Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mario's Weekend Cooking Challenge: Shrimp with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Mario's Weekend Cooking Challenge is a Facebook Group for people to get together, once a month and cook the same recipe, compare notes and discuss outcomes. It is put together by Mario Bosquez host of "Living Today" on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112 & XM 157

This month's cooking challenge recipe is Shrimp with Cilantro Cream Sauce and is courtesy of chef Andrew Wild of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Get the complete recipe here: Shrimp with Cilantro Cream Sauce.

Aside from peeling and cleaning the shrimp and a little chopping of the vegetables, this took less than 20 minutes from start to finish!
Ingredients for this dish are fresh shrimp, avocado oil, cilantro stems & leaves, onion, a poblano chile, garlic, oregano, cumin, cream & lime juice.

In a large pan, heat the avocado oil, add the poblano, onions and garlic. Cook until lightly golden and tender.

Add the cilantro stems, oregano and cumin.

Add the cream and bring to a boil. Cook until the cream has reduced to about 2/3rds and thickened slightly.

Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes until the shrimp have just turned pink. Stir occasionally to coat shrimp with the sauce.

Remove from the heat and season with lime juice and a little coarse salt. Sprinkle with minced cilantro leaves and either serve as an entree or right from the pan with toothpicks for a unique party dish!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tomato Jam - The "New" Ketchup!

Have you ever tried Tomato Jam? If you're a ketchup fan, you'll definitely love this unusual and delicious savory jam that can be used in a variety of ways. Use this in place of ketchup on sandwiches and with meatloaf.

I first tasted Tomato Jam while visiting the Amish Community in Shipshewana, Indiana. It's sweet spiciness hooked me at first taste!

Though it does have somewhat of a long simmering time, it's actually quite easy to make. You can get the recipe here: Tomato Jam

Ingredients are, tomatoes (of course), red-wine vinegar, brown sugar, honey, red onion, fresh garlic & ginger, ground ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon stick & star anise.

Have you ever seen or used "Star Anise"? These wonderful spice pods have a delicious anise or licorice taste, and look like, what else, little stars!

The jam starts out with a hot pan and a little olive oil. Saute the garlic, fresh ginger, and onion until translucent.

Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Then add the vinegar, honey, brown sugar and all the spices.

Simmer and stir for about 70 minutes until the tomatoes have dissolved, the liquid has evaporated and it's the consistency almost that of ketchup.
Discard the cinnamon sticks and star anise and cool before serving. Will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.