Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Can Eat Pasta Too - Shrimp & Wine

There are a few things that I try to keep in stock.  If the grocery store has a good deal, I am guaranteed to fill my chest freezer with shrimp, chicken, ground meat and fish.  It definitely saves me another trip to the grocery store.

What else saves me a trip to the store?  Having a garden in my back yard with an endless supply of free produce.  What can I say... I was feeling "lazy" on this particular day.

This dish is a proven time saver!  I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Wine Garlic Shrimp Pasta (Gluten-Free)

Prep time = 15 minutes
Cook time = 10 minutes

- 1 package of thawed pre-cooked shrimp (it was cheaper to buy the shrimp with tails and quick to remove)
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 clove of minced garlic (or 1/2 TBSP of the jar stuff)
- 7 to 8 basil leaves, cut into ribbons (roll the basil into a tube and cut all the way down to resemble ribbons)
- 2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of white wine (the alcohol will cook out)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package of gluten-free pasta (or regular if you prefer the wheat)
- 1/2 cups of shredded Italian cheeses (Wal-Mart has a combo of Part-skim Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Romano, Fontina and Asiago)

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, a little salt and pepper.  When the onions begin to soften, add the peppers and garlic. Continue cooking 2 or 3 minutes and add the cooked shrimp (add this step before the peppers if the shrimp is uncooked).  Let the contents cook together a couple minutes, then add tomatoes, basil and wine.  Let the mixture reduce and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the pasta.  Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust accordingly.  Simmer 1 to 2 minutes.  Add cheese, cover and take off the heat.  Serve and enjoy once the cheese has melted.

Side note:  This dish would also be great over rice.

Random Fact About the Writer:  I add crushed red pepper or hot sauce to just about anything.  Dishes like this one are perfect with a little extra heat in the background.  Add it directly to the dish at the beginning or to your personal serving at the end.  My husband does not like spicy food, so most of my recipes are lacking heat for that reason.

Copyright 2012 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

End Your Summer with Fresh Garden Salsa

My most favorite garden vegetable is the typical tomato.  Jon and I had a recent surplus in our garden tomatoes.  With 4 tomato plants in our raised garden, I am guaranteed not to run short on the veggie.  I have yet to learn how to can the tomatoes and would love for you to share your recipes with us.

I preserved the tomatoes by blending them into tasty goodness with my food processor.  Yes, there is nothing like fresh garden salsa.  Even if you are not prepared for a day of salsa making... there are still ways that you can manipulate the recipe.

Last week, I realized that it was time to make salsa but lacked a major ingredient.  Cilantro!  I was also low on lemon juice and typically prefer to use lime juice.  Well... the show must go on, right?

Below are 2 recipes for fresh salsa.  If you do not have a garden of your own, visit a local farmers market and ask the farmer when the tomatoes were picked.  The fresher, the better!

Here is a list of farmers markets in Wisconsin - for my local readers.

Highly recommended - Gluten free tortilla chips by Donkey 

Mara's Fresh Garden Salsa

Serving Size = 12 oz. jar
Prep time = 20 minutes

- 10 to 12 small or medium sized tomatoes (mine are from the Early Girl Tomato plant, most were a little bigger than a golf ball)
- 1/4 cup of sweet onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup green pepper
- 2 TBSP of lemon or lime juice (fresh is better, but it whatever you have on hand is fine)
- 1/4 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 TBSP fresh cilantro (add an extra if you have dried cilantro)
- 1/2 TBSP of smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Optional:  2 jalapenos (remove seeds for less spicy, keep the seeds for more heat)

I recommend using a food processor to get the best consistency for the salsa.  Depending on the size of your processor, chop each vegetable into the best size for blending.  If you do not have a food processor... I am sorry to hear that.  Put it on your Christmas list!  But in all seriousness... dice all vegetables to smallest size possible.

My instructions for salsa making are simple.  Chop veggies, add the juices/oil, season with salt and pepper, blend or pulse in the processor (or combine thoroughly in a bowl), and serve.  Don't forget to taste as you blend... add more seasoning if needed.  Easy enough, right?

Rojo Black Bean Salsa

Prep time = 15 to 20 minutes
Serving size = 20 or 22 ounces

Same recipe as above.  Add a 12 oz. can of drained and rinsed black beans.  I recommend not using a food processor and leaving it in a "pico de gallo" style.  Do not add green pepper to this recipe.


If you are looking for a fruit salsa, check out my recipe for Mango Salsa that was served with chicken and rice.

If you have any questions about these recipes, please feel free to contact me.  The email address is listed on the right navigation.

Happy salsa making!  I hope you all had a fantastic summer.

Copyright 2012 Hint of Thyme.  All Rights Reserved.