Welcome to my very first recipe entry! I am very excited to share some tried-and-true recipes with you and your family. This is going to be place for you to find easy-weeknight meal ideas as well as more intricate restaurant recipes for you to try when you have extra time or want to surprise your family on the weekend. I will begin by offering recipes for you to try but as this conversation grows I hope to gain suggestions and requests from you-the real cooks out there! Are there new flavors you want to try? Are there techniques you’ve seen while eating out that interest you? Are there recipes you’ve read but have been too intimidated to try? We will build off of the recipes that you love and throw out the recipes that you hate. As we keep working together, you will build your own recipe database at home, discover new cooking and baking techniques and learn the secrets of a real chef!
I have read many an interview where chefs are asked their favorite thing to cook at home. I don’t want to sound cliché but for me it’s a roast chicken. You can find recipes for a great roast chicken anywhere (and if you need one…here’s one from famous Chef Thomas Keller).
For that reason I decided for my first entry, I would make my second favorite dish,
Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta and Artichokes.
This dish is something that can be thrown together in less than 30 minutes if you are quick in the kitchen, and that’s why it’s a go-to dish for me. The key to quickly executing a meal is timing. Start boiling the water before you start cutting vegetable ;cook the pasta while you cook the shrimp; and reduce the sauce while you toast the bread.
Here we go!
|Olive Oil||2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons|
|White Onion||½ whole onion, finely diced|
|Garlic||4 cloves, fresh & minced|
|Shrimp||1 pound, peeled & de-veined, seasoned with salt & pepper|
|White Wine||⅓ cup, Chardonnay or other dry white wine|
|(I use Blackstone Chardonnay…that’s where my dad works!)|
|Lemon||1 whole, just the juice|
|Salt||1 ½ teaspoon or to taste|
|Black Pepper||1 teaspoon or to taste|
|Angel Hair Pasta||½ regular size package|
|Artichoke Hearts||16 oz., quartered & not marinated|
|Parsley, Italian||¼ cup, chopped finely|
|Parmesan Cheese||½ cup, grated|
|Sourdough loaf||Batard, or something else nice and crusty|
|Olive Oil||2 tablespoons|
|Garlic||2 cloves, minced|
|Parmesan Cheese||¼ cup, grated|
First, you will need to prep your garlic bread so you can bake this while you make your pasta. Preheat your oven to 375°. Cut your sourdough loaf in half lengthwise and place on sheet tray prepped with foil. Next place butter, olive oil, and minced garlic in small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. I usually let this sit for about five minutes for the garlic to permeate the butter and oil. When ready, brush your bread evenly with the mixture. If you don’t have enough (depending on the size of your loaf) you can always drizzle with some extra olive oil). Sprinkle bread with salt and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Next, place a large pot of water, seasoned with 2 tablespoons of salt on high heat.
Then, start prepping your vegetables and proteins. Chop your onion, garlic, parsley and juice your lemon (Don’t forget about those nasty seeds!), set aside. Clean your shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Drain your artichoke hearts and grate your Parmesan cheese. If your water starts boiling, don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere!
Now you’re ready to start cooking…
Place your sheet tray of bread in the oven to bake. Next, using a large saucepan (at least 12”) melt 6 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. This might look like a lot but we are extracting the flavor of the shrimp to make the base for our sauce here. When hot, place shrimp in pan and cook on one side until pink, turn over and finish cooking for 2 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Leave butter and oil in pan, lower heat to medium low.
Now, return to your water, which should be boiling by now. Place pasta in pot and don’t forget to stir! Cook according to directions on package. Remember Angel Hair cooks very fast compared to other pastas! While the pasta cooks, place chopped onion and garlic in pan and sauté until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant (about 3 minutes). Add artichoke hearts to pan, turn heat up to medium-high and add white wine. The high heat will allow the sauce to reduce and get extra buttery and flavorful. Cook for 5 minutes, and then add salt, pepper, lemon juice and shrimp to pan. By this point, your pasta should be done! (If you’re pasta was done before this, drain and drizzle with olive oil so it doesn’t get sticky). Drain and add directly to sauce pan with rest of ingredients. Use tongs to toss pasta with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley, toss again.
Your bread has been cooking for about 10 minutes now and should be toasty. If you like your bread more browned, turn your oven to “low broil” and cook for a couple minutes. Watch it carefully as it can burn very quickly. Broil until desired “toastiness” is achieved, cut and serve with the pasta and a side salad!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
What would a delicious dinner be without dessert!?! I have included my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for you! It is written in grams (as this is the measurement that most pastry chefs use in the industry). If you don’t own a scale, here’s a chart of equivalents
Butter ½ pound
Brown Sugar 365 grams
Eggs 2 each
AP Flour 365 grams
Baking Soda 1 teaspoon
Salt 1 ½ teaspoons
or Chunks 365 grams
Measure all of your ingredients first and place in small bowls. You will find that in the end, this cuts down significantly on your prep time.
Bowl #1: Butter and sugar
Bowl #2: Eggs
Bowl #3: Flour, Baking Soda, Salt- whisked together to combine
Bowl #4: Chocolate
1. Using stand or hand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
3. Add dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt). Mix until everything comes together and then add chocolate. Mix again until combined (you may need a spoon at this point to get chocolate mixed in.
Try to not over-mix the cookie dough by using the mixer. We want the cookies to be tender and over-mixing can cause the cookies to be tough. When ready, scoop cookies at a size equivalent to 2 tablespoons using two spoons or a scoop.
Bake 350° for 10-14 minutes, until golden brown.
*Note: Don’t be afraid to take the cookies out when they look like they are almost ready. All baked goods have “carry-over cooking” and since the ratio of butter and eggs to flour is so high (and makes the dough so wet) the heat is maintained in the cookie…allowing it to continue cooking long after it is removed from the oven. So take them out a little early, when they are still puffy in the middle, and you have found the key to soft and chewy cookies!
– Nicole Compean