[spicy shrimp scampi]

a variation on the chicken scampi
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp minced white onion
1/8 cup minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
3/4 cup sherry (regular, not cooking sherry)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 jalapeno, sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups (dry) shell shaped pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 pound, peeled & deveined uncooked shrimp
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1/2 chopped white onion

Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Make Sauce: Melt butter in a pan over medium/low heat.  Add minced white onion and saute for 2 to 4 minutes or until the onion begins to brown.  Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add wine, salt, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to half.  Add jalapeno and cream and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.  Do not let mixture boil.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot.  Add the shell-shaped pasta and cook according to directions on the box  or until pasta is al dente.  Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to keep it from continuing to cook.  

Preheat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet/sauce pan over medium heat.  Lightly pepper the shrimp, then coat with flour.  Shake excess flour from shrimp and add to hot pan.  Saute for 3 to 5 minutes on one side or until golden brown.  

When the shrimp is brown on one side, flip each of the pieces and move them to the side of the pan.  Add the sliced peppers and chopped onion to the center of the skillet.  Continue cooking the shrimp and vegetables for 4 to 6 minutes or until the shrimp is browned and the veggies begin to brown on the edges.  Pour the sauce over the shrimp and vegetables and add the cooked pasta.  Toss everything and continue to cook for a couple minutes.  Divide evenly between two plates and sprinkle with Parmesan (if using).

[dijon and lime chicken]

serves 2
4 small boneless and skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
3/4 tsp black pepper
chopped fresh parsley 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry.  Place in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together: mustard, mayo, garlic, zest and lime juice and pepper.  Season the chicken with salt.  Pour the mustard mixture over the chicken and toss with hands to coat chicken.  Arrange the breasts on a large baking dish and bake 30 minutes.  Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.

[potatoes au gratin]

serves 2-3 as a side dish
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 Tbsp flour
1 large garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp or so of freshly chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices, then quarter each slice.
Beat together cream, milk, flour, garlic salt and pepper until well mixed.
Coat the inside of a large baking dish with the softened butter.
Arrange 1/4 of the potatoes on the bottom of the dish.  Pour some of the cream mixture over the potatoes.  Repeat this layering two more times.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to brown on top.  
Sprinkle cheese on potatoes and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.  Sprinkle parsley on cheese and let cool for a couple minutes.  Serve and enjoy.

[super easy corn and shrimp chowder]

Serves 2 generous servings.  Serve with garlic bread.
3 ears corn, kernels cut off the cobs, cobs reserved
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
4 strips bacon

Heat oven to 375 and place bacon on pyrex pan.  Cook for 20 minutes or until crisp.  Transfer to paper towels and let rest.  Chop and reserve.

Put the corn cobs in a large pot with just enough water to cover, (at least 5 cups).  Bring the cobs to a boil and boil for 20 minutes.  Discard the cobs and reserve 1 1/2 cups of corn-infused water.  

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until opaque and softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the corn kernels you cut from the cobs, chicken broth, cream and 1 1/2 cups of the corn water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the shrimp and simmer until opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes.  

Ladle the chowder into soup bowls and garnish with the green onion and chopped bacon.  Enjoy!
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