Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learning to Cook: Creamy Pesto Shrimp Scampi & Cherry Tomato Salad

My boys have always loved to help me in the kitchen. They are sure to be around when I need to crack eggs or top pizzas! Recently however, they have wanted to be in he kitchen every time I cook. As I told a friend, I've now been relegated to sous chef and clean up crew!! I am enjoying my new status and get a kick out of their excitement and pride of learning new skills! My youngest son accidentally burned himself taking tortillas out of the oven and I feared that would be the end of his cooking days, bu he was right back th next night and created a yummy creamy pesto shrimp scampi! My 16 year old niece was here for dinner and couldn't believe her 7 year old cousin stood at the stove and made dinner. He looks really cute standing on a step stool, not hat I'm biased!

To go with the shrimp and pasta, my oldest son made a marinated cherry tomato salad. It was super simple and I threw together the tomato and onions with the marinade before leaving for work. This was a recipe that I saw on the Pioneer Woman last weekend. My oldest son put the salad together before dinner. He cut up a head of lettuce and then mixed it with the marinated tomatoes and onions.

Creamy Pesto Shrimp Scampi:
(Serves 8)

1 pound angel hair pasta pasta
1/2 cup butter
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pesto
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until al dente; drain. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in cream, and season with pepper. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir Parmesan cheese into cream sauce, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Blend in the pesto, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened.
Stir in the shrimp, and cook until they turn pink, about 5 minutes. Serve over the hot angel hair pasta.

Quick Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad:
(Serves 8)

1 pint red grape tomatoes
1 pint yellow grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 heaping tablespoon jarred pesto
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 head iceburg lettuce, cut into chunks

Halve the tomatoes and add them to a large zipper bag with the sliced red onion. Add the olive oil, balsamic, parsley, pesto, sugar, garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the bag, getting all the air out. Place into the fridge until ready for dinner. Place the iceberg lettuce in a large bowl and pour on the tomatoes. Toss and serve!

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