Tuesday, August 20, 2013

30 Minute Meal--Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto and Lime Garlic Shrimp

Visited a farmer's market today for the first time and it was so great.  I love the little stalls and the goodies these people sell!  I scored a bag of trail mix with no peanuts or raisins...i hate raisins.  He makes them with almonds, cashews, dried strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries. YUM.  I also picked up an almond croissant and a loaf of sourdough, some pickling cucumbers and an eggplant, and picked up a smoothie from the Juice Girl truck for my ride home.  This has become my new favorite thing.

Got home a little later than usual, so I wanted to put together something quick.  One of the stalls was selling homemade olive oil, one was infused with lemon, so that gave me the idea of making some lemon infused olive oil over the stove and toss in some shrimp.  I had gnocchi in the pantry and a basil plant with beautiful, fragrant leaves perfect for some pesto.  So I thought, let's combine all of this!

Unfortunately, I didn't have lemons, nor did I have parmesan for my pesto.  Called and texted the hubby, but he came back with neither. Great.  So I did what anyone would do...I chastised him for not calling me from the store to ask if I need anything and then I improvised.

It's a quick meal.  I used ready made gnocchi, threw together the pesto in my magic bullet (sans parmesan), and quickly sauteed the shrimp with some olive oil, lime zest, garlic, onions, bell peppers, and white wine. And then all of it was combined in a bowl.  Enjoy it with some crusty bread, we indulged in a slice of the fresh sourdough.

Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto and Lime Garlic Shrimp:

1 package Gnocchi (I used Trader Joe's or use homemade)
olive oil
1 tbs minced garlic
red pepper flakes
1/2 small onion, sliced
1/2 small red pepper, sliced
1 lime, zested
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on optional)
1/2 cup white wine
garlic powder
1 pat butter
1/2 cup walnut pesto (make your own or use some that you already have on hand)

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat the pan.  Throw in the minced garlic, lime zest, and pepper flakes.  Cook until fragrant.  Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until they have softened down.  Add shrimp, and squeeze in the juice of the zested lime.  Cook for one minute and then add the wine.  Let this cook down for about 2 minutes and season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add the pat of butter.  The mixture should not be dry, do not overcook the shrimp or burn off all the liquid.

Turn the heat to low and stir the pesto into the shrimp.

Cook the gnocchi according to package instructions.

Toss gnocchi with the pesto lime shrimp and top with fresh basil.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hatch Chile Season!

It's August and it's hatch chile season!  They are long, beautiful green peppers that are produced in Hatch, NM and range from mild to hot peppers.  They smell and taste great!  You can use these peppers in sauces, burgers, marinades, etc, etc.  HEB bakes hatch chile and cheddar bread! BREAD!! They also make things real convenient by selling freshly roasted peppers.  I love HEB.

Hubby and I are trying to eat healthy and clean for at least 2 weeks.  It's been a tough two days.  It was hard not to grab that loaf of bread and stuff my face in it.

This was a healthy and extremely flavorful meal, but each component can be made individually to use with other sides or main dishes.  I had a fun time in the kitchen experimenting tonight and I hope that if you try these recipes, you enjoy the meal as much as we did.

Side note, if you do not want to buy the peppers already roasted, you can roast them yourself by rubbing the peppers lightly with olive oil and throwing them in a 425 oven until the skins are charred. Remove from oven and throw in a plastic ziploc and shut tight.  The steam helps the skin to peel easily.  Done. Roasted chiles. For the recipes below, feel free to use hot or mild peppers.

Hatch Chile Chicken:

6 thin chicken breasts (cut 3 large chicken breasts in half to to get 6 thin slices)
1/2 cup greek strained yogurt (Fage is a great brand)
1 large roasted hatch chile, skin removed
1 tbs minced garlic
red chili flakes
ground black pepper
sea salt
1 tbs olive oil
splash of water

Combine yogurt through the water in a blender and blend til smooth, taste and spice accordingly.  Pour over chicken, mix, and let marinate at the very least an hour.

Preheat your grill to 400 (you can also bake at 400 in your oven, I just love grilling).  Thoroughly spray the grates with canola.  Add chicken and let grill 6-8 minutes on each side with the grill lid closed.  Make sure you make some pretty grill marks!  Check the thickest cut to make sure it's cooked through.


Sweet Potato Hashbrowns with Hatch Chile and Cheddar: (makes 6)

1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1/2 large roasted hatch chile, chopped finely
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
sea salt
cracked black pepper
chili powder
garlic powder

Set your oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 425 and spray a baking pan with canola spray.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, season to taste, and mix with your hands or spoon until everything is all together and happy.

Carefully form the mixture into small patties and flatten out on the baking pan. They're very wet and may fall apart if you handle them too much. Use a light hand

Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake another 10 min.  Get them nice and dark brown on the brink of crispy.  They crisp up once they're removed from the oven.


Avocado Cilantro Sauce:

1 lime, squeezed
1 tbs. olive oil
cilantro, small handful
1 avocado, peeled and chunked
sea salt
ground black pepper
red chili flakes
garlic powder
1/4 cup water

Combine all of this into a blender, spice to taste, and blend until smooth.  Add more water if too thick. Proceed to slurp up with a straw.

I did not use peppers in the avocado sauce because I was combining all three recipes, and I didn't want it to be a hatch chile overload!  But if you are making the sauce for something else, throw in half a peeled roasted pepper...I promise it'll be delicious!

Enjoy, enjoy!