooking, so make sure your bowl is large enough.
  • Cook mixture on High for 7 total minutes, STOP AND STIR at the 2, 4 and 6 minute marks.
Mix at 4 minutes

Mix at 4 minutes

Mix at 6 minutes

Mix at 6 minutes

  • Remove the cooked mixture from the microwave. Add the vanilla and stir.
  • Gently pour the hot caramel mixture into the lined pan, trying not to displace the nuts.
Cooked mix in lined pan

Cooked mix in lined pan

  • Sprinkle sea salt evenly over the caramel. Set the on the counter to cool for 20 minutes. The original recipe says to fridge the mix at this point, but when I did, it got all moist & sticky the next day. We recommend you simply allow to cool on counter several hours, until firm and no longer sticky.
  • Remove caramels from pan by gently lifting the ends of the parchment paper. If the caramel sticks, gently go around the edge of the pan with a spatula to loosen. They should then lift right out. lip & turn out on flat dish or cutting board. Remove parchment.
Cut into pieces

Cut into neat pieces

  • Using a bench scraper or large chefs knife, cut into 1″ squares, or 1 x 1.5″ rectangles.
  • Plate so they do not touch each other – they will stick. Or, wrap pieces in wax paper to store. Unwrap, eat, and enjoy!

Try them using maple syrup, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, coconut –  experimenting is fun!

Try Peanut  Caramels too!

Try Peanut Caramels too!

 

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** Original Source Recipe HERE: Homemade Squirrel Nut Zippers

Reader Question: Roux vs Slurry – What is the difference?

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Roux vs Slurry – What is the Difference?

Roux Photo by theculinarycook.com

We Received a terrific question from a curious Reader:

Can someone please explain to me the difference between a roux and a slurry? Is there even a difference?

Thanks! 🙂

Answer from Chef Bruce: 

Hi [Reader]. This is a very good question!
A roux is equal parts butter & flour (equal by weight). You would use a roux to thicken sauces and soups. The rule I use with using a roux is that a roux starts a soup or sauce. For example, if you were making a chowder, you would saute the vegetables in butter and then add the flour; and work the flour until it is a bit cooked. Then you add your water, milk or stock. A roux should be cooked before adding the liquid.

A Step-by-Step How To Photo Pictorial Learn How To Cook - How To Photo Pictorial Steps Making A Roux

Roux Photo Credit learnhowtocook.com

A slurry is equal parts water and flour and should be added when the soup or sauce is almost done. You can mix in a dish, or shake in a container. (see photo) You must cook the soup for a bit once added, as the flour in the slurry still needs to cook.

Slurry Photo by Rrita-may-recipes.blogspot.com/

Really, both work well. You should try both and see which works for you. If you have any other questions, please ask! 🙂

~ Chef Bruce West

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

* To learn more about making a Roux, including it’s various stages and uses,

Click HERE: Learn How to Cook – How to Make a Roux ( http://learnhowtocook.com )

*To Learn more about Various ways to Thicken Foods,

Click HERE: About Thickening Agents ( http://theculinarycook.com )

A Step-by-Step How To Photo Pictorial Learn How To Cook - How To Photo Pictorial Steps Making A Roux

Photo Credit learnhowtocook.com

My First Try at Coconut Cream Pie!

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Coconut Cream Pie w/ Warm Berry Sauce
Coconut Cream Pie, fresh from the oven!

A friend posted a recipe on Facebook that caught me eye.

All Natural. Check. Had the ingredients already. Check. (well, close enough to make it work)

So today, I made my first ever Coconut Cream Pie!

If it tastes good, I will post you the recipe.

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Orange-Pineapple Coconut Milk Mousse ~ A Delicious ‘One Step’ Paleo Recipe

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Delicious Orange-Pineapple Coconut Milk Mousse

I’ve been on an active search for healthy recipes to satisfy my passion and addiction for sweets. I recently saw a recipe going around on Facebook for making Chocolate Mousse using cold Coconut Milk, instead of butter, eggs or cream. Even better – all you do is combine the ingredients & blend. What a terrific concept! But I’d been making a LOT of chocolate recipes for us lately, and was craving something different.

If you follow us, you know our “M.O.” by now. See what we have in the kitchen to use. I knew I already had organic coconut milk. I saw Bruce had bought a box of clementines, and there was a quarter of a pineapple in the fridge…

“Hmm,” I thought. “Orange and Pineapple go really well together, and balance wonderfully with Coconut Milk! Yes!” * This recipe is just one step, and is vegan, 100% natural, paleo, dairy free, and gluten free. One thing it is not free of – is flavor!

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Orange-Pineapple Mousse w/ Raspberry Sauce

It tastes like the best Orange Sherbet, ever. I Love Love Love it!

Okay, are you ready? Let’s Get Cooking!

Orange-Pineapple Coconut Milk Mousse

* Healthy Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

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Solid Cold Coconut Milk

16 oz can of Coconut Milk, *placed in refrigerator overnight, until it becomes thick (see photo – this step is important! If the milk is liquid, your mousse will be too!)

4 clementines or tangerines, or 2 large juice oranges – JUICE ONLY

3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple

2-3 Tablespoons raw honey

1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

1/3 tsp orange zest (optional)

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  • Blend until fluffy. Test & add honey or juice to your taste, if needed.
  • If desired, top with ** Easy Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce (See below for recipe)

THAT’S IT! One Step! Yet it tastes AWESOME!

Eat it right away, or fridge /freeze to your liking.

I really loved this mouse, and can’t wait to make it again!

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Scrumptious Orange-Pineapple Coconut Milk Mousse

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

*** Easy Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce: Place 2 Tablespoons of Raspberry or Strawberry Spread or jam in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 10-15 seconds.  Stir. That’s it!