Tonight’s dinner was a reward dinner for my mom. She’s been going through a lot recently, diagnosed with breast cancer and last Tuesday had a “simple” mastectomy. I flew to NJ to take care of her, and we weren’t sure how well it would go. She was diagnosed early and I think that was the key along with her always upbeat attitude. The celebration is because her recovery is going so well and the doctor is very happy with her progress. She deserves it don’t you think.
I made a tasty quick dish, with some of her favorite foods. Shrimp, garlic and asparagus are on that list as well as seeds and nuts. My ingredients were limited. I did stop at Whole Foods, but I didn’t want to load up her fridge with fruit and vegetables that would go bad after I left for home. I also wanted leftovers. I froze a couple of individual meals for my mom to reheat for dinner once I’m back in Ohio. I think if you reheat with a little chicken broth it will be very tasty. This meal was made in 30 minutes or less, with very little mess, and I reused the saute pan over for the ingredients so as to cut down on the cleaning.
- Olive Oil
- 1 lb Fettuccine
- 1 lb peeled and deveined raw shrimp
- 1 lb asparagus
- 2 tbs sunflower seeds
- handful fresh parsley
Cook up Fettuccine in water according to directions, drain and set aside.
In a saute pan. dry toast the sunflower seeds, then set aside on a plate or bowl.
Add one or two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan heat and then throw in half the minced garlic and the shrimp, and saute the shrimp until pink and firm.Set aside with the sunflower seeds.
Add another tablespoon of oil, the other half of the minced garlic, heat, throw in the asparagus and cook until it’s al dente.
Chop Parsley and toss all of the ingredients together with some salt and pepper.
Serve with grated percorino romano cheese over top.
This asparagus coulis from the book Sauces by Michael Roux was the perfect sauce for my tortellini and asparagus tips. Usually with tortellini we have an alfredo sauce. This coulis is a much lighter, but very flavorful way to serve tortellini. It adds depth to the asparagus tips that we tossed in with the tortellini, and my photo does not show how green and pretty the sauce color came out. There were many steps to the sauce, plus I forgot to put the o-ring on the blender and it squirt sauce out all over the place – not funny really, but I recovered and it came out lovely. Stop laughing, I kept yelling that blenders that shot sauce out everywhere weren’t useful, so there had to be something very wrong going on then I found the ring in the box. My husband said – look at it this way, you won’t forget the ring again, lesson learned. I think it comes from having such a small kitchen that I pull apart my equipment and put it back in boxes, so that I can shove it on the shelf. The point is, that in spite of a dumb blender, the sauce came out lovely.
- 12 oz asparagus spears(preferably small)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 1/2 tbs butter
- 4 tbs chopped shallots
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1 1/4 cup chicken stock or water
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
Peel the asparagus stalks using a swivel vegetable peeler. cut off the tips and blanch them in boiling salted water for 1 minute or until firm to the bite. Refresh, drain, and set aside. Chop the stalks and leave them raw.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and shallots and sweat gently for 5 minutes. Add the thyme and chicken stock and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Pour in the cream, increase the heat to high, and reduce the coulis by one-third. Whiz in a blender for 3 minutes, then pass through a fin-meshed conical strainer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding the soy sauce if you wish.
Keep warm and serve as soon as possible. Add the blanched asparagus tips to the coulis just before serving.
Note; I added the tips to the tortellini, and then poured the sauce over top. Like and delicious.Diana
I keep using Asparagus and Chevre because I like the combination but also because asparagus is in season. I have some asparagus growing in a raised bed, but it’s very little, so I supplement with the store asparagus. Of course, then I keep using the asparagus until it is gone because I don’t want to waste any of it. The only thing I would add is little pear tomatoes, or dried tomatoes for a little more color, but the flavor as it was is very good.
- 1/2 box farfalle cooked according to directions
- 1 whole chicken breast grilled and diced
- bunch of asparagus
- 1 handful pecans
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 big bunch of all different herbs – tarragon, chives, thyme and parsley
- garlic pepper
- grated parmesan
In a pan with a little more cooking spray – toast pecans and asparagus chopped into bite size pieces(woody stems removed). Drain Farfalle and place into big bowl or back into pot. Throw in chicken and asparagus mixture. Throw in some crumbled goat cheese, and the herbs chopped. Sprinkle on garlic pepper , salt and parmesan cheese and mix together . My husband had seconds then was standing at the stove making noises while he finished off what was left in the pot. The toasted pecans really made the dish.Diana
Since it’s National Garlic Day, I wanted to come up with a dinner that had some nice garlic flavor. Originally I was going to make a salad with garlic chicken and asparagus, but while I was at the store other thoughts entered my mind and I went with it. I grilled asparagus on a grill pan first, but maybe it doesn’t really need it. We loved the whole meal and I will definitely do it again when my daughter’s home, she enjoys it when I come up with something delicious.
- 2 large chicken breasts – sliced in half, then pounded flat.
- 16 spears of asparagus
- Herbed Garlic Chevre
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Herbs – basil, parsley
Dollop the Herbed Garlic Chevre on the flattened chicken breast and place 4 spears of asparagus on top. Roll the chicken up around the asparagus. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Garlic Pepper and Herbs. Place in glass pan, or casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven on 350 until Chicken is done. About 10 minutes before it will be done take the aluminum foil off.
Herbed Garlic Chevre
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 oz basil garlic chevre
Sauté garlic in oil to soften. Peel parsley, basil and thyme off stems and coarsely chop. Put it into bullet or other small processor or chop finely, and chevre, and whirl to combine. Use this to dollop on the chicken breasts.
You could really smell the garlic in the kitchen while it was cooking and taste it in the cheese.
I served this with resmashed potatoes. I added a little cream, some gouda, and parmesan, salt, garlic pepper and herbs. Place in ramekins, sprinkle with garlic pepper, then parmesan cheese – It will have a nice cooked brown parmesan top to it when it’s ready. Throw it in the oven with the chicken for about 20 minutes (place in pan with water).
Dinner was a success. Though the chicken didn’t need a sauce or gravy – it wasn’t dry, the bottom of the pan was filled with good stuff my husband and I kept scraping, so maybe deglazing the pan and making a sauce with it is something I might try next time.