Ginger Man Shrimp and Pasta

Ginger Man Shrimp and Pasta
Recipes in this Post

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.

Ginger Man Shrimp and Pasta YouTube Video


Continue reading

Ham Steaks with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Pilaf

Recipes in this PostHam Steak with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf

Sometimes, you need a little Christmas, right this very minute. That’s why we love ham steaks, because you satisfy your craving for a good piece of ham, without having to cook a whole ham. If you’re lucky, you even get to have the bone with the luscious marrow.

When I make a whole ham, I usually make a glaze of Russian mustard and Sour Cherry preserves. It’s sweet and a little hot, and definitely wakes up the ham. One of the traditional gravies for ham steak is Red Eye gravy, which has, you guessed it, coffee in it. I wanted to incorporate both.

Since The Good Plate is all about deconstructing packaged foods, and one everyone likes a lot is Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni is rice pilaf, but with way too much salt and other preservatives. There’s no need to use the box, just get the ingredients together and make it from scratch – you know what’s going in it, and you can add whatever you want.

Over the weekend, I made a salad with a new dressing. It was fresh dill and lime, and Amber absolutely loved it. She asked for it again tonight, so I’m including the recipe for it here.

Remember, if you’re having a ham steak, and you don’t want your bone, just give it to me!

Continue reading

Pasta alla Carbonara

Pasta alla Carbonara

Last night was Spane’s Chorus performance at John Muir Elementary School. Spane has been in the chorus since first grade, and he really likes it. He’s in the third grade now. It brought tears to my eyes seeing those children all dressed up in their best white shirts and black bottoms, most with red Santa Claus hats. The kids were just wonderful, lead by the talented chorus directory, Mrs. Melano. Those children worked very hard practicing and they did a really good job.

When we got home, I wanted to make something was easy, but a little celebratory. Spane has always liked Pasta alla Carbonara – it’s easy and flavorful.

I’m very grateful to the U.S. troops who brought bacon and eggs to Italy in the Second World War. Some Italian cook got the idea to combine the two and put them over pasta. We’ll never know the true origin of the dish, except that it does not appear in any cookbooks until after World War II.

The funny thing is, even though this is a quick dish to make, Spane had fallen asleep by the time it was finished. He was really tired. I had a little, and we wound up eating the rest for breakfast. Hey, bacon and eggs, right?

Continue reading

Chicken a la King with Fettuccine

A Can of Swanson's Chicken a la King

A Can of Swanson’s Chicken a la King

Don’t Cook Tonight!

Boy, it was a bad day here. I didn’t get to sleep until late last night. Spane made me crazy this morning while I was trying to video something that I haven’t put up yet, and he had got grounded for the day – no TV, no bike, etc.

To make matters worse, I had to fix my printer/fax machine. With Spane’s Dandy Walker Syndrome it’s really important that I can send and receive faxes, and today was the day that I decided to fix the silly thing. I am a computer whiz, or at least my friends say that, and it still took me TWO HOURS to get the darned thing fixed.

Finally, I got it fixed, and Spane and I were hungry. There wasn’t anything in the freezer that was quick or looked appetizing. I was about to give up when I looked up in the cupboard and saw a can of Swanson’s Chicken a la King.

Heaven Forbid!

Yes, I know I’m all about having things organic and freshly made. I reconstruct packaged foods all the time. But, Swanson’s Chicken ala King is something that I grew up with, as long as I can remember, my mother bought it at the PX when we lived in Germany, 50 years ago. I loved it then, and I love it now. So there!

Homemade Chicken a la King

Homemade Chicken a la King

If you don’t want to use the canned variety, and you have some time, then may I suggest making it from scratch? It’s a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken, and especially good if you have leftover grilled chicken. Here’s my recipe for Chicken a la King – Weber Style. Either way, enjoy this classic chicken dish.

Make it More Appetizing

Okay, so yes, you can make it more appetizing. That’s what I did tonight, and Spane and I loved it.

Continue reading

Lasagna alla casa di Boswell

Recipes in this PostLasagna alla casa di Boswell - ricotta spinach sausage

A few days ago, I found a box of no-cook lasagna noodles in the sale section of the store. I had never tried no-cook lasagna noodles, so I bought them with the intent of making my own version of Lasagna.

I have been making this lasagna for many years, and it seems to get better every time.  Yes, it is time consuming, but the rewards for the taste buds are worth the time and effort.

I do not make a standard red sauce, although there are tomatoes in the sauce.  There is a lot of meat – a little over three pounds all together.  Mushrooms sautéed with shallots in butter and sherry. Italian sausage cooked and sliced on the bias.

I don’t like ricotta cheese, I never have.  A lot of people who don’t like it use cottage cheese instead, but although I don’t like the texture of ricotta, I do like the flavor, so to compensate for the texture, I add spinach, nutmeg and Parmesan to the ricotta.  It gives nice flavor with more nutrients as well.

This is a great lasagna. Don’t let the complexity of this dish put you off. Once the sauce is done, you are home free.

Recipe: Lasagna alla casa di Boswell

Ingredients

Sauce
  • 1 pound Ground beef
  • 1 pound Ground pork
  • 2 Garlic chopped
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 2 Carrot chopped
  • 1 Green pepper chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 1 can Whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Ricotta Layer –
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • 1 package Frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
– Mushroom Layer –
  • 10 Mushroom sliced
  • 1 Shallot chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dry sherry
– Other Layers –
  • 1 pound Italian sausage sliced
  • 2 cups Mozzarella sliced
  • 1 package Lasagna Noodles cooked (or uncooked in this case)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Make the sauce
  • Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl it around so the whole pan is covered.
  • Sauté the vegetables until they are translucent.
  • Add the meat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, then add some of the milk.
  • Turn the heat down.
  • Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until you cannot see the milk. Then add more milk. Do this until all the milk has been incorporated.
  • When all the milk has combined, add the wine and the tomatoes, then cook down on low heat until the sauce is thick. Set aside.
  • Make the Ricotta layer

    1. Defrost and remove all the water from the spinach. You can do this by putting the spinach in the microwave for 3 minutes. Then add the ricotta, Parmesan and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
    Make the Mushroom layer
    1. In a sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the shallots and let them cook until they are translucent, then add the mushrooms. Add the sherry. Sauté the mushrooms until they brown with the shallots in butter and sherry. Set aside.
    Make the sausage layer
    1. Pan fry the sausages on medium heat. Turn to brown on all sides. Remove from the pan, cool slightly, then slice them on the diagonal.
    Make the pasta layer:
    1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a large pot. Cook the pasta just until it’s done, then drain and leave in cold water while assembling the lasagna.
    Assembly:
    1. Spread some of the sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan.
    2. Put a layer of pasta.
    3. Put the some of the sauce on the pasta, then put the mushrooms.
    4. Put a layer of pasta.
    5. Put a layer of sauce and mozzarella.
    6. Put a layer of pasta.
    7. Put the ricotta layer.
    8. Put a layer of pasta.
    9. Put some of the sauce and then the sausages.
    10. Put a layer of pasta.
    11. Put the rest of the sauce.
    12. Put the last layer of mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan.
    13. Bake in a slow oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheeses are brown and bubbling.
    14. Remove from the oven and let sit at least 10 minutes so the lasagna can settle.

    Quick notes

    If you have sauce left over, freeze it for another dish.

    Variations

    If you don’t like spinach, you can omit it. If you don’t want to use pork sausage, you could use turkey sausage instead.

    Preparation time: 3 hour(s)

    Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

    Number of servings (yield): 8

    Culinary tradition: Italian

    My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 22 review(s)

    Copyright © The Good Plate.
    Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
    Microformatting by hRecipe.

    Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

    Recipes in this Post
    Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

    Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

    This was a dish that Chef John Farion made for me a long, long time ago. He was the chef at Bird’s restaurant in Hollywood, and had gotten the recipe from a chef he was working under.

    I have made this several times. I consider it a real treat, something I make for company, or I make for people I really care about. It isn’t really that time consuming, but it is a little expensive.

    The recipe calls for Gorgonzola, which is a blue veined Italian cheese. If you cannot find Gorgonzola, or do not want to pay the steep price for it, you can substitute a good blue cheese. Luckily, I live in Glendale, California, which has a high Armenian population, and Armenian grocery stores always have low cost, good quality blue cheese available by the pound. Don’t try to use the already crumbled blue cheese, it is dried out, has no flavor, and is usually expensive.

    It goes best with the wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Noodles, as the sauce coats each noodle delicately and the noodles hug the pieces of chicken. Yum!

    If you are afraid that your guests will not like the blue cheese – yes, there really are some people who find it too strong and strange – you can add the cheese as a garnish for the people who do want the blue cheese flavor.

    I made this tonight with broccoli and served it with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck. My friend, Amber, and her husband Stevie, just loved it. Spane has had it many times, and even Amber’s persnickety son wanted some.

    Recipe: Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

    Ingredients

    • 2 Chicken breasts Boned
    • 1 cup Sliced mushrooms
    • 1/4 cup Gogonzola Cheese
    • 1 Garlic Clove
    • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
    • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
    • 1/2 cup Pistachio Nuts
    • Cracked Black Peppercorns
    • Wide Noodles – Pennsylvania Dutch Edd Noodles are best

    Instructions

    1. Shell the pistachio nuts. Heat a pan and toast the nuts in it, stirring often to prevent burning. Chop into a course chop and set aside.
    2. Cut the chicken into one inch pieces and set aside. Put butter into a saute pan, melt, then add garlic. Saute until translucent, then add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms and add about a tablespoon of white wine. Cook the mushrooms until they brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
    3. Boil a large pot of water and add salt. Add pasta.
    4. Put more butter into the saute pan, then add chicken pieces. Saute on high heat until they are browned nicely on all sides. Remove from the pan, and deglaze with wine. Cook the wine down, then put the chicken back. Add the cream, and cook down until the cream has thickened. Add half of the nuts, leaving the rest for garnish. If you do not have anyone that is adverse to blue cheese, add the cheese at this point. Then add the mushrooms. Just before serving, crack black peppercorns over.
    5. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. If it reaches that stage before the chicken is done, turn the heat off. Drain the pasta in a colander and start to plate-up.
    6. Put pasta, then serve chicken and sauce over the pasta. Top with cheese if you have not added it to the sauce, then garnish with remaining nuts and chopped Italian parsley.

    Variations

    If you can’t get Gorgonzola, you can substitute a good Danish Blue Cheese instead.

    Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

    Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

    Number of servings (yield): 6

    Culinary tradition: Italian

    Calories: 611

    Fat: 125

    Protein: 111.7

    My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★10 review(s)

    Copyright © The Good Plate.
    Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
    Microformatting by hRecipe.


    This recipe is available for download at BigOven.

    Enjoy!