Category Archives: Pasta & Rice

Pappardelle and Tagliatelle with Shrimp, Bell Peppers, Asparagus and Basil

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Normally, I would make this dish with fettuccine, but looking in the pantry, there was none to be had. However, using up all the odds and ends of pappardelle and tagliatelle to make a full serving for four, there was enough of these two types of pasta to make this dish. Also note that red and yellow bell peppers aren’t just a colorful addition to a meal. They have a milder taste than their green counterparts, making them instantly more appealing to kids—and adults alike. A little asparagus and basil added just enough touch of green to the pasta. Serve this pasta dish the next time you’re in the mood for seafood.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
½  pound  fettuccine (or whatever pasta you have on hand)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small red bell peppers, cut into ¼ inch strips
2 small yellow bell peppers, cut into ¼ inch strips
1 bunch of think stalk asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ¼ pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, butterflied
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup chopped fresh basil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add a pinch of salt. Add pasta and stir with tongs to prevent the pasta from sticking.Test the pasta by tasting it
Follow the cooking time on the package, but always taste pasta before draining to make sure the texture is right Pasta cooked properly should be al dente (to the tooth)—just a little chewy.

Drain cooked pasta well in a colander. Set aside.

In a saute pan or skillet large enough to hold all the pasta after it has been cooked, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute.

Add the bell peppers and asparagus. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pan and cook for 2 more minutes to soften the vegetables.

Add the onion, garlic and shrimp to the saute pan. Cook and stir for 3 – 4 minutes, or until the shrimp just begin to turn pink (the shrimp should be barely done).

Add the red pepper flakes.Add the pasta to the saute pan with the peppers and shrimp.Cook and stir for 1 minute to heat through and incorporate the flavors. Add the basil and serve hot immediately.

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Sesame Crusted Mahi Mahi

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This recipe takes on an Asian flair with a coating of sesame seeds and furikake on the tuna and a dressed salad of  soba noodles with bell peppers and green garden vegetables tossed in a yuzu and soy sauce vinaigrette.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Mahi Mahi:
Four 8-ounce Mahi Mahi Tuna steaks
2 egg whites
1 cup white sesame seeds
1 cup black sesame seeds
1/4 cup furikake dry Japanese rice seasoning
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Yuzu Soy Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons Yuzu juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Soba Noodles:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup sake
2 tablespoons ginger, grated
1/4 cup Yuzu juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 pound soda noodles
4 shiso leaves , julienned
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, picked
1/2 cup mint leaves, torn
3 scallions, thinly cut on the bias

Vegetable Garnish:
1/4 bunch thin asparagus
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 cup snow peas
1 cup English peas, in pod
Salt, taste
Dash Chili Oil
Squirt lemon juice
2 scallions, cut thinly on the bias

Directions:
For the Crusted Tuna:
In a shallow bowl, mix white and black sesame seeds and  the furikake in a shallow pan. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the tuna with egg white on all sides. Dip the tuna in the sesame mixture on all sides, pressing the seed coating into the fish.

Heat oil in a cast iron skill over medium high heat.

Add in the tuna gently and cook for approximately 30 seconds on each side. Use a spoon to baste the tuna with the hot oil to cook it evenly on each side.

Gently remove the tuna from the skillet and it let rest. Slice the tuna and set aside.

For the Yuzu Vinaigrette and Noodles:
In a small bowl, which together the yuzu, sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the noodles, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the soba noodles and cook for three minutes.

Using a clean paper towel, wipe the large cast iron skillet used to cook the fish. Return the skillet to the stove and heat oil until shimmering add the bell peppers and season with salt and pepper, cooking until softened, Add the ginger. Add sake and flambe. Stir mixture until a syrup like consistency is reached.

Add in yuzu, rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce. Reduce the mixture until thickened. Finish with lime zest, lime juice and chili oil.

Drain noodles and add them to a large bowl. Toss noodles with the Yuzu vinaigrette.

For the Vegetable Garnish:
In a medium saucepan, add water and a pinch of salt Bring the salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus, peas and blanch them in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Immediately remove the vegetables and shock them in a bowl of cold ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove vegetables from the ice water bath and dry with clean paper towels. Cut the asparagus on a bias, cut the snow peas on a bias, cut the sugar snap peas and the English peas lengthwise. Toss the vegetables with a bit of chili oil, lemon juice and salt to taste.

To serve, add the noodles to the center of the plate. Arrange the sliced tuna over the noodles. Scatter the vegetable garnish randomly over the tuna and noodles. Add a touch of cilantro and mint leaves, if desired.

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Chicken Noodle Soup with Herbs and Petite Green Peas

Chicken soup with egg noodles and petite peas
Photo Credit: Sun Basket, 2017

Arancini di riso al telefono

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Thank you so much!

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Squid Ink Spaghetti with Shrimp

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Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 package Squid Ink Spaghetti
1 pound 16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
One 6-ounce jar of clams with juice
4 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup white wine
½ cup half and half
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Juice of ½ large lemon
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente while you prepare the sauce.

In a pan large enough to accommodate the pasta, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat and add the crushed red pepper. Follow with the garlic and cook for a minute making sure not to brown it.

Add the clams and juice (or fish stock if using) and turn the heat up to high. Follow with the wine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the wine has reduced a bit.

Add the lemon juice then the half and half. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the shrimp, cover the pan and cook for a minute or two just until the shrimp turn pink. Season with salt, to taste.

Add the pasta and toss until combined with the sauce. It make seem like you have a lot of sauce but the pasta will quickly absorb it.

Arrange the pasta on a plate and drizzle with the olive oil and garnish with parsley and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
You can substitute about ½ cup stock in place of the clams.

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All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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Shrimp Purloo

 

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Purloo (pronouced pur-low) is a simple dish, with origins from West Africa , that survived the Middle Passage establishing the Gullah Culture centered around South Carolina’s Low-country.

The name “Gullah” may have been derived from Angola, a country in Southern800px-Location_Angola_AU_Africa.svg.png Africa, where  the ancestors of some Gullah people may have likely originated. As an enslaved people, they created a new culture from the numerous African peoples brought into Charleston and South Carolina. Some scholars have suggested it may have come from Gola, an ethnicity living in the border area between present-day Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa, where many of the Gullah ancestors originated. This area was known as the “Grain Coast” or “Rice Coast” to British colonists in the Caribbean and the Southern colonies of North America and most of the tribes there are of Mande or Manding origins. The name “Geechee”, another common (emic) name for the Gullah people, may come from Kissi, an ethnicity living in the border area between Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Gullah1.PNGThe Gullah people have been able to preserve much of their African cultural heritage because of climate, geography, and patterns of importation of enslaved Africans. Taken as slaves from the Western region of Africa in primarily the Krio and Mende populations of what is present day Sierra Leone, and transported to some areas of Brazil (including Bahia), the enslaved Gullah-Gheechee people were also traded in what was then Charlestowne, South Carolina. According to British historian P.E.H. Hair, Gullah culture was formed as a creole culture in the  European colonies and in the  United States from elements of many different African cultures that came together there. These included the Baga, Fula, Kissi, Kpelle, Limba, Mandinka, Mende, Susu, Temne, Vai, and Wolof of the Rice Coast, and many from Angola, Igbo, Calabar, Congo Republic, and the Gold Coast.

rice.jpgAfrican rice has been cultivated for over 3,500 years. Between 1500 and 800 BC, Oryza glaberrima propagated from its original center, the Niger River delta, and extended to Senegal. However, it never developed far from its original region. Its cultivation even declined in favor of the Asian species, which was introduced to East Africa early in the common era and spread westward. African rice helped Africa conquer its famine of 1203.

The Moors brought Asiatic rice to the Iberian Peninsula in the 10th century. Records indicate it was grown in Valencia and Majorca. In Majorca, rice cultivation seems to have stopped after the Christian conquest, although historians are not certain.

Muslims also brought rice to Sicily, where it was an important crop long before it is noted in the plain of Pisa (1468) or in the Lombard plain (1475), where its cultivation was promoted by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, and demonstrated in his model farms.

After the 15th century, rice spread throughout Italy and then France, later propagating to all the continents during the age of European exploration.The Ottomans introduced rice to the Balkans.

In the United States, colonial South Carolina and Georgia grew and amassed great wealth from the slave labor obtained from the Senegambia area of West Africa and from coastal Sierra Leone. At the port of Charleston, through which 40% of all American slave imports passed, slaves from this region of Africa brought the highest prices, in recognition of their prior knowledge of rice culture, which was put to use on the many rice plantations around Georgetown, Charleston, and Savannah.By the middle of the 18th century, thousands of acres in the Georgia and South Carolina Lowcountry, and the Sea Islands were developed as rice fields. African farmers from the “Rice Coast” brought the skills for cultivation and tidal irrigation that made rice farming one of the most successful industries in early America.

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Not only did they bring the technology, the how-to, they brought the cultivar.West Africans had been growing varieties of rice for several thousand years before the start of the slave trade with the colonies.

Many ethnobotanist believe that African slaves carried the rice in hair while crossing the Atlantic Ocean in chains. Once in the colonies, slaves grew the rice in their own garden plots for food and slave owners took note.

In 1685 , a storm-battered ship sailing from Madagascar limped into the Charles Towne harbor. To repay the kindness of the colonists for repairs to the ship, the ship’s captain made a gift of a small quantity of “Golden Seed Rice” ,named for its color, to a local planter and based on their  observations, plantation owners in the Carolinas started experimenting with a rice variety that produced high yields and was easy to cook.

The slaves used their rice-growing know-how to convert the swampy Carolina lowlands to thriving rice plantations replete with canals, dikes, and levies, which facilitated periodic flooding of the field. The so-called Carolina Gold variety quickly became a high value export crop, primarily to Europe.

The subtropical climate encouraged the spread of malaria and yellow fever, carried by mosquitoes. These tropical diseases were endemic in Africa and had been carried by slaves to the colonies. Mosquitoes in the swamps and inundated rice fields of the Lowcountry picked up and spread the diseases to English and European settlers, as well. Malaria and yellow fever soon became endemic in the region.

Because they had acquired some immunity in their homeland, Africans were more rice3.jpgresistant to these tropical fevers than the Europeans were, and as the rice industry was developed, planters continued to import African slaves. By about 1708, South Carolina had a black majority. Coastal Georgia later developed a black majority after rice cultivation expanded there in the mid-18th century. Malaria and yellow fever became endemic, and fearing disease, many white planters left the Lowcountry during the rainy spring and summer months when fevers ran rampant. Others lived mostly in cities such as Charleston.

The planters left their European or African “rice drivers”, or overseers, in charge of the plantations.These had thousands of slaves, with African traditions reinforced by new imports from the same regions. Over time, the Gullah people developed a creole culture in which elements of African languages, cultures, and community life were preserved to a high degree. Their culture developed in a distinct way, different from that of the enslaved African-Americans in states such as North Carolina and Virginia, where the enslaved lived in smaller groups, and had more sustained and frequent interactions with whites and British American culture.

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And now we come full circle. Many of the traditional rice dishes found through out the Southern United States , are African in origin, like Hoppin’ John, Limpin’ Susan, or Red Rice.

Pilau, or Purloo as the Gullah call it, is one of the classic  rice dishes of the South Carolina Low Country.This dish, requiring no little more than rice and whatever meat that might be on hand. Any time you add meat to rice and cook it all together in one pot, that’s a purloo.

Purloo’s beauty lies in its versatility. You can substitute oysters for shrimp or add sausage or chicken earlier in the cooking  process . It’s a simple dish based around the Low-country’s one-time staple crop: rice. When cooking the rice, use less liquid. If you put in too much liquid, the dish will become a boggy soup. For a full flavor, make sure to cook your rice in a stock, not just water.

 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 pound shrimp
2 1/2 cups shrimp stock*
2 Tablespoons seafood seasoning
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2  tomatoes, chopped
2 slices bacon
3 Tablespoons chopped ham
1 cup white rice
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Cooked okra (optional)
Parsley, for garnish

Directions: 
Peel and devein the shrimp. Reserve the shells.

Prepare the stock. Place all of  the reserve shrimp shells  into a pot of water and boil for an hour or two.  Strain out the peels and put the stock aside. This is the traditional way of making stock for a shrimp purloo.

Cook the bacon and ham in a medium  saucepan  over medium heat. Add onion and garlic.

Add tomatoes, seasoning, and  stock. Bring to a boil.

Add rice. Reduce heat and cover. Cook about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.

Stir in the shrimp, cover, and let cook about five minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink.

To serve family style, spoon onto a platter garnish with parsley.

 

Cook’s Notes :
*Chicken broth  or fish stock can be substituted for the shrimp stock.

If you want to add okra, cook it in a separate pan until the thick sap dissipates. Scoop it out and add it to the saucepan when you add the shrimp.

 

 

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All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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Duck Bacon Carbonara

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Rich, creamy, and ready in less than 20 minutes? Yes! This easy carbonara is your go-to meal when you want comfort food and you want it now. Smoky duck bacon makes this satisfying dish extra-special.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
½ pound spaghetti
3 ounces duck bacon, sliced into ¼ inch strips*
1 clove garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 large egg and 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
½ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

Put a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Cook pasta until al dente or until tender yet firm.

While pasta is cooking, put a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté duck bacon until the fat begins to render, then add garlic  and crushed red pepper and continue to sauté until bacon starts to brown and garlic has softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and cheese. Season generously with black pepper, stirring well to prevent lumps.

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat.Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.)

Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency.

Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

Cooks’ Note:
*Duck bacon is available at dartagnan.com .

 

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All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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