Saturday, May 23, 2015

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

I had a goal to post more recipes this month than last month. But it's almost the end of May, and this is only my second posting for the month (and my first one wasn't even a recipe, it was a recipe round-up). I ended up having a lot going on in the beginning of the month. I had to finish all of my student teaching assignments and complete an online portfolio with artifacts that demonstrate my knowledge on certain teaching standards, with reflections. Then I had to prepare for an exit conference with my supervisor, mentor teacher, and the director of the education program I am enrolled in. Sounds intimidating, right? Well, I was super worried and stressed about it, but it went very smoothly. I am so happy to have it over with, and I'm also really happy that my summer vacation is just around the corner. Greg and I were talking the other day about comfort foods. He said that there are so many comfort foods we eat during the cooler weather, like hearty soups, but not many foods that are good for the soul in the spring and summer. I told him maybe shrimp scampi was a warmer weather comfort food, and he asked me to make some. I realized I had actually never made shrimp scampi before, and I was excited to find out that all the recipes looked super easy (so it is kind of funny that I call this easy shrimp scampi, because I'm not sure there are any tricky shrimp scampi recipes out there). This meal was made in less than 15 minutes and tasted great. I loved it because I have been really cutting the carbs out of my diet recently, so I just had the shrimp with a sprinkle of Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and Greg enjoyed the shrimp and pasta. It was a nice change from all the grilled chicken I have been eating lately. If you are looking for an easy meal that is refreshing and satisfying, try this easy shrimp scampi over pasta! Enjoy.

Recipe for Easy Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

8 ounces of uncooked linguine or spaghetti noodles (I used Dreamfields pasta)
3 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 pound of frozen medium shrimp, thawed, deveined, and peeled
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of dry white wine or chicken stock
Zest of one lemon 
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about one lemon)
A pinch or two of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Panko bread crumbs, if desired

Cook the pasta according to package directions. When it is finished cooking, drain in a colander.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the shrimp scampi. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-heat. Once it is melted, add in the shrimp, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp is pink (about 3 minutes). Then add in the wine or chicken stock and the lemon juice. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Give it a stir, then adjust the heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer. Once it comes to a simmer, remove from heat. Carefully add in the drained pasta, lemon zest, and parsley and toss.

Serve immediately. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs, if desired.

Makes approximately 4 servings. 

Recipe Adapted from: Damn Delicious, originally from Closet Cooking

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Great Recipe Ideas for Cinco De Mayo

Burritos made with Shredded Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken.
I love Cinco De Mayo! It is a great excuse to make (and eat) exciting new dishes and to get together around the dinner table with friends.  In this post, I compiled Mexican-inspired recipes together that I think are great and other ones that I want to try very soon (like maybe on May 5th)! The recipes marked with an asterisk are ones that I have tried and loved. Enjoy.

Great Recipe Ideas for Cinco De Mayo

Main Dish Recipes
Shrimp and Vegetable Enchiladas with a Creamy Poblano Sauce*
White Fish Tacos *
Baked Chicken Taquitos - one of our favorite meals!
Mexican Flag Chicken Burritos*
Green Chile Chowder with Black Beans*
Shredded Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken (Like Cafe Rio)*
Baked Chicken Taquitos*
Black Bean Roasted Poblano Enchiladas (vegetarian)
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Sweet Potato Tacos*
Restaurant-style chicken fajitas*

Side Dish/Appetizer Ideas
Mexican Seven Layer Dip
Loaded Nachos
Perfect Guacamole
Mexican Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette*
Corn Pudding*

Dessert Ideas
Mexican Wedding Cakes*
Key Lime Pie Tarts
Tres Leches Cake*
Homemade Churros
Key Lime Pie Tarts*
Sopapilla Bites

I hope you will enjoy these recipes. I think that I am going to try out the black bean roasted poblano enchiladas for our meal on Cinco De Mayo. I want to do something vegetarian and something that is mild enough so that my daughter can eat it. I will let you know how they turn out! Hope you have a wonderful Cinco De Mayo.