Sunday, March 30, 2014

Grilled Clams with Breadcrumbs and Pine Nuts

This post will be short and sweet. I've been hacked twice, blogger took my site down twice and restored it. So now it's back online. Now all I need to do is get cooking again. In the meantime this recipe was in my drafts probably since last grilling season. It's a shame to let it sit in drafts so I'm posting. 
These were fantastic.

Grilled Clams with Breadcrumbs and Pine Nuts

1 cups panko bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 sun-dried tomato halves in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
24 littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

Heat your grill.

On medium-high heat in a skillet, heat the oil and lemon juice with the garlic. Add the breadcrumbs and pine nuts and stir occasionally. When the crumbs start to brown, add the salt, pepper and chopped tomatoes. Stir, making sure the crumbs don't burn. When they are golden brown remove them from the heat and place them in a serving bowl.

When the grill is hot, place the clams in 1 layer on a foil pan or directly on the grill. Close lid and allow the heat to open the clams. They'll open gradually at first, then pop-open wide when they're done. Any that don't open discard. Using tongs, remove the clams from the grill and place them in the bowl with the bread crumb mixture and toss together. Drizzle with the melted butter, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brown Sugar-Rum Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime Zest

Long time no post. This has been in my drafts for way too long. It's a great recipe we really enjoyed. 

It's been the usual crazy here in my house, hope to be posting again soon.

Brown Sugar and Rum Glazed Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime
original recipe by Bobby Flay, from the book Barbecue Addiction

4 sweet potatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil

Put the sweet potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water by 2 inches, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil and cook until a skewer or paring knife inserted into the center of a sweet potato meets with slight resistance, about 30 minutes. Drain well and let cool. Cut each sweet potato into wedges.

Heat grill to medium.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the brown sugar, stir and cook until smooth. Increase the heat, add the rum, and cook until reduced by about half. Add the lime zest and juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Brush the sweet potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes. Brush with some of the rum glaze and grill for one minute longer.

Remove the sweet potatoes to a platter and brush with more of the glaze.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


It's definitely been overload on the shellfish these days, trying everything again and so far no disappointments. Tried my hand at steamers, following the directions from Simply Recipes. Perfection! She covered every detail so I will just give you the link. Very easy. Now I need to get more. A lot more. 

Steamer Clams
Printable Recipe

2 pounds of soft shell steamer clams
1/2 cup butter, melted
water for steaming

Place the steamers in a bucket or deep bowl and cover with several inches of salty water (a tablespoon of salt dissolved in every quart of water), and let sit several hours in a cool place, preferably overnight. This step is optional. But it will make the clams less sandy. The steamer clams will discharge sand while they are sitting in the water. You can change the water if you want. If you don't have time to let the clams soak for hours, just put several of them at a time in a large bowl, cover with water, and gently swirl the water around with your fingers for half a minute. Do this a couple of times or until no more sand is released. There will most likely be more sand and grit after cooking but you dip them in the steaming broth before you eat them to rinse it away.

When ready to cook, put about an inch of water (you can also use beer) in the bottom of a tall, large pot. Place a steamer rack at the bottom of the pot. Carefully place the clams on the steamer rack, pasta pot, or if you don't have either then just put the clams directly in the pot. The clam shells are on the thin side and can easily break, so be gentle as you put the steamers in the pot. If any of the clams seem dead, smell bad, or whose siphons don't retract a bit when you touch them, toss them out. Cover the pot. Bring the water to a boil. Let the clams cook in the steam from the boiling water for about 10 minutes, until the steamer clam shells are wide open, then remove the pot from the heat. Any steamers that don't open should be discarded. Let the clams cool for a couple minutes.

Remove the clams from the pot, checking for any that don't open, discard those. Place the clams in a serving bowl. Do not discard the clam broth Pour a bit of the hot broth into bowls for serving. Put the melted butter into small bowls for dipping.

Serve the steamers with a bowl for the clams, an empty bowl for the shells, a small bowl with the clam broth for dipping, and a smaller bowl with butter for dipping. The siphon end of the clam is great to use as a "handle" for dipping and though it's a little tough it is edible.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mac n Cheese...

I finally made a decent batch of mac n cheese. After quiet a few flops. You can use light cheese in this recipe from the April issue of Cooking Light. I used whatever I had on hand. No light cheeses. It came out great. We finally enjoyed a nice bowl of creamy mac n cheese. Finally.

Although compared to this one from way back, anything is an improvement :)
We needed to actually scrape it off the plate.

 But this one was light, creamy and cheesy. Perfect. and it had a nice toasted bread crumb topping.

Easy Mac and Cheese
original recipe from Cooking Light, April 2013

1 box elbow macaroni
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
dash of ground red pepper
3/4 cup Velveeta cheese, cut in chunks, or shredded
2/3 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used brioche)

Preheat broiler.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

While the pasta cooks, combine milk, flour, and red and black peppers in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; keep stirring, cook until thick, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add cheeses and salt; stir until smooth. Add pasta, and stir to coat. Spoon mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over top; broil 2 minutes or until browned. Watch carefully so the breadcrumbs don't burn.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shrimp Scampi

It's been a while but I'm back with more seafood. After not having it for so long, I'm really enjoying making up for lost time. This one was super easy and really good. You can serve it over pasta or not. We loved it over spaghetti. I didn't exactly follow the recipe, no kidding :) and you have to watch the breadcrumbs under the broiler, it was real close to setting off the smoke alarm. But I was actually paying attention this time. I will definitely be making this one again. And again.

Sorry for the comment moderation, the spammers seem to be typing overtime these days.

Shrimp Scampi

1 package of spaghetti or linguine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 cloves garlic, minced
18 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 seasoned breadcrumbs, store bought or homemade (I used seasoned panko)
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes

Preheat broiler.

Prepare spaghetti according to package directions.

Melt butter in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until it start to get some color, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until well coated with butter and garlic, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, wine, red pepper and broth; bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for another 2 minutes.

Uncover; sprinkle shrimp with paprika. Transfer the skillet to broiler and broil until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 - 6 minutes. Remove skillet from broiler, top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Return skillet to broiler and broil until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Keep an eye so it doesn't burn. Toss with spaghetti and serve.
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