Shrimp Pizza w/ Artichoke & Garlic Sauce

It’s hard to get bored of pizza, but sometimes you want to change things up a bit. In addition to trying new toppings and cheeses, consider using an alternative to tomato sauce on pizza.

Pizza night is a cherished tradition in many households, but sometimes, it’s good to break away from the routine and experiment with new flavors. One of the easiest ways to do this is by trying out different alternative pizza sauces.

The other day Brion & I were in a Winners/Homesense store. Of course, my favorite spot is always the area where they have all the cookware and specialty food items. I saw bottled sauce made with artichokes and garlic. Immediately my thoughts were as to how I could use it. It was quite pricey, so I opted to try and make a copycat version at home.

While tomato sauce has long been associated with traditional pizza, there is a whole new world of flavors waiting to be discovered by breaking from tradition. Tradition of course has its place—there’s a reason classic tomato-topped pizza has been a staple for generations. But there is more to pizza sauce than regular tomato. There are exciting flavors, interesting textures, sweet things, spicy things, cheesy things, even exotic things!

Here are some ideas for making pizza without tomato sauce:

  • White pizza – Make a white sauce with olive oil, garlic, parsley, and a dash of salt and pepper. Spread it on the pizza dough instead of tomato sauce. Top with cheeses like mozzarella, ricotta, or feta, and veggies.
  • Pesto pizza – Spread pesto sauce on the dough instead of tomato sauce. Top with veggies and cheeses.
  • BBQ chicken pizza – Use BBQ sauce as the base instead of tomato sauce. Top with chicken, red onion, cheddar cheese, etc.
  • Mediterranean pizza – Make a tahini sauce base. Top with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, feta, red onion, etc.
  • Breakfast pizza – Scramble eggs with veggies and meats. Spread it on the dough. Sprinkle with cheeses.
  • Buffalo chicken pizza – Spread buffalo wing sauce on the dough. Top with chicken, blue cheese, mozzarella, celery, onion.
  • Thai pizza – Make a spicy peanut sauce base. Top with chicken, carrot, onion, cilantro, mozzarella.
  • Carbonara pizza – Spread an alfredo sauce base. Top with bacon, onion, Parmesan, egg, parsley.

The best thing about pizza is that there are endless ways to enjoy it. So here you have it … shrimp pizza with artichoke & garlic sauce. Yum!

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Shrimp Pizza w/ Artichoke & Garlic Sauce
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Instructions
Sauce
  1. Place all ingredients except oil in food processor. With motor running, Add olive oil in a slow stream to make an emulsion. Place in a dish & set aside.
Pizza Toppings
  1. Fry bacon until done but not crisp. Drain on a paper towel then chop into bite-sized pieces. In the same skillet, sauté shrimp until just cooked & remove it from skillet.
  2. Sauté sliced mushrooms & sliced onions until just cooked.
  3. Slice cherry tomatoes in halves & prepare fresh herbs.
  4. Shred mozzarella cheese.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread each naan bread with artichoke & garlic sauce.
  3. Top pizzas with onions, mushrooms, shrimp & bacon. Sprinkle shredded cheese over all then dot with halved cherry tomatoes & herbs.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly & tomatoes are roasted. Serve.
Recipe Notes
  • You will no doubt have extra artichoke & garlic sauce. Store it in an air-tight container for up to one week. Enjoy it on toasted bread or swirl into cooked pasta.

Benedictine Liqueur Coffeecake w/ Strawberries

Today, March 28, was the birth date of my mother. She passed away in 1978 at the age of sixty. Although 46 years have passed, it seems like it was only yesterday. She was truly an ‘Angel on Earth’, never to be forgotten by her family or by the people whose lives she touched.

I have so many memories of her wonderful cooking and baking. In her honor today, I decided to post a unique coffeecake recipe.

Since I have become a huge fan of Dom Benedictine Liqueur in sweet & savory recipes, this is the fifth recipe I have developed using it in the ingredients. When I first ‘discovered’ this interesting liqueur, I searched high and low for recipes to incorporate it in my baking and cooking. After having no success finding any, I resorted to my favorite ‘hobby’ of recipe development. So far, I have had good results.

If you’re not familiar with this liqueur, here is a brief bit of history about it. For more in-depth info, check out my blog article from December 2022 under Benedictine Liqueur Cupcakes.

The story of Benedictine dates back to 1510 when a Venetian monk of the Abbey of Fécamp, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, created an elixir intended to support good health. It includes a combination of 27 herbs and spices derived from plants from around the globe, including juniper, myrrh, saffron, vanilla, thyme, coriander and more. The liqueur tastes primarily of honey and baking spices, with citrus peel, herb, and stone fruit notes.

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Benedictine Liqueur Coffeecake w/ Strawberries
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Servings
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Instructions
Strawberry Puree
  1. In a food processor, puree strawberries (SET ASIDE ABOUT 8 SLICING INTO THE TOPPING). Over medium-low heat, simmer puree until you have reduced the mixture by about half. Allow to cool completely before using in cake batter.
Coffeecake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a large cylinder pan (or a 9-inch round). Dust with flour & set aside.
  2. Toast pecans on a sheet pan in the oven for 7-8 minutes. Remove nuts from pan right away to prevent further toasting & place on a cutting board to cool, then finely chop.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder & salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat eggs on high until light in color, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium & add sugar; beat until mixture is pale & thick, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low; mix in oil & liqueur.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, lightly fold in flour mixture in 3 batches. Fold in toasted pecans. Spread half the cake batter in prepared baking pan. Place dollops of strawberry puree in a zigzag pattern down center of batter. Using the handle of a spoon, swirl puree lightly into batter. Top with remaining batter.
  6. Bake cake until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Strawberry Puree Topping
  1. With the remainder of the strawberry puree, add honey & vanilla to taste. Combine well. Slice remaining fresh strawberries & fold into puree.
Serving
  1. Slice coffeecake & top with strawberry puree topping. Of course nothing says you can't add some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Chicken, Potato, Boursin & Thyme Tart w/ Caramelized Onions

Our love affair with Boursin started about a year ago. Being cheese lovers I’m not sure why it took us so long to try it, but we are definitely under its spell now. Years ago, it was an imported delicacy from France, so creamy and so garlicky. Now made in Canada, and even though manufactured on an industrial scale, the garlic and herb Boursin is very similar to the French version.

It’s easy to understand why Boursin may well be the most popular flavored soft cheese in the world. More than 50 years later, the original recipe remains unchanged and food lovers in more than 35 countries have spread their passion for Boursin all around the world.

Boursin was developed by French cheesemaker Francois Boursin in 1957 in Normandy. He was inspired by a traditional fromage frais dish in which dinner guests use bowls of fine herbs to season their own cheese.

A major newspaper in France reported incorrectly that Boursin’s cheese was flavored with garlic. It was actually a competing cheesemaker who had introduced the garlic cheese. The newspaper article generated such interest and demand for garlic Boursin that the cheesemaker spent two years developing a garlic-flavored cheese—which was introduced in 1963 to quickly become a household name across France.

Not only was Boursin an excellent cheesemaker, but he also had marketing smarts. In 1968, Boursin made history as the first cheese featured in a TV ad campaign. It featured famous French comedian Jacques Duby cast in the role of the first ‘Boursinophile,’ a cheese lover unable to resist the alluring taste of Boursin whatever time of day or night. Waking in the middle of the night, he rushes to the fridge in his pajamas yelling for Boursin over and over again. You may recall seeing Boursin commercials on Canadian TV.

Today’s tart consists of a puff pastry shell encasing a layer of sweet caramelized red onion, topped with roughly broken up chunks of potato and chicken dotted with luscious Boursin. The tart is then baked in a creamy egg filling and sprinkled with a little thyme. Yum!

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Chicken, Potato, Boursin & Thyme Tart w/ Caramelized Onions
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy based pot. Add onions, salt & pepper; cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add balsamic vinegar & sugar, remove the lid; cook a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  3. Put potatoes in a medium pot, cover with water, season with salt & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook potatoes 15-20 minutes until just able to be pierced with a knife. Drain & set aside to cool.
  4. Roll out pastry to fit a 10-inch round removable base tart tin. Pop in the freezer to chill.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Layer the onion, potato and chicken into the pastry shell. Dot with Boursin cheese and thyme. If you happen to be using left-over roast chicken & have a bit of stuffing spare, pop that in too! Whisk eggs and cream and pour over filling.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is set & pastry is golden.

Adzuki Bean Bolognese Lasagna

Ordering a lasagna Bolognese in Italy might leave some North Americans a bit surprised by the dish placed before them. The traditional recipe layers lasagna noodles with a meaty ragù and creamy, white béchamel sauce, a very different recipe than the lasagna Bolognese served in North America where the layers of noodles alternate with tomato sauce, meat, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese. 

A while back Brion and I were in an Asian Supermarket, and I became very interested in some of the desserts made with sweet red adzuki bean paste. In October (2023), I used it in some ‘Anpan Buns’ that I posted on the blog. We really enjoyed them so I wanted to explore the savory side of this bean.

Adzuki beans have a unique and distinct taste that can be described as mildly sweet and nutty with a slightly earthy undertone. The flavor is not overpowering and is often described as more delicate compared to other beans like black beans or kidney beans. The sweetness is subtle, making adzuki beans particularly suitable for both sweet and savory dishes.

In North America they often are put to savory use, mixed into salads, cooked with rice and dropped into soups. Like other beans, adzuki are a good source of protein. Unlike many other dried legumes, they don’t have to be soaked before cooking.

Getting back to today’s lasagna, I thought if I added some cooked adzuki beans to the Bolognese sauce might just make this classic dish even better.

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Beef & Adzuki Bean Lasagna
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asia
Servings
Ingredients
Bolognese Sauce
Béchamel Sauce
Other Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asia
Servings
Ingredients
Bolognese Sauce
Béchamel Sauce
Other Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Bolognese Sauce
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil, garlic & onions. Sauté until fragrant, for a minute or two, avoid browning. Then add ground meat.
  2. Sauté the ground meat until it is no longer pink. Add carrot & celery & sauté for about one minute.
  3. Add the liquids – seasoned, diced tomatoes & tomato paste & cooked adzuki beans. Stir to combine. Heat it on medium high heat & let it come to a boil.
  4. Add the rest of the seasonings – basil, oregano, beef bouillon, salt & pepper. Stir to combine. Lower heat to medium heat & let it cook for another ~10 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  5. Remove from heat & set aside.
Béchamel Sauce
  1. Add butter to a medium pot & heat over medium heat. Once butter is melted (avoid browning butter), add flour to pot. Using a whisk, whisk to combine. Mixture will be slightly clumpy.
  2. Immediately add milk into the pot and bring to medium high heat so that it comes to a boil. Whisk continuously until mixture is smooth & thickens.
  3. Once mixture reaches desired thick consistency, add salt & pepper. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.
Assembly/Bake
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place a thin layer of Bolognese sauce on the bottom of a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  3. Start layering with 2 of the rectangular lasagna sheets, then add 1/4 of the Bolognese sauce, and then 1/4 of the béchamel sauce & cheese.
  4. Repeat 3 more times. There should be a total of four sets of lasagna sheets/Bolognese sauce/béchamel sauce & cheese layers. Sprinkle it with remaining cheese to top it off.
  5. Place casserole dish in the oven & place a cookie sheet under the casserole dish to catch any potential drippings. Bake for 45 minutes, then (optional) broil for 2 minutes to brown the top.
  6. Remove dish from oven and let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting into lasagna. Garnish with parsley & serve!
Recipe Notes
  • This recipe will easily serve 8-10 people. With just 2 of us, I still like to make the full recipe so I can freeze the rest for future meals.
  • On the other hand, the recipe can be easily halved if you wish.
  • To cook the adzuki beans:
  • Use a strainer to rinse the dried beans under cold water. Remove any debris, stones or deformed beans from the mix and thoroughly drain the beans afterward.
  • Fill a pot with water, add the beans and bring it to a boil. After the water has started to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue cooking the beans for about 45-60 minutes. The adzuki beans will be ready once the beans are fork tender. Drain.

Italian Sausage Cannelloni

Although it might seem that cannelloni have been eaten since ancient times, this is a recent custom. You could not find it in any Catalan cookbook until the start of the 20th century. Cannelloni originally came from Italy, brought to Catalonia at the end of the 18th century by foreign chefs working in hotels.

There is a basic difference between Catalan and Italian cannelloni. With Catalan, the meat is cooked first, then ground, whereas the Italians put the ground meat straight into the cannelloni tubes.

Manicotti is the Italian American version of cannelloni. Both are pasta tubes, but the difference between the two is fairly minimal: Manicotti tubes are ridged, larger and slightly thicker. Cannelloni tubes are smooth, a touch smaller and slightly thinner.

Over the years, no-boil (also called oven-ready) cannelloni tubes have become a permanent fixture on supermarket shelves. Much like ‘instant rice’, no-boil pasta is precooked at the factory. The pasta tubes are run through a water bath and then dehydrated mechanically. During baking, the moisture from the sauce softens, or rehydrates, the pasta, especially when the pan is covered as the cannelloni bakes.

This baked pasta can be stuffed with a myriad of fillings that suit any taste, from chicken with asparagus to shrimp and lentils. Whether you make a meat sauce, a mixture of herbs and ricotta cheese, or fish accompanied by a tomato sauce, the filling can be made the day before. In fact, this will make it even tastier. 

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Italian Sausage Cannelloni
Instructions
Filling
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil, onion & mushrooms. Cook for 5-10 minutes allowing the onion to soften & mushrooms to release their liquid.
  2. Once most of the liquid has dissipated, add sausage crumbling it with a wooden spoon into small pieces as it cooks. Stir & cook all ingredients until the onion is softened & the sausage is no longer pink & is starting to brown. Set aside.
Béchamel Sauce
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, paprika & Italian seasoning & stir until well incorporated. Slowly, add milk & whisk together until smooth. Continue whisking until sauce comes to a slow boil & starts to thicken. Stir 1/3 of the sauce into the sausage mixture. (Reserve the other two thirds to pour under & over the cannelloni.) Add 340 gm shredded mozzarella to the sausage & sauce mixture & mix to combine.
Assembly/Baking
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread a bit of sauce over the bottom of (2) 13 X 9-inch baking pans. Using a large pastry tube with a star tip, fill (oven ready) cannelloni shells. Nestle the cannelloni in the sauce & cover with remaining sauce.
  3. Top with a combo of 50 gm shredded mozzarella & 25 gm shredded Parmesan. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes, remove foil & bake another 5 minutes or until cheese starts to turn golden. Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes then serve.
Recipe Notes
  • As far as the cheese goes in this recipe, use whatever kind you prefer or have on hand. You know it will always be great because 'cheese makes it better' right!
  • This meal freezes well so if it is to big for your family in one setting just freeze the rest for another time.

Asiago Potato Stacks

Asiago Cheese is one of my personal favorite kinds of cheese. Coupled with a rich history and unique flavor profile, asiago cheese is a deliciously versatile and ranges from smooth and silky to crumbly and brittle.

Asiago cheese has a characteristically sweet and mildly nutty taste. However, the flavors develop as it ages, getting sharper, more intense, and piquant.  As it matures, the cheese develops a slightly acidic and tangy undertone and a fruity appeal. The scent of the cheese is aromatic, with a floral smell that gets deeper with maturity.

A semi-hard cow’s milk cheese, asiago originated in Italy and takes its name from the famous plateau located in the north-eastern part of the peninsula.

Because this cheese features so much variety the everyday cheese lover might know they like asiago but not really be able to describe exactly what it tastes like. Asiago is actually considered one of the best cheeses to use for cooking due to its mild but noticeable flavor.

These ‘asiago potato stacks’ are a nice change from your typical roasted potatoes. Sure, you can dump any kind of cheese on top of potatoes, and they’ll turn out tasty. But elevate those cheesy ‘taters with freshly grated asiago and a fresh burst of rosemary and they’re amazing!

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Asiago Potato Stacks
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
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Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Using a mandolin, thinly slice potatoes & place in a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to skillet & mix to combine. Add shallots & garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add thyme, salt & pepper & sauté for for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour butter mixture over potatoes & toss until each side is coated. Add cheese to potatoes & continue tossing until well combined.
  4. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Stack potato slices in muffin cups & top with additional cheese.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until stacks are golden brown & crispy. Serve immediately.

Beef Stroganoff w/ Barley Risotto

Beef Stroganoff is a perfect dinner party dish – inexpensive and easy to prepare yet rich and luxurious. History reveals a simple but elegant dish of steak meat sautéed with onion and cooked in a sauce of sour cream, seasonings and usually, mushrooms.

This dish was invented sometime in the early 1800s and had its North American heyday in the 1950s and 1960s.

The best cuts of beef for stroganoff are tender, juicy cuts such as:

  • boneless rib eye
  • boneless sirloin.
  • sirloin steak tips.
  • beef tenderloin.

In researching beef stroganoff, I’ve seen recommendations for all sorts of things to serve it with, including kasha, egg noodles, French fried potatoes, rice, mashed potatoes with chives, wild rice, and the leftovers on buttered toast points.

Since Brion & I always enjoy risotto, it seems like a good choice to pair with our stroganoff. I’ve made risotto from rice, couscous, orzo and they were all good so today I’m using barley.

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Beef Stroganoff w/ Barley Risotto
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- 6 SERVINGS
Ingredients
Servings
- 6 SERVINGS
Ingredients
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Instructions
Beef - Marinade
  1. In a large zip-lock bag or glass dish, whisk together oil, soy sauce & Montreal Steak Spice. Add cubed steak & marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Mustard Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in chicken stock and mustard. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut tomato into thick strips. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook tomato until softened, 3-5 minutes. Stir into mustard sauce; add salt, liquid smoke & sour cream.
  3. In same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Drain beef using a strainer, discarding marinade. Add sliced onion & mushrooms to pan; cook and stir until onion is softened. Add beef & cook until meat is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Add mustard sauce; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened. Keep warm until serving.
Barley Risotto
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to maintain simmer. In another large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped onion & salt. Cook and stir until liquid evaporates. Add barley; toast in pan.
  2. Stir hot water into barley 1 cup at a time, waiting until liquid has almost absorbed before adding more. Cook until barley is softened but still slightly chewy, 15-20 minutes; stir in parsley. Serve immediately with beef.

Garlic Salmon w/ Roasted Veggies

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!

Food has always been a powerful symbol especially at the start of a new year. Fish on New Year’s Day is like turkey at Christmas.

People all around the world eat a variety of traditional foods from grapes to lentils, to smoked fish at the stroke of midnight. Fish have also been linked to prosperity or wealth with their scales round and abundant like money. Because fish swim forward, they’re considered a lucky food and represent progress. Not only that, but salmon travel in schools, which is supposed to symbolize prosperity. 

There is also a German tradition of eating fish for the New Year’s Eve dinner, and keeping a fish scale from a carp in your wallet all year to ensure wealth for the whole family.

New Year’s celebrations bring thoughts of new beginnings, letting go of the past and a future of wealth and good fortune.

Whatever food you chose to have today, enjoy it to the fullest with family & friends as we enter this new year.

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Garlic Salmon w/ Roasted Veggies
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Instructions
  1. In the microwave, bake potatoes with skin on until almost done. Remove & carefully cut into wedges. Set aside. Take beans out of freezer.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  3. Spread salmon with mustard; sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  4. In a skillet over medium-high, heat oil & add garlic. Cook, stirring often until garlic is fragrant & light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Pour hot oil over salmon on a large baking sheet. Place potato wedges at one end & spread out beans on the other. Sprinkle potatoes & beans with salt & pepper.
  5. Roast until salmon flakes easily with a fork & vegetables are tender & roasted. Remove from oven.
  6. Transfer salmon to a platter; sprinkle with tarragon & chives. Arrange vegetables on platter & serve.

Shrimp & Chicken Sausage Pasta Shells

With Christmas right around the corner, pasta meals are an easy quick fix on those busy days leading up to the big day. Stuffed Shells are truly the perfect meal to make ahead of time since you can prepare everything but hold off on baking them until you’re ready to eat.

Stuffed shells are a tasty dish that is usually made with ricotta cheese or other types of cheese inside the pasta shells. Tomato sauce is another common ingredient in the dish. However, there are so many ways to jazz it up and one might be surprised just how many unique ingredients one can put into a shell.

I have always loved stuffed pasta shells and over the years I have stuffed them in every way I could imagine. There are endless variations such as using different cheeses and herbs or making some homemade marinara or sun-dried tomato sauce.

There’s a reason surf and turf is often one of the most desired items on a restaurant menu — it’s because meat and fish are the perfect complement to each other! The light flavor of fish and shellfish is a great addition to the richer, heartier flavor of meat.

Today, I’m combining some shrimp and chicken sausage in my filling and topping it with a nice smoky sun-dried tomato parmesan sauce. Should be good!

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Shrimp & Chicken Sausage Pasta Shells
Instructions
Pasta / Filling
  1. Cook pasta shells in a pot of salted boiling water for about 10-12 minutes. Drain well & lay on a wire rack to keep them from sticking together until ready to fill.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion & mushrooms; sauté until tender & moisture has evaporated from mushrooms. Add chicken sausage & minced garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine & cook until sausage is no longer pink about 4-5 minutes more. Drain well & transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Peel & devein shrimp; chop into 1/2-inch pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together broth & flour. Set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add shrimp; cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp begins to turn pink. Stir in flour mixture. Add cream, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder & Italian seasoning; stir until thickened. Remove from heat & stir in sausage mixture. Set aside until ready to use.
Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  1. In a skillet, heat oil. Add onion & cook for 2 minutes until it starts to soften. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, paprika & sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add vegetable broth; bring to a boil & simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in cream & parmesan cheese into the sauce. Remove from heat & cool for a few minutes. Pour sauce into food processor & process to a fairly smooth consistency. It will not be completely smooth but that is fine.
Assembly / Baking
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread half of the sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Divide filling between cooked shells. Lay in rows over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over top carefully covering all the shells.
  3. Loosely lay a piece of foil paper over baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbling nicely.

1770 House Meatloaf w/ Garlic Sauce

The other day I came across a recipe for meatloaf that certainly seemed like something ‘special’. Years ago, every family had a meatloaf recipe that was so dearly loved, it achieved iconic status. Today, I’m not so sure that is the case anymore. Nevertheless, this recipe was called ‘1770 House Meatloaf’ which made me curious as to what the history was behind it. Most every review raved about it being pure comfort food and much more than just meatloaf.

From my research on this meatloaf I found that the 1770 House is an East Hampton Inn and Restaurant famous for this dish. East Hampton Village on Long Island, New York is a beautiful village. It’s been that way for years with a glorious pond right as you come into town where swans swim in summer and skaters take to the ice in winter.

The 1770 House has welcomed guests with hospitality and comfort, a tradition that continues to attract guests from around the world to the intimate Inn, steps from the heart of East Hampton Village. The venerable home, today a boutique hotel and restaurant, seamlessly integrates historic elegance with luxurious, modern amenities and first-class dining.

This glorious colonial house has two restaurants—a more formal fine dining room on the ground level and, down a flight of stairs, a cozy ‘tavern’ with its roaring fireplace and comfort food menu.  And always, on this seasonally changing menu, there is Chef Kevin Penner’s remarkable meatloaf with its even more remarkable garlic sauce.  

This familiar dish is simple enough that it can be prepared as a weekday meal, but that has been elevated by adding a few key ingredients. The celery and thyme infuse the mix with intense flavor, and the garlic sauce works perfectly. The outcome is a delicious dish with moist texture: not your average meatloaf.

So there you have it …. meatloaf with first-class dining status!

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1770 House Meatloaf w/ Garlic Sauce
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Instructions
Meatloaf
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion & celery and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Place the beef, veal, pork, parsley, thyme, chives, eggs, milk, salt & pepper in a large mixing bowl. Put the panko in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the panko is finely ground.
  4. Add the onion mixture & the panko to the meat mixture. With clean hands, gently toss the mixture together, making sure it's combined but not compacted.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Pat the meat into a flat rectangle and then press the sides in until it forms a cylinder down the middle of the pan (this will ensure no air pockets). Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the middle reads 155 F. to 160 F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve hot with the Garlic Sauce.
Garlic Sauce
  1. Combine the oil & garlic in a small saucepan & bring to a boil. Lower the heat & simmer for 10 -15 minutes, until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn the garlic or it will be bitter. Remove the garlic from the oil and set aside.
  2. Combine the chicken stock, butter & cooked garlic in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat & cook at a full boil for 35 - 40 minutes, until slightly thickened. Mash the garlic with a fork, whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper & taste for seasonings. Spoon the warm sauce over the meatloaf.
Recipe Notes
  • Since there are just two of us, I made the full recipe then divided the mixture into 3 portions. I baked all 3 & used one for our supper meal today,  froze the second one for a future meal & with the third, I sliced it for 'meatloaf' sandwiches. Doesn't get better than that!