Roasted Potato and Shrimp Salad

I had some shrimp and I had some potatoes and I knew I wanted to make something that combined the two.  Unfortunately, summer temperatures have been blazing hot here; I had to choose between boiling the ingredients and roasting.  Figuring that either method would make the kitchen hot, I went with roasting because I like the depth of flavor it provides.  When cutting the tomato, squeeze as much liquid out of them as you can before adding to the salad.  I like white balsamic vinegar for this because it is on the sweet side.

1 lb. small red potatoes, halved
1 lb. peeled medium shrimp
garlic oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped scallion greens
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup diced fresh tomato
2 tablespoons or so white balsamic vinegar
plenty of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Toss the halved potatoes with a couple of tablespoons of garlic oil until well coated.  Empty into a large roasting pan and make sure all potato pieces are cut-side down.  Roast in hot oven for 20 – 25 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and have started to brown on cut side.  Meanwhile, toss shrimp with another tablespoon of garlic oil and the red pepper flakes.  Shove the potatoes to one side of the roasting pan and dump the shrimp in, spread to a single layer. Continue roasting, 10 minutes more, until shrimp are cooked and have started to brown. Remove from oven.  Combine warm shrimp and potatoes with remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Add more vinegar and/or garlic oil to taste. Season well with salt and pepper.


Too Tired Pasta Carbonara

Did you miss me?  I went on a 3 week vacation to beautiful northern New Mexico.  I highly recommend a visit there in the summer.  It was hot, but also very dry.  There were only a couple of times I wished for air conditioning, but never at night.

When we arrived home after two days driving, we were hungry and exhausted and the cupboard was nearly bare.  I pulled a package of chopped pancetta and some romano cheese from the freezer and some eggs from the cooler we had with us and made us a simple pasta dinner.

8 oz wheat-free spaghetti or other long noodle
olive oil for saute
1 cup chopped pancetta
1 cup grated romano or parmesan or a blend
2 eggs lightly beaten with a tablespoon of water or milk
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and add pancetta.  Sizzle in the pan until lightly browned. Remove from heat.  Drain cooked pasta, leaving some water clinging to the noodles. Toss pasta into the pan with the pancetta and stir.  Add eggs and cheese and stir vigorously.  The eggs will cook from the heat of the pan and ingredients. There is no need to put the pan back on the burner.  Add lots of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.  Dinner’s ready.