Sunday, January 25, 2009

48 Hour Recipe Roundup: Chili Pie, Foil Packet Shrimp and Asparagus, Greek Frittata, Fettucini with Proscuitto and Peas

So... I've been lax in posting this past week because the cold that I had that I thought was going away flared up again and basically kept me out of the kitchen for several more days. But this weekend I made up for lost time with four great meals.

Lunch yesterday: Chili Pie
This is a Real Simple "Fake It, Don't Make It" recipe and it is both super simple and really tasty. You pull it together in two parts. First, you make the chili, by sauteing sweet Italian sausage in a skillet until it's cooked through. Then, add some chili powder and saute for another minutes before adding a can of kidney beans (drained), some salsa and a can of diced tomatoes and heat the whole mixture through. Pour that into a casserole dish and top it with the second part of the recipe: a box of corn muffin mix combined with an egg, some milk and shredded cheddar. Drop the cornbread mixture in dollops over the pie and gently spread it evenly so it covers all of the chili. Bake for 15-20 minutes and serve. Delish! I will definitely make this again.

Dinner yesterday: Foil Packet Shrimp with Asparagus and Jasmine R
Pam Anderson has a great system in her cookbook, "The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great" for pulling together fast, easy meals: she has you whip up a marinade (I chose one with soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, ginger and garlic), combine it with the protein and vegetable of your choice (I chose shrimp and asparagus, with the latter cut into one-inch pieces), then package into portion-sized packets fashioned out of aluminum foil. From here, you can either grill or bake the packets. Obviously, I went for the baking option. Set a rack at the lowest possible spot in the oven, set the temperature to 500 degrees, put
the packets on a baking sheet, put the whole thing in the oven and roast for 15 minutes of so. When the cooking time is up and you open the packets, you'll find a flavorful dinner, with very little clean-up needed. Can't beat that.

Lunch today: Greek Frittata
This is another Real Simple recipe. This recipe is impressive because it seems easily adaptable to other fillings and looks elegant enough that you could serve it for a nice brunch and no one would need know that it is so easy to make. To wit: you start by pouring a bit of olive into a casserole dish and putting it into a 350 degree oven. As it heats, you pull t
he frittata together: whisk together eggs (the recipe calls for 10, I used 5 since I was cutting the recipe in half) with some salt and pepper, then mix in some fresh spinach, halved grape tomatoes and some chopped scallions, then add some crumbled feta. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the frittata puffs up nicely. Mr. Fritz, our dear friend Ms. Hays and I all agreed that it was way tasty. The hardest part was waiting for it to cook. I'm not used to having patience when it comes to cooking eggs!

Dinner tonight: Pasta with Proscuitto and Peas
This recipe capped off the weekend and it was a nice way to end a really restorative weekend. As I was making my grocery list today I was at a loss for what to make tonight and this recipe from Everyday Food looked just right. Martha Stewart demos how to make it in this video (written recipe attached, too). I added a couple of shortcu
ts: first, I added the frozen peas to the water when I threw the pasta in instead of waiting for them to thaw on their own. I also made the sauce in the same pan I'd used for the pasta instead of dirtying another one (the pasta and peas rested safely in a colander in the sink while the quick sauce came together) and finally, I added the pasta and peas back into the pot instead of pouring the sauce over them in yet another bowl/pot. In the end, then, this was a one pot/one colander meal. But more importantly, it was absolutely delicious. Wow. I will definitely make this again, possibly the next time we have someone over for dinner -- it's that good.

In any case, it's nice to be off the couch and back in the kitchen again.

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