30 December 2008

Garlic Roasted Shrimp


1-1/2 lb. jumbo shrimp (16-20 count), shells peeled, tails left on
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper


Heat the oven to 450°F. Remove the vein from the shrimp, if necessary. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the shrimp on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 3 min., turn the shrimp over with tongs, and continue roasting until the shrimp are opaque and firm, another 2 to 4 min. Transfer the shrimp to a shallow dish, cover partially, and refrigerate. When the shrimp are thoroughly chilled (after about 2 hours), serve them with cocktail sauce.

Cocktail Sauce

1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup grated red onion (from about 1/4 medium onion; using the large holes on a box grater)
1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh jalapeƱo
3 Tbs. prepared horseradish
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
1/8 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Chill, covered, until ready to use. This sauce is best made a day in advance and keeps well for up to a week. Just before serving, taste and add more lemon juice and salt as needed.

Sunflower Seed Pate


1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds (best soaked overnight, but not necessary)

3/4 cups whole wheat or whole spelt flour

3/4 cups nutritional yeast (yellow flakes)

1 Tbs. italian basil

1/2 Tbs. greek oregano

1 tsp. sage powder

2 tsp. sea salt - I never add the salt because this already has tamari in it, which is salty anyway

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup tamari

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

3 whole cloves garlic

2 medium size potatoes grated (skin & all) - I often use one large sweet potato

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

Time: 1/2 hr. prep & mixing, + 1hr. baking.

Size of pan: 8"x 10" x 2"

1) Grind Sunflower seeds in food processor with 1/4 cup water until it becomes a thick, smooth paste (not dry)(Use a bit more water if needed).

2) Add flour, nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, sage and fine grey sea salt. Mix well.

3) Set aside in a stainless steel bowl.

4) In blender, puree onions, garlic and tamari, adding small amounts of water as necessary to make a smooth paste. Add to mixture.

5) Add potatoes, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well.

6) Pour into well oiled pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 min.until top is golden brown.

7) Allow to cool, then cut and refrigerate.

8) Cut 4 x 4 to make 16 pieces.

* This pate freezes well, just pre-wrap separate chunks with wax paper for ease of removal.

Hot Garlicky Shrimp with Asparagus and Lemon

This is another recipe from Fine Cooking that I love. I've bolded some of the cooking times below because you have to be a bit specific with something like shrimp, otherwise you'll overcook it. There's a lot of prep involved in this one, so it takes a bit of time. Ideal for a Saturday or Sunday night. I've only ever served this with rice (as opposed to the linguine recommended by the original recipe) because I feel like it soaks up the juices better.

1 lb shrimp (21-26/lb) peeled, rinsed & patted dry>> you can go a bit bigger, but I don't recommend going smaller.
¾ tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon
4 Tbs olive oil
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 lb asparagus, tough ends snapped off and cut into 2” lengths >> if possible, thinner asparagus is ideal because it will be easier to cook all the way through without possibly overcooking the shrimp.
¼ tsp red pepper >> I usually skip this.
¾ cup chicken broth >> I use vegetable broth and it works fine.
1 Tbl cornstarch + 1 Tbl water
fresh linguine >> or rice

  1. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper. >> Once the shrimp have been defrosted in water and deveined/deshelled, I usually lay them out flat over some paper towels on a dinner plate and put another layer of paper towel over top. They need to be fairly dry in order to sear properly. Once they're dry and I've removed the top layer of paper towel, I'll salt and HEAVILY pepper the up-facing side. Once the pan is hot and you're ready to go, put the salted/peppered side FACE DOWN and then salt/pepper the upfacing side. Hopefully this logic makes sense.
  2. Zest and then juice the lemon into separate small bowls and set aside.
  3. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat as 2 tbs of oil and once its shimmering hot, add the shrimp in a single layer (I had to do 2 batches).
  4. Cook undisturbed until shrimp browns nicely, about 2 mins, then flip and brown the second side. Transfer to a large plate; shrimp should be a bit undercooked. >> cut one open at the thickest part and it should still be a bit transleuscent inside.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining oil and garlic, cooking approx 30 seconds until it starts to sizzle steadily. Add asparagus, lemon zest and the red pepper, sprinkle with a bit of salt and cook, tossing often, until the garlic is golden brown and the asparagus looks blistery in places, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and cover, with lid ajar, and cook until asparagus is just tender, another 1-2 mins. >> NOTE >> if there are parts of the asparagus that are peeking up above the broth, you may want to continue gently stirring so that the asparagus is evenly cooked.
  6. In small dish combine cornstarch and water, stir into asparagus mixture and bring to a boil, stirring as it thickens.
  7. Return shrimp to the pan, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, until the shrimp is opaque throughout.
  8. Stir in 1 tbs of lemon juice and check taste, adding salt, pepper, and remaining lemon juice as desired. Serve immediately with pasta or rice.

Original recipe/photo.

Rice Krispie Squares


1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon soy margarine (Fleischmans)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
approx. 6 cup puffed rice cereal (Nature's Path brand works for gluten-free)
chocolate chips for the top if desired (PC brand)


In addition to the above ingredients you'll need a heat resistant spatula, a small pot, a very large bowl, and a lightly greased large piece of wax paper (at least 9x13 in area, I used oil spray).

Begin by heating the syrup in the pot over medium heat then add the sugar to the pot. Stir continuously for a few minutes, you might start to notice it bubbling at the bottom, if it starts to become frothy turn down the temperature some. When it starts to look like its boiling add the margarine (I used earth balance) stir till evenly mixed, then add the vanilla, still stirring. If you notice that the syrup/sugar mixture does not boil you can turn up the heat, or just add the margarine and the rest of the ingredients after a few minutes it will still work fine, just make sure to spend a few minutes stirring the syrup and sugar before adding the other ingredients).

As the syrup and sugar are on the stove in the very large bowl measure out about 5 cups of the cereal.

pour the heated mixture over the syrup and began stirring with the spatula making sure to evenly combine the ingredients. You might want to add another cup or more of the cereal, depending on the amount of saturation your looking for (I find about 6 cups of cereal allows all the cereal to be covered in syrup but not too gooey: still crispy.)

when stirred to satisfaction, pour the cereal on to the wax paper, using the spatula to push it into a large rectangle, approximately an inch or so thick.

Allow the rice crispies to cool till hard, about an hour or so (although sampling of a chunk of warm rice crispies is possible for instant gratification!)

Serves: about 20 medium sized squares

Preparation time: 15 prep, 1 hour to cool

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c granulated sugar
1/3 c canola oil
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c non dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease your muffin tins (or use papers)

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and the oil. Then add the mashed banana and chocolate chips. Stir in the water and vanilla until incorporated. Add flour mixture, a little at a time and stir until just incorporated.

Fill all 12 muffin cups evenly and bake about 30 minutes, until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of one or two comes out cleanly.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
  3. Stir in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  4. Drop by tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

Butter Tarts

This is the full recipe (including pastry), though I've never made the pastry. It says it only makes 10 tarts, but if you put raisins in the bottom, it stretches to 12.


  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 10 tbsp ice water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together.
  3. With a pastry cutter, blend in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  4. Add the ice water gradually until dough forms.
  5. Pat dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  6. Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick.
  7. With a cookie cutter, cut out ten 3 1/2-inch circles.
  8. Press the circles into 10 cups of a muffin tin.
  9. Put the muffin tin in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove from the freezer, place pieces of tin foil in each shell and fill with pie weights.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Remove foil and pie weights and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes, until pastry is golden and set.
  13. Cool on a wire rack.
  1. In a medium bowl, lightly beat together the egg, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla and salt.
  1. Divide the raisins among the shells.
  2. Divide the mixture among the shells and bake until set, about 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool 5 minutes.
  4. Remove tarts from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Brownies

1 cup butter
6 squares unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt butter and chocolate together.

In a large bowl beat eggs. Blend in sugar. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour and chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 8 inch square pan. Bake at 300 degrees F. for 45 to 55 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.


1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup sifted al purpose flour
1 cup butter (room temperature)
Sigt together cornshar, icing sugar, and flour. Blend in butter with a wooden spoon. This works best if the butter is in fact at room temperature, otherwise you end up warming the dough up and cooling it down and it won't always hold shape in the oven. Cool the dough in the fridge if it's too soft, but be mindful that if it's rock hard, it will be difficult to put into balls.
Shape dough into 1" balls approximately 1 1/2" apart. Flatten with a lightly floured (or icing sugar'd) fork, and top with anything you'd like (chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sprinkles, brown sugar).
Bake in slow oven at 300 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes or until edges are very lightly brownd. Yield 3 - 4 dozen

Chocolate Brittle

2 cups of chocolate chips (or other type)
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of butter or margarine
1 sleeve of salted crackers
Grease a cookie sheet and line with the crackers salted side up
Add sugar and margaerine in a pot and bring to a boil
Let boil for 3 minutes ("good rapid boil")
Pour the sugar and margerine over crackers, spread all around
Put in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes (so it bubbles but DOES NOT BROWN).
Melt chocolate chips.
Pour on top of sugar/crackers and put into a cold place. You can add nuts on top if you'd like.
Break into pieces and enjoy