Monthly Archives: November 2014

Linguine with Shrimp and Caramelized Lemons

This recipe started out in the New York Times.  It was published in a column by Melissa Clark, the Times terrific food writer.  I made it a couple of times and liked what I tasted, but decided, as I often do, that it needed a boost to suit my palate.  The original recipe didn’t include shrimp, and you can make it without the shrimp, but I like the added protein.  Try it with scallops, or with chicken, grilled first and then shredded.


  • 4 lemons
  • 1/2 pound linguine (for this recipe I don’t use whole-wheat pasta, but rather regular semolina linguine.)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, more to taste
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (36-41), peeled and deveined
  • ⅔ cup Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons capers


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Finely zest 2 of the lemons and set aside. Trim the tops and bottoms off the other 2 lemons and cut lengthwise into quarters; remove seeds. Thinly slice the quarters crosswise into triangles. Blanch the lemon pieces in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a dish towel. Blot dry.
  2. In the boiling water, add pasta and cook until just barely al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add the dried lemon pieces and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar. Cook, stirring constantly until the lemons are caramelized and lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter with the remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and lemon zest, and cook until fragrant. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they just begin to turn pink. Whisk in the reserved pasta water.
  5. Lower the heat an toss in pasta, juice of 1 lemon, cheese, pepper and the remaining salt. Cook until pasta is well coated with sauce. Add the caramelized lemon, capers, and the celery leaves and parsley. Taste and add sugar, salt, or pepper, to your taste preference. Serve, topped with a drizzle of oil, more cheese if you like, and a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spicy Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup

November is soup month.  The vegetables in the garden are done and picked, the herbs are in the garage drying, and the weather is turning cool.  This week we are committed to making soups for the week’s suppers, and Ellen has found a batch of wonderful flavors to mix and match to keep the variety coming and the family bellies warm and cozy.  This post will highlight the soups I’m making today, while the Eagles fly on my kitchen toy, the HP  Touchsmart TV/computer.

I started this morning with the slow cooker:

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soupthai soup


2 tablespoons red curry Paste

2 12-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 heaping tablespoon grated fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

cilantro for garnish


1.  Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugarf, and peanut butter in the crock of a slow cooker.  Place the chicken breast, bell pepper, onion, and ginger in the pot, stir to mix, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

2.  Add in the peas and cook another 1/2 hour.  Stir in the lime juice and serve with chopped cilantro and white rice.


Spicy Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup

Ingredients:lentil soup

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 sweet onion, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 bay leaf

1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

14-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

6 cups vegetable stock

1 cup red lentils

1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2  tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)

2 cups  torn kale leaves


1.  In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in coconut oil for 5-6 minutes, until soft but not browned.  Ad the celery and saute 5 more minutes.

2.  Stir in the bay leaf and the spices (cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika, and cayenne).  You can add half the spices now and the rest, to taste, later if you choose.  I used them all here.  The flavors marry better if they all cook for the whole time.

3.  Stir in the tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and fluffy.

4.  Stir in the kale and season to taste, adding more spices if you wish.

Serve immediately or you can freeze this soup for later.


Shrimp and Corn Chowder


2 teaspoons unsalted butter

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 bunches of scallions, chopped

3 cups frozen diced potatoes

3 cups frozen corn

3 sprigs thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 quart low-fat milk

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Paprika for sprinkle garnish


1.  Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in the celery, scallions, potatoes, and corn.  Ad the thyme, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, for three minutes.  Stir in the flour until incorporated, about 2 minutes.  Add the milk, then cover and bring to a boil.  Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

2.  Transfer half the soup to the blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.  Return to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir in the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 4 minutes.  Season with salt.  Divide among bowls and sprinkle with paprika.

Serve immediately.


Tomato-Basil Soup with Garlic Croutons

Ingredients:tomato soup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 medium)

3 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 28-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), cut into cubes

2 cups 1% low-fat milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

12 slices french baguette, 1/2-inch slices.

Olive oil cooking spray

1 garlic clove, halved

1 ounce shredded Asiago cheese


1.  Preheat broiler to high

2.  Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add basil and tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Add the cream cheese and stir until melted.  Put the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Return to pan, stir in milk, salt, and pepper.  Return to medium-high; cook 2 minutes.

3.  Place the bread slices on a baking sheet.  Lightly coat with olive oil spray; broil 1 minute.  Rub the garlic halves over the toasted side, turn the bread, top with Asiago, and broil 1 minute more.

Serve the soup with the crouton rounds atop the soup.

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