Cooking 101: Cooking From the Heart

cooking-101-cooking-from-the-heartToni is back with another Cooking 101. This one was posted late last week, just in time for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. As you can see, I am posting this a little late. There are still some great recipes on this one, including a Shrimp and Winter Vegetable Pasta, and for dessert, some Pomegranate Poached Pears. Both recipes can be seen after the jump. [FSU Collegian]

Shrimp and Winter Vegetable Pasta

– 1 lb. whole wheat pasta
– 25-30 large, raw shrimp, de-shelled
– 1 small Italian squash or zucchini, sliced and halved
– 1 red Pasilla bell pepper, diced
– 1/2 red onion, diced
– 1 ½ c. eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
– 1 Tbs. lemon juice
– 3/4 c. low sodium chicken broth
– 1 tsp. herbs du Provence
– Salt and pepper to taste

Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta for 10-12 minutes. Sautee the bell pepper and onion with olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until they are soft (3-4 minutes). Add the squash and eggplant and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the shrimp and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Add the broth, herbs and lemon juice and simmer the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the pasta in a strainer and add it to the contents in the pan. Incorporate evenly, and add more olive oil if necessary. Season with
salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in a large bowl and top with grated Parmesan.

Pomegranate Poached Pears

– 4 ripe, firm Bosc pears
– 1 ½ c POM pomegranate juice
– 1 c. white grape juice
– 2 Tbs. sliced almonds
– 1/2 c. pomegranate seeds (1/2 large fruit)
– 4 Tbs. low fat vanilla yogurt
– 8 fresh mint leaves for garnish

Peel the pears, leaving them whole with stems intact. Slice off the
bases so they stand upright. If desired, remove the cores with an apple

Place the pears on their sides in a large 3-4 quart saucepan. Pour POM and grape juice over the pears and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce to low heat, simmering gently until the pears are
tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 30-45 minutes. Turn the pears once or twice so they color evenly.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a shallow bowl and set
aside. Boil the poaching liquid 15-20 minutes over high heat until the sauce is reduced to ½ c.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds 2-3 minutes in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until light golden and fragrant.

To serve, spoon 1 Tbs. of the sauce on each of the four dessert plates and
place each pear upright. Drizzle the remaining sauce over each pear,
and sprinkle the seeds and almonds around them as well. Dollop each plate with 1 Tbs. of yogurt and garnish with 2 mint leaves.

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