Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekends Are for Leisure Cooking

I have two very delicious recipes to share from my Saturday cooking adventures.  Although a beautiful, sunny day to be outdoors, Jon and I spent our Saturday packing, organizing, and purging.  It's rare to be home on a Saturday afternoon and evening, so I finally had the time (and patience) to attempt my very first risotto/paella-type meal.  Our friend, Frank, has altered this from the original paella recipe and passed his make-shift recipe over to me.  We shared this with our friends, Erica and Amanda, and believe that there were 8 metaphorical thumbs in the air (not to toot my own horn or anything...).

Frank's "Paella"
1 whole onion (chopped)
3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
10-15 cherry tomatoes (I used 15)
1 red pepper (sliced)
5 - 10 sliced mushrooms (I used 10)
Arborio Rice (not much needed)
Frozen peas (just about a handful)
Chicken Broth  (amount depends on how much veg.)
1 tbsp cayenne, 1 tbsp chili, 1 tbsp tumeric, 3 tbsp paprika 
(this made it quite hot / could cut down on spices for something tamer)
olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper
Optional:  Add-in meat. I used shrimp

1.  In a over-safe pot, add chopped onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Mix together.  Add whole cherry tomatoes on top; sprinkle with thyme and rosemary.  Bake on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
2.  Remove from oven and crush tomatoes.
3.  Add a very thin layer of rice.  Throw in all of your spices.  Mix.
4.  Add mushrooms, pepper, and peas.  Cover entire mixture with chicken broth (I made 3 cups worth).
5.  Place back in over and cook on medium/high heat for 30 - 45 minutes.  I checked it every 15 minutes or so to make sure there was enough liquid and to check on rice.
6.  For non-vegetarian:  After 30 minutes, I threw in cooked/peeled shrimp and cooked for an additional 8 minutes.

I want this again now that I am thinking about it...

Snack-time:  Spicy Fruit Salsa
(found from one of the cookbooks listed below - forget which one right now!)

1 - 13oz can of crushed pineapple
1/2 cup of minced red onion
2 chopped plums (this recipe actually called for 1 nectarine)
1/2 minced jalapeno (called for 1 whole jalapeno, but I was a wimp when it came to the spiciness)
2 tbsp of lime juice
1/2 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of cayenne
1 tbsp of minced ginger

Mix it all together and let it sit for a few hours!  The next day, I also mixed this salsa with one avocado and got a spicy,fruity guacamole.

And to start our meal off on Saturday, Amanda brought a great green salad and introduced me to a new salad dressing:  Kraft Extra Virgin Olive Oil Signature Tuscan Italian.  At my mom's on the weekend, I was also introduced to Renee's Ravin' Raspberry (and purchased Renee's Tangerine and Lime to try) - all great, healthy and dairy/soy free! Pin It

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