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Every other Friday night, we have our friend Erica over for dinner.  She lives with her dad and brother so she never gets home cooked meals and she loves my cooking.  So this Friday I made Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil from Giada deLaurentis.  I also found this recipe for Spinach, Orange and Almond Salad from Emeril but I tweaked it a little bit.  I know, I know, it’s  my first blog post but I forgot to take pictures while I was cooking!  Bad blogger!

First, the Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil.

For the lemon oil:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounces frozen shrimp
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces arugula (about 3 packed cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

For the lemon oil:

Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add some of the cooking water to desired consistency. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

This recipe was AMAZING.  Everyone kept going on and on about how amazing it was, even the next day!  Definitely give this recipe 4 stars!

Then the Spinach, Orange and Almond Salad.  Now I tweaked it quite a bit but here’s Emeril’s recipe in full.

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 oranges
  • 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning salad
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 10 ounces baby spinach (6 cups), washed and dried
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Lightly grease a 10-inch square of aluminum foil with butter or vegetable oil and set aside.

Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until the sugar turns a golden amber color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds and stir to coat. Continue cooking until the almonds are fragrant and golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to the prepared aluminum foil, using a spoon to spread into a thin layer, and set aside to cool completely.

With a thin, sharp knife, cut the peel and bitter white pith from the oranges, 1 at a time. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut in between the membranes to release the segments. Reserve the segments in a separate bowl. Combine 1/4 cup orange juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the Champagne vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Transfer the dressing to a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid until you are ready to serve.

Put the spinach in a large serving bowl, then top with the orange segments, celery, and red onions. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, break the caramelized almonds into bite-size pieces and scatter over the top of the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Toss to coat evenly and serve immediately.

*I did the almonds just like the recipe stated.  For the dressing, I used the zest of one orange, the juice of one orange, the white wine vinegar, the olive oil, the salt and 1 1/2 tbsp of the sugar.

This recipe was also very good!  The sweet almonds were a fabulous touch to this salad and the dressing was SO good!  Definitely a 3 star salad!

Last came dessert.  Erica is lactose intolerant so I just picked up some mango sherbert from Trader Joes and crumbled some ginger snaps on top.  It turned out pretty good!  The mango sherbert was really good.  Definitely something I’ll be buying again.  The cookies gave the dessert a nice crunch and a little kick to it as well.  Definitely a nice ending to a great meal!

And here’s the three of us after enjoying our dinner!

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Comments on: "Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil, Spinach Orange & Almond Salad" (1)

  1. Janet Ownby said:

    Wow…I am going to love, love, love reading this:)

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