Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wednesday Night Dinners: Shrimp with Shallot-Tarragon Sauce

I've been taking a break from cooking the last couple Wednesday night dinners and finally jumped back in this week to test out a recipe from my new cookbook. As a birthday present, Vanessa gave me Bon Appetit's Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook. I served a Shrimp with Shallot-Tarragon Sauce on Wilted Spinach and a side of Grilled Brie and Tomato on Crusty Bread. Two thumbs up on both recipes and I was impressed with how quickly the shrimp dish came together. It looks really fancy but cooked really quickly.

Shrimp with Shallot-Tarragon Sauce on Wilted Spinach
(from Bon Appetit's Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook, page 350)

10 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
5 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 large)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 6-ounce package fresh baby spinach

Toss shrimp, parsley, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 teaspoons tarragon, and 1 teaspoon ginger in medium bowl. Sprinkle mixture with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, saute 5 minutes. Add shrimp mixture; saute until shrimp are almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add butter and cream; bring just to simmer. Add remaining 1 teaspoon ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Set shrimp aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in another large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add spinach and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until just wilted, about 25 seconds. Mound spinach in center of plates; surround with shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 2 tablespoons tarragon.

Serves 2.

Grilled Brie and Tomato on Crusty Bread
(from Food Network)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 (1/2 inch thick) slices of crusty bread
1/2 pound brie, sliced thin

Heat the broiler. Put the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil them until they burst; set aside.

Butter the bread on both sides and top each with several slices of brie. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned. Top with the tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wednesday Night Dinner: Pesto Scallops

This week's dinner were scallops served on a bed of spinach and crimini mushrooms topped with a homemade basil pesto sauce and served with a side of oven roasted sweet potatoes cooked with onions and garlic. Vanessa made dinner for us this week and it was pretty delicious. It was her first time cooking scallops, which are a tricky thing. They weren't perfect, but I think we'll continue trying to cook them. Her basil pesto was delicious and I kept the leftover pesto.

Summer is going to throw off the Wednesday night dinners a bit, I think, as Whitney is in Texas for the summer doing an internship and the others travel around. I am, sadly, the only one who will always be around for Wednesdays because my job doesn't offer me any vacation time in my first year there. So this week, the cast of characters was Vanessa, Chris, me and Vanessa's co-worker, Heather. I like how Wednesday night dinners has seen a steady stream of visitors. One day, we're going to end up with twice as many people as we started with.