Tuesday, April 15, 2008

spring fever

Snow pile alert-the one on the north side of our house, on the boulevard, which is usually the last pile of snow in all of St. Paul, is nearly gone! And with predicted temps of 66 today, it may just vanish. I think my little letter to Mother Nature must have had some impact! I want to go out and wash all my windows, and clean out my window boxes. But I'm not going to do it quite yet, as I fear that would jinx it. Maybe next week.

Yesterday I posted that I was cooking Shrimp Alfredo last night, which I ended up not doing, as Mike ended up having to work, so Charlie and I enjoyed dinner at Vina instead. (Very yummy Vietnamese restaurant right in the village, run by a family from Charlie's school, their son Don is one of Charlie's classmates.)

So I am going to share the recipe with you today, as it is a wonderful way to welcome in the advent of warmer weather! The recipe is an old one from Byerly's (one of the little recipe cards that I picked up in the store back in 1995) and it is delightful:

Shrimp Alfredo
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips
1 c. sliced mushrooms (I like baby portobellos)
1/4 lb. fresh pea pods
1 lb. medium cooked shrimp
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 9 oz. pkg. fresh fettucini (you can use dried, just start it earlier)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
In wok or large skillet, heat oil over med. heat. Stir in garlic and red pepper, stir fry about 2 min. until crisp-tender. Stir in mushrooms and pea pods, stir fry 1 min. Add shrimp and continue cooking until pea pods are tender (1-2 min). Meanwhile, in med. saucepan, heat Alfredo sauce. Remove vegetables and shrimp from wok with slotted spoon, stir into Alfredo sauce. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to pkg directions with 1/2 tsp salt, drain. Gently toss shrimp mixture with pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan, serve immediately. Serves 4.

You can make this lower in fat by making your own light version of Alfredo sauce-it will take a little longer, but will save you some calories. This one is from Cooking Light:

Lighter Alfredo Sauce
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. flour
1 1/3 c. skim milk
1 c. fresh grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp. whipped light cream cheese
Melt butter in pan over med. heat, add garlic and saute 1 min. Stir in flour, gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended, cook until thick and bubbly, about 8 min, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan, stir constantly until cheese melts.

Think we will have a salad and a crusty baguette to top off the meal-maybe even open a Pinot Noir to wash it all down. Or a giant pitcher of iced tea.

Oh great, now I am hungry. Think I better have a big bowl of high fiber cereal and go for a walk....

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