Sunday, May 06, 2007

Just dinners

I better blog about what we had for dinners before I totally forget about them. Not that any of them were memorable or spectacular, but I just want to leave a record of what we have been eating lately. And hopefully be able to trace the culprit/s of my recent weight gain!

With the abundance of asparagus this time of year, we couldn't resist another meal of asparagus pesto melts. It's a new favorite for us. OCT thought it's fancy enough to entertain friends with these. But I am not sure. It's always messy when we eat them. (Think asparagus rolling down from the sourdough everytime OCT had a bite) Maybe I should try to add more sauce or cheese to glue the fillings together. But I am hesistated to do that.

Our little endeavour to go meatless once a week went well. This week, we had pasta primevera on Tuesday night. It wasn't as nice as the meatless meal we had last week, but it was ok. With lots of broccoli (OCT's fave), asparagus (my fave), among other green veggies, we had a filling and guilt-free dinner.

Thai Shrimp Cakes, is one of the recipes I attempted as I am cooking through my Thai Cookbook. If it's not because these cakes had to be deep-fried, I would have made them ages ago. The perfect opportunity arose when we had friends over for dinner last week. I guess sometime I just need a little nudge to go the extra mile. I would never have the motivation to make this dish just for the two of us.

Coming back to the Shrimp Cakes. Eventhough I have never ordered this appertiser from Thai restaurants, I liked how it turned out nonetheless. The taste of curry and shrimp in every bite was just fantastic. However, OCT thought it was a waste of fresh shrimps, as the curry taste has overpowered the fresh shrimps. The shrimps could taste better in other dishes, he reasoned. Maybe he's right, I will just use smaller shrimps when I make these again.

Pasta Primavera
Adapted from Cookinglight

2 cups green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 2 ounces)
6 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (omitted)
2/3 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (used flat leaf parsley)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Cook green beans in boiling water 1 minute. Add broccoli and asparagus; cook 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Return water to a boil. Add pasta; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and add to vegetable mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup onion, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper; sauté 3 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add peas, and sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes.

Combine half-and-half and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium. Add half-and-half mixture and salt to pan; cook 1 minute or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Pour sauce over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with basil and cheese. Serve immediately.


Rasa Malaysia said...

I love shrimp and the shrimp cakes are calling out my name and ask me to eat them eat them. LOL. I can never get tired of shrimp...they are too good and versatile.

I wonder you can use shrimp to bake a real cake. That would be too funny.

Mandy said...

thanks hamster. Will surely check out the website.

rasa malaysia, that is one good suggestion. Perhaps a shrimp pancake? Like those that we have back in Malaysia, with a whole prawn in the dough!!!

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