One of the most common questions people ask when they find out I’m a food blogger is where I get my recipe inspiration from, and no matter how many times I’m asked the question it always catches me off guard.
I mean, you’d think I’d have an awesome, crowd-pleasing, canned response like Ben’s reply to to the most popular question he gets asked: Well how lucky are YOU to be married to a food blogger?! to which he pats his belly, getting a laugh from him or her, replying Whelp, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!
Seriously ask him and he’ll totally say it. You’ll see and it’ll be hilarious.
Anyways, while I’d like to say, Oh this Fresh Fig Tart? Oh, why, I just woke up this morning with the recipe written out in script in my brain! Isn’t it Heavenly looking/tasting/sounding? the truth is I find my inspiration and recipe ideas from the usual suspects – the interwebs, trips, magazines, restaurant menus and the Food Network (when I remember to watch.) I can never quite spit it out when asked for some reason though!
PS why do I always forget about the Food Network? Probably because they’re always playing reruns of Cupcake Wars, which I just don’t understand. Why are you making these poor people bake 1,000 cupcakes in 30 minutes, again?
Anyways! I also get a lot of inspiration from my Mom. She’s the reason I love cooking so much in the first place , and I often think back to the meals she’d whip up back in the day when trying to decide what we (Ben, me, and you, of course!) would like to eat on any given night.
While it’s been over a decade since I last sat at my parent’s kitchen table for dinner on a regular basis, my Mom is still a great recipe source and is always telling me during one of our 5,000 phone calls to each other a day about a dish that I JUST HAVE TO TRY – like Mediterranean Shrimp Skillet!
This easy weeknight dinner incorporating delicate angel hair pasta with the fresh, simple Mediterranean flavors of basil, tomato, spinach, lemon, and feta cheese is ridiculously quick, and totally satisfies.
My Mom made the skillet for my Dad and herself a few weeks ago and could not stop raving about it. A pre-tested, easy, flavorful dinner recipe? Sign me up!
K, I wasn’t kidding when I told you this cooks fast, so make sure you’ve got all your ingredients ready to go before you begin!
First, heat a large skillet with 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat, then start cooking 8oz angel hair pasta in lightly salted boiling water in a pot next door.
While the pasta’s cookin’, place 1-1/2lbs raw, peeled & de-veined shrimp into the oil then season with salt & pepper and cook through, flipping once. Add 3 cloves minced garlic to the skillet then cook for 1 more minute. (That is not 1-1/2lbs in the picture, FYI.)
Remove the shrimp and garlic to a plate then check on your pasta. Drain and set it aside if it’s ready.
Next, in the same skillet, add 1 cup chicken broth, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil.
Whisk together 1/2 cup additional chicken broth with 2 teaspoons cornstarch, then drizzle into the skillet.
Let the mixture bubble until it’s slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Add in 4 cups chopped spinach,2 cups cherry tomatoes, and the cooked shrimp and garlic to the sauce next. then cook for another 30 seconds or so to let the spinach wilt and the tomatoes burst.
Finally, add the cooked and drained angel hair pasta then toss everything to combine.
Plate with TONS of feta cheese, fresh basil, and a twist of freshly cracked pepper (my secret to making any dish appear more fancy than it really is!) on top. Seriously, that took like what – 15 minutes? Tops!
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (could use Italian seasoning)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. At the same time, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then stir together 1/2 cup chicken broth and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Drop the pasta into the water and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, add shrimp to the hot oil, season with salt & pepper, then cook through flipping once. Add garlic and stir continuously for 30 more seconds. Remove shrimp and garlic to a plate and set aside.
3. To the same skillet add 1 cup chicken broth, lemon juice, and dried basil. Pour in cornstarch and chicken broth mixture then bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add spinach, cherry tomatoes, and cooked shrimp and garlic,then stir until spinach is wilted. Turn off heat, add in cooked pasta, and toss to combine.
4. Divide amongst plates then serve topped with feta cheese, fresh basil, and freshly cracked pepper, if desired.
Winner, winner shrimp skillet dinner! This tasted SO fresh, and the feta cheese and fresh basil at the end was totally clutch. What a great summer supper.
If you don’t like shrimp, you could easily swap in a couple chopped up chicken breasts, btw. This would be just a good!
Well, since clean up for this dish was so easy, I’m off to enjoy the rest of the night outdoors! Some early gloomy skies have given way to the loveliest evening. Enjoy!
Where’s your favorite place to find new recipe ideas?