Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 27-29 Almond Pesto




June 27    Blue Cod with Tomatoes, Wine, Garlic and Basil
June 28    Dinner with friends
June 29    Almond Pesto with pasta, shrimp and broccolini

On Monday, I attempted to make that delicious looking haddock, tomato, wine and garlic recipe I linked to up there. I will not go into details about the ways my dinner was an epic fail but I will give you this bit of advice:
When defrosting frozen fish, Do NOT leave it in it's packaging overnight so that it can sit in all of that liquid for 24 hours getting totally water logged and soggy so that it falls apart as soon as you touch it and makes it impossible to even think about grilling it or searing it or serving it in fillet form and is really only suited to, say, a nice blue cod porridge or a fish gruel.
That is all I will say about Monday's dinner.



Tuesday, The Kid was sick with a fever (because of said fever I had to baby sit the three lovely little children that he was booked to sit for the morning - oh, the things a mother does for her child) and was not hungry at all so I accepted an invitation to dine with our departing neighbours, The Irish. One of The Irish has her parents visiting and they cooked a delicious meal for everyone in the building. A wonderful treat and I will be sad to see them go.

Wednesday I had to work and didn't have a ton of time on hand so I decided to try another pesto. I had just bought some nice almonds (still terrified of the pine nuts) and found this yummy sounding pesto recipe on Food and Fun Blog using almonds, basil and parsley with a nice hit of lemon juice. Just one small change to tweak it a bit, and it ended up being exactly what I was wanting.


Almond Pesto
adapted from Food and Fun Blog

1/3 cup whole blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups whole basil leaves
1 cup italian parsley
3 tbls fresh lemon juice
a few passes with a rasp on the lemon for just a hit of zest, probably from half the lemon
3 large garlic cloves
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
5 tbls extra virgin olive oil

Put the almonds in a food processor and process until they are finely ground. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the olive oil and process until smooth and well blended. At that point, with the motor running, start adding the oil in a steady stream. Stop the motor and scrape down the sides as needed, and blend again until everything is fully incorporated.
Remove to a bowl and set aside or put it in the fridge if you aren't going to use it right away.


Pasta with Almond Pesto, Shrimps and Broccolini
feeds 2-3

1 clove garlic, smashed
glug olive oil
about 12 peeled, deveined shrimp
a small bunch of broccolini, washed, woody stems cut off
approx 200 grams of dried linguine
splash chicken stock or water

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. When it's boiling, add the pasta and stir, turn the heat down to med-high and cook the pasta according the directions on the package (usually about 9 minutes).
Meanwhile, heat a small glug of olive oil over med heat with the smashed garlic clove. When the clove just starts to get a bit of colour and gets really fragrant, throw in the broccolini and sauté for a few minutes. Add a splash of chicken stock or water and put a lid on the pan for a couple of minutes to steam the broccolini. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to med high and cook off any excess liquid. Push the vegetable to the side and add a touch of olive oil and the shrimp. Sauté for just a couple of minutes until the shrimp just turn pink.
At this point, the pasta should be cooked and drain it, reserving a bit of cooking water. Put the pasta in the sauté pan with the shrimp and broccolini and then add a big spoonful of the pesto - I used about half of it. Quickly mix the pesto in, adding a bit of cooking water as needed to make it nice and smooth.
Plate and eat.
Moan and groan and ooh and ahh and continue eating.

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