Saturday, October 19, 2013

RaceDay Recipes: Shrimp & Angel Hair Parmesan

I've said it before, I'll say it again. You don't always need to go shopping in order to make an awesome meal!  Take a good look at what's already in the pantry before deciding to spend more money. We do those stocking up trips at the grocery store for a reason!

This is a light pasta dish. If you're looking for better flavor, fresh veggies, herbs, cheese and shrimp are always better, but sometimes they are not sitting in the fridge.  I ran with what I had.

 Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves about 2


  • Angel Hair pasta 1/3 box
  • Shrimp--pre-cooked, frozen, deveined and all that goodness
  • Garlic--1 clove chopped
  • Onion--2 tblsp chopped
  • Celery--1 stalk chopped
  • Green onion--1 stalk chopped
  • Chicken stock 1 cup
  • Olive Oil--2 tblsp
  • Oregano & Basil to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese--1/2 cup or more (to taste)


  • Rinse shrimp under cold water to start thawing them
  • Set pot of water to boil
  • Chop all your veggies, heat a skillet and swirl in your oil, let warm.
  • Add garlic, onion, celery, oregano and basil.  Cook a couple minutes until onion is glassy.
  • Add chicken stock and green onion.
  • When stock starts to simmer, add shrimp.
  • Drop pasta into BOILING water.  Angel Hair is the thinnest pasta out there.  It only takes a few minutes to reach Al Dente, so don't wander off.
  • When shrimp is just thawed, start adding cheese.  Keep stirring to melt. The parmesan will melt quickly. Let sauce simmer on low while pasta finishes.
  • Test pasta for being done. Drain. 
  • Either mix pasta with a swirl of oil to prevent sticking or mix with sauce.
  • Serve!
I don't have a picture of my kitchen adventures, today. I ate it all :)  Also remember that if you don't like a particular ingredient in a dish, don't be shy about substituting your own.

Enjoy the race at Talladega tomorrow. You could probably throw this dish together during the caution for The Big One.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

RaceDay Recipes: Pork Chops & Fried Apples

Pan fried boneless pork chop and fried apples.
Seriously, it's time to stop over thinking your food.

How many times do we look in the fridge at a collection of ingredients and think there's no time make anything out of it all?  Think again.

Sometimes simple is delicious and fast!

Boneless Pork Chops and Fried Apples

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes


  • One pound boneless pork chops, thick cut
  • 4 small seasonal apples...I used Paula Reds
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt, pepper, sage for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Core and chop apples into 1/2" cubes.  Don't peel them.  All the flavor leaves the apples when you do that. Granny Smiths are often recommended for fried, but that's because they are less likely to turn to mush.  Any apple will do. At this time of year, don't be afraid of the bags of fresh bargain fruit!
  2. In a 2 qt. pot heat up butter over medium heat. Drop apples into melted butter. Coat the apples. After a minute, mix in cinnamon and sugar.  Stir until apples are coated and sugar is melted. Turn heat down a bit and let apples simmer, stirring occasionally. 
  3. In 12" frying pan, heat up EVOO over medium high heat. Season pork chops and drop into hot pan.  Let brown--about four minutes or so--then turn.  Continue to cook until no pink remains.  Turn only once! When done, remove from pan and let sit for a few minutes before slicing.
  4. By now, apples should be soft, but not cooked into sauce. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve! Garnish (which I always forget to do) with fresh thyme or parsley.
Accompanied with a green salad, this is an elegant meal that requires no special ingredients or fancy cooking tricks.  During our harvest season, it is often rewarding to enjoy the flavors of fresh produce and meats without hiding them beneath overly complicated sauces.

Hope your Race Day is full of satisfying snacks :)