Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shrimp "Monica"

I love Jazz Fest back home in New Orleans. The last time I went was with Jeremy in our newlywed days, and I'm so glad I got to take him. I remember it rained the entire time we were at the festival. Kind of a bummer, but you just make do. I love camping out listening to live music at the different stages. Better than Ezra is always a favorite. I also love looking at all the crazy interesting people everywhere. But I think what I like the best is the FOOD!!! My favorites that come to mind are Crawfish Monica (creamy, spicy pasta dish with lots of crawfish) and Crawfish Bread (french bread stuffed with lots of monterrey jack cheese, cajun seasoning and crawfish tails). 

I found a copy-cat recipe for Crawfish Monica years ago and tucked it away in my recipe binder that has been neglected to my online recipe searches for the past few years. I pulled it out the other night because I was craving a creamy pasta and I had raw shrimp tails in the freezer.

This was seriously one of the BEST (and easiest) dinners I've made in a looooong time. And I gotta give credit to my sous chef -- Jeremy is always so helpful in the kitchen and helps the meal get made faster when someone is washing your green onions, stirring a pot, boiling and draining the pasta, and getting the frozen garlic bread from the wrapper to the oven. :-) Thanks Honey!

We WILL definitely be making this DISH alot!! Now I just need to go stock up on more frozen shrimp from Costco. I've always been impressed with it.

Shrimp "Monica" adapted from Gumbo Pages

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled; 
  • 1 stick of butter 
  • 1 pint of half-and-half 
  • 1 good-sized bunch green onions, chopped (tops, too) 
  • 7- 10 cloves garlic, minced or chopped 
  • 1 Tbsp.  (or much less if you don't want spicy) Creole seasoning to taste (I use Tony Cachere's Original creole seasoning, can be found at most regular grocery stores.) 
  • 1 lb. cooked rotini pasta 
  • Parmesan Cheese 
  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, then rinse under cool water. Drain again, thoroughly. 
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot and saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and saute for 3 minutes. Add the half-and-half, then add Creole seasoning, tasting before the next pinch until you think it's right. 
  3. Cook for 12 - 17 minutes over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Add the pasta and toss well. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so over very low heat, stirring often. Serve immediately, with lots of parmesan cheese, and if you're my mom you'll probably want to add a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley.

    (We served with buttered garlic french bread. Delish!!)

Monday, January 7, 2013

White Chip Chocolate Cookies

So... I like to put recipes on this ole blog here that I want to remember, and use again. It's been a good place for me to store favorite recipes, and I often come back here when I'm trying to plan the week's meals or get recipes easy at my finger tips rather than search through my cabinet full of cookbooks for a recipe...

We made these last night given the lack of baking ingredients we had in the house. (were out of regular choc chips AND brown sugar!) But we did have lots of cocoa, regular white sugar and half bag of white choc chips. So we halved this recipe and it still came out with a litlte over 2 dozen cookies. and they were fabulous!! 

Photo curtesy of Allrecipes.com

White Chip Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Allrecipes.com, yield 2 dozen cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are set. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.