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Posts Tagged ‘Dinner’

Before I became a pescetarian, I hardly ever put seafood and pasta together. I always stuck with cooking, or ordering, beef bolognese, which is too bad. Seafood is a great compliment to pasta, especially shellfish.

I’ve never been a huge clam fan, but lately, I’ve given them a chance, and I’m glad I have. They’re becoming one of my favorites to work with and this recipe is in my top 5 pasta dishes.

If you’ve never cooked clams, please, don’t be intimidated. They practically do the work for you, so give them a try.

You can use any size of clam you want for this recipe, so don’t worry if you’re local seafood store only has one kind to choose from.

Let’s get started.

First, soak your clams in cold water for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Why, you ask? As clams breathe they filter water. When the fresh water is filtered, the clam pushes sand out of their shells. After 20 minutes, the clams should have released any sand in their shells.

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Also, get a pot of salted water going for your pasta.

While the clams are in a happy ice bath, and water is getting to the boiling point, let’s get everything else going.

Chop one large shallot and three to four cloves of garlic.

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Now, sauté the shallot and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to continuously stir, because you don’t want the garlic to burn.

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Now add one cup of wine, one tablespoon of butter, red pepper flakes, and the juice of one lemon. By the way, if you don’t have a hand held lemon/lime juicer, get one. The amount of juice you get from using one is way more than squeezing it with your hand.

Let this cook on medium heat for about five minutes. You want the alcohol from the wine to cook out.

Now add one can of clams.

I bet you’re saying, “What??? CANNED clams?”

Yes. Canned clams.

They add more clam flavor to the dish. If you don’t want to add them, you don’t have to. Also add one bottle of clam juice. This is a clam pasta dish, so you want all the clam flavor you can get. Just trust me.

Stir and let it simmer for a minute or two and then taste. You’ll notice I haven’t added salt up to this point. With the canned clams and bottled can juice, you may not want or need anymore salt. If you feel it needs more, add it to your taste. If you think it’s a little tart, add more butter.

Once you have it like you want, it’s time to add the clams, but first, put your pasta in the boiling water and cook ’til al dente.

While your pasta is cooking, put the clams in the sauce, and turn the heat up to medium-high. You can cover them, if you want, but I like to keep them moving. By moving them around, you can see which ones are opening. As soon as a clam opens, take it out and put it in a bowl. The reason I do this is so they don’t overcook while the others open.

Some will take longer, so be patient, and keep them moving around. Once you get most of them out of the sauce, and you see a few still are not opening, just toss them. If they don’t open, they’re not good.

Now, add your cooked (al dente) pasta to your sauce and stir around.

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Add your clams back to the pan and stir.

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Time to eat!!

One good addition to any saucy dish is crunchy bread!

My favorite local bread is made by Elmore Mountain Bread.

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Man, it doesn’t get any better than this!

(Of course, I added chopped parsley and a little grated parmesan.)

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What you’ll need:

2 lbs fresh clams

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

1 cup of white wine (sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)

1 large shallot, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 can of clams

1 bottle of clam juice

1 lemon, juiced

1 box of spaghetti

Salt to taste

Red pepper flakes to taste

Chopped parsley (optional)

Grated parmesan (optional)

Crusty bread (optional)

Directions:

First, soak your clams for twenty minutes before cooking.

Get a pot of salted water going for your pasta.

Chop one whole shallot and three to four cloves of garlic. Sauté them in one tablespoon of olive oil on med heat for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to continuously stir, because you don’t want the garlic to burn.

Add one cup of wine, one tablespoon of butter, red pepper flakes, and the juice of one lemon. Let this cook on medium heat for about five minutes. You want the alcohol from the wine to cook out.

Add one can of clams and one bottle of clam juice.

Stir and let it simmer for a minute or two and then taste. You’ll notice I haven’t added salt up to this point. With the canned clams and bottle juice, you may not want or need anymore salt. If you feel it needs more, add it to your taste. If you think it’s a little tart, add more butter.

Put your pasta in the boiling water and cook ’til al dente.

While your pasta is cooking, put the clams in the sauce, and keep stirring them until they start opening. As soon as a clam opens, take it out and put it in a bowl. This will ensure they won’t overcook while the others begin to open. Be sure to discard the ones that do not open.

Add your cooked (al dente) pasta to your sauce and stir around. Then add your clams and stir one more time.

Enjoy!

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Whatchyagot Pasta

Yesterday was a frigid day– we had snow and wind chills of -35!! It was the perfect day to snuggle up in a blanket and drink hot toddies by the fire, which I happily did.

Here are a few pictures of our winter wonderland:

Usually on cold days I’d make a soup or chili with cornbread, but for some reason, I was in the mood for a bowl of pasta. With the cold temps and wind, I didn’t want to go out to get ingredients, so I made my Whatchyagot Pasta. I used whatever I had on hand, which ended up being pepperoncinis, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and tomatoes.

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I threw it all in a pan with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and olive oil and cooked it  for 10-15 minutes.

While it sautéed, I cooked spaghetti until al dente, and then put it in the pan with all the other ingredients. I added more olive oil and tossed it all together.

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Voilà!! Easy peasy pasta! And, oh my goodness, it was so good!

To top it off, I added grated parmesan, and then ate two bowls!

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So, use whatchyagot and enjoy!

Here are some other things that would work:

Sun-dried tomatoes

Olives

Chicken

Shrimp

Asparagus

Spinach

Broccoli

Herbs

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Happy Friday!!

Last night I threw together a rice bowl, and it turned out so tasty, I wanted to share.

One of our favorite rices is Goya’s Yellow Spanish Style Rice. It’s not overly salty and the other seasonings are just right. I could make my own, but when I want something quick and easy, it’s my go-to. If you don’t care for this type of rice. That’s cool… use the rice of your choice.

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I didn’t take pictures while I cooked last night, because I didn’t think it’d be a recipe I’d post, so I apologize for not having step-by-step pictures. It’s super easy, so I doubt you’ll miss the visuals.

I chose asparagus and onions for my veggies and bay scallops for my protein. You can use whatever you like. However, I suggest not overloading it with too many veggies. Choose two or three, that way the flavors don’t get lost. As far as protein, anything goes… bay scallops, chicken, shrimp, pork. Or leave out the protein all together and add one more veggie.

Directions:

Cook the rice according to the package.

While your rice is cooking, chop the veggies into bite-size pieces. Since they’re going to be mixed together with rice, and a protein, you don’t want them too large. Then, sauté them in a large pan until just tender. Don’t over cook them. You don’t want mushy veggies in your rice bowl. I sprinkled them with a little salt and pepper while they cooked. 

In a separate pan, cook your protein. If you’re using bay scallops, like I did, here’s a tip: Be sure to put them on a paper towel, and pat them dry, thoroughly. Otherwise, they’ll release too much water when you sauté them. I spread mine out on a paper towel and put another paper towel on top and let them rest while I cooked my veggies.

As far seasoning your protein, don’t over salt, because the seasoning in the rice blend has salt in it. I just sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. If you’re using a different rice that’s not seasoned, use a little more.

Once the rice is done, and your protein is cook, put them in the pan with veggies (go ahead and turn off the heat) and mix together.

That’s it! Put in a bowl and enjoy. Simple, easy, and tasty. Each time you make it, mix and match the vegetable and proteins to switch it up a little.

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I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Next Monday, I’ll be posting a recipe everyone always asks for when they come to Bubs’ Kitchen.

Stay tuned!

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