Friday, July 31, 2009

Black Bean Soup with Lime Shrimp

In the past, I was not that much of a seafood person. I am not a fan of anything that taste too "fishy." However, recently I have started to add it into my diet and much to my surprise I have started to enjoy my seafood adventures. I spotted this recipe in one of my cookbooks and decided to make it for a few friends. We all loved it! Soup is such a comfort food for me...and this one hit the spot. This soup is light, full of flavor, filling, and a little spicy. This is certainly a crowd pleaser and it's pretty too!

Black Bean Soup with Lime Shrimp
Courtesy of Express Lane Meals

5 tbl of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped
2 tbl chili powder
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 rsp of red pepper flakes
1/4 c fresh flat leaf parsley
16 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 14 oz cans black beans rinsed and drained
1 14 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
zest and juice from 2 limes
salt and pepper
hot sauce to taste
Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat with 2 tbs of the extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions and 3/4 of the garlic, the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until onions are tender, stirring frequently.
While the onions are cooking, in a dish combine the remaining garlic, 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, lime zest, parsley, and a pinch of salt. Add the shrimp and coat them in the mixture.
Add the black beans in with the onions. with a potato masher or a fork mash up half of the beans. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken stock and stir. Turn heat up to bring to a bubble.Once it bubbles turn it down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot, add shrimp and cook them for about 2-3 minutes on the first side. When you turn the shrimp add the lime juice and continute t cook for another 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are pink.
Once that is done, you are ready to serve! Season the black bean soup to taste with salt and pepper. Laddle the soup in a bowl and top with the shrimp.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Orzo with Sausage, Peppers, and Tomatoes

This dish is simply delicious! I made this for the first time last night and it was such a winner that I even brought leftovers to work today (I never bring leftovers so this is a big deal). I stumbled across this recipe the other day when I took a break from watching CNN at work and spent some quality time with the food network channel. What I originally liked about this dish was that it seemed "quick and easy" which to me, are ideal adjectives when it comes to cooking on a weeknight.

Orzo with Sausage, Peppers, and Tomatoes
Courtesy of

1 jar of roasted bell peppers (red and orange)
1 lb or Orzo
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 tbl kosher salt
2 tbl olive oil
2 10 oz packages of reduced- fat sausage
4 garlic cloves minced
3 plum tomatoes chopped
1 tsp of red pepper flakes (eyeball)
2 tbl of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of ricotta salata cheese crumbled for garnish
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock and the water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. When the pasta starts to plump and rise to the top (about 8-10 minutes) then you know it's ready!
While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add your sausage and cook until done. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the peppers, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes and cook until warm for about 2 minutes.
Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sausage mixture, parsley, season with salt and pepper and toss. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Top with ricotta salata or a cheese of your liking.

First Post!

I've wanted to start a blog for a while now but I've been hesitant for many reasons. Let's get real people, telling you about my daily adventures would be far from me. So, after thinking of ideas for a blog that would be meaningful to me and useful for others I decided to start a blog about the recipes that I make. I love to cook and I love looking for recipes that excite my taste buds. I am constantly combing through cookbooks and perusing online to find new things to make. I hope you will fall in love with these recipes as much as I did.