Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cookbook Spotlight #3: The Life of a Steward for Me

For "Weekend Cookbook Challenge #13: Cook From Your Newest Cookbook" I selected Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook by Paula McKenna and made some absolutely sinful walnut bars. I also waxed poetic about the big iron ore freighters that ply the Inland Seas. There is something majestic and beautiful about these working boats (yes, they are called "boats" on the Great Lakes). I grew up literally chasing them down the beach as they would come in close to shore off my parents house before they made the turn into Whitefish Bay and headed down towards the Soo Locks. On foggy or stormy mornings, I would wake up and look out my window to see two or three of these grand ladies at anchor waiting out the weather. On mornings like this, the lake would play tricks with my eyes and it would almost look like I could stand on our dock and touch them.

So I was very excited when Paula McKenna contacted me after reading my post about Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook and accepted Sara, the lovely mind behind I Like to Cook, Weekend Cookbook Challenge, AND Cookbook Spotlight, and my offer to be the featured cookbook for Cookbook Spotlight #3. We sent 10 copies of the cookbook to fellow food bloggers and we'll be hosting a round-up next weekend. But, being a co-hostess (and having blogged about SGLC already) doesn't absolve me of my duties to cook from the book for this event. Besides, it wasn't that hard to find a whole bunch more recipes to try.

Like many of my fellow Cookbook Spotlighters, I noticed that quite a few of the recipes in the book could feed an army or in the case of this book a very hungry crew of 32 on a freighter like the MV George A. Stinson (now the American Spirit) or the crew and passengers on a lake crossing ferry like the SS Badger. There have been mentions of 30lbs of chicken and 12 cups of flour for some recipes. And while I too wish that these recipes had been reduced for us home cooks (or maybe even shown in their original format AND then reduced), I understand the purpose is to show how much food is required to keep a ship running. I have a good friend who sails and he tells me that a ship doesn't run on fuel but on the crew's stomachs. After reading the list of ingredients for the now retired US Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw's Italian Steak Wraps (20lbs of beef strip loin, 3 lbs provolone cheese, 1/2 gallon of mayonaise...) I think I believe him. But beyond that one little thing, the rest of the book is a wonderful mix of stories about tall ships, freighters, American and Canadian Coast Guard ships, passenger ships, and museum ships as well as the recipes served on board.

Since I had already made one dessert for WCC #13, I decided to try my hand this time at making a whole meal from the Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook. On the menu tonight: Sour Dough Bread and Oven Roasted Baby Red Bliss Potatoes from the Schooner Manitou (I fed the Yeast Beasts this week so this was a "no brainer"), Braised Beef Ala Mode from the MV English River, and for dessert, I decided to test my rusty fractional math skills a reducing a recipe for Chocolate Brownies from the galley of the MV Ogelbay Norton. The sour dough bread and potatoes were out of this world. In fact, the little boule of sourdough bread I made was one of the best I've ever made so that recipe is a definite keeper.

I liked how simple the potatoes were to prepare too. Just toss them with olive oil, rosemary, garlic and salt and pepper and roast them in a 450 degree oven for about 40 minutes. MBH thought the braised beef ala mode was pretty darn good as well. I found the recipe to be a bit fussy and there are some confusing parts as the steward of the English River apparently did reduce the ingredients for the cookbook (with the exception of the beef which calls for 10lbs) BUT then left the large format instructions (ingredient list calls out 3 carrots then instructions tell you to cut up 12). All that aside, the beef was tender and flavourful. As for the reduced brownie recipe, I will have to wait for MBH to tell me how they turned out. I made them for his snacks this week while I am in Connecticut but they smell and look awful good and the batter was yummy...

Chocolate Brownies
From the MV Oglebay Norton
Note: the original recipe makes one baker's sheet pan. My reduction makes an 8 x 8 x 2 pan or about 9 brownies.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
2 oz bitter or unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 cup bread flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla and mix on medium low speed a stand mixer for 10 minutes. Combine melted butter and melted chocolate and add to egg/sugar mixture and mix for 2 more minutes. Mix bread flour and walnuts (if using) and add to batter and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared 8 x 8 x 2 pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

And Now On With the Show...

Sorry for the quietness of late. As a few of you may know, I'm in a transition between jobs. Monday was my last day as a corporate middle manager of an engineering group at Company E and I've been a bit preoccupied of late trying to find a place to live M-F on the outskirts of NYC that won't cost me an arm, leg, upper torso, and LB before I start my new job as a Sr. Consultant with Company J on April 2.

I'm glad to report that yesterday I found a suitable place to rest my head at night that met 95% of my requirements and I could afford. I will be residing in a 100+ year old farm house outside of Fairfield, CT and taking the train to work. I have a gorgeous, fairly large room on the back of the house and has lots of windows to catch the breezes. There are two very friendly cats and a super friendly dog to keep me company if I desire (will make missing MBH and LB a bit easier to swallow). The room has all the things I need for the work week (bed, desk, closet, bathroom, high speed internet access and good cellphone coverage) with the exception of (are you sitting down for this?) A KITCHEN. Since the house is so old, my landlady (who is super nice) requests that the renters limit their appliances to a mini refrigerator and a microwave. Coffee pots, hot plates, and the like are "no-no's" because they could start a fire. I don't blame her, the electrical system in old houses really can be finicky.

So, the first order of business today was to purchase a Bodum thermal coffee press. I became a convert to French Press coffee last year during a few of my outings for Green LA Girl's Starbucks Challenges and since then occasionally get a French press during MBH's and my mornings at our local coffee shop. I was going to purchase a press a few months ago but decided I wouldn't take the time to make it at home. Now, it is the perfect solution to not being able to have a coffee pot and means I can take a nice hot cup of coffee on the train with me for my 45 minute trip into work.
Now, I'm on the lookout for a good microwave cookbook. Anyone have a suggestion?

p.s. As soon as I get all set with a new laptop, I'll be posting a final round up for food from our traveling correspondent who has returned from Stockholm but has been wondering if he just ate all that food he normally wouldn't have for naught...

p.p.s. I also know there are a few of you who I owe a reply to in email about things like bagel recipes, is my starter dead, and a whole wheat pizza crust. I haven't forgotten about this and I will be replying over the next day or two.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Tale of Two Red Velvet Cakes and Sixteen Daring Bakers

This past January I noticed that several of my favourite food bloggers were making croissants... all at the same time and posting some of the funniest stories about their results. 'How much fun is that', I thought at the time. Then even more of my favourite food bloggers joined the group in February to make the most decadent of all chocolate cakes, flourless chocolate cake. 'Oh man...', I thought, 'I want to join a group like that!' Just as I was ready to send a pleading, begging, and food filled bribe to one of the founders of this merry band of bakers, I was was ever so nicely drafted (along with a few other fellow food bloggers) into the secret service of baking...known as The Daring Bakers! And what, pray tell, are we all baking this month? Red Velvet Cake!

I have always wanted to make Red Velvet Cake; especially after seeing the movie Steel Magnolias at at second run movie house in Ann Arbor, MI oh about thirty times in the early 1990's (Boy, did Kleenex have a windfall quarter that summer). There was something about the groom's cake in that movie, all blood red on the inside and shaped like a armored rat...I mean armadillo...that called to the Southern belle want-to-be in me. Later, I had a piece of Red Velvet Cake at a wake for the father of a friend of mine. He was from Texas and his favourite dessert was Red Velvet Cake. It was the first time I had ever seen one up close and I remember thinking to myself, 'I wonder how they get it that red?" Turns out it is red food dye...and lots of it! In the case of the first recipe offered by Peabody for the Daring Bakers to use in our cake-bake-athon it was an entire 5/8 ounce bottle of red food dye!

According to several food sites this wasn't always the case. Prior to the introduction of dutch processed cocoa, the interaction of the buttermilk, baking soda and vinegar with the natural cocoa used made the cake turn it's reddish hue.

Making Red Velvet Cake became even more personal for me a few weeks ago when MBH informed me that Red Velvet Cake is his father's favourite cake of all time. MBH's father suffered a stroke in November and has been slowly going down hill ever since. A once vibrant true Southern gentleman with a booming voice who always had a joke or corny story for me on the phone, he now can only haltingly talk in a soft voice and most days not even do that. So, making this Red Velvet Cake became a personal tribute to a man I adore as much as I adore his son.

Red Velvet Cake: Daring Bakers Style

I have to admit to being torn between two recipes for this cake. We got to choose a recipe to use and I liked the original recipe suggested by Peabody (from Mrs Wilkes Boarding House in Savannah, Georgia) but I had been drawn to the recipe printed on Valentine's Day in the New York Times. Since I couldn't decide which one to make, I combined the two recipes. I had a bit of disagreement with myself (in only the friendliest way) about the frosting and nuts. but ever the compromiser (or "waffler" as MBH calls me), I finally decided to use both! The only thing I didn't do was add them to the frosting but rather I sprinkled them between the layers and then on top of the cake.

Red Velvet Cake:
3 cups cake flour, sifted (cake flour is necessary; it provides the velvet texture)
1/3 cup cocoa (not dutch processed)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 Tbsp red food dye
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees and prepare three 9" cake pans with butter, flour or cocoa (I used cocoa), and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Whisk together the cake flour, cocoa, and salt and set aside. Using a stand mixer, combine the oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and eggs and beat until fluffy. Add the red food dye and vanilla. Add the buttermilk and flour mixture; alternating between the buttermilk and flour mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed until flour is combined scraping down the bowl as needed. Turn off mixer. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda, turn back on the mixer at medium-low speed and add the vinegar/baking soda mixture. The batter should be slightly frothy and reddish maroon.

Divide batter equally into prepared cake pans and bake for 40-50 minutes or until tester comes out smooth. Let cakes cool completely before frosting.

Red Velvet Cake Frosting:

2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 lbs confectioner sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine nuts in a bowl and set aside. Using a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until smooth. On slow speed, add confectioner sugar and mix until completely combined. Add vanilla and milk, beating on medium high speed until frosting is fluffy. Add more milk if needed to make frosting spreadable and creamy.

Assembling the Cake:
Trim off any "domes" to the layers (set aside to eat as a treat later with any left over frosting and nuts!). Spread a small amount of frosting in the center of a cake plate to anchor the bottom layer. Place one layer, bottom side down onto cake plate and spread a thin layer of frosting on top. Sprinkle with nut mixture. Frost the top of the second layer and invert on top of the nuts. Frost the bottom (now the top) of the second layer and sprinkle with nuts. Frost the top of the third layer and invert on top of the second layer of nuts. Frost the top of the cake (third layer's bottom) and side of the cake, filling in any gaps between the layers. Sprinkle the top with remaining nuts.

I was surprised when I cut into the cake how much the cake had darkened during baking. The batter was so red but the baked cake was more dark maroon and almost brown with a reddish tint.

So how did it taste? I took this cake to my weekly engineering meeting as my swan song to my current job (I start a new gig the first week in April). It was gobbled up quickly with comments like "Best cake you've brought" and "I love the frosting/nuts" and "Now who is going to bake cakes like this for us?". I thought it was good but a bit bland like a few of the gals have commented but it had a fantastic crumb and I did love the frosting!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Baking Mix Day - Bisquick and The Incredible Impossible Pie

Mimi of the French Kitchen in America is hosting an one off event, Baking Mix Day on March 15. The theme is based around using baking mixes like Bisquick and Jiffymix to bake and cook with and she even has a recipe for homemade baking mix. As a good Midwestern girl, I grew up on Bisquick pancakes and shortcakes. The first coffee cake I made was the 90 second to make and 20 minute to bake coffee cake on the side of the Bisquick box.

It seems like Bisquick has been crossing my path a lot the past month or so. About the same time that Mimi announced Baking Mix Day, I was researching the Harvey House for the Weekend Cookbook Challenge #14: Salads. It was while reading the Harvey House Cookbook that I stumbled upon a section of Harvey House influence on popular American convenience foods and discovered that the inspiration for Bisquick came from a Harvey House chef .

According to Bisquick and Harvey House lore, in 1930 a General Mills executive named Carl Smith was traveling on the Southern Pacific (Havery House was the company that ran the food services for railroads from the late 1800 - 1960s) and ordered a late night dinner. He was served a hot meal that included two fluffly and freshly baked biscuits. Mr. Smith realized that the chef had used a pre-made mixture of shortening, baking powder, and flour to make the biscuits. All the way back to Minneapolis, Carl Smith was thinking how he could bring this concept of instant biscuit mix that wouldn't go rancid to every American kitchen. When he got back to Minneapolis, he brought his idea to the test kitchens of Betty Crocker, who is part of General Mills, and in 1931 Betty Crocker's Bisquick was born with the slogan "He Deserves Fresh Bisquick Biscuits Tonight".

Bisquick crossed my path again a few days later when I picked up "Finding Betty Crocker" by Susan Marks at our local public library. I had seen the book a few times at various bookstores and it was on my reading list but there was something about the cover showing every portrait of Betty Crocker that called out to me. There is a whole chapter dedicated to Bisquick and it's influence on 20th century cooking. Did you know that Bisquick was one of the products that helped Betty Crocker earn a service commendation from the US War Department during World War II? Because the Bisquick already had sugar in the mix, the women on the home front didn't have to use their sugar ration to bake pie crust, cakes, and biscuits. Bisquick was also one of the products that started off the great Kitchen Debate between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev during Nixon's 1959 visit to Moscow. Betty Crocker Test Kitchen Demonstrators where showing convenience food advances in the GE model kitchen during the U.S. Trade and Cultural Fair. Nixon and Khrushchev were standing looking at a full meal made from Bisquick when Khrushchev made the comment "The Soviet Union doesn't need this type of advances".

The final time Bisquick crossed my path this past month was about two weeks ago. I was on the phone with my mom and we were talking about baking pies (you may remember this year is the year I'm mastering pie making). I told her I remembered this great tasting coconut pie she used to make when I was a kid that had this crunchy top and an almost foamy crust and I wanted the recipe. "OH! You mean Impossible Coconut Pie", my mom said laughing. "Honey, that is on every Bisquick box in the store". You know what....she's right!

Impossible Coconut Pie
From the Test Kitchen's of Betty Crocker

1/2 cup Biquick
2 cups milk
1 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla (I used 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp coconut flavouring)
4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and pour into a greased 9" pie dish.

Bake for 50 - 55 minutes until the top is golden brown. Chill and serve cold.

Yummy! Just like Mom's!

If you are interested in the book, "Finding Betty Crocker" by Susan Marks, I heartily recommend it. It is a fascinating look at the myth of Betty Crocker (people still burst into tears at the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens when they find out she isn't real) and the way America cooked in the middle/late 20th century and the marketing of convenience food products. There are some really fantastic early advertisements and some interesting products like an all in one box apple pie mix and of!
Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America\'s First Lady of Food

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cookbook Spotlight #3: Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook - Steaming into a Port Near You

Sara of I Like to Cook and hostess of Weekend Cookbook Challenge hosts another event called Cookbook Spotlight. A publisher donates a few new cookbooks for Sara (and sometimes a co-hostess) to send out to some fellow food bloggers to cook several recipes from and then post a review. So far this group of bloggers has reviewed Mitchell Davis "Kitchen Sense" and Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours".

The next spotlight is on the horizon, off the starboard side, in the form of the cookbook I used for Weekend Cookbook Challenge #13: Cook from Your Newest Cookbook, The Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook by Paula McKenna. I was thrilled when Sara agreed to use this book for her next spotlight and to let me co-host!

We've asked 10 fellow food bloggers to post by March 26th about cooking from this interesting cookbook and how the food fit for captains, first-mates and deckhands turned out for their home-port crews.

Keep a sharp look out from the crow's nest for the round-up of Cookbook Spotlight #3 : Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook. We should be docking the first week April here and over at Weekend Cookbook Challenge; just in time for the ice in the shipping lanes to clear on Lake Kitchi-gummi and freighters to start moving iron ore from Duluth to Cleveland with the galleys of the "Lake Boats" humming with activity and the smell of good, hearty cooking.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Kitchen in a Box

If you woke up one morning and every appliance (with the exception of the refrigerator and stove), utensil, gadget, and cooking pot had disappeared from your kitchen, what would you choose to replace and why?

Just to make this more interesting you can only choose three appliances, three utensils, three gadgets and three pots.

And they all have to fit in a banker's box.

AND to make this little game even more interesting you only have $150.00 US to spend.

I can't wait to read your responses!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #14: All Aboard for Salads

This month's installment of Weekend Cookbook Challenge is being hosted by Tami of Running with Tweezers. She is filling in for Sara, our regular hostess, who is vacationing in the sun and surf of Hawaii. Tami picked a great theme for this month: salads. Now, this may sound like a strange theme for the month of March but I liked the idea of thinking about warm weather foods while the wind, snow, sleet and ice were all reminding me that despite what the groundhog said it was still winter here in New England. I am kind of piggy-backing on last month's WCC theme of cooking from one of my newest cookbooks. You may remember that I had a very hard time choosing a new cookbook to use last month so since I still haven't cooked from half my new cookbooks, I decided to use another for this month's WCC. It was also while preparing for this month's edition of WCC, I realised that I had a little personal mini-theme going: food from modes of transportation. Last month, it was food from ships in the form of Great Lakes Freighters. This month it is food from trains as I'm making New England Scallop Salad from The Harvey House Cookbook.

The Harvey Houses were a chain of restaurants founded by Fred Harvey in the late 1850's in the American West to serve the railroads, specifically the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. Fred Harvey brought the idea of fine dining at a reasonable price to the burgeoning Wild West and by the 1880's Harvey Houses were known for their fine china, linen, good food and most especially for their waitresses, The Harvey Girls. Harvey Girls and how they helped civilize the West are probably best remembered in the 1946 Judy Garland musical "The Harvey Girls" that featured the Johnny Mercer song "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" (you should be humming that about right now). Like most people my age, I missed out on the golden era of passenger rail service in the United States but I did have exposure to the Harvey House chain of restaurants in the early 70's at the Kent County Airport in Grand Rapids, MI where the Harvey House operated the restaurant. I remember eating there several times waiting for my grandparents to fly in from their latest world travels. Even in the final years of the Harvey Houses, the restaurants presented "elegant" dining option in many ways; at least to a little girl from Northern Michigan. I knew because there was a white table cloth and crystal salt and pepper shakers on the table, I better mind my "P's and Q's". In the late 30's, Harvey Houses expanded beyond food service for trains to include opening restaurants at resort hotels, for airlines/airports, and even an attempt in the late 50's to have a line of refrigerated rail cars. By the late 60's, the age of rail travel had been bypassed by air travel and the Interstate Highway System. With this change in the way America traveled began the end of the Harvey Houses. Today, only a handful of "Harvey Houses" are still open as restaurants with the most authentic probably being the Harvey House at El Tovar Hotel in the Grand Canyon National Park.

The Harvey House Cookbook recipe for the New England Scallop Salad reflects the times it was invented, the late 30's. It offered an usual combination of "exotic" ingredients like cucumber, pimentos, mushrooms, green olives, celery, and French dressing. The salad was the Specialty of the House on the lunch menu at the Victor Hugo Inn in Laguna Beach, CA (the restaurant is still in operation as the Las Brisas). I used the recipe in the Harvey House Cookbook for the French Dressing. I didn't really like it as it had a very oily taste and, since I don't use dressing very often on my salads preferring instead to use a little fresh ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, so I chose not use it on the salad. What really appealed to me in this salad was the scallops as they are my all time favourite sea food. We are the tail end of the scallop season here in New England and while the scallops aren't as sweet as they were in December and January, they are still like eating candy. I chose to use huge, fresh Georges Bank sea scallops and not cut them up as the recipe instructs. I made one final adjustment to the printed recipe ingredients; I skipped the pimentos and celery since I don't like either ingredient. Lastly, I plated the salad ala a Cobb Salad (little piles of ingredients) vs intermingling the ingredients.

New England Scallop Salad
Adapted from the Harvey House Cookbook

1 small head of Heart of Romaine lettuce
1 Tbsp salted butter
3 - 4 large sea scallops
2 large white button mushrooms, sliced
1 small English cucumber (seedless cucumber), sliced thin
5-6 mixed olives (from the olive cart at the deli)
1 tablespoon sun dried tomatos, diced
2 wedges of lemon
salt, pepper, garlic powder to season scallops and saute mushrooms

Wash and dry lettuce. Using one leaf at a time, place in single layer on a medium plate. Wash, dry and season scallops with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Over medium heat, melt butter and season with garlic powder. In small saute pan, saute mushrooms in single layer, allowing each side of the mushroom to get golden brown. Remove from heat and place on paper towel to absorb any butter. Using same pan, sear scallops about 2 - 3 minutes per side until golden brown and translucent. Remove from pan and place on paper towel. Place scallops in center of plate of lettuce. Arrange sliced cucumbers, mushrooms, olives, sundried tomatoes, and lemon wedges on plate. Season to taste with fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Harvey House French Dressing
From the original Harvey House in Topeka Kansas

One part tarragon vinegar
Four parts olive oil
Paprika, salt and Pepper to taste

Combine the ingredients in a bowl; blending with an ice cube in the bowl. Remove ice cube before using on salad.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Incentive Programme

I've gotten a few requests from some folks for an update on how things are going on the 30/90 Plan. For those of you who have been long time readers, you know that in January my doctor gave me an ultimatum: lose thirty pounds in ninety days or she was going to put me on drugs for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. That was enough to motivate me to do something I as well as MBH and my family had been wanting me to do, lose the weight that several years of sedentary office work had put on. So, I began a regime of recording every calorie I consume, more exercise (LOVE yoga), and adjusting some of my cooking/snacking habits (why oh why does the guy who comes to the office three times a week keep taunting me with those kit-kat bars??!!).

Well, I'm very happy to announce that almost two thirds into my 90 days I have lost 22lbs!

I can't believe how much better I feel and how nice it is to see my cheeks again (not THOSE cheeks but I suspect there is some improvement on that end as well) and to have to say "Honey, I need new belts. There aren't enough holes on these anymore and I can't get them small enough". I've started cooking four meals a week exclusively from Cooking Light and I can't say that either Mr. Pickypants nor I have noticed all that much different from a taste standpoint; other than the chicken soup I made a few weeks ago had less salt. Ok, so he wasn't that impressed with the Beef Goulash or the Saffron Shrimp Pasta (I liked both of them). In addition, I'm enjoying learning to lighten up our favourite dishes and still pack a lot of punch into the meals.

And besides not having to go on prescription medicine, I have one added carrot being dangled in front of me as an allurement to lose the weight. In January MBH publicly declared that if I lost the 32 pounds in the time allotted he would purchase me the KitchenAid stand mixer of my dreams: The Professional 5 Plus 12 cup Bowl Lift Mixer. I think "Empire Red" will look very nice on my counter...

Saffron Shrimp Pasta
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 6

1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Combine first six ingredients in a large nonstick skillet; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes; add shrimp. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring occasionally. Serve over whole grain bow tie pasta and topped with chopped parsley.

Serving Size: 1/2 cup pasta and 5 oz shrimp with 1/4 cup of sauce

Calories: 391; Fat: 3.8g; 428mg; Carbs:45.5 (2.7 for the shrimp alone)

Note: This is fantastic cold over a bed of lettuce the next day!