Carolina Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

Pulled pork with Carolina CoCola BBQ sauce.

Pulled pork with Carolina Root Beer BBQ sauce.

Today we had a real southern barbecue dinner.  Using the pork left from my Simple Savory Pork dinner, I made some pulled pork.  The recipe for the barbecue sauce is contained in a book my daughter gave me, written by a woman of the south, Vicki Prescott. (Sweet Tea )  In it she recounts her memories of growing up in North Carolina and the foods she ate.  Most meals were prepared by her grandmothers, aunts and mother, so I view them as authentic, family style meals.

In the book this recipe is called “Carolina CoCola Barbeque Sauce”, but root beer soda can be used with the same delicious results as I have done here.

Pulled BBQ Pork on a bun.

Pulled BBQ Pork on a bun.

CAROLINA COCOLA BARBECUE SAUCE

These few ingredients become a luscious BBQ sauce.

These few ingredients become a luscious BBQ sauce.

Yield:   Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2  1/2 cups catsup
  • 1 cup Coca Cola, Pepsi, or Root Beer
  • 1  1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir in the onion and cook until translucent.

2.  Stir in all the remaining ingredients.

3.  Simmer over medium low heat for at least 30 minutes.

4.  Shred cooked pork and add to the sauce.  Serve on a bun, or any other way you can think of to enjoy this lusciousness.

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SOURCE:   Sweet Tea by Vicki Prescott

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Salted Pretzel Marshmallow Bars

Salted Pretzel Marshmallow Bars

Salted Pretzel Marshmallow Bars

There are so many words to describe these bars I hardly know where to start.  Chewy?  most definitely.  Crispy?  yup, when you bite into a pretzel piece.  Sweet?  well, of course, they are dessert bars after all.  Salty?  yes, a little.  You can thank the pretzels for that too.  And where do I fit in the experience of biting into a gooey melted marshmallow with drizzles of  peanut butter and dark chocolate?      Do you get the picture, here?  There’s so much going on with these bars words can’t do them justice.  You’ll just have to make them for yourself to see what I mean.

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I’m thankful the recipe only makes a 9-inch square pan of these goodies. One square is just enough to satisfy without feeling guilty and makes portion control so much easier.  Even better, bars are so easy to share!  I’ll be willing to bet that if you do decide to share these, you’ll get requests for the recipe.

SALTED PRETZEL MARSHMALLOW BARSIMG_4349

Yield:  16 squares

For the bars:

  • 1  1/2 cups broken pretzel pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1  1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  •  2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 8 marshmallows, halved horizontally
  • 1/4  cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.  Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350*F.   Line a 9 – inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2 – inch overhang on all sides.  Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.

2.  Pulse 1 cup pretzel pieces in a food processor until finely ground ( you should have about 1/2 cup crumbs).  Transfer to a bowl.  Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.

3.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  (or in the microwave)  Stir in the brown sugar.  Let cool slightly, then stir in the eggs and vanilla.  Stir the pretzel crumb mixture into the butter mixture in two additions.

Mixing in the dry ingredients.

Mixing in the dry ingredients.

4.  Spread the batter in the prepared pan.  Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup pretzel pieces on top.  Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs, 25 – 30 minutes.  Let cool completely in the pan on a rack, then ligt the foil to remove the bars from the pan and transfer to a baking sheet.

After baking, just out of the oven.

After baking, just out of the oven.

5.  Preheat the broiler.  Press the marshmallow halves, cut-side down, in even rows on top of the bars.  Broil, rotating the baking sheet as needed, until the marshmallows are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes;  let cool.

6.  Put the peanut butter chips and 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in a microwave-safe cup or small bowl and microwave in 30 – second intervals, stirring, until melted and smooth.  Repeat with the chocolate chips and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in another bowl.  Drizzle the melted peanut butter and chocolate mixtures over the bars.  Let harden at room temperature or chill to set before cutting.

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SOURCE:  Food Network Magazine

Open-Faced Pimiento Cheese BLTs

Pimiento Cheese BLT's

Pimiento Cheese BLT’s

I must apologize in advance for giving you what is sure to become a new sandwich addiction, but really, I had no choice.  Somebody besides me has to know about this wonderful sandwich.  What got me started on this was a big dish of warm cheesy dip that had bacon, pimientos, and all sorts of other fabulous things mixed into it.   I remember thinking as it came out of the oven there was no way we were going to eat all of that.  But lo and behold before very long it was all gone.  I’m sure I had more than my fair share of it.

Within a few days I was craving it again.  Rather than making a big bowl of dip for just two of us to devour, I decided to use most of the ingredients that went into the dip in another, more healthy and nutritious form;  a sandwich.  This meal probably contains a few, Ok, a lot, more calories than you want to eat, so its a good idea to plan ahead for when you will be having it.  Blame all that cheese, and mayo, and bread.  So in preparation, have a light breakfast and lunch, go to the gym and work out really hard, and finally make only what you will eat, and no extra.

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OPEN-FACED PIMIENTO CHEESE BLTs

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

All the yummy ingredients, plus mayo.

All the yummy ingredients, plus mayo.

  • 2 Tablespoons bottled diced pimientos, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon grated, peeled shallots
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices country-style bread toasted (sour dough bread is good)
  • 12 tomato slices (colorful heirlooms are nice, here)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 center-cut slices bacon, cooked and halved
  • 1 cup baby arugula leaves, or other green leaf lettuce of choice
We're ready to build a sandwich!

We’re ready to build a sandwich!

What you do:

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.  Spread 3 tablespoons cheese mixture on each bread slice; top each with 3 tomato slices.  Sprinkle tomato slices evenly with salt.  Top each sandwich with 2 bacon halves and 1/4 cup arugula.

You will probably want to eat this with a knife and fork.

You will probably want to eat this with a knife and fork.

To round out this meal, serve with sweet potato fries, or sweet potato chips.

SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

Simple Savory Pork

Slow cooker pork ribs.

Slow cooker pork ribs.

Cook once, and eat twice, or maybe three times.  Who doesn’t love that?  Not me, for sure.

With some very simple preparations you can be having a deliciously tender, falling-off-the-bone  roast pork for dinner this evening. The aftermath of this meal will be to use the remaining meat to make pulled pork.  I’ll be serving that in a few days and plan to share my recipe with you.  Left over pork can be enjoyed in many different ways, so let your imagination run free to come up with countless ways for using those leftovers.

It all begins with the slow-cooker and a bottle of root beer soda.  Good barbecue requires low and slow cooking.  So we will make a simple spice mixture to rub on the meat, put the meat in the slow cooker, add the root beer soda, and let it cook on low for about 8 hours.  Most barbecued pork or pulled pork is made from either a pork shoulder roast, or a pork sirloin roast.  In my version today, I am using bone-in,  country style ribs that have lots of meat on them.

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Using root beer soda is a technique that I have learned about from several sources. It is very popular with Southern cooks. It provides the needed moisture, its sweetness is the basis for the barbecue sauce, yet all trace of root beer flavor disappears with cooking.  In a follow-up blog post I will tell you about how I made the pulled pork with a very special barbecue sauce.

SIMPLE SAVORY RUB SLOW COOKED PORK

You get big flavor from just a few ingredients.

You get big flavor from just a few ingredients.

Yield:    Makes 8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, sirloin roast, or meaty ribs (with bone)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup root beer soda

1.  In a small bowl, combine all the seasonings.  Rub the mixture all over the meat, pressing it to adhere.  Place the meat in the slow cooker.  Pour in the root beer.  Cover and set to “low heat” setting and allow to cook undisturbed*  until the pork is very tender, 6-8 hours.

Ribs in the crockpot, all seasoned and ready for some slow cooking.

Ribs in the crockpot, all seasoned and ready for some slow cooking.

2.  Transfer the meat to a serving bowl or platter and allow to rest, covered.  The meat is very flavorful and tender served just like this, along with some of the pan juices to moisten it.

Slow cooker pork ribs served with pan juices.

Slow cooker pork ribs served with pan juices.

*Curb the urge to stir, peek or smell.  Every time you lift the lid of your slow cooker, you lose heat equivalent to 20 minutes of cook time.  Resist the temptation to lift the lid until its time to check for doneness in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

SOURCE:   Sweet Tea Please,  Vicki Prescott

Blog Awards

Today I reached the milestone of having published my 300th post, all in a little over a year.  During that time I have had the honor of being nominated for two awards:  The Liebster Award and the Beautiful Blogger Award.

The nomination for the Liebster Award came to me from Rose, at forestmtnhike.com.   The Beautiful Blogger Award was passed to me by Anthony at sexycuisine.wordpress.com.  I want to thank these two people for their kind words in nominating me. Rose is a very positive person who finds joy in many of the simple aspects of life, especially the outdoors.  Anthony is a creative chef who  writes a most interesting and informative blog.  Please check out these two blogs.  I’m sure you will enjoy reading them as much as I do.

Both times when I was notified by the nominating bloggers I felt surprise and a certain amount of pleasure and I sincerely appreciate that they both selected me to nominate. Since I was nominated I have allowed some time to elapse before responding, basically because I wanted to give some serious thought to the issue of blog awards on the whole.  There are certain aspects to this whole process that I find troubling, and for the reasons that follow, I have decided to decline the nominations.

In my experience when one is nominated for something, a selection process of some kind follows and then one of the candidates who was nominated wins–the prize, the title, etc.  In the case of blog awards it seems that being nominated IS winning.  The blogger, in accepting the award, must then select a predetermined number of other bloggers to “pass the award” to.  To me, the process of passing along an award seems a lot like a chain letter, which I have never participated in.

This aspect of the awards process is troubling to me in that there are no clear criteria for selecting other bloggers to nominate.  Thus the whole idea of blog awards becomes rather empty and not very meaningful.  I would like to see definite criteria introduced into the nomination process such as “thought provoking, informative content, use of humor, use of photography,” and I could list a host  of others, but you get the idea.

Each and every time I sit down to write a draft for this blog, my goal is to write something you will enjoy reading, or learn something from, or be entertained by.  The fact that the number of readers and followers has been growing steadily since I began this journey, is all the satisfaction and reinforcement I need to keep going.  Writing this blog has put me in touch with people all over the world with whom I feel a certain bond.  Thank you so much for your friendship, your interest and your support.  I love your comments and feedback.

To the two bloggers who nominated me:  I thank you sincerely for the honor,  it means so very much to me that you made that effort. I hope that you understand and can accept my reasons for declining the awards.

Sweet Apricot Breakfast

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Mornings that are this  sweet are lovely indeed, and don’t happen often enough–usually on a holiday, which this isn’t.  So I’m going to really enjoy it for its rarity.  I’m going to just take it easy, prolonging that first cup of coffee.  I’m feeling really mellow so maybe I’ll roast up some of those nice apricots and have them with some fruity yogurt and crunchy granola cereal.  Who says weekend mornings have to be about bacon and eggs, anyway?

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Would you like to come along while I make this breakfast?

The first thing you must do is turn on the oven.  to broil..  get it good and hot…Don’t worry, it won’t be on long.  Now cut a few apricots in half, and dip the cut sides into a little granulated sugar.  Arrange them on a baking sheet and place them under the broiler.  Hang around near the oven and keep an eye on them so they don’t get burned.  Once they’re browned and bubbly, take them out to cool a little.

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Now comes the best part:  place a few spoonfuls of fruity yogurt on a small plate.   (I’m using lemon). Top with the warm, roasted apricots and sprinkle generously with granola.  Top with fresh strawberries, or blueberries and enjoy!      Easy-peasy breakfast for a lazy morning.

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Thanks so much for stopping by today.   Excuse me now, while I put my feet up and have another cup of coffee.  Have a great weekend!

Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff

Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff in its rich gravy over wide egg noodles.

Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff in its rich gravy over wide egg noodles.

If I were to ask my husband what he would to like to have for dinner he will say “Beef Stroganoff”,  guaranteed.  He has had a strange fascination for this dish for as long as I have known him.  I know it stems from his boyhood when his Mom made Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff and that is his idea of what it should be and what he wants me to make.  But I don’t, because for the most part I don’t use packaged mixes, and I know that is not what Beef Stroganoff really is.

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I have wanted to learn to make the real thing since soon after we were married when we spent a weekend in Boston and had dinner at a well-known Hungarian restaurant.  On the menu was Beef Stroganoff, and of course my husband ordered it.  It was served as slices of tender beef in a sour cream gravy over egg noodles.  He loved it.  Ever since, I have felt intimidated and afraid that what I might make would never live up to that perfection so I have never made it.  The biggest question for me has been what cut of beef to use to get that wonderful tenderness.

A recent issue of Cooking Light gave me some  answers to  that question and also this recipe for Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff.    The recipe seemed pretty simple to make with readily available ingredients.  The beef suggested in the recipe was for beef tenderloin, cut into small pieces, but another suggestion was to use skirt or “apron” steak, which is another very tender cut of beef that does not require long cooking.  It was available at the market, so that is what I used for this recipe.

This is skirt ( or apron) steak.

This is skirt ( or apron) steak.

I was  pleased beyond my expectations at the way this meal turned out.  The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the sauce nicely seasoned and balanced. One of the keys to achieving depth of flavor is to have a really hot skillet to brown the meat on all sides, and the other is the addition of mushrooms that contribute to the umami flavor of this dish.   My husband thought it was wonderful.  So the next time he says “make Beef Stroganoff”, I know that I can and this is what I will make.

BEEF AND MUSHROOM STROGANOFF

Yield:    4 servings

Ingredients:

Not too many ingredients.

Not too many ingredients.

  • 5 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. ( you may substitute any other suitably tender cut of beef )
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leek  ( I used onion)

    Fresh thyme really adds a depth of flavor here.

    Fresh thyme really adds a depth of flavor here.

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 (6-oz) pkg. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. hot paprika
  • 1 cup unsalted beef stock
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1.  Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

2.  Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat; swirl to coat.  Add beef; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Cook 4 minutes or until browned, turning to brown on all sides.  Remove beef from pan.

Cut steak into small pieces and brown well in a hot skillet.

Cut steak into small pieces and brown well in a hot skillet.

3.  Reduce heat to medium-high.  Add leek, thyme, garlic, and mushrooms;  sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Brown up mushrooms and onions. (or leeks)

Brown up mushrooms and onions. (or leeks)

Sprinkle mushroom mixture with flour and paprika; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add stock, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring frequently.

Traditionally paprika is used and flour to thicken the sauce.

Paprika is used to achieve the traditional flavor and flour to thicken the sauce.

Add paprika and flour to mushrooms and onions.

Add paprika and flour to mushrooms and onions.

Add beef broth and then sour cream to create the sauce.

Add beef broth and then sour cream to create the sauce.

4.  Stir in beef, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and sour cream.  Serve over noodles; sprinkle with parsley.

Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff in its rich gravy over wide egg noodles.

Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff in its rich gravy over wide egg noodles.

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SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Strawberry and Cream Scones

Strawberry and Cream Scones.

Strawberry and Cream Scones.

After I finished making my Very Berry Strawberry Cookies, I had a partial package of freeze dried strawberries left, with no plan for how to use them up.  Then I noticed a packaged mix for strawberries and cream scones in a baking catalog.  That gave me the idea I needed for how to use the strawberries.

Warm, tender, and flaky.

Warm, tender, and flaky.

Since fresh strawberries can be difficult to incorporate into baked goods, adding too much moisture to the finished product, I reasoned that the freeze dried berries would provide the color and intense flavor of strawberries without the excess liquid.  I rehydrated the strawberries, squeezed out the extra liquid, chopped them up a little and proceeded with my standard recipe for cream scones.  The bright little bursts of flavor turn these into very delightful scones, especially served warm with some strawberry jam.   It was mid-day when I baked these, so when they came out of the oven I had one with a cup of tea, but they are also great for breakfast, too.

STRAWBERRY AND CREAM SCONES

Yield:   Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

The essentials for strawberry cream scones.

The essentials for strawberry cream scones.

  • a generous 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ( I use half whole wheat flour)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

1.  Place freeze-dried strawberries in a small bowl and cover them with warm water.  Leave to soften for about 5 minutes.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.  Chop coarsely and set aside.

2.  Preheat oven to 400*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease lightly.

3.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Cutting in the butter.

Cutting in the butter.

4.  In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and cream.  Add the cream mixture and chopped strawberries to the dry mixture.

Adding in the egg, cream and strawberries.

Adding in the egg, cream and strawberries.

Stir together lightly to make a sticky dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently about 6 times, just until it holds together.  Add a little flour if necessary.  Pat the dough into a 6 to 7-inch round, about 3/4-inch thick.  Cut with a sharp knife into 8 wedges.  Transfer to the baking sheet and brush the tops of them with a little cream.

Brush tops with a little cream before baking.

Brush tops with a little cream before baking.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until set and golden brown.  (Mine were perfect at 15 minutes).

Serve warm with butter and strawberry jam.  Delicious!!!

Asking for some strawberry jam!

Asking for some strawberry jam!

Heaven in the shape of a scone!

Heaven in the shape of a scone!

SOURCE:  adapted from a recipe for cream scones by Rennie Darling:  Muffins, Scones, and Quick Breads

Camelitas

Carmelita Bars

Carmelita Bars

I charge 500 kisses for these bars!    That’s a lot of kisses, but boy, they’re worth it.

I have a very good friend who loves these bar cookies, and whenever he says he wants some cookies, I always say “it’s gonna cost ya”.  When he says, “how much?”,  I say, ” 500 kisses”.    He loves the cookies and I love the pay-off!  (This is all in jest, of course.)     Try baking these for someone special in your life and see what the reward will be.

Buttery crust and crumb topping.  In the middle, chocolate, caramel and nuts.

Buttery crust and crumb topping. In the middle, chocolate, caramel and nuts.

No one I know can resist a caramelita bar.  The base and top layer is made of flour, butter, oats and brown sugar, and the middle layer consists of chocolate, nuts and caramel, but you can customize this layer with whatever you may have in your pantry.  I’ve used different kinds of nuts, coconut, toffee chips and butterscotch chips.  They’re a hit however you make them.

If you need to bribe someone, do it with these!

If you need to bribe someone, do it with these!

Baked in a 13 x 9-inch pan you get about 32 bars.  You will need to let them cool about 30 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pan to prevent the caramel from sticking.  Once cool, they cut neatly into the desired number of squares or bars.

CARMELITAS

Yield:   about 32 barsIMG_4247

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package caramels ( 14 – 16 oz.) unwrapped**
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream**
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts, or other kinds

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the caramels and milk or cream.  Heat gently, and stir until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside.

**My tip:  a quick and easy step-saver is to use a jar of caramel ice-cream topping instead.  It works just as well and I think is less costly. You will need to use 1 1/4  cups of prepared caramel topping if you go this route.

2.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease, or line with parchment, a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

3.  In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Mix at low speed just to combine.  Add the butter, a chunk at a time, with the mixer running.   Once all the butter is in, add the egg.

4.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups of this mixture for the topping.  Pour the remainder into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.  You can lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface and then use a loaf pan to press it down evenly.  Remove the plastic wrap, and bake for 10 minutes.

5.  After removing the base from the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.  Drizzle the caramel sauce over the them, and then sprinkle the reserved base mixture over the top.  Press down lightly to help it adhere.   Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

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SOURCE:  Cooks.com

Ravioli and Shrimp Scampi

Ravioli and Shrimp Scampi

Ravioli and Shrimp Scampi

Eating out at home can produce an extra special dinner.  This one came about because of a half-bag of large shrimp that were occupying some prime real estate in my freezer.  Shrimp scampi is a dish that I frequently order when we are out, and I also make it at home.  Pairing shrimp with ravioli, however, is a new idea.

This whole meal came together without my having to go out to buy any other ingredients.  On my last shopping trip I had purchased a package of fresh cheese-filled ravioli, just because I like to have them on hand for a quick meal.  They are one of my favorite foods and are a stand by for me.  I also had an extra pint of grape tomatoes and a partial package of mushrooms.  This meal just goes to show you how easy it is to make restaurant style meals in your own kitchen at a fraction of the cost, and took only minutes to prepare.  Staying home for dinner is not boring, costs far less than eating out, and you eat better.

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I hope you give this meal a try,  just add a loaf of good Italian bread and a salad and you will be in heaven.

RAVIOLI AND SHRIMP SCAMPI 

Chopped garlic and parsley; and the butter and flour mixture.

Chopped garlic and parsley; and the butter and flour mixture.

Yield:   serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen ravioli of your choice.  (I used four-cheese ravioli.)
  • 8 – 10 large shrimp –peeled and deveined
  • 4 ounces sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 10 – 12 grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan or Romano cheeseIMG_4316
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  Get water ready for ravioli, but don’t start cooking ravioli until the scampi is almost ready.  My ravioli only took 8 minutes to cook.

2.  Over medium high heat place a large sauté pan, as it gets hot add olive oil and then the chopped garlic.

3.  Allow garlic to cook for about 15 seconds  then add the shrimp and let them cook for 2 – 3 minutes until they are almost done.

sautéing the shrimp.

sautéing the shrimp.

4.  Remove the shrimp from the pan and add in the mushrooms, sauté the mushrooms for a few minutes then add in the tomatoes and allow them to cook for about 30 seconds

Lightly browning the mushrooms.

Lightly browning the mushrooms.

Add in the tomatoes.

Add in the tomatoes.

5.  If you are using fresh ravioli, then this would be the time to add the ravioli to the boiling water.

 Cooking the ravioli.


Cooking the ravioli.

6.  Add the chicken stock to the pan with the mushrooms and allow to come back to a low boil, reduce heat.

7.  Mix the butter with the flour, getting as much of the flour pressed in as you can.  (I did this in advance so it was ready when I needed it.  Use a fork and  press the flour into the butter until you have a thick paste).  Place this in the hot stock and mix together.  This will thicken the stock.

8.  Add the shrimp back in, and finish with the grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper.  Turn off the heat and add in chopped parsley.

Add the shrimp back into the mixture, plus parsley and cheese.

Add the shrimp back into the mixture, plus parsley and cheese.

9.  Drain ravioli and place 4 – 5 on each plate then top with shrimp and equal amounts of mushrooms, tomatoes and sauce.

Plate it up.  Sit down and enjoy!

Plate it up. Sit down and enjoy!

10.  Sit down and enjoy your restaurant style dinner of Ravioli and Shrimp Scampi.

SOURCE:  loosely adapted from a recipe by Chef Dennis;  A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis