Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grilled Pizza with Ricotta and Roasted Tomatoes

Tonight's dinner was almost exclusively Trader Joe's ingredients.  Yesterday I made some Ricotta cheese using TJ's heavy cream, buttermilk and milk.  I used this recipe which was quite easy and made tasty cheese.  Today I roasted a package of mixed medley cherry tomatoes (spray with olive oil and roast at 350 for 30 minutes).  I sauteed a nice size shallot in some olive oil and butter. My only non TJ item was a nice purple garlic clove from the garlic guy in Los Olivos.  I crushed the garlic and added it to 1/4 cup olive oil (TJ's).   I bought TJ's wheat and herb garlic pizza doughs.  I used equal parts of the two doughs to make my pizza crust.   I brushed the dough with garlic olive oil and placed it oil side down on the grill.  After 3-5 minutes when the bottom had some nice grill marks, I flipped it.  Brushed the top with garlic olive oil and then topped it with the cheese, roasted tomatoes and shallots. I grilled it for another 8 minutes. (Note: I like things well browned).   I sprinkled on some grated Pecorino Romano and then served my pizza with yummy Stolpman Sangiovese.  The wine was not from TJ's but I'm sure you could find a nice one there too.

If I were to change anything I might add a little more salt to my Ricotta or sprinkle some salt over the cheese on  the pizza.  But otherwise, YUMMMMM!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shrimp Cakes with Ginger Butter

I copied this into my mail one day while working at the library and have to admit I don't remember from where.  Maybe Food Network.  I tried them today with mixed results.  They were easy to make but I felt they needed something.  A little more heat.  Maybe some red pepper flakes.  And the butter could have been more gingery and more soy saucy.  I also need to come up with a good accompaniment. Maybe a nice salad.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 C chopped fresh mushrooms (original recipe called for 1/2 cup canned= ugh!)
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 large shallots, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
1 large egg
Zest of 1/2 large lemon

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2-inch-long piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated to yield 4 teaspoons
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil, plus extra as needed

Shrimp Cakes:
Saute the mushrooms, carrot, shallots, salt, and pepper in the olive oil until the carrot begins to soften, about 6 to 7 minutes. Put the cooked veggies and shrimp in the food processor and add beadcrumbs, egg, and lemon zest. Pulse until mixed together and still somewhat chunky.  Form the mix into about 12-14 small patties.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Mix together the butter, ginger, soy sauce and salt until combined. Wrap the butter in plastic wrap, making a log. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until firm. Slice the butter into 1/4-inch-thick pieces.

Heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the patties and cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side until golden. Add extra oil, if needed, and cook the remaining patties. Serve the shrimp cakes while still warm with a slice of ginger butter on top.