Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

This is a recipe from Cooking Light that I've made at least 6 times since it was included in the Jan./Feb. issue. Using only 1 tablespoon of butter, no cream...only 1% milk, it tastes just as rich as anything you'd find in a restaurant. I added shrimp to my recipe, but chicken or any other veggies, such as broccoli or asparagus would be delish in this creamy dish.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

1 tablespoon butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups 1% low-fat milk

1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

2 tablespoons 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups hot cooked fettuccine (8 ounces uncooked pasta)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cracked black pepper

1 lb. shrimp, cooked

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt. Toss sauce with hot pasta and shrimp. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley. Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Diet Food...never so good!

I've been doing Weight Watchers since Feb. and someone sent me a huge file of WW friendly recipes. Since I'm the cook in the family, Ben eats whatever I fix, but I fooled him with the dish. Crispy chicken strips are the perfect comfort food, especially when I'm craving greasy fried foods. Serve this with a salad, mashed sweet potatoes or roasted seasoned potatoes.

Crispy Chicken Strips

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into slices
2 cups corn flakes, crushed
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp parlsey flakes
1/4 chili powder
2 tsp Montreal Chicken seasoning
1/2 cup light ranch dressing

Crush corn flakes and add all spices in a shallow bowl or plate. Pour ranch dressing in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken strips in ranch dressing coating both sides, then dredge in corn flake mixture. Place on wire rack roasting pan. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 F.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The most popular dish...

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan is the most popular recipe on and sure tastes that way too. Even non fish lovers will like this. What's not to like with parmesan cheese, butter, mayo, lemon juice and spices. Also, tilapia is an affordable fish that most grocery stores put on sale every few weeks. Usually I can find them for $2.99/lb...for 4 pieces it comes out around $5. Not bad! This fish cooks up really quick under the broiler, so make sure to keep your eye on it. I usually serve with my roasted potatoes and salad. Potato wedges drizzled in olive oil and salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, rosemary spinkled on top and baked for about 20 minutes.

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia (

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets

Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Hot Summer Days...

Now that I'm not working, I've actually had a few days to make some gourmet meals at home. Nothing says summer that shrimp, cilantro and limes. Enjoy this dish with a cold corona or an ice cold margarita to wash down to the spiciness of the shrimp. There is no need to premarinate the shrimp and they cook up cook, which makes this meal perfect for a weeknight.

Tequlia Shrimp with Cilantro-Lime Rice

1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/4 cup tequila
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Lime wedges (optional)

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
While rice cooks, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and next 4 ingredients (1/4 teaspoon salt through black pepper) in a large zip-top plastic bag; add shrimp. Seal and shake to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes, turning once. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tequila and 1 tablespoon cilantro; cook 1 minute.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and lime juice; pour over rice, tossing to coat. Serve shrimp over rice mixture. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Starting the week off right...

Perfect for a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon...Taco Soup. And even more perfect are the leftovers for the rest of the week. I almost forgot how awesome this soup is. Not only is the taste wonderful, but it fits the grocery bill with all the canned beans and other canned ingredients. Just a warning it makes a huge pot least 12 servings, so be ready for delicious leftovers, which are even better the second day.

Taco Soup (Paula Deen-Food Network)

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 package ranch salad dressing mix
Corn chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.