Monday, November 24, 2008

The Complete 15 Minute Gourmet, Paulette Mitchell

Tuesday, 11/25
The Complete 15 Minute Gourmet, Paulette Mitchell

Paulette Mitchell is the author of 13 cookbooks and is known globally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. She has been recognized for her award-winning 15-Minute Gourmet cookbook and is a spokesperson, freelance writer, culinary speaker, cooking instructor, and television personality. Paulette is an avid world traveler and is most inspired by diverse cultures and flavors both near and far.

Paulette Mitchell provides the solution; her speedy meals are simple enough that even a novice can prepare them for the family on a busy weeknight. She also makes it possible to create sophisticated gourmet dishes to please the palates of discriminating guests – all in 15 minutes or less.

Click here to purchase the book.


Spanish Garlic Shrimp with Sherry

Serve these succulent shrimp piping hot as a light entrée with rice or at room temperature as part of an array of tapas, with lots of crusty bread for dipping in the delectable juices. For traditional Spanish flavoring, in place of the paprika use pimentón, a smoked and dried pepper powder. To preserve its color and vibrant flavor, all paprika should be stored in a cool, dark place for no longer than 6 months.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
12 ounces medium (26 to 30 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon paprika or Spanish pimentón
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
Salt to taste
Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 15 seconds.

Add the shrimp, paprika, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the sherry, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to stir for 1 minute or until the shrimp turn pink.

Transfer the shrimp and all juices to a serving dish or shallow bowls and garnish with parsley.

Mediterranean Seafood Stew

All around the Mediterranean, fish soups are made from the day’s catch, and each region has its own different and wonderful variation. Traditionally, fish heads are simmered in seasoned water to make fish stock; but, for quicker preparation, I substitute canned chicken broth. Also, to speed things up, I ask the fishmonger remove the fish skin for this stew, which is elegant enough to serve to your most discriminating holiday guests.

Makes 4 servings (6 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed, or more to taste
1 tablespoon hot water
2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
8 ounces firm white fish (such as sea bass, mackerel, or monk fish), remove and discard skin, cut flesh into 1-inch squares
8 ounces sea scallops
Coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, mix the saffron with the hot water. Set aside.

Pour the chicken broth and tomatoes into the Dutch oven. When the liquid comes to a boil, stir in the potatoes, red pepper flakes, and the saffron mixture. Reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the potatoes are nearly tender.

Stir in the fish; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the scallops; continue to cook for 2 more minutes or
until the potatoes are tender and the fish is thoroughly cooked.

Garnish the servings with parsley.

Saffron, the yellow-orange stigma of a small purple crocus, is the world’s most expensive spice. Each flower provides only three stigma, which must be handpicked: It takes 14,000 of these to equal 1 ounce of saffron. A little goes a long way and there is no substitute for its exquisite flavor and earthy aroma. Be sure to purchase whole saffron threads. Powdered saffron loses its flavor more readily and can easily be adulterated with less expensive powders like turmeric. Heat releases the flavor, so pinch the threads between your fingers and then soak them in hot (but not boiling) water before using. Store saffron in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

Jamaican Chicken with Black Beans

Spices have played an important role in the history of the Caribbean islands beginning with Columbus, who came looking for spices when he sailed from Spain. Allspice, also known as Jamaican pepper, comes from a berry that grows on the indigenous pimento tree. Serve this aromatic dish with basmati rice for a wholesome meal the whole family will enjoy.

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
Salt to taste
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, onion, curry powder, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the onions are tender.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through.

Garnish the servings with cilantro.

Recipes from THE COMPLETE 15-MINUTE GOURMET by Paulette Mitchell (Thomas Nelson, October 2008, $24.95)

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