Our first recipe is a sure-fire hit and very quick. I use this on those nights I don’t have time to cook.
Cooking tip #1: Keep baggies of ½ cup shredded cheese in the freezer so that they can be quickly added to any dish.
Cooking tip #2: Always keep on hand onions, celery and garlic These 3 items are extremely universal and can be added to just about any recipe to enhance the flavor.
Cooking tip #3: When experimenting with enhancers such as seasonings, herbs, and spices always set aside a sample amount of your dish and then try just a tiny amount of the new enhancer this way you know what it is like before you ruin an entire dish trying something your family won’t like.
Cooking Tip #4: Always taste-test!!! You can wash the spoon. Start with a little seasoning and add as you go-you can always add more but once it is in you can’t take it out.Creamy Shrimp Rigatoni
Preheat oven to 400
In large Dutch oven boil water for the rigatoni and follow package directions.
While the water is coming to a boil melt enough butter in large cast iron skillet to coat the bottom of the pan. Then add:
1 boiling onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1 diced green pepper
1 diced red pepper
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
½ pound of shelled and deveined shrimp
Sauté these until the onion becomes clear.
Hopefully by now your water has come to a boil and you can add your rigatoni. Set the vegetables to one side for now and put the frying pan in the sink to cool. Now for the white sauce.
In a large sauce pan:
Melt 3T butter
2 ½ cups water, milk, or chicken bouillon depending on what you have on hand (set aside 3 Tablespoons of this liquid while it is still cold
Mix 3 T of flour in the 3 T of liquid until it is smooth and all the lumps are gone then add slowly to the butter mix thoroughly until well blended.
Blend in 1 cup sour cream
This recipe makes a lot of white sauce so if the rigatoni is done now drain it then put it back in the Dutch oven add the shrimp and vegetables and stir in only enough white sauce to coat the pasta.
Pick and choose seasonings to taste. Here are some suggestions: curry, coriander, parsley, rosemary, paprika, dill weed, summer savory, anise, and/or salt and pepper. After choosing whatever special seasonings you want (you may not want any-that is OK too). Top with ½ cup of shredded cheese and place in oven until cheese melts.
The next recipe I use for those rare occasions when you find salmon on sale.Salmon Hollandaise
In paper place enough flour to coat your fillets.
In cast iron skillet melt 2 table spoons of butter and add 1 sliced onion. Add fillets cook thoroughly but do not over cook.
While fish is going start hollandaise but keep an I on the fish.
Melt a cup of butter in the microwave. This is easiest to do by cutting it up in to smaller pieces then microwaving till almost melted that way it does not cook.
In sauce pan:
4 egg yolks
3 ½ T lemon juice
Pinch of pepper
1 T water
Wisk egg mixture together over low to medium low heat and then slowly add the melted butter constantly stirring to keep well blended. If Hollandaise begins to thicken too much add a teaspoon of hot water and continue adding the all the butter. Most of the problems with hollandaise sauce comes from trying to cook the egg mixture too high or adding the butter all at once but as long as the egg mixture is not on too high you should not have a problem.
Place fish in serving dish and cover with hollandaise.
Any leftover hollandaise can be used for eggs Benedict in the morning.