A nice dinner for two

So here is a nice dinner for two grouping of recipes you might be interested in. Like love, or relationships, there is a bit of preparation work in making these three dishes, but the results are fantastic.

On the pears in wine sauce, I did come up with a pretty decent faux wine that is easy to duplicate. I will say that I wasn’t happy with them as a left over, as it just had too much of a brewed tea taste to it for my liking; having had PIWS leftovers a few times, it certainly isn’t the hair of the dog!

The dishes will be Lemony Shrimp with Angel Hair, Cheddar Mushrooms Royale, & Pears in Wine Sauce (faux if you’d like [unlit]).

1 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
Pasta
1 package shrimp*

Creamy Sauce:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
5 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon lemon seasoning
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese: Mozzarella or Parmesan, or both
2 tablespoons (freshly squeezed) lemon juice
3 green onions chopped, only greens used not white
Garnish:
fresh parsley, chopped
lemon slices (optional)

Add the Tbsp LP seasoning to water, cook shrimp till pink. Drain.
Do the same for pasta. Cook pasta. Set both aside.

Creamy Sauce:
In a skillet heat olive oil and butter on medium heat.
Add minced garlic and cook, constantly stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock and 1 teaspoon lemon seasoning to the skillet and bring to boil. Add heavy cream and bring to boil. Add shredded cheese and stir until melted. Reduce heat to simmer and keep stirring until the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and stir in.

Plate pasta, add desired shrimp, spoon sauce over top, garish as desired.

*Shrimp: To speed things up, you can use pre-cooked shrimp. Be sure to thaw your shrimp in advance, in COLD water. You can defrost it the night before in the fridge if you’d like, but make sure it is ready by meal time. I don’t have a problem placing rinsed shrimp into the pasta for the last minute to heat it. Or you can drain the pasta over the shrimp bowl, & bring it to temp (in a pan), on the stove.

plated-dof2

 

If you are using “fresh” shrimp, or at least uncooked. Prepare the shrimp by deveining, & rinsing before boiling. Shellfish, aside from temp, is done when pink/red/orange.

To have shrimp not curl; is to insert a rounded toothpick into the shrimp body before cooking. This is also how “we” get the lobster tails not to curl (shh) as well. Maybe not this time, but certainly next time you’ll want to try it either way.

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Cheddar Mushrooms Royale

12 SUPER HUGE large mushrooms or 24 “caps” Button Mushrooms
1/3 cup cream cheese softened
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup of shredded sharp or medium cheddar
2 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs*
1 small onion minced
1 clove minced garlic or ground
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Salt (optional not really needed)
1/4 minced or finely chopped green bell pepper
cayenne pepper or paprika for topping

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Wash mushrooms thoroughly and set on paper towel to dry. Remove stems & mince them.

Mix all remaining filling ingredients together with the stems, set aside to marry.
Heat a large frying pan with olive oil (for taste). Slip the mushrooms in till pan is about half full. Swirl mushrooms around to brown & oil. Slide them on an oiled backing sheet. Cool.
Using a small spoon, fill sauteed mushroom caps, piling them high.
Lightly sprinkle with cayenne pepper or paprika (for a not so hot version). Cook till tops get a nice brown to them. The brown can either be golden & soft, or more chestnut brown.

*Note: To make soft bread crumbs, place bread in a blender device and whirl until it becomes crumbs. For this recipe, use white (not brown) bread. Italian, French, Sour dough, loaf bread if need be, any of those is fine.

I have been making these for like ever! You always end up with more filling then mushrooms, that’s just how it is. You don’t want too little, that looks chintzy.
Button mushrooms are the only mushrooms that can be eaten raw (think salad). ALL of the other mushrooms have to be cooked before eating. Please read up[ on mushroom safety.

You may not think that you want cayenne pepper on top, until you have tasted these mushrooms. Really, I hear that all of the time. If you can’t have hot pepper stuff, by all means, use paprika, or just leave it out, I made both for the picture.
After plating the pasta & shrimp, put mushrooms in a circle around the plate & serve.

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Pears in Wine Sauce

This is one of the more complicated desserts to get together, & should be done one or two days in advance. I strongly urge you to use wine, as it goes very well with the pears, but I have modified the recipe

for those who do not use it. You can use a most premium wine if you’d like, but a good bodied table wine or a port (dessert) wine is good as well. Red will change the color of the pears, white of course will not.

10 Tbsp honey (clover honey is fine)
2 C water
8 spiced fruity tea bags
2 Bosc pears peeled, halved and core scooped out with a spoon leave stem in place
3 oz 151 proof rum (optional) for igniting

Boil water. Remove from heat, stir in 8 Tbsp of honey, add tea bags. Steep tea. Stir. Place pears in tea about 40 minutes (to two days), or till they absorb a little of the red fruity color. Turn pears halfway.
Remove pear halves, & reduce liquid to 1/3 (till it is a syrup). Cool. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp of honey.
Lean pears together, pour syrup over top. Pour rum over pears & ignite. Serve; Eat after flame is out.

Be sure that the pears are soft. You can use canned pears of course, but fresh just tastes better. You can use any kind of pear that you like, Bosc just holds up best & has a distinctive taste.

piws-002-postb
Wine version:

1 bottle wine
6 soft pears
3 oz 151 or better proof alcohol
1 Cup sugar
1 scoop vanilla ice cream (optional)

Peel pears, leaving stem in place. Split, scoop out seeds. Heat wine, mix in sugar, cool. Soak pears 2-4 days.

Remove pears. Reduce wine to syrup, cool. Put pears & (optional) ice cream in serving cup. Ladle syrup over pears. Pour 1 1/2oz alcohol over pear halves A-framed together, ignite alcohol, serve. Extinguish flame, eat.

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