Clams with Bucatini

Sometimes, you just need a bowl of pasta that screams comfort and Summer all in one. This pasta is close to my heart for a number of reasons, one being it lets me taste the ocean without physically being there. Chris and I decided not to do any trips this Summer, since we are saving for a nice Fall trip. It sounds fine, at first, but as the mid-July slump took over, I found myself desperately needing to be by a large body of water, soaking in the sun, and eating the fruit of the sea. It’s a Summer tradition for most folks who grew up on the East Coast. I felt something missing all Summer and I realized that was why. What are some of your favorite Summer vacations? (more…)

So back to the pasta. I have never, ever cooked anything that was considered alive. In fact, I had cooked my best friend a lobster dish a few weeks back. Instead of paying for the cheap whole lobster, that I would have to kill myself, I opted for the much more expensive lobster tail option. I just couldn’t bring myself to do the deed. I saw this recipe for clams and pasta in the July issue of Food Network’s magazine. It had everything I wanted out of Summer: briney, lemony, buttery pasta with tender, sweet clams mixed throughout. I cooked a lot of garlic, then added the wine, then gently placed the clams on top, covered the pot and walked away for 7 minutes. Opening that pot was the most beautiful surprise. All of the clams were widely open, soaking it the wine and garlic they had just been cooked in. See my notes on caring for the clams at the bottom! This recipe is too easy and too delicious not to make. I made it again this weekend and was equally satisfied! Be sure to serve this with tons of napkins! A lot of slurpin’ with happen! Happy pasta making!

Thai Marinated Chicken with a Mango Slaw

Something really weird has been happening to me as of late. I’m bored with everything I cook! I don’t even repeat recipes, like ever, and I still feel bored. Maybe it’s time for me to spread my little culinary wings and try something incredibly new. Whenever I feel home cook’s block, I try to look for something Asian. Asian flavors are the perfect balance of sweet and salty, savory and spicy. Plus, it makes me use ingredients I don’t normally run to day to day. I went through a stir-fry craze a few months back; eating it once to twice a week. It wore out its welcome real fast and I haven’t returned to the world of high heat skillets and soy sauce combos. (more…)

As I was menu planning for this week, I was desperately looking for some inspiration to get me out of my rut. I found this recipe and boy, did the wheels start turning. The recommended side for this dish is a mango slaw, made with fresh mangoes, red peppers, and cashews. I didn’t have fresh mangoes so I had to whip up my own mango slaw. Once I get my slippery hands on some mangoes, I might revisit that side dish. One thing to note, my husband absolutely despises eating any meat with their bones still in (now you can see how I get bored!). So instead of the chicken legs, I used chicken tenderloins and cooked them, in a skillet, over medium high heat for a few minutes. For the lovely marinade recipe, simply go here. Whichever cut of chicken you prefer, this Thai marinated chicken and mango slaw combo will brighten the darkest of bored eating days. Enjoy!

 

Here’s our ingredient line up for our mango slaw:

From Left to Right: fresh limes, thawed mango (I only had frozen for snacking, of course!), green onions, cilantro, mint, rice vinegar, mayo (just a tad), mango chutney, and crunchy broccoli slaw. Let’s take a minute and admire these outrageous colors. Thank you and continue.

Our dressing for the coleslaw comes first! In a bowl, whisk lime juice, rice vinegar, mayo, mango chutney, and a little bit of salt and pepper. We are looking for a few things here so give it a taste! This dressing can end up being pretty sweet so adjust according to your tastes. Add more of whatever you think the dressing needs. Also, if the dressing is too thick for you, add a bit more lime juice until it becomes the consistency you want. I would have a picture for you but to be honest, I couldn’t find a pretty picture of the white, clumpy (because of the yummy chutney) dressing. Moving on…

In a larger bowl, throw in your broccoli slaw, diced mango, chopped cilantro and mint, sliced green onions, and as many dashes of red pepper flake you can stand. Sweet and spicy, anyone? I should note that I am completely obsessed with broccoli slaw! But, if you want to substitute with the beloved cabbage combo, be my guest!

Pour the dressing over the bowl of slaw and mix thoroughly. Season with a pinch of salt. Although this recipe is for chicken, this slaw would go lovely with some grilled fish or pork as well.

I also ate this chicken with a sweet Thai chili sauce but totally missed the chance for a Sriracha take over. We are trying to watch our carbs so we ate this by itself. But I really wanted to eat this scrumptiousness stuffed in a warm tortilla. Could you do me a favor? Please, please, please eat this as a taco! A Thai taco! Do you really want anything else for dinner? Happy dinner making!

Roasted Lemony Garlic Shrimp

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My husband is “allergic” to shrimp. We have constant arguments around if he’s allergic or just being a big baby. He says he feels funny after eating it sometimes and other times, he’s perfectly fine. The reason I argue his allergy with him is because I LOVE shrimp and I LOVE cooking it. But I rarely do since he doesn’t feel comfortable eating it. Shrimp is great in the summer; you can barbecue it or serve it as a cocktail. I love roasting it with herbs, spices, citrus, and of course, butter. I try to make this whenever we have people over or if we are going to a potluck, just so I can get my fill. The choices for the shrimp are wonderfully endless but let’s start with the basics. Shall we?

Shrimp is laid on a sheet pan. We pulse lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, and most importantly, cold butter in a food processor until combined. The delectable butter is spread over the shrimp and roasted until just pink.

This shrimp is best if the shells are off, it’s more appealing eating depending on your dining setting and the flavors get into the shrimp more. But they are still delicious and fun to eat with the shells, too. Just a little more work. Last time, I promise, please do something with those buttery, garlicky, lemony juices. Please and thank you!