mel’s kitchen

favorite recipies of a food addict

linguine with shrimp scampi January 15, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,pasta — girlymama @ 4:08 pm

really, why go out to a restaurant when you can eat like this at home?  

Linguine With Shrimp Scampi

Vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
3/4 pound linguine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, zest grated (I do not use this.)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds (For presentation purposes, don’t bother for family.)
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Cook linguine with 1 tablespoon of salt according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan or skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for just 1 minute. Then add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper. Saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes. Stir often.

Remove from the heat. Add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. (I don’t bother with the lemon slices unless it’s for company. And I eliminate the lemon zest. I feel it’s plenty lemony without the zest.)

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce. Toss well and serve.

recipe origin: Barefoot Contessa Family Style


chicken cacciatore January 11, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,slow cooker — girlymama @ 10:08 pm

Chicken Cacciatore
1-2 pounds skinless chicken (boneless breasts or thighs), cut in to big pieces
1 can whole tomatoes, chopped or 2 cans diced tomatoes
onion (sliced long)
minced garlic
mushrooms (sliced)
Italian seasoning
Serve with rice

In crockpot, throw everything in and turn it on for a few hours!
On stove, brown chicken, then put everything in the pot and simmer until chicken is done.


honey baked chicken January 10, 2007

Filed under: main dishes — girlymama @ 4:30 pm

old family favorite. this is one of my favorite comfort foods! 

Honey Baked Chicken
4 chicken breasts (boneless skinless)
1/3 c butter, melted
1/3 c honey
2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp curry powder

Place chicken in baking pan (spray with Pam!). Mix all ingredients together and pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees, until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve over white rice.



Filed under: main dishes,vegetarian — girlymama @ 3:01 pm

this is a vegetarian recipe. but when i made this last night, my husband commented “this would be great with beef.” so there you go. i thought they tasted great. 


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package refrigerated pizza dough (about 1 pound)
 Flour for the work surface
1 16-ounce can refried beans
1 1-pint container fresh salsa
1 8-ounce package shredded Cheddar
 Sour cream (optional)

Heat oven to 400° F. Spread 1 teaspoon of the oil on a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each into an 8-inch round on a lightly floured surface. On half of each round, spread some of the beans, then top with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the salsa and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Fold over the other half of each round, covering the filling, and press the curved edge with your thumb to seal. Lightly brush the tops of the empanadas with the remaining oil, then transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or more salsa, if desired.

you could also use a premade pizza crust if you can’t find pizza dough – makes for a flakier crust.

recipe origin: Real Simple Magazine


lemon roasted chicken January 9, 2007

Filed under: main dishes — girlymama @ 8:45 pm

a staple in our house 

Lemon Roasted Chicken
1 whole chicken
1 head garlic
1 lemon, quartered
Fresh rosemary
olive oil, salt, pepper

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Put 3-4 cloves in garlic, lemon quartered and 2 springs fresh rosemary. Place in pan, drizzle chicken with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for about an hour, until chicken is thoroughly cooked.


roast beef with carmelized shallots January 8, 2007

Filed under: holidays,main dishes — girlymama @ 3:46 pm

this is what i made for christmas dinner this year. it was amazing! my husband is still raving about it! i almost made this without the shallots and sauce (since i, for some reason, cannot make gravy). but DON’T! the shallots and the sauce really compliment the meat and make it amazing! i made a bone-in 9 pound roast, so i’ll add those instructions for you.

Roast Beef with Carmelized Shallots
serves 10-12

6 pounds boneless rib-eye roast (with fat), tied, if desired or
9 pounds bone-in rib-eye roast (with fat)
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 pounds shallots, peeled and halved if large
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 500°. Season beef with salt and pepper. Place in a large roasting pan; roast until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
2. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Place shallots around beef; roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of beef registers 130° for medium-rare, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more, turning shallots with tongs after about 30 minutes. (For bone-in, plan on 2 hours cooking time.)
3. Transfer beef to a platter; tent loosely with foil. Transfer shallots to a shallow bowl (continue cooking if not golden brown). Toss with sugar and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil to keep warm.
4. Pour off fat from pan. Add wine; cook over medium heat until syrupy, scraping bottom of pan, 2 to 4 minutes. Add 2 cups water; cook until reduced by half, 4 to 8 minutes. Strain into a small bowl; whisk in mustard and any accumulated juices from beef. Season with salt and pepper; serve with beef and shallots. 

i served this with parmesan smashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, carrots with dill butter, sauteed mushrooms in red wine, and hard, crusty rolls.
recipe origin: Everyday Food.


sausage and pepper grinder January 6, 2007

Filed under: main dishes — girlymama @ 8:30 pm

you need good bread to make this. if you’re not as lucky as we are, who can get real south philly rolls in our grocery store, get some good crusty-outside-chewy-inside hoagie rolls. 

Sausage and Pepper Grinder
(serves 2)
3 tbsp olive oil
4 Italian Sausages (hot or sweet, whichever you prefer!)
1 large or 2 small red peppers, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
salt, pepper
2 hoagie rolls, halved and toasted
Provolone cheese
4 tbsp Dijon mustard

dsc03709.JPGHeat 1 tbsp of oil in skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add peppers and onions. Cover and cook (stirring frequently) until softened and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, slice hoagie rolls almost all the way through lengthwise. Toast, sliced side down in the oven for about 5 minutes. Then, flip rolls over and put cheese (as much as you like) on each roll. Keep in oven another 5 minutes or so, to melt the cheese. Slice sausages thickly and place on each roll. Top with the pepper-onion mixture. Serve with mustard on the side.

recipe origin: adapted from a family recipe, copied from our local italian deli