Thursday, January 29, 2015

What’s For Dinner?

One of my January goals was to introduce at least two new “elaborate” dinners to our table. Why I needed to describe those dinners as “elaborate” seems like a really cruel joke to play on myself. And while I did cook up two new meals for us this month, I would hardly describe either of them as “elaborate.” Both are quick to prepare, full of easy-to-find ingredients, and relatively healthy. (And just so we’re clear, my definition of healthy is anything that is not a frozen pizza.)

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits
I love shrimp and grits and realized I had never made it at home. I grabbed this recipe straight from the Food Network website and made only a few minor alterations, so I’m simply going to include the link, a photo, and a few notes on what I changed.

Recipe found here.

[Image source:]

·      I used a bit more garlic, because I think it pairs really well with the lemon juice. Plus, it makes for great breath the next morning.
·      When I revisit this recipe – which I will definitely be doing – I will make sure to use actual parmesan cheese. I had some leftover dry gourmet cheese that I shredded and threw in for the sake of convenience, and I think it did affect the taste. Believe me, though, I still ate. it. all.
·      I couldn’t find fresh parsley at the grocery store the week I prepared this meal, so I used dried parsley. I didn’t lose sleep over the modification, but I bet it would have been a zingier finished meal with fresh parsley.

Breakfast Pizzas (recipe serves 2)
For my second meal, I definitely drew inspiration from Haylie Duff’s Real Girl’s Kitchen, and you can check out the demonstration for her Avocado, Prosciutto, and Radish Tartine recipe here. However, I made so many changes that I actually listed out my process below and gave this meal my own name.

This dinner turned out to be a great option -- we ate it twice in January. Plus, it was typical for us to have all the ingredients in our house without making a special trip to the store.

Ingredients (in order of appearance within the recipe)
·         1 large or 2 small Haas avocado(s)
·         Approximately 1 tbsp of olive oil
·         4 eggs
·         4 whole pieces of whole wheat sandwich rounds (we use Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds)
·         ¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese (or any other preferred shredded cheese)
·         4 slices of prosciutto (this is the only ingredient I skip for myself, due to pregnancy)
·         Dashes of salt and pepper
·         Approximately 1 tbsp of Louisiana hot sauce or your preferred hot sauce

Step 1: Slice the avocado(s) down the middle and spoon all the avocado goodness into a small bowl. Mash up the avocado to the consistency of guacamole. Once you’ve finished, set the bowl aside. Discard the avocado pit and skin.
Step 2: Heat a large skillet to med-high, and drizzle the olive oil throughout the surface of the pan. Crack the four eggs and drop them on to the pan. Allow the eggs to cook for about 3 minutes. You can adjust the cook time based on how runny you like the eggs.
Step 3: Flip the eggs over within the skillet and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Meanwhile, pop the sandwich rounds into the toaster using a light-med setting.
Step 4: Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside. Then, take a sandwich round and spread a dollop of mashed avocado in between the two slices, creating a kind of “avocado sandwich”. Also, spread a dollop of mashed avocado on top of the “sandwich.” Repeat this step for the other 3 sandwich rounds.
Step 5: Sprinkle all the shredded cheese among the four avocado-topped sandwich rounds. Then, lay a slice of prosciutto on top of each sandwich round. Finally, using a spatula or similar tool, dish a cooked egg on top of each slide of prosciutto.
Step 6: Sprinkle as much salt and pepper as you like on top of each egg. Shake out the hot sauce on top of each sandwich.

Serve each person two pizzas and enjoy! (We typically have a side salad with this meal, too.)

[The finished product at Casa Naumann]

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