Creamy Shrimp and Spinach Spaghetti

This is one of my absolute favorite spaghetti dishes that I make as often as Chris will allow it 😉 It is both quick and easy and then it tastes delicious – what more can one demand after a long day?

Actually I think that we had an extremely long day when I made this sunday evening… We spent last week driving from Atlanta to Austin Texas and back again – 15 hours each way! Well, we didn’t take it all on day but drove from Atlanta to New Orleans to celebrate Chris birthday and our 2nd wedding day, then drove to San Antonio to visit a friend followed by Austin. 45 minutes north east of Austin is a charming little town named Taylor. Taylor is one of those small towns that lost the Wallmart battle and many shops are closed and buildings abandoned. We drove all the way there from Atlanta to eat brisket at Louie Mueller BBQ and oh man, we were not led down. The place was as authentic as one can imagine when thinking of Texas BBQ and meat was prepared by a handful of artists. Actually they have all attended culinary school, but the beauty about this place is, that everything is made from the intuition of the cooks – there is not a single thermometer in the restaurant and the electric oven is only turned on to bake peach cobblers!
So if are ever in or around Austin, I can highly recommend this place for an authentic Texas BBQ experience 🙂 However, I must warn you a little bit… Don’t go there if you have hygiene issues. When I say it is authentic, I mean really authentic – there are no air conditioning and don’t be surprised if you find a cockroach or two in the dining room. But again, it is the best BBQ I have ever had, and I am definitely going there again some time.

Well to get back to this delicious spaghetti dish, we had a long drive home and non of really wanted to cook so we decided on something easy and quick. If you buy pre-washed spinach this dish does not take more than 15-20 minutes to make and it tastes wonderful. If you want it to be even quicker, you can buy shrimps that is already cleaned and ready to cook.

Hope that you like it and feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and or suggestions 🙂

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 tbsp. butter

3 large banana shallots

1 red chili

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. fresh thyme

14 oz. spinach

1 lemon, zest

1/3 cup cream

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded + more for serving

17 oz. spaghetti

20 wild caught tiger shrimps

Salt & pepper

 

First step is to prepare the spaghetti as recommended on the package label. I will, however, recommend that you cooked it a little less than described, as it will cook a little bit more when it gets into the spinach mixture. Pour into a colander when cooked.

Next step is to clean the shrimps from sand and intestines. The easiest way to do that, is to cut it open in the back with a scissor, removing the shell and rinsing it in ice cold water. Place the clean shrimps on some paper towel on a plate in the fridge.

Begin by washing the spinach very carefully and let it dry on paper towel or something similar while preparing the other ingredients. If possible, I will highly recommend that you buy pre-washed spinach as it is much easier and faster to work with and I honestly think that it is worth the extra dollar.
Then slice the shallots and chili and grate the garlic cloves. Remove the stem and seeds from the chili if you prefer a very mild chili taste or leave it in, if you are like me – a true chili fan 🙂

Next step is to melt the butter a medium-high heat (I made this portion on our Big Green Egg, but you can of cause make it on a regular stove as well) in a relatively large sauté pan – remember that all your ingredients including the cooked spaghetti will go in to the pan. Add shallots, chili, garlic, lemon zest and thyme to the melted butter and stir once in a while during the sauté process. Turn down the heat to medium and add the spinach when all the butter has been absorbed into the onions and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pan and leave it like that for 3-4 minutes – this gives the spinach time to release all the water without you interrupting it by stirring all the time (this was a mistake I made for many years cooking spinach – the more you stir, the more you ruin the texture of the spinach).

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta collage 1

Take the lid of the pan and let some of all the spinach water evaporate for a minutes or two before adding cream, parmesan and fresh black pepper. Stir carefully to combine and then leave it for a few minutes while you make the shrimps.
Fry the shrimps in a little bit of vegetable oil or butter or place them on the grill like I have done here. They only need a few minutes on each side, so make sure that you don’t forget while preparing the rest of the dish.

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta collage 2

Add the cooked and spaghetti to the spinach mixture when almost all the cream has evaporated. Stir carefully and season with salt and even more fresh black pepper.

Divide the spaghetti and spinach dish on four plates and place 4 shrimps on top of each. Then garnish with a little bit of grated parmesan cheese and serve with a warm French baguette and a cold glass of Chardonnay 🙂Shrimp and Spinach Pasta 11

Bon Appétit Friends!

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 tbsp. butter

3 large banana shallots

1 red chili

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. fresh thyme

400 g spinach

1 lemon, zest

80 ml cream

0.6 dl parmesan cheese, shredded + more for serving

500 g spaghetti

20 wild caught tiger shrimps

Salt & Pepper

Cilantro Heaven and Pesto

Hey there followers,

just wanted to let you know that we are still here and we have not forgotten about you 🙂 On the contrary we have thought about the blog every day since leaving Denmark.

When first arriving to Atlanta on April 1. we had no place to stay and was so lucky that we could stay with some family friends for the first week. The following we stayed at a hotel on downtown and then left for Savannah and Charleston to celebrate my 30th birthday. Being back from our trip we moved in to a nice little town house in Roswell, 20 minutes north of Atlanta. When we moved in we had nothing, and mean nothing, except our two suitcases with cloth.

You might think that it is a womans biggest dream to go and shop for EVERYTHING, and so did I until it was my turn to do it… So instead of buying everything at once we ended up buying the most necessary things to begin with and then buy more as we need it. This has had a huge influence on our cooking and therefore also our blogging. However, we now seems to have enough kitchen stuff to make every day cooking easy and delicious and we will therefore strive to blog as much as possible again.

Cilantro Heaven

Cilantro has been one of our favorite herb for years, but in Denmark it can only be bought in small amounts at well-stocked super markets and then it was pretty expensive – at least compared to the amount needed. Over here, in the US, you can get huge bundles of cilantro on every street corner and I just love it – for me it is like cilantro heaven… And even though I can buy it every were I have sown some seeds and are now waiting impatiently for it begin to grow so that I can go out on out patio and pick it fresh and put in my chicken and cheese panini or as garnish on top of a delicious curry dish.
I buy cilantro every time I get to Farmer’s Market or the local super market and sometimes I get a little to excited and buy too much, which is what happened the other day when I bought 3 bundles when I only needed 1. When I opened the fridge this morning I realized that the last of the 3 bundles looked a little tired and needed to be used immediately or it would go to waste, and as a new thing in my new American life I have decided that nothing should go to waste unless it is dangerous to consume. So I thought “why not make a cilantro pesto?” and so I did…

 

Ingredients (1 cup)

1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts

2 cups cilantro

1/3 parmesan cheese, grated

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. extra verging olive oil

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Cilantro Pesto 1

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix at medium speed until smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary. The same goes for salt.
If you are the type that likes it a bit more chunky, you can stop the blender for every 5 seconds to take a look and stop when it has the wanted consistency.

Place the finished pesto in an air tight jar and store in a dark place. When you have opened the jar the first time, you can help preserve the remains by pouring some olive oil over the pesto, just so it is covered, before closing the jar.

Cilantro Pesto 2

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (2.5 dl)

1.25 dl roasted cashew nuts

5 dl cilantro

0.8 dl parmesan cheese, grated

2 garlic cloves

1.5 dl extra verging olive oil

1 tbsp. lemon juice

0.5 tsp. salt

0.25 tsp. pepper

Spring Breakfast Eggs and Good News

Followers, I apologize for the lack of blog post the past month – time is running and unfortunately someone decided only to give the day 24 hours. We are in the process of packing down our entire life to move, and not just a few miles but from one continent to another 😀

As I’ve probably mentioned in other posts, I fell in love with the States when Chris brought me to Atlanta back in 2009. We had only been outside the airport for a moment we I said: “this feels like home”, and now  4.5 year later it is going to be my home 😀
I am overwhelmed with happiness that a year long dream became a plan, and that plan finally seems to be reality within the next 5 weeks.

Relocating from one continent to another also means that we are trying to sell as many as our things as possible, so that only few things will have to be shipped. As we also sell our kitchen tools, we will run into some trouble when cooking, so for the next month or two (until we have found something to live in, and bought some kitchen tools) the blog post will be rather simple, contain restaurant review from Atlanta, New York and Austin (TX), and so on….

For those of our followers that live in the US, we would be happy to receive restaurant recommendations, good advice on where to go and where not go – actually we’ll take any good advice at the moment, and will probably also ask many many questions 🙂

And now to the actual content of this post – my favorite breakfast Spring Breakfast Eggs. I make these eggs quite often as they are quick and easy, contain few ingredients and tastes delicious – what more can one ask for?

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

8 large eggs

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup aged cheddar cheese, shredded

Salt & pepper

1 tbsp. butter

Herbs for garnish (I’ve used chives, watercress, pee shoots, red window box wood sorrel and nasturtium but choose your favorites).

 

Whisk the eggs together in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter at medium heat in a frying pan. Add the eggs and stir once in a while to mix. Add cream and shredded cheddar just before you think that your eggs are done, mix to combine and season with salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat and stir until the cheese is melted and the cream is incorporated into the eggs.

Transfer the scrambled egg to a plate and garnish with lots of fresh herbs – I prefer to use seasonal herbs, but choose your favorite (my own favorites are chives, cilantro and pee shoots) 🙂

Serve for sunday brunch with your loved once or make it after a trip to the gym (if you’re like me – “I believe in Fitness” – you can bring the eggs to the gym, to eat within the first 30 minutes after finishing workout).

These eggs is perfect for brunch together with these orange pancakes  and a glass of sweet and colorful carrot and clementine juice.

Spring Eggs

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (4 servings)

8 large eggs

0.6 dl cream

0.6 dl aged cheddar cheese, shredded

Salt & pepper

1 tbsp. butter

Herbs for garnish (I’ve used chives, watercress, pee shoots, red window box wood sorrel and nasturtium but choose your favorites).

 

Creamy and Tasty Tomato Sauce

Most people buy a pre-fabricated tomato sauce in the super market, because it is easy, comfortable and cheap. But have any you considered how many additives it contains, as it can be stores at room temperature for several years?? It sounds a bit holy, but we are not – we often buy ingredients with 2-3 years expiration.

As we both love to cook and often but organic products, grow our own herbs and a small variation of vegetable (we live downtown and do not have the space to grow an awful lot, so we look forward to moving to place with a huge (vegetable)garden), we have decided to try and cook as much as possible ourselves and only buy things that we are too unexperienced to make ourselves or food from delicacy stores 🙂

The recipe for this tomato sauce is made with the ‘add-and-taste’ method, meaning that different ingredients were added until it reached the perfect taste and consistency. This also means, that we have made many different recipes before ending up with this one and we a portion of 5 cups only lasts for day or two in our household, as everyone loves it and it can be used for many different purposes 🙂

 

Hope that you will love it too!

 

Ingredients (5 cups)

2 large onions

4 garlic cloves

15 sun ripened tomatoes

1/2 cup red wine

1 handful fresh basil leaves

1 tsp. freshly grounded pepper

1 tsp. chili flakes

1 tbsp. butter

IMG_1048

Chop onions, garlic cloves and tomatoes. Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan and sauté the chopped onions and garlic cloves for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir and let cook at medium heat until the tomatoes has softened – it takes 5- 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the alcohol in the red wine has evaporated (when the smell of red wine has disappeared). Reduce heat and cook for an additional hour.

Remove the cooked sauce from the heat and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Transfer to blender and blend until completely smooth. Store in a sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.IMG_1049

Serve as a healthy tomato soup, as a regular tomato sauce for pasta, lasagna or as shown on the picture below with gnocchi and meat balls 🙂

IMG_1068

Bon Appétit!

Creamy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich

We are in the middle of March and the calendar show spring – so what the F..K is happening with snow outside our windows? We had planned an easter vacation outside on the terrace with a cold beer and some damn good barbecue….

Of cause we can still fire up in the grill, but it would definitely be more fun if we could stay outside for more than 30 minutes without getting to look like a snowman!

This creamy tomato soup is a favorite of ours on a cold and snowy (normally) winter day. It is quick and easy to prepare and taste is just amazing 🙂

If you are not that fond of chilies, you can leave them out or just add a bit at a time. Regarding the grilled cheese sandwich, it is a first choice as a supplement for the soup, but a good French baguette is also good if you will save some calories from the cheese (we don’t believe in low-fat food – instead we try to go the gym as often as possible :-D).

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

1/2 gallon canned tomatoes

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 1/2 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2-3 red chilies, chopped

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup cream

Salt

Pepper

 

8 pieces sandwich bread

4 slices cheddar cheese

1 tbsp. butter

 

Sauté the chopped onions, garlic, chilies and dried herbes in 1 tbsp. melted butter, for 3-5 minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes together with  tomato paste. Stir until combined and let cook at medium-low heat for approximately one hour.

Add cream and blend it all into a smooth and creamy mass. Season with salt and pepper. Let rest while making the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Spread one side of the bread with butter. Add one slice of cheese on the un-buttered side of every second bread slice. Top with remaining bread  – the buttered side out. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve with the slightly cooled tomato soup.

Image

Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

5 tomato cans

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 1/2 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2-3 red chilies, chopped

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tbsp. butter

1.25 dl cream

Salt

Pepper

8 pieces sandwich bread

4 slices cheddar cheese

1 tbsp. butter

Eclairs with White Chocolate Lime Mousse

Chocolate chocolate chocolate… I have had chocolate all weekend at the yearly chocolate festival. Actually I was only going to the festival one day, but decided to make some warm up desserts in the days before. The first day I made chocolate mini tarts, the second day i made raspberry macaroons and then on the third day I made these stunning eclairs with white chocolate mousse.

Once again I have found inspiration from Maja how make the most fabulous chocolate desserts. Thanks Maja!

 

Ingredients (15 servings)

2/5 cup water

1/4 cup butter

1 tbs. sugar

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

 

Lime Mousse:

3/4 cup white chocolate (I use Amedei Toscano White)

1 egg whites, pasteurized

3 egg yolks, pasteurized

3 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. lime zest

1/2 cup white chocolate (for decoration)

 

Bring water and butter to a boil in a saucepan. Take the saucepan of the heat and whisk in sugar and flour – a bit at a time. Whisk until combined.

Beat together the eggs in a small bowl. Add slowly to the roux while whisking. Whisk until the dough is smooth.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag a a 1-inch plain round tip, and pipe 4 inch stripes 2 inch apart on a baking tray with baking paper. You should end up with 15 stripes.

Bake at 390F for 23-24 minute – (NOTE: do not open the oven while baking!). Let rest at a wire rack until completely cooled.

IMG_5881

Lime Mousse:

Melt chocolate slowly in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, and let cool while preparing the other ingredients.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and makes soft peaks on top.

Without washing the whisker, whisk together egg yolks and sugar into a light and fluffy eggnog.

Add the melted chocolate and the lime zest and fold gently until combined. Then fold in the whisked egg whites. Fold until just combined. Whisking or folding to much will ruin the fluffiness so be careful.

Make a small whole in one end of the eclairs. Transfer the mousse to a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round tip and fill the mousse into the eclairs.

Melt the remaining white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Spread on to the eclairs with a kitchen knife.

Serve with a lot of love and a good cup of coffee.

IMG_5883

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (15 servings)

0.9 dl water

0.6 dl butter

1 tbs. sugar

1.25 dl flour

2 eggs, beaten

 

Lime Mousse:

1.8 dl white chocolate (I use Amedei Toscano White)

1 egg whites, pasteurized

3 egg yolks, pasteurized

3 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. lime zest

1.25 dl white chocolate (for decoration)