Herself's Recipes

Favorite recipes and interesting food facts

Garlic shrimp with mango, pecans and coconut sauce




I had a dish similar to this at PF Changs, they used honey dew melon and honey crusted walnuts. I prefer it with mangoes and honey crusted pecans.

Sauce:
1 can coconut milk
2 Tablespoons lime juice

Heat over medium heat until reduced and thickened ~ 30 minutes, stir occasionally

Shrimp:
~ 12 good size shrimp ready for cooking
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
minced garlic to taste

Toss it all in a bowl and marinate for an hour before grilling or frying your shrimp

Fruit:
You can use 2 mangoes or ~ 1/3 of a cantaloupe or ~1/3 of a honey dew melon

Cut into 1″ cubes

Nuts:
1 cup honey coated walnuts or pecans

Rice:
1 cup rice + 2 cups water, cook until rice is tender

Combine:
Put rice on plates, top with shrimp, fruit, nuts and then 1/2 of the coconut sauce.

Serves 2
You’ll have enough coconut sauce for two meals.

Coconut trees are in constant bloom, but each coconut takes a year to mature. The Europeans first mention coconuts as food in the mid 1500s. On the Nicobar islands they were used as currency till the early 1900s. So for a while, money really did grow on trees.


Macaroni and Cheese with leftover cheeses




The holidays left me with more cheese than I could use in day to day eating.  But  macaroni and cheese is very easy to make from scratch and a great way to use up leftover cheeses.

This time I used two different goat cheeses for about half the cheese and various cheddars for the rest.  Goat cheese is too dry to use alone, swiss cheese also works well, mozarellas are too stringy.

1 pound macaroni cooked until just barely done.
3 cups grated cheeses
1.5 cups of milk or cream
1 large tablespoon of flour
bread crumbs
1/2 stick of butter

Add the flour to the milk and mix well.

Add the milk mix and cheese to a sauce pan and cook over a very low heat until the cheese is melted stirring occasionally.

Drain the cooked noodles well and put them back into the pot.

Add the melted cheese to the noodles and mix really well.

Put the noodles and cheese in a casserole dish. ( 9″x13″x3″ works well )

Melt the butter and add the bread crumbs, a couple of large heaping spoons of grated Paremsan work well in the topping also.

Sprinkle the butter and bread crumbs over the top of the macaroni.

Bake at 350′ about 30-40 minutes until heated through ( shallow pans will cook faster than taller ones.

I also add cut up leftover ham, and or cut up sundried tomatoes and roasted peppers if I have any left in the fridge.

Macaroni and cheese dishes are listed in Italian cookbooks as early as the mid 1200s.  It has a long history in Massachusetts and in Connecticut as cheese pudding.  You’ll often see it listed in older New England cookbooks as cheese pudding.

Later Thomas Jefferson encountered it in Europe and brought it back to Virginia.

Kraft brought us their Kraft dinner macaroni and cheese in 1937. During WWII mac and cheese became a staple in the US diet.


Monday Night Pasta Sauce




As prices climb and the stock market falls it gets harder to toss food at the end of the week.  I clean out the fridge on Mondays so that’s my night to make pasta sauce.  This sauce takes about 10 minutes to put together. The flavor comes from the various vegetables and meat that have been cooked previously in different ways.

Take last week’s left over meat and vegetables.  I prefer more meat than vegetables, but whatever is in the fridge I use.  Grind it in the food processor, you want about 2 cups worth of ground cooked meat and vegetables.

In a large skillet add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.  Slowly brown garlic.

After garlic browns add your ground meats and vegetables. Cook until meat and vegetables are warm.

Then add 1 can tomato paste ( 6 oz ), 6 oz water  or wine and 1 can diced tomatoes ( ~ 15 oz )

Let simmer on the lowest heat for a half hour.

Serve over your favorite pasta.

Most importantly the cost of this meal is just the pasta, 1 can of paste and 1 can of diced tomatoes. The rest was leftovers or things you have in the fridge.


Easy Rice Florentine




Technically Florentine refers to dishes made in the Florentine, Italy style. These dishes include spinach and use a cream sauce. Over time that has shifted and it now usually refers to dishes with spinach and cheese. Rumor has it that Catherine de Medici brought the dish from Italy to the French court of Henry II in the mid 1550s.

This is a nice way to use up spinach or dress up some rice. I usually serve this dish with fish.

1 cup white rice

2 cups water

1 cup cooked spinach ( about 12 oz boiled )

1/4 cup Parmesan or other hard cheese, grated

1/2 white onion diced

1 Tablespoon butter

Take the rice, water and place in microwave for 15 minutes or so until water is evaporated.

In a small skillet brown the onion in the butter until clear.

Add spinach, cheese and cooked onions to your rice.

*If you try to save time by cooking the spinach with the rice, you will end up with green rice.

*If you add the spinach, cheese and onions to the rice before it is done you’ll loose some of the flavor. Wait and add them at the end.