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Posts Tagged ‘sherry’


Sometimes I realize the fridge is empty but the store is so far away….those are the times I look to the pantry to figure out what I can piece together. I usually have a can of Italian tuna, which is a great way to get some protein into what would normally just be starch-based. Add some Sicilian staples like pine nuts and currants along with some onion and garlic from fridge scraps, and a meal takes shape. This off-the-cuff meal ended up being a favorite for the week!

Sicilian Pantry Pasta

1/2 box linguine or other long pasta

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 onion, chopped

2 anchovies

1/4 cup currants soaked in a couple tablespoons of sherry or wine

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1 can Italian tuna, drained

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water a minute short of package instructions.

Meanwhile,  saute the onion, red pepper flakes, and anchovies in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, until the onion softens. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the tuna, pine nuts, and currants. Add the pasta and a little of the pasta cooking water.

In another pan, toast the breadcrumbs in a tablespoon of olive oil until they start to turn a little brown. Add most of the grated cheese and toss to combine. Pour the toasted breadcrumbs over the pasta and combine. Serve immediately with the rest of the grated cheese and parsley sprinkled on top. Optional, drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top to finish it.

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I love mushrooms. Except for shitakes and button mushrooms. More often than not, I pair them with marsala and thyme or rosemary. They just go so well together and give everything a nice meaty, earthy flavor.

Occasionally I treat myself to some beautiful varieties at the farmers market, and this week I got some hen of the woods, oyster, and crimini mushrooms. Since I’m trying to keep from eating pasta this week, which would be my natural go-to with such lovely mushrooms, I decided to make some crostini. The bread was from the bread-making class I took at Le Pain Quotidien last week, and it was airy and delicious. A perfect little appetizer.

Wild Mushroom Crostini

1 pound assorted mushrooms

1 shallot, sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 cup sherry or marsala wine

1 tablespoon minced rosemary

baguette slices (toasted or untoasted, your choice)

extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil for drizzling

Saute the shallot in a little olive oil for a few minutes until softened and add the mushrooms. Allow them to caramelize and develop some color before moving them. Once they are cooked through, add the garlic, rosemary, and marsala. Let the liquid cook off and them spoon over baguette slices. Drizzle with olive oil or truffle oil and enjoy!

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After the crab cakes and spicy crab pasta, I wanted to make a version of crab imperial I saw on Saveur. I changed it quite a bit, and it really became more dip than main course. I will definitely be trying something like this again because it’s one of the few dips that doesn’t use sour cream or cream cheese, two things I hate. (I know, I’m weird) Surprisingly, this dip doesn’t have any cheese, but the bechamel sauce gives it a richness that might make you think it does.

Crab imperial Dip

1/2 pound crabmeat

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

3/4 cup heavy cream

1.5 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce

1/4 cup Sherry

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Juice of half a lemon

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup finely chopped eggplant

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced thyme

In a little olive oil, saute the shallot, garlic, and eggplant until it becomes soft, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in thyme and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, combine the flour and butter and let cook until it browns a little and becomes the consistency of wet sand. Whisk in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. Allow to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the crab, Sherry, Worchestershire, half the panko, paprika, cayenne, and sauteed vegetables. Stir to combine. Add the lemon at the last second and pour into baking dish. Top with the panko and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until browned on top. Let cool a little before eating.

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Shrimp Bisque - Meatballs&Milkshakes

While this soup is not necessarily Italian, I think it works very well with all the other flavors. You could substitute marsala or another sweet Italian dessert wine and it would be maybe a little more authentic, but I’m a big fan of the Sherry with the shrimp. I served this in little glasses because I didn’t want us to get too full too fast. However, on a cold winter day a nice bowl of this with some crusty bread would be just perfect.

Shrimp Bisque

6 shrimp, cleaned

1 leek, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup Sherry (I used Pedro Ximenez)

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup fish stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Saute the leek and garlic in some olive oil to soften. Add the shrimp and cook until they start to develop some color. Add the tomato paste and let it rust a little. Deglaze with the wine and sherry. Add the flour and butter and stir to combine. Add the fish stock and cook for a couple minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend it so that it’s smooth but with some little chunks– you want to know you’re eating shrimp. It’s ready to serve.

Shrimp Bisque - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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