I have always loved clam chowder, that is good clam chowder. The stuff that comes in the can, even the expensive stuff that comes in a can, just cannot compare to soup you make yourself. Homemade soup is just richer and tastier.
On Fridays, I usually spend time with my good friend and we talk about the current political climate. Well, the weather climate was so bad that we decided not to meet. I was out already in it, and I mean, it was cold, and very windy. The wind was so strong, I actually had to take cover under an awning and I thought it was going to bowl me over. I think this is one of the worst winter storms Los Angeles has had, at least in my many years here. When I got home, I was cold and wet and wanted something warm that would stick to my bones. Although I had originally planned on Lentil Soup with Cilantro, it just didn’t seem like it was a rib sticking as I wanted, and I decided on Hearty Clam Chowder instead.
I am going to make another cold weather dish, Boston Baked Beans, with the rest of the salt pork that I used in the Hearty Clam Chowder. Looks like I am prepared for this rainy winter in Southern California.
My good friend, Sammia, came to visit me from Germany. She and I have been friends for a long time, but have not seen each other in years. She has two kids, one who is practicing basketball for the German Olympics. Her other son, who is also my friend, lives in Northern California. Sammia and I always have a good time together, and that was why I wanted to make something special for her.
This Saffron Chicken and Rice Bake is very simple to make, yet flavorful. Just saute the vegetables and the chicken, put it over rice and saffron and mushroom soup, then just put it in the oven to finish cooking. How simple is that? You can make it, and go enjoy yourself with your family or guests. Asparagus is a good accompaniment, with a nice white wine, perhaps Chardonnay.
Don’t be afraid of saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. You can usually buy saffron at gourmet stores, or Mediterranean stores, or Amazon has a good selection.
Many years ago, when I was working in Beverly Hills, California, there was a restaurant called The Ginger Man. It had many great reviews in local newspapers of the time. Sadly, it is no longer in existence, but the memory of a lovely dinner there lingers in my mind.
There was something on the menu called Shrimp and Pasta. I ordered it, and it was delicious. When I got home, I jotted down the main ingredients so I could make it myself. I even put the recipe in my cookbook software, where it languished for years.
I’m going to get political here. I don’t like our President, Donald Trump. I don’t like what he stands for, and I think that he is a danger to our country. I cried through the inauguration, and was depressed most of the day. When it came time for dinner, I knew I had to make something special that would take me out of that funk. I decided to make Ginger Man Shrimp and Pasta. It tasted just like I remembered, and it made me happy.
When you make this, you can use shrimp that has already been cleaned and cooked, just watch it carefully so it does not over-cook. If you are using raw shrimp, then be sure to clean it carefully, and for a great presentation, butterfly the shrimp. Please use a good pesto sauce, one made with pine nuts, and not just walnuts. You can easily make your own homemade pesto sauce, and have it around when you want it.
This is a wonderful dish, warm and spicy. It’s also really easy to make, and a makes a good dinner on a busy weeknight. I really like this dish in the cold winter. When you make this, don’t crowd the pan. If you have more than 4 thighs, cook them in batches, whilst keeping the others warm. You can use any dry white wine, Chardonnay is a good choice. I served this with baked potato fries because I could dip the fries in the great sauce.
You can buy Red Pepper Sauce at Armenian or other Mediterranean stores. It’s basically paprika peppers, so there’s some small kick. A little bit is great with a dollop of sour cream on your scrambled eggs. I always have Armenian Red Pepper Sauce on hand just to jazz things up a bit.