We can feel spring approaching and are happy to say sayonara to this frigid weather. The warmer days get us excited for lighter dishes, summer vegetables, fresh fish and dining al fresco. Last weekend we decided to venture out to our local Stew Leonard's. For those of you who have never visited a Stew's, its a grocery store chain that offers baked goods, fresh meats and fish and many other specialty items. John and I love getting our fish from there when we can and they typically have really good sales. We decided to buy some shrimp for our W+A live cooking show this past Friday and it turned out to be a great choice. I knew I wanted to make something a bit light, but fulfilling at the same time, so shrimp fri diavolo over linguine it was! Its a great dish to prepare if you are having a dinner party or to impress that special someone. Here's everything you'll need.
1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion chopped
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 c of dry white wine
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute until they turn pink, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp to the sauce and toss to coat. Cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.
This meal pretty much covers all the bases for a hearty meal, but we also wanted to make a quick and easy pre dinner starter. We love taking different fresh baked breads and serving a variety of crostini. Crostini are small toasts topped with everything from cheese, meats, fruits and spreads. We decided to top our's this time with ricotta cheese, raw honey, lemon and fresh basil, and they were a hit. This is a great appetizer to make for guests or a light snack on nights that your not in the mood to prepare a full out meal.
1 fresh baguette (make sure its nice and soft)
1 small container of ricotta cheese
fresh basil leaves
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your baguette into 2-3 inch slices and lay on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive and toast in the oven for 10 minutes until they lightly toasted. Pour your ricotta cheese into a bowl and zest an entire lemon into the mixture, fold through so its evenly distributed. Once your crostini is toasted, remove from the oven and spread about 1 tbsp of your ricotta mixture onto each. Drizzle the tops with your honey and add half of a basil leaf to each. Plate and serve.
To quench our palettes John mixed up a delicious cocktail, the Italian Bird. It paired really nicely with the spicy shrimp dish. Here's everything you'll need to shake one up.
1.5 oz of aged rum
1 tbsp of Roscato
1 tbsp of honey
3 tbsp of water
splash of cranberry juice
sage to garnish
John also paired this delicious Rosé, Fleur de Mer with our dish. This was one of the better wines I have had in a while. I love a Rosé during the summer, but this bottle had elegant lavender and violet floral notes that gave it a buttery finish. I really enjoyed how the soft finish paired with the kick of heat from our diavolo sauce. I look forward to enjoying this bottle all summer long! And a special thanks to our local wine and liquor store Prime Wine & Liquors for the recommendation. It was a hit! Thank you again to everyone who tuned in this past Friday. Be sure to tune in this week again. We will also cooking live this Sunday, April 2. See you guys for a special Brunch!