Archive for March, 2008

Katie’s Chicken Rigatoni with Marsala Cream Sauce

I haven’t posted in a while, we’ve spent 3 weeks either traveling or entertaining guests and have had very few home-cooked meals. I love eating out at restaurants, but sometimes just want to be in control of what I’m eating and make it my way.
This is a recipe inspired by one of those restaurant meals, but made my way. I had lunch at an Italian restaurant in Minneapolis with my friend Katie specifically so we could try this dish – her favorite! She asked me if I could figure out the recipe and make it for her, so I said I’d try. Here’s my go at it and I think it turned out pretty well! So this one’s for Katie – hope you enjoy!

Katie’s Rigatoni with Chicken in Marsala Cream Sauce
4 T. olive oil
2 large sweet onions
2 heads garlic
2  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
8 ounces white button mushrooms
1 cup marsala wine
2 cups white wine
1 T. chicken base
16 ounces rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

To Make:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a very large dutch oven or wok, heat 2 T. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and stir to coat. Let onions cook just until translucent (about 3 minutes). Turn down the heat to medium-low and let the onions continue to caramelize. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, peel the outer paper of the heads of garlic, leaving the skin that covers the cloves. Chop off the tips of the bulbs, leaving an exposed flat area. Peel the remaining tips, and set aside. Drizzle the bulbs of garlic with olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Quarter the mushrooms lengthwise.
When the onions are nearly done (medium brown in color), add the mushrooms and garlic tips to the pan. Cook until mushrooms are lightly browned.

Turn the heat up to high and add the wines. Make sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken base to the pan.
After the sauce is reduced slightly (about 3 minutes), add the chicken pieces and cook until nearly done.
Check the level of liquids at this point. You will be adding the pasta to the pan, but want the liquids to just barely cover the pasta. If there is too much liquid, continue cooking to reduce it further before adding the pasta. If there is not enough liquid, you can add boiling water to bring it to the level needed. (You do not want to much liquid or the sauce will be runny). Add the pasta to the pan and cook just until tender.
Remove from the heat, stir in cream, butter and parmesan cheese. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the baked bulbs into a dish, mash them and add to the sauce.
Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

4-5 servings


March 30, 2008 at 1:40 am Leave a comment

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp with Feta

Mmmm…this is one of the best shrimp dishes I have tried in a long time. It’s really special! The flavor is a lot like shrimp scampi but with the added tang of feta cheese. The recipe comes from Greece and is typical of the southern areas of the country. Using the shrimp with the shells on, intensifies the flavor, but if you prefer, you can clean the shrimp ahead of time and reduce the cooking time. The dish should be spicy, but the red pepper used should not overpower the other ingredients. Enjoy with rice, couscous or simply a green salad.

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp with Feta
Adapted from “Mon carnet Gourmand, Tessa Kiros”
2 pounds of large, raw shrimp
7 Tbs. butter
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 bunch fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or peri-peri)
juice of 2 lemons
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

To Make:
Rince and de-vein the shrimp. In a large dutch-oven or saucepan, sprinkle 2 T. of butter (in pieces) over the bottom. Add a layer of shrimp and lightly salt each piece. Sprinkle 1/3 of the parsley and garlic over the top and add a pinch of the red pepper. Add another 2 T. of the butter, then more of the shrimp and follow with the parsley, garlic and red pepper in the same manner. Continue until all of the shrimp are used. Cover and cook over medium heat for around 10 minutes, or until shrimp are slightly colored. Add the lemon juice and the feta. Mix well to mix the sauce. Using a spoon, top the shrimp with the sauce mixture and continue to cook, covered, an additional 10 minutes or until the feta is melted. Serve immediately.

2-3 servings

March 14, 2008 at 2:00 am Leave a comment


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