What's Cooking at the Genua's?

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Scrumptious Shrimp & Asparagus Stir-Fry

 After many requests here is the recipe! I modified this recipe from a Rocco DiSpirito recipe. The man knows good food! Before making this recipe the only way I had ever cooked asparagus, and only thin asparagus, was to roast it, whole. This recipe I ventured into unknown territory. I used much thicker asparagus and cut into bite size pieces! I also used a vegetable peeler to get off some of the thicker layers on the stalks. And you know that wonderful thing that happens to our body when you eat asparagus? I won’t say what it is but if you’ve ever eaten asparagus you know what I mean. Well apparently when you cut it up and not cook it whole that little phenomenon doesn’t occur!  It’s a win win! Plus this recipe is figure friendly. I would also recommend reading the entire recipe all the way through before cooking. Make the stir-fry sauce first also. You can even make it a few days before if you want.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced thin

1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut on an angle into 1″ pieces

12-16 ounces medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined. NO TAILS!!!

¾-1 cup cooked brown rice (remember brown is better for you!)

½ cup chopped fresh basil 

sesame seeds for garnish

salt and pepper

2/3 cup of Rocco’s “Rockin’ Asian Stir-Fry Sauce” (see recipe below) or you can use a store-bought sugar-free teriyaki sauce. (Make this BEFORE you start cooking the stir-fry)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan or skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the onion and asparagus and stir fry until the veggies are almost tender, about 6 minutes or so.

2. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and add to the pan. Add the rice to the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often to get everything heated through.

3. Add the stir fry sauce. When the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is hot, about 2-4 minutes, stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sesame seeds for garnish.

Serves 4

Stir-Fry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sesame oil

¼ cup chopped fresh ginger (this is key!)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

½ bunch of scallions (white and green part) chopped fine

1 tablespoon cornstarch

6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

¾ cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons rice vinegar, plain

½ cup reduced-sugar ketchup (Heinz is the best)

salt and pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan/skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions. Saute, stirring frequently, until very fragrant. About 2-3 minutes.

2. In the meantime, place the cornstarch in a medium bowl and add the soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar and ketchup. Whisk to blend.

3. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauté pan and bring the sauce to a simmer.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper if you want.

5. Store in a covered container in refrigerator for up to a week.

This sauce is incredible. I used it on ribs also. Tasted just like chinese spare ribs! 

This makes about 1¾ cups.

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Easy Cranberry Sauce

I was never one to eat the canned, gelatinous cranberry sauce. Thought it was nasty. Still do actually. Especially with all that sugar in it!! So I searched my recipes and came up with a combination of a few. It’s very simple, really. I had bought a few bags of fresh cranberries before Thanksgiving because they were on sale and couldn’t pass up the BOGO special. I have another bag left and I think I’ll make another batch to freeze. 

Last night I made my Thanksgiving Bundles and we had no sauce so I made this recipe. So easy and so tasty! Oh and revisit my  Thanksgiving Bundles post as I updated the photos. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag fresh cranberries

1 cup water

1 cup Splenda (or other sucralose sweetener)

1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

1 small apple (any kind) peeled and finely chopped

1 cinnamon stick

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the water and Splenda to a medium pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the cranberries and orange zest. Stir and bring to a boil again.
  3. Lower heat to simmer and add the apple and cinnamon stick.
  4. Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  5. I used a potato masher and just broke up some of the cranberries and apple pieces but you don’t have to do this.
  6. Remove from heat and cool. Chill a few hours before using, unless you like it warm!

That’s it! Simple. Just be careful when the cranberries start to pop. The splatter can be hot!

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Thanksgiving Leftovers: Thanksgiving Bundles

Anyone still hungry? Believe it or not, even after eating much more than normally yesterday, I woke up starving! Go figure! I hope everyone had a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving yesterday! I am sure thankful for the wonderful family and friends we have. This Thanksgiving was spent with our wonderful friends Debbie & Bruce and their handsome bulldog Hudson. This was our 3rd Thanksgiving with them and as always there was lots of laughter, food and booze. Good friends are hard to find these days so when you are lucky enough to find some, hang on to them. We are so thankful we did! This year was a small group, only 5 of us, but you’d think we were feeding 10-15 with the amount of food! I guess we don’t know how to cook for a small group. Oh well, leftovers! Even though we didn’t cook at our own house we got leftovers to go. BUT if you did cook at your house and you have lots and lots of leftovers today’s recipe will give another option of what you can do with them.

I actually always buy a turkey this time of year, you can’t beat the sale price (.59 lb)! I keep it in the freezer till July and then we have a summer Thanksgiving. And this recipe came about from my summer Thanksgiving. I am going to call it Thanksgiving Bundles. It is a cross between a pot pie, a mini calzone or some kind of pierogi. Not sure exactly how to describe it. But those of you who follow my blog know I have become obsessed with the wonton wrappers. Soooo I came up with a stuffed wonton ala Thanksgiving. Though for this recipe I am not using the mini muffin tin. Too small. I used the regular muffin tin but then realized one of the mini wrappers was way too small so I used two wrappers per muffin cup. I just had them half in half out, with enough of the wrapper sticking over the sides so you can fold them over the top when you’re done stuffing! Came out incredible!

There is no real “recipe” for this. You can add whatever you want to your own bundles. But when I made them I had turkey, stuffing, gravy and my Smashed Cauliflower recipe. I didn’t have cranberry sauce but if I did I would have had it on the side. 

Ingredients:

Leftover turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, veggies

Directions:

Chop up the turkey into small pieces or shred.

Chop up any large veggies into small pieces.

Mix the turkey and veggies with the stuffing.

Add some gravy to the mixture to keep it moist. Mix well.

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a regular muffin tin, lay two small wonton wrappers so half is in the tin and half hanging over the edge.

Fill the tin with the turkey mixture about 3/4 way full. Press down. Then on top of that place either mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes.

Fold the flaps over (don’t worry if they don’t fold perfectly) and spray a little cooking spray on top.

Bake at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes so everything is heated through.

Serve with cranberry sauce and extra gravy on the side! 

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