Tuesday, December 26, 2017

CRANBERRY MARGARITAS

Margaritas are generally associated with summer but with cranberry juice and fresh cranberries, it is a perfect winter or holiday cocktail.


Course sea salt
2 limes, cut in half
6 oz silver tequila
3 oz triple sec or Cointreau
12 oz cranberry juice
Ice
Fresh cranberries, for garnish

Pour the salt into a small saucer and set aside.

Cut one half of the lime into circles and then cut circles in half.
Run a cut lime over the rim of 3 glasses and dip into the salt.
Squeeze the juice of 1 ½ limes into a pitcher.
Add the tequila, triple sec or Cointreau, and cranberry juice.
Stir to combine.
Fill glasses halfway with ice.
Pour margarita mix into the glasses. 
Garnish with some fresh cranberries and lime wedges.

Serves 3


Monday, December 4, 2017

SPICY PAPPARDELLE AI FRUTTI DI MARE

You can use any pasta that you like in this recipe. Frutti di mare is a popular multi-seafood dish from the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Frutti di mare means 'fruit of the sea' and can include all types of seafood, including mussels, clams, shrimp, and calamari. You can adjust the heat by adding less red pepper flakes and if there is a seafood you do not like, leave it out. This is sure to please a seafood lover.


1 recipe for Marinara Sauce or your favorite store bought 

1 cup dry white wine
20 mussels
20 littleneck or Manila clams

1 T unsalted butter                                       
1 T extra-light olive oil or avocado oil                             
1 large shallot, diced                                                 
2 cloves garlic, minced                                                
1 cup dry white wine                                          
2 ladles of the marinara sauce
1 t red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 large shrimp, peeled and tails removed
10 calamari rings with some tentacles

½ lb pappardelle or fettuccine pasta
2 T chopped fresh basil
2 T chopped fresh Italian parsley

Scrub clams and mussels under cold running water and place in a bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
Remove from refrigerator and add cold water to the bowl to purge the shellfish. 
Drain water from the bowl before steaming. If your mussels have beards, do not remove the beards until just before cooking them, or they will begin to slowly die.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add wine, drained mussels, and clams.
Cover and slowly boil for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mussels and clams have opened. 

While shellfish are steaming, cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes. When finished cooking, pour drained pasta back into the pot. Add a little of the sauce and mix to combine.

While pasta is cooking, add butter and oil to a skillet, over medium heat.
Add diced shallot, and sauté for 3 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the wine, Marinara Sauce, and red pepper flakes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain the broth from the pan with the clams and mussels into a glass pitcher.
Add 1 cup of the juice to the sauce in the skillet.
Add the shrimp and calamari and let simmer 3 to 4 minutes, until shrimp are pink.

Divide pasta between 2 warm pasta bowls.
Pour the seafood and sauce evenly over the pasta.

Garnish with chopped basil and parsley.

Serves 2 as a main course and 4 as a primi piatti.