Shrimp and Sausage Paella

Nothing like a easy one-pot meal to warm up your tummy when there’s a winter storm warning outside! The recipe for this is from my new Cooking Light: The Essential Dinner Tonight cookbook. This was the 2nd recipe I’ve made from this book and the 1st was good, too!

sausage paella

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Creamy Linguine with Shrimp and Veggies

Please excuse my infrequent recipe posting. Don’t know how I manage to get nothing done lately! I AM still cooking dinner at least 5 out of 7 nights of the week but just haven’t been posting. Tonight’s recipe came from Cooking Light magazine. Seems I’m on a kick with their recipes again. Maybe I’ve been watching too many episode of BIGGEST LOSER. Who knows.

photo from Cooking Light magazine

Anyway, this recipe was really good (maybe because I bought full-fat cream cheese instead of 1/3 less fat) or maybe it was because of all the shrimp & broccoli in it. In either case, you should try it!

Salt & Pepper Shrimp

Working until 5:00 has really cramped my cooking style. Before, working until 3:00 when Audrey got home on the school bus left dinner options wide open. Now I need to find meals ready in 45 minutes or less. Weeknight Menus from Cuisine at Home to the rescue! I made a few recipes from the book after getting it from my sister about 3 years ago. Last week I used it almost every night! The recipe below took 30 minutes. The thing that took the longest was the rice which cooked while I was making the stir fry. Here’s the recipe:

1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. sesame seeds, toasted
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes
20 large shrimp, peeled & deveined (I just buy a bag of raw shrimp in the freezer section)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. juice from a jar of mangos (I used O.J. since I didn’t have jarred mangos)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 c. jarred mango, chopped (frozen mango worked just fine here)
1 c. scallions, cut on the bias into 1″ pieces

Combine garlic, sesame seeds, salt, pepper and pepper flakes in a dish.

Toss shrimp with cornstarch. Heat 3 T. oil in the skillet over medium-high, add shrimp, and stir-fry 2-3 minutes per side. Stir garlic mixture into shrimp and cook 1 minute.

Deglaze with mango juice and lim juice, and bring to a simmer. Stir in mango and scallions, cooking just to warm mango. Serve over steamed rice.

Chinese New Year Dinner

Just in case you haven’t heard, today is the 1st day of the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. Thank goodness that nasty tiger is finally outta here. The year full of changes last year was almost more than I could handle!

After helping Mike shovel the driveway & sidewalk for almost 3 hours yesterday there was no way I was cooking dinner last night so we got Chinese take out from the place down the street instead. I had these 2 recipes waiting for me to cook them tonight…although my hands are still super sore from all my hard work yesterday. Both of the recipes are from a blog by food columnist/photographer/recipe developer Jaden Hair. The recipes were 100 Flower Blossoms and Long Life Fertility Noodles with Happy Shrimp.  I wasn’t too sure about the cauliflower in the 1st dish since Mike has always said he didn’t like it but this time he DID! And don’t worry about the “fertility” part of the noodle dish. You know how silly those superstitious Chinese are. I DO love how she explains what each dish is supposed to represent and why you should be eating it.

Here are the pictures of the dishes from Steamy Kitchen’s blog. I can only dream to be able to take food pictures half as good as her someday…

100 Flower Blossoms

Long Life Fertility Noodles with Happy Shrimp

Lowfat Shellfish Gumbo

I’ve made this dish twice. Both times for Mike’s birthday dinner. It’s taken me at least 3 hours start to finish each time, so it’s definitely a labor of love. It’s so delicious, though, it’s completely worth it. Click here for the full recipe. Below are some step-by-step pictures I took:

Bake 1 1/3 c. flour for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350. If you've ever done this before, you know it doesn't smell that good.

This is what the flour looks like when it's done. Nice and golden!

Meanwhile, simmer 5 1/2 c chicken broth with shells from 1 1/2 lb peeled shrimp for 15 min then strain and keep broth warm.

Saute onion, celery, green pepper & garlic in some olive oil for a few minutes.Add sliced smoked sausage (saute 5 min), 2 T tomato paste and strained broth.

Whisk 1 1/2 c chicken broth into browned flower. Add to pot with veggies, sausage and broth. Simmer 1 hour.

This is what it will look like so far. Congratulate yourself by having a beer.

Add remaining 1 3/4 c chicken broth, okra and spices; simmer 5 minutes.

Add shrimp & crabmeat to gumbo. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice.