I was blessed this year by an almost none existent spring, it rained all the way through May here in the Bay Area. I really love the rain and would prefer fog, clouds, and rain over the heat of summer.
Summer and spring is such a double edge sword. The bounty of fresh ripe fruits and vegetables truly inspire me to cook like nothing other, but the heat in my apartment unfortunately puts an end to my plans.
This is one of my monthly go to dinner recipes. I love it cause it is healthy, fast, simple, and absolutely delicious! Spaghetti with Tuna was inspired from my Silver Spoon Pasta Cookbook. I really love that cookbook, and Italian cooking because more often then not Italian recipes are simple and contain a handful of quality ingredients.
So please don’t get turned off by the Anchovy; it’s just one Anchovy chopped up into itsy bitsy pieces and melts in the sauce. I buy my Anchovy’s in these little tins like most people. They come with about ten, and don’t keep long after you open them. This is a problem for me because I don’t cook with Anchovy’s daily. To help prevent wasting them after I open them I freeze them. I take a large piece of plastic wrap and place it on the counter. I put one Anchovy down at the edge of the plastic wrap and then fold the plastic wrap over it, then I put another Anchovy and do the same thing. Basically, I am freezing them in an accordion type fashion, so I can pull out one at a time when I have a recipe that calls for it.
We are on a tight budget nowadays. Basically, this means I am trying to empty the freezer of all goods before buying any new proteins. I tend to save everything. I really never toss extra food out. So what this means is there is a lot of random food in the freezer. This recipe came to be because I’ve had a half sheet of puff pastry in my freezer for a few months now. It’s been sitting there waiting to be made into a Salmon En Croute, but I don’t see myself spending the coin on fresh salmon for a few months so I needed to come up with something else.
I poked further into the freezer and saw a little over a half of pound of shrimp, along with random sausages and of course plenty of turkey, chicken, and seafood stock. So I went onto epicurious.com with an idea for a pot pie. I figured I could find something to do with shrimp or sausage. I got lucky and found this gem of a recipe for Shrimp and Andouille Pot Pies! Of course I did not have Andouille sausage so I subbed in some Linguica instead. To make this recipe work for us I halved it, used onion instead of leeks, added carrots, celery and most importantly used homemade seafood stock. Stock is another godsend of my frugal powers.
Lot’s of good recipes call for buttermilk, from fried chicken to tasty moist cakes. Buttermilk is something I often don’t stock in my pantry mostly because I don’t need it that often. The other main reason I don’t purchase it is because I can simply make it myself.
Lately I have been watching lots of the Cooking Channel. It’s new in my area, and I just love it. I get to watch Nigella Lawson cook, which is always a yummy sight. Along with Emeril Lagasse, Michael Symon, David Rocco, and last but not least Jamie Oliver. His show Jamie At Home is a true learning experience like most of the shows on the Cooking Channel. Don’t get me wrong I love FoodTV, but in my opinion the Cooking Channel blows FoodTV out of the water.
This recipe was inspired from Jamie Oliver. He cooked fresh cranberry beans from his garden, and demonstrates how simple, easy, and inexpensive beans can be. I have been a long time fan of beans and ham-hocks and barbecued baked beans. For me it is a simple go-to dish that can feed a ton of people in a pinch for hardly any coin at all. This is base recipe that can be changed. I added a ham-hock to mine, and served it with seared scallops and bacon. You could easily fry some catfish, or serve it over some burnt toast. It is very versatile all it needs is your imagination.
This is my frozen dinner. I love fresh fish, but sometimes I don’t have the time or the funds to run out to the fish monger and pick up some fresh fish. So a good stand by to have in the freezer is Tilapia. I know it’s not the most exciting choice of fish, but it was in my freezer and I decided to have a simple dinner. Basically my plan was to thaw the Tilapia, and then give them a panko crust and pan fry them up. Simple enough right?