Saturday, February 26, 2011

shrimp lebanese

I have no idea why this is called Shrimp Lebanese.
It doesn't seem Lebanese to me.
And there aren't just shrimp in here.
But, whatever.
My mom's friend, Pat Bond, gave us this recipe when I was young and it's really good.
Very easy and an extremely elegant dish to serve to guests or as a romantic dinner.
It takes about 10 minutes from start to finish...the only trick is to not overcook the seafood!

Shrimp Lebanese
Serves 4.
1 pound angel hair pasta 
1/2 stick butter
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
1/2 pound shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1 pound bay scallops
1 pound lump crab meat (but when I was growing up, we used the imitation crab meat and it works just fine)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the angel hair pasta until al dente.  Drain and plate.
Meanwhile, saute minced garlic in butter in large saute pan over medium heat for about 1 minute or until fragrant.   

Pour in cream and simmer until there are little bubbles on the edges of the pan.  Do not boil.   

Put in seafood until the shrimp are light pink and curled, about 5 minutes.

This doesn’t take very long so boil your pasta beforehand and make sure everything is ready.
Pour seafood and sauce over pasta and enjoy! 

*...this dish could probably use some color.  I'd add some chopped chives or parsley to the top before serving to "finish" the dish*

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

neiman marcus cake

This is a great (and super easy!) dessert to take to a party or a get-together.
My mom hates cheesecake or anything with cream cheese in it but she loves this!
It's gooey and rich and really really decadent and oh-so-easy!
Try it!  You'll be in love too....

Neiman Marcus Cake
Makes one 9x13" cake, or about 18 bars.
1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick of butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350*.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, one egg, butter, and one teaspoon vanilla.

The mixture should be clumpy crumbles.  Press into a 9x13" pan with the back of a measuring cup or your fingers.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the other two eggs, one teaspoon vanilla and the cream cheese.  Mix with a hand mixer until creamy.  Add powdered sugar and cream until smooth and thick.

Pour on top of prepared base and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and just set.  Let cool slightly and enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

cauliflower gratin

Don't you just love veggies?

Don't you just love veggies, covered in cream and cheese and baked until all gooey and melty and delicious?

I thought so.

Cauliflower Gratin
Serves 6.
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 thinly sliced 3-pound head cauliflower

Preheat your oven to 375*.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. 


Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the cheese, cream, chopped scallions, and salt. 

Add cauliflower, then gently toss. Arrange in an even layer in a greased 9x13" baking dish. Bake until browned and very little liquid remains, 40 to 45 minutes. 


Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine's day dinner + cheesecake with red berry coulis

I grew up in Texas.
I did not get a lot of lobster.
When Mike and I first started dating, he was shocked that I had only had lobster once or twice, at *gasp* Red Lobster.

(Yes, I am ashamed.)

But, his family grew up in New England, so for them, lobster wasn't necessarily "special".
So, for our first Valentine's Day together, he called his grandmother and she walked him through making the best lobster I have ever tasted. 
(And I know this because I've since tasted a few and his is the best.)

So, after I had made myself absolutely sick on huge quantities of melted butter (oh, and the lobster), I told him that he'd have to make this for me every Valentine's Day that we were together.

And besides for last year's deployment (and when he got home, I promptly cashed in my rain check!), he has stood by his promise!

So, tonight will be the 7th lobster dinner that he has made for me!

(Oh, and the dinner isn't just lobster.  It's always a caprese salad, lobster, roasted asparagus, and whatever dessert he happens to find a recipe for.)

Valentine's Day Dinner
Serves 2.  
2 lobsters
1 stick unsalted butter, divided in two small bowls and melted
1 pound asparagus
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes

Preheat your oven to broil.
Fill the biggest spaghetti pot you have with water and bring to a boil.
While the water is heating, clean the lobsters under running water but leave the rubber bands on.
Dunk lobsters quickly into the boiling water, head first.


Boil for 5-8 minutes until bright red.

Meanwhile, clean and trim asparagus.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spread asparagus out evenly.

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Broil for about 5-8 minutes, until roasty.

Remove from oven and plate.
Remove lobster when ready and cut off rubber bands.

Serve with melted butter and try not to make yourself sick, by eating too fast.

New York Cheesecake with Red Berry Coulis

Serves 12.
From my bestie, Carlie!
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
4 8 ounces packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
One recipe Berry Coulis, strawberries and raspberries, not strained (unless you like it super smooth, which is fine by me!)

Preheat your oven to 350*.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the brown sugar in a medium bowl. 


Add melted butter and mix until just combined.  Press into a 10" springform pan.  Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.

Cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest and vanilla. 


Beat until smooth.  Pour into prepared dish. Bake until set, about 45-55 minutes.


Meanwhile, combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
Let the cheesecake set for about 15 minutes then spoon sour cream topping on.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Refrigerate 4-48 hours.

When ready to serve, pour the sauce over each slice and enjoy!!

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