My kids have become big fans of The Cooking Channel. Which is funny and ironic since they don’t like any food that doesn’t have Goldfish crackers or cheese as the main ingredient. But I can see the appeal of watching somebody skillfully create a meal from a mess of seemingly random ingredients. I myself like the idea of liking to cook, but the actual cooking? Not so much. A passel of picky kids has pretty much killed any joy I might have once found in the kitchen.
Nevertheless, as I said, it seems that The Cooking Channel has lately replaced Noggin in our house, and there is inspiration to be found! Last night Michael and I decided to attempt a meal we saw on Cooking For Real.
- 2 limes, cut into 8 wedges and halved
- 4 to 5 sprigs mint, leaves only
- 2 cups black cherry juice
- 8 ounces London dry gin
- 1 cup seltzer
We actually couldn’t find black cherry juice at the store, so we tried one using black cherry soda instead (eliminating the seltzer), and the other with pomegranate/cherry juice (with seltzer). I liked the one with the pom/cherry juice better.
The Main meal was Shrimp With Garlic Pesto Pasta:
- 15 garlic cloves, peeled (about 1 head)
- 1 cup olive oil, plus extra for tomatoes
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1 pound linguine
- 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place garlic cloves in a single layer in a small baking dish. Add 1/2 cup olive oil to cover cloves, cover with foil, and bake 45 minutes, until golden brown and fork-tender. Meanwhile, in another baking dish, toss tomatoes with enough oil to coat. Lightly season with salt and pepper and roast at same temperature until tomatoes blister, about 25 minutes.
Strain garlic cloves and set aside in a small bowl, reserving infused oil separately. In a blender, add the roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, Parmesan, and basil. Pulse until combined. While machine is running, drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil until pesto comes together. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Remove to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and reserve.
Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and saute until the shrimp turn pink and is cooked through.
In a large bowl add the linguine and some of the pesto. Toss to coat and top with the shrimp. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and serve.
Note: There will be leftover pesto.
Twinkle grabbed a dropped shrimp. Lucky dog.
It was absolutely delicious! I LOVE a good pesto, but had never experienced a tomato -based pesto. Succulent! And we have plenty left over to make another meal of it – yay!