Rattlesnake Pasta for Meatless Monday

Rattlesnake PastaWe try to have seafood at least 3 times per week and I always seem to go back to pasta with shrimp for one of those meals. This recipe was inspired by the Rattlesnake Pasta that we order when we dine out at J. Alexanders. If you ever get the chance to visit one of their restaurants try their dish made with chicken instead of shrimp and a creamier, more caloric but delicious, sauce and a side of their Alexander salad. Of course, any of their dishes are superb and the staff is friendly and efficient.

rattlesnake sign

My recipe is a healthier version of  Rattlesnake Pasta but watch out because the spicy bite  of the sauce definitely lives up to its name. You can vary the amount of spiciness to your liking by lessening the amount of cajun spice, red pepper flakes and jalapeno you add to the dish. Enjoy!

Rattlesnake Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, depending on your preferred level of hotness
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or white wine
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot with lid to keep warm.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Coat shrimp with Cajun seasoning and add to skillet. Brown shrimp on both sides, about 1 minute per side, then add tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, rosemary and crushed red pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, crushing tomatoes slightly to release juices. Add spaghetti and broth or wine to skillet then season with salt and pepper. Toss together, add Parmesan cheese and mix well. Cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally for 2-4 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve immediately on plates garnished with rosemary sprig

Serves 2-3.

Wine Pairing: When pairing wines with spicy dishes lean towards those with low alcohol and a bit of fruity sweetness such as Sauvignon Blancs, Rieslings, Chenin Blancs and Roses. If you pair this meal with a higher alcohol wine, the spice in the dish will appear even hotter (whew!), if paired with an oaky Chardonnay, the wine will seem to be even oakier and if your wine is more of a tannic red it will seem bitter to the taste. So stick with those above that will tame some of the spiciness and help you enjoy both the meal and the wine.

Linda's Signature

Almost Meatless Monday – Shrimp & Chorizo Skewers

Shrimp and Chorizo SkewersOK, I cheated a little on calling this a meatless Monday dish but you can easily make it meatless by substituting vegetables such as onions and bell peppers or even pineapple for the chorizo. Now, I don’t know why you would want to do that as the chorizo gives such a nice spicy kick to the shrimp and when it is all crisp from the grill it makes it even better. But whatever way you have it, this is one easy but delicious recipe!

Shrimp & Chorizo Skewers

Ingredients:

  • 18 shrimp, peeled & deveined (leaves tails on)
  • 18 1/4″ slices chorizo
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Prepare shrimp. Mix remaining ingredients, except for chorizo & parsley, in a large ziploc bag. Add shrimp, seal and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

At this time, if using wooden skewers, place in water and let soak for 30 minutes to prevent burning once placed on grill.

When ready to assemble, cut chorizo into 1/4″ thick rounds. Thread one shrimp then one piece chorizo alternately onto skewers. I used very long metal skewers and wound up using 5 skewers.

Once assembled, place on grill for approximately 2-3 minutes per side or until shrimp are pink and chorizo is slightly charred.

Serve over rice, either long grain & wild rice or a nice rice pilaf, and garnish with chopped parsley.

Makes 3-4 servings.

Note: You can also serve these as appetizers by cutting the wooden skewers in half and placing one shrimp and one piece of chorizo on each skewer and cooking as above. This will give you 18 small appetizers.

Wine Pairing: When eating Spanish chorizo the best wines to accompany this spicy sausage are the Spanish riojas and tempranillos, both spicy, juicy and smoky in their own right. Two great selections to try are either the 2009 Manon Tempranillo or the 2008 Bodegas Dios Area Rioja Crianza.

Linda's Signature

Meatless Monday – Coconut Shrimp with Mango Salsa

Coconut ShrimpI love coconut shrimp but not the extra calories that frying brings to the dish, so I looked far and wide for a recipe that just requires baking. I found one that was not only baked but was served with a delicious mango salsa for dipping that is out of this world! It is so good that I even plan on serving this salsa with other dishes such as grilled pork or fish.

Coconut Shrimp with Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen large shrimp (with tails), thawed, peeled and deveined
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • Garnish: lime wedges (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying with a nonstick cooking spray.

mango salsa

Place lime juice, 1 cup chopped mango, honey, and cayenne pepper in a blender and process until smooth. Pour ¼ cup mango mixture into a small bowl, top with lime zest and small amount of chopped cilantro, cover and store in refrigerator.

Prepare shrimp by washing, patting dry then sprinkling with a small amount of sea salt.

Place coconut on a large plate. Dip shrimp first into the remaining mango salsa then into coconut, pressing so it adheres to the outside of shrimp. Place on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until shrimp are fully cooked and nicely browned.

Serve hot with reserved mango salsa and top with remaining chopped mango and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Serves 4.

Wine Pairing: This shrimp dish has a slightly sweet and fruity flavor that would be enhanced by a wine that has a touch of sugar and low alcohol such as a Riesling or a Pinot Gris. Other whites that could also accompany this dish include a Sauvignon Blanc and an unoaked Chardonnay. If red is your preference, try a Pinot Noir or a nice Rioja.

Linda's Signature

Meatless Monday – Garlic Basil Shrimp

Garlic Basil Shrimp

It’s Monday and time for another meatless meal. Today’s meal features shrimp with garlic and a tangy pasta made with key limes from my yard. It is a nice change-up from the more familiar lemon pasta and comes out delicious!

Garlic Basil Shrimp with Lime-Garlic Pasta

Ingredients:

Lime-Garlic Pasta

  • 1 lb. pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Garlic Basil Shrimp

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Lime Garlic Pasta

Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In same pot, heat olive oil and saute 2 teaspoons minced garlic for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add in lime juice and zest. Add in pasta, Parmesan cheese and parsley and toss to coat. Add salt & pepper to taste. Replace lid on pot to keep warm while preparing shrimp.

Garlic Basil Shrimp

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side depending on size. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add minced garlic and pepper flakes to pan and saute 30 seconds. Add wine and simmer for 3 minutes or until reduced slightly. Stir in basil, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and shrimp. Continue to cook for 3 more minutes or until shrimp are warm.

Serve over pasta with additional Parmesan cheese on the side.

Serves 4-6.

Wine Pairing: The best choice is always to serve the wine with which you prepared the dish, in this case a nice Chardonnay.  A Chardonnay pairs very well with garlic dishes as it offsets some of its spiciness. If you prefer a lighter wine, you might try an Albarino or a dry Riesling. These wines work very well with garlic and their crispness helps accentuate the flavors of the dish.

Linda's Signature

Got Scallops?

Then today is your day because it’s National Coquilles St. Jacques Day!

Courtesy of the Food Network – here is Rachel Ray’s version of Coquilles St. Jacques:

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Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 40 min Yield: 4 servings

Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
12 medium clams
18 black mussels
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 medium shrimp
6 sea scallops
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 lemon
1 quart fumet (fish stock)
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup bread crumbs
4 teaspoons parsley, chopped

Directions:
In a frying pan over medium high heat, add butter, shallots and garlic. Sweat the garlic and shallots until they become translucent. Add the clams and mussels and toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the frying pan with white wine, cover with a lid and let cook until the mussels and clams start to open. Strain mussels and clams and set aside, reserving the liquid (it will be used to make the veloute).

In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat the pan until it is smoking hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. Carefully place the scallops in the pan and sear, until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the shrimp to the same pan and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and let it get hot. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are cooked and most of their liquid is released. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

Preheat the broiler.

To make the veloute: In a saute pan melt butter and add flour until both mix evenly together. Let cook for a few minutes on light heat until the mixture resembles pancake batter. Take the pan you used to cook the shrimps and scallops and deglaze it with the liquid you saved from the mussels and clams and squeeze in the lemon. Add the fumet and let reduce. Add the cream and again let reduce over medium heat. Add the butter flour mixture and stir until everything starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Remove the shells of the mussels and clams. Cut the scallops in 4 and remove any shell that is still on the shrimp. Add the mushrooms, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and clams to the veloute and stir everything with a spoon. Fill the baking shells or bowls with the seafood veloute and sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and parsley. Place under a broiler until the top becomes golden brown. Place the hot dish onto another plate to serve.

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Shrimp 9 Ways!

In honor of National Shrimp Day we’ve decided to bring you shrimp 9 ways!  Pick your pleasure and enjoy!

  1. Pan-Fried:  Linda’s Shrimp with Basil
  2. Grilled:  Rachel Ray’s Grilled Shrimp
  3. Baked:  Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Shrimp Scampi
  4. Blackened:  Publix’s Blackened Shrimp Alfredo with Salad Fresca
  5. Kabobs:  Campbell’s Kitchen Sweet & Tangy Shrimp Kabobs
  6. Curried:  AllRecipes.com Curried Shrimp Au Gratin
  7. Thai:  CookingLight.com Shrimp Pad Thai
  8. Deep Fried:  AllRecipes.com Japanese Style Deep Fried Shrimp
  9. Cajun Style:  Publix’s New Orleans Shrimp with Cajun Beans & Rice

shrimppadthai

neworleansshrimp

japanesestyledeepfriedshrimp

Shrimp-with-Basilblackenedshrimp

Resources:

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