Sunday, July 13

Lately we've been relying on some old standby's for quick dinners, but in the past couple of weeks I've made two new dishes.

I realized I'm not a big pesto person. And as much as I want to love it, I just can't. After I picked up frozen gnocchi as Trader Joe's and found a recipe for Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus and Pesto, I was sure this would be a "pesto-y" recipe I'd like. It was good...we ate it and the leftovers, but I'm not sure I'd make it agin. I'm sure if you love pesto, then you'd love this recipe. The best part was it took less than 20 minutes to make.

Gnocchi with Asparagus, Shrimp and Pesto (Cooking Light)

2 quarts plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, coarsely chopped
1 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons preshredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add gnocchi to pan; cook 4 minutes or until done (gnocchi will rise to surface). Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add asparagus and shrimp to pan; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drain. Add shrimp mixture to gnocchi.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water, basil, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides. Drizzle oil through food chute with food processor on; process until well blended. Add salt and basil mixture to shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

The other recipe we tried was awesome. I've been buying huge packs of fresh chicken breasts and grilling them on the weekend (well...Ben grills them). We each have a serving and then use the rest throughout the week on salads for lunch and toppings for pizza. This BBQ chicken has a dry marinade with tons of flavor and a little on the spicy side. I made a white BBQ sauce to go with it, which was cool and a great combination. I'd also make a wonderful salad dressing too.

Grilled Chicken with White BBQ Sauce (Southern Living)

1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
10 chicken thighs (about 3 lb.)
White Barbecue Sauce

Combine first 7 ingredients. Rinse chicken, and pat dry; rub mixture evenly over chicken. Place chicken in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 4 hours. Remove chicken from bag, discarding bag.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 180°. Serve with White Barbecue Sauce.

And finally...I don't have a recipe for this since Ben made it up, but it was by far one of his best pizza's ever. I'm sure it had 300 calories per slice given the amount of cheese, but it sure was worth it. He lost his white pizza sauce recipe, so made one up by making a roux, adding milk, parmesean cheese, white wine and garlic. He sauteed shrimp and mushrooms in a several spices including chipotle pepper. The rest of the topping included spinach, fresh basil from our small herb garden, slices of pepperjack cheese and fresh mozzerella. This was the real deal and really restaurant quality.

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