Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans March 2, 2011

I love pasta. It’s kind of my “everything but the kitchen sink” type meal. When I’m pushing my budget for my biweekly pay cycle, but have a gourmet craving, it’s so easy to throw whatever I have into a pan and simmer for awhile.

This is one of those great dishes. Sun-dried tomatoes and cannellini beans are two ingredients I stock up on when I have some cash and keep them in the pantry. And when have you ever not known me to have garlic and pasta? I used bowties but I think longer pasta would be great with this, like fettuccine. A splash of lemon juice, if you had it, would brighten things up even more, and play off of the tart tomatoes.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans
Adapted from Amateur Gourmet

4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups pasta

Boil your pasta in salted water.

Pour 1 Tbsp of sun-dried tomato oil into a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, let cook for 1 minute, until just soft. Add sun-dried tomatoes, cook for another 2 minutes.

Add 1 ladle of pasta water. Simmer until reduced by half.

Stir in beans, a pinch of salt, and another ladle of pasta water. Simmer for 4 minutes.

Add pasta to the sauce and toss together. Serve and relax!


Baked Shrimp Curry March 21, 2010

Filed under: Asian,Family,Quick and Easy,Restaurant Review,shrimp — hmills96 @ 7:26 pm

Until I moved to Muncie, I had never had Thai food. Back in Bluffton, all we had was Chinese and Mexican. Boy was I missing out! The spices combine to create a completely different heat and flavor at the back of your throat. Mmmmm. We have a terrific Thai place here called Thai Smile. My mom and sister, K., now have to try every Thai restaurant that pops up in their area, trying desperately to find one as good. So far they are unsuccessful. Because of this, often they will come down to Muncie for a quick dinner–great for me, a free meal, and time with my family!

Mom and sister, E., are in Florida for Spring Break, so Dad and K swung down yesterday for some Thai. Panang curry….mmmmmmmmmm…..need I say more???

I still have the curry craving, and I had some shrimp in the freezer, so I thought I’d try out this recipe. It was excellent, easy and quick to put together. It wouldn’t be hard to vary this recipe either, I think next time I’m going to use coconut milk instead of cream, and add some peanut butter–it will taste a lot more like the curry I love from TS.

Also, you can adjust the heat by changing the amount of curry powder you add. This packed a pretty big punch, so if you just want a little heat, I’d take it down a notch. I halved this recipe, since it’s just Jordan and I, this will make about 4 servings.

One more change I’ll make next time–the recipe calls for already cooked shrimp, but that really didn’t make any sense to me. You have to cook it for 15 minutes! I thought it would be tough, and I was right. Next time I will definitely use raw and let it cook in the broth while it cooks.

Trying to get more creative with my photographs!

Baked Shrimp Curry

From Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Casseroles

2 lbs fresh or frozen peeled and deveined cooked shrimp
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp curry powder (adjust to your heat preference. I wouldn’t add more than this the first time.)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups cream or milk (or coconut milk!)
2 Tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
Splash Worcestershire sauce
4 cups hot cooked rice

Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Preheat oven to 400 F.

In Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, curry powder, paprika, and nutmeg. Gradually stir in cream. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, 1 minute more. Stir in shrimp, sherry, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

**Note–If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can definitely do the stovetop cooking in a skillet, then transfer to a casserole dish before baking. That is actually how BHG said to do it. I used my Dutch Oven because it was one less pan I had to wash!


Restaurant Review–Oceanaire November 15, 2009

Filed under: NaBloWriMo,Restaurant Review — hmills96 @ 2:11 am

Today has been the PERFECT day! I told J. I wanted to go to Indy for my birthday, to shop and explore. I love living so close to the city, but we don’t get down there near often enough. I had been hearing a lot about Broad Ripple Village, and wanted to check it out. It was cute, definitely a neat area, although I hope we just missed a lot of it because it did not seem like there was much there. After that we went to Circle Centre, and did a little actual shopping, to kill some time before our dinner reservations at 6:30.

The best part about the day was that by coincidence, my parents were flying into Indy this afternoon, on the way home from a cruise! When we found out we were going to be in the city together, we changed our reservations from 2 to 4 people and spent the afternoon together. Mom and I shopped, Dad and J. grabbed a beer before dinner.
Dinner was at the Oceanaire, just a block away from the mall. From the moment we walked in the door, Wow. Now, I don’t have much to compare it to–I’m a rural girl who has grown up on chain faire like Applebees and Red Lobster. But I wanted an upscale, semi-gourmet meal, and that is what I got.
The service, first of all, was excellent. The waitstaff was everywhere, constantly filling water glasses if they were an inch below the top, removing plates if they were empty, bringing relish, bread, etc. They were extraordinarily attentive. I was very pleased. Our waiter was pleasantly friendly, very helpful. He didn’t smirk at me when I asked what the fish was in our relish tray (Pickled herring by the way might be my new favorite thing. OMG.), or when Dad jumped when he asked “would you like us to shell your crab for you, sir?” (at no charge even! Trust me, we asked first). There were a dozen places he could have upsold or overcharged us and instead, he told us how the sides and desserts would each feed most of the table, so we only needed one, not four.
Now on to the food. It was so good. I mean really, I just don’t know what to say other than it was excellent seafood for an inland restaurant. You don’t find very many of those around here. All of us were happy with what we ordered.
I had the swordfish with caramelized onions and blue cheese.

Sorry about the fuzzy cellphone picture, it’s all I had. It was a bit like eating a big steak! The edges were a bit dry, but once you got to the middle, the fish was much softer and more moist. The spices were fantastic. The blue cheese was a bit much for the fish and I wiped most of it off. While I like blue cheese, it overpowered the fish, I thought. The fish itself though was pretty good.

J.’s dish was the best on the table. He ordered Mahi Mahi oscar style. I didn’t get a picture unfortunately, he dug in almost immediately. With good reason too. It was covered in a rich Bearnaise sauce that we just couldn’t stop eating! Oh man it was so good.
For an appetizer we had asparagus with beurre blanc. There was nothing special about the asparagus but the sauce I have to mention. If anything makes me want to learn French cooking, it is that sauce alone. Oh my goodness. If it kills me, I will learn to make beurre blanc. I could have drank that sauce. But I refrained.
Dessert was Grand Marnier Creme Brulee. That was the first time I’ve ever had any kind of Creme Brulee and I must say, I can’t wait to have it again. As J. said–“Can you make this in gallon-sized?”
Overall, the day was fantastic. It was gorgeous out, a perfect day for walking outside, and it was great to be able to see my parents on my birthday. As for my gourmet restaurant experience, all I can say is…when is my next birthday???