Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Weekend Spent Cooking!

So, if you don't know by now, I'm a huge fan of cooking. I love to cook, but of course, only when people are around for me to cook for them. So, this weekend, I did an appetizer, and an awesome pasta dish. Just a quick note...I don't typically measure, so if some of these recipes don't have exact measurements, now u know why!:

The Appetizer - Guacamole:

2 ripe avocados
4 cherry tomatoes
three small sweet chili peppers
1/8 sweet bermuda red onion
crushed red pepper seeds
lime juice

To make:

1. Dice tomatoes, peppers and onion into very small pieces. Combine.
2. Slice avocados into workable pieces in a large bowl (There's no special way to cut the avocados so don't go crazy trying to peel them! My method is to cut them in half, and use a knife to separate the flesh from the skin. Slice the avocado into pieces and put in the bowl).
3. Mash the avocado into a paste like consistency - it's your choice how chunky you want the guacamole to be.
4. Mix the veggies into the mashed avocado paste.
5. Add salt, pepper, crushed pepper and Adobo to taste. Mix.
6. Add a splash of lime juice (or lemon juice) to the guacamole to keep it from turning brown!

The Pasta Dish - Fusilli with Spinach and Mozzarella Cheese
*This is a remix of a recipe I saw on Giada's "Everyday Italian" show!! Her's just had spinach, tomatoes, asiago cheese and the fusilli.

1 box fusilli pasta
cherry tomatoes
spinach (either fresh or frozen)
broccoli (fresh or frozen)
garlic (fresh)
olive oil
fresh mozzarella (or packaged, but not the shredded kind!)
shrimp (fresh or pre-cooked frozen)

**If you're using frozen shrimp, defrost the amount you want to cook by letting it sit in cool (not hot!) water for at least 5 minutes. Depending on how long the shrimp has been frozen, you might need to let the shrimp sit for longer than 5 minutes.)

**If you're using frozen broccoli or spinach, you need to defrost it before you start cooking with it!

1. Create a marinade for the shrimp by combining salt, pepper, oregano and basil in a zip plastic bag along with the shrimp and olive oil. Shake/mix so that the shrimp are evenly coated. Let sit.

2. Chop the broccoli, spinach (if using fresh spinach), tomatoes, and garlic. Combine in a skillet pan with olive oil. Add salt, pepper, basil, and oregano and sautee on medium heat.

3. At the same time, heat water for the pasta. (some people choose to salt the water, I don't but this is up to you)

4. Once your spinach begins to wilt, add the marinated shrimp to the pan and continue sauteing.

5. Around the same time that you begin cooking the shrimp your water should be hot enough to begin cooking the pasta...the level of cooking is up to you (al dente or fully cooked - I like mine al dente!)

6. Once the shrimp is done (pre-cooked shrimp should be ready to go in 5 - 10 minutes max!) begin adding pieces of mozzarella to the pan and reduce heat so you don't overcook the shrimp.

7. Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and then return it to the pot. Combine the sauteed shrimp and veggies from the skillet and mix thoroughly. Add additional salt,pepper and/or olive oil to taste.


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