Monthly Archives: April 2016

Shrimp In Thai Coconut Sauce


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Coconut milk flavored with peanut butter makes a classic Thai inspired, creamy sauce with bell peppers and sautéed shrimp for an easy dinner.

Serves 4


1 pound jumbo shrimp
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 gloves garlic, minced or pressed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ onion, peeled and sliced
½ red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
½ orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
½ yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 ½cups coconut milk
4 to 6 Tablespoons  fish sauce, or to taste
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 Tablespoons purple Thai basil leaves, torn
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 scallion, sliced,  for granish
1 red hot Thai chile pepper, thinly sliced , for granish


Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on. Place the shrimp in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, kosher salt and  crushed red pepper flakes. Toss to coat and let marinade for 10 minutes.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers and onion to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and cook half of the shrimp for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until opaque. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook the remaining shrimp then add to the other shrimp.

In another bowl  mix the coconut milk, fish sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger and turmeric and stir well. Transfer the cooked onion and peppers to the skillet and pour the coconut milk mixture of the peppers. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp to the skillet with the basil and cilantro and toss to coat. Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with more cilantro and basil,  scallion and Thai chile peppers. Parenting Team FC Contributor


Yuan Yang Shrimp


The Chinese name for this dish is Yuan Yang Shrimp. Pairs of mandarin ducks are also know as yan yang, or love birds, because they are always seen together. The often symbolize affection and happiness. This dish is usually part of banquet.



Serves 4


1 pound shrimp uncooked
1 pinch salt
1egg white
1 Tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with water to make paste
6 ounces  snow peas
1 cup vegetable oil
12teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon scallions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
1  Tablespoon light soy sauce
1  Tablespoon dry sherry , or Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon  hot bean sauce
1  Tablespoon tomato paste



Peel and devein the shrimp and mix with the pinch of salt, the egg white and the cornstarch past.

Top and tail the snow peas.

Heat about 2 to 3 tablespoon of the oil in a preheated wok and stir fry the snow peas  for about 1 minute and then add the salt and sugar and continue stirring for another minute, remove and place in the center of a serving platter.

Heat the remaining oil, par cook the shrimp for 1 minute and then remove and drain.

Pour off the excess oil, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the wok and add the spring onion and ginger to flour the oil.

Add the shrimp and stir-fry for about 1 minutes, then add the soy sauce and wine or sherry and blend well and place about half of shrimp at one end of the platter.

Add the hot bean sauce and tomato paste to the remaining shrimp in the wok and blend well and then place the red shrimp and the other end of the platter and serve. Parenting Team FC Contributor


Zuppa Toscana

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I love the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.

I loved it so much I decided only recently to make it home. This creamy concoction has Italian sausage, hearty potatoes and just a hint of heat with the crushed red pepper flakes. The ingredients are a perfect combination if there ever was one, not to mention the velvety-rich broth that warms us from the inside out. The ingredients list is budget-friendly and, while it tastes indulgent, there is also a hefty amount of leafy greens, making this soup one of the healthiest dishes out there.



Serves 4 to 6

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into wedges then halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups kale or Swiss chard or baby spinach, rinsed, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove an drain on paper towels and set aside.

Leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the sausage in the bottom of the Dutch oven, stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven over the onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the kale into the soup just before serving. Ladle into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Parenting Team FC Contributor


Braised Chicken Thighs with Leeks and Carrots



Spaghetti with Arugula and Mint Pesto

Here is a peppery update to a classic basil pesto: arugula and fresh mint are combined to create a sprightly, fragrant pesto that’s wonderful with spaghetti. Add a salad and some crusty bread for an easy vegetarian supper.







Serves 4

5 cups packed arugula
3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shaved aged hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
2 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound spaghetti


In a blender, combine the arugula, mint, olive oil, the 1/2 cup cheese, the garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate the pesto until ready to serve.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente , tender but firm to the bite,  10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the empty pot.

Toss the pesto with the spaghetti. Thin it out with a small amount of reserved cooking water if needed. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Divide among warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle cheese over each portion and serve immediately. Parenting Team FC Contributor


Crayfish Timbale with Asparagus

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Serves 2

A  dozen green asparagus spears
3 eggs
1/2  cup chopped onions
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 pounds cooked crayfish tails
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, for taste


For the Hollandaise Sauce:
3 egg yolks
1 teapsoon water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


For the Hardboiled Eggs: Place 2 eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, remove from the heat and set aside 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, cool in ice water and peel.Coarsely chop the eggs  and place in a small bowl; add onions, salt and pepper and set aside.

To  make the Hollandaise Sauce: Pour 1-inch of water into a large saucepan; over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low.

Place egg yolks and 1 teaspoon water in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until mixture lightens in color, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar and whisk for another 30 seconds.

Place the mixture over the simmering water and whisk constantly for 3 to 5 minutes, or until there is a clear line that is drawn in the mixture when you pull your whisk through, or the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Remove the bowl from over the pan and gradually add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and whisk until all of the butter is incorporated. Place the bowl back over the simmering water occasionally so that it will be warm enough the melt the butter. Add the salt and lemon juice. Hold in a heat proof measuring cup or a  thermos to keep warm.

For the Asparagus:  Trim the woody ends and cook the asparagus in salted water for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the asparagus and cool and set aside.

Using a  ring mold or cookie cutter, place place in the center of a plate. Add the   egg mixture inside the ring and cover with  the crayfish. Place six asparagus spears along side the timbale.  Garnish with Hollandaise sauce and  zest and serve. Parenting Team FC Contributor


Roasted Asian Glazed Chicken Thighs with Steamed Bok Choy



A  simple chicken dish inspired by Asian flavors……………………


Serves 3 to 4

For the Marinade:
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the Chicken:
6 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
⅓ cup Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
¼ cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons brown sugar, or coconut sugar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon  fresh orange zest, or taste
2 bunches of baby bok choy , quartered horizontally
sliced green onions, for garnish


Preheat oven to  425°F.

Wash chicken thighs and pat dry with a paper towel.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the chicken. Stir to cover the chicken thoroughly with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and sit in the refrigerator for 20 to 25 minutes.

Whisk the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper and zest together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil; reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Take off heat and allow to cool slightly.

Place chicken thighs into an cast iron skillet or baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Pour ⅔ of the sauce mixture over the chicken, rotating each thigh until evenly covered. Turn the chicken thighs and continue to bake until beginning to brown on the skin , for about another 15 minutes. At this point, start steaming  the bok choy .

Change oven settings to broil on medium heat and cook until the skin changes to deep golden in color, about 5 minutes.

Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with green onion slices and remaining sauce. Serve with the steamed bok choy. Parenting Team FC Contributor


Mezzaluna Pasta with Spring Vegetables


This is a fresh and elegant spring dish that you can whip up in no time with the availability of fresh made pasta that can be found in most supermarkets these days.


Serves 4

One bunch green asparagus
8 ounce  package fresh peas
Two 8-ounce packages of fresh mezzaluna pasta
1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped white onions
1 Tablespoon  minced garlic
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus and discard. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Cook the asparagus and peas for 3 minutes. Add the mezzaluna and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and vegetables and set aside.

While pasta and vegetables cook, zest the lemon. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the onion and garlic until soft, 2 minutes. Add the butter, pasta, peas, asparagus and lemon zest and  gently stir until butter is melted and pasta and vegetables are coated with sauce, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Parenting Team FC Contributor


Pollo al Limone



The most requested dish at Rao’s in New York City in  East Harlem, is this lemon chicken — or Pollo al Limone, as many of the restaurant’s Italian American regulars say. The dish is a family recipe created by owner Frank Pellegrino’s Uncle  Vincent nearly 70 years ago, who roasted two broiler chickens, then flavored the meat with a tangy lemon, olive-oil, and garlic sauce. As in the Pellegrino tradition, the dish is best served with the side dish Peas and Prosciutto, also a family dish.


Serves 6

For  the Lemon Sauce:
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Chicken:
Two 2 1/2 -to-3-pound broiling chickens, halved
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

For the Lemon Sauce:
Whisk together juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk or shake vigorously before using.


For the Chicken:
To attain maximum heat, preheat the broiler for at least 15 minutes before using.

Broil chicken halves, turning once, for about 30 minutes or until skin is golden-brown and juices run clear when bird is pierced with a fork.

Remove chicken from broiler, leaving broiler on. Using a very sharp knife, cut each half into about 6 pieces (leg, thigh, wing, 3 small breast pieces).

Place chicken on a baking sheet with sides, of a size that can fit into the broiler. Pour Lemon Sauce over the chicken and toss to coat well. If necessary, divide sauce in half and do this in two batches.

Return to broiler and broil for 3 minutes. Turn each piece and broil for an additional minute.

Remove from broiler and portion each chicken into each of 6 warm serving plates.

Pour sauce into a heavy saucepan. Stir in parsley and place over high heat for 1 minute. Pour an equal amount of sauce over each chicken and serve with lots of crusty bread to absorb the sauce. Parenting Team FC Contributor


Montreal Shrimp

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This spicy garlic shrimp recipe is absolutely AMAZING. And what is even  better is that this dish takes less than 5 minutes to make. Yes , less than 5 MINUTES. Just toss the garlic and shrimp in a hot skillet, add the steak seasoning, and lemon juice and zest, toss it all into a large serving bowl and go to town. Make it once and I can assure you that it will become one of your go-to recipes when you are in a pinch.

It’s great as an appetizer and it makes a fantastic main dish, too – add a salad and some bread and you’re done.Leftovers are best eaten straight out of the fridge, preferably late at night. Even better,  take the leftovers and slap some mayo on a French roll and you have an instant fancy Po ‘boy!

It really is that easy!

 Serves 4

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left intact
2 teaspoons McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup  fresh parsley leaves, chopped (or cilantro)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and shrimp. Season with grill seasoning or salt and pepper and cook shrimp 3 minutes or until just pink.

Toss with lemon zest and juice. Sprinkle chopped parsley over the top. Transfer onto a serving platter or into a large bowl and enjoy!.

Cook’s Notes:
Seafood Tip: Unless you live somewhere that you can get freshly-caught fish that’s never been frozen, buy your shrimp in the frozen section of your store. Most seafood at the seafood counter has already been frozen and there’s no way to tell how long it’s been sitting in the case after being thawed. If you thaw your own you can control how long until it’s cooked. Thaw shrimp in a colander while running cold water over it continuously until it’s completely thawed. Parenting Team FC Contributor