Tag Archives: shrimp

Blake’s Hashable Salad


Tonight while we were watching House I made a really killer salad. Really, it’s a salad for a small army, country or more likely, family.

I break lots of rules all the time when it comes to salad. I put fruit in salad, I put dried fruit in salad, I put bread items in salad, I put fish in salad–I even will put noodles in my salad. Needless to say these salads are not meant for someone who is trying to fit herself into an Oscar dress, but for the gal who just enjoys really delicious food, good for the heart, the mind and the taste buds!

This salad would make a wonderful brunch salad because it’s literally sprinkled with a hash (not quite hash brown, not quite boring potato). It also has some very fresh ingredients like shrimp, cheese and garlic from the farmer’s market (but special Green Garlic from Knoll Farms pictured below–they look like green onions).


This is a salad that is a full meal, not an appetizer. This salad will fill up your kitchen patrons 100%.

In real life the colors of the salad pop–the photo doesn’t do it justice.

For this very eclectic salad you will need to start by visiting your local farmer’s market (or wherever you can get the freshest locally grown produce). Hopefully these ingredients are native to your area.

I always tell you this but I will say it again. You don’t need every ingredient for this salad. Make it your own! I generally just use what looks good in the kitchen. The one thing I will tell you is, get to your local Farmer’s Market. It’s worth it!

Ingredients For Blake’s Hashable Salad:

1. Multi-colored small potatoes (round)
2. Bread (can be a little stale) note-I used black bread for this recipe, but any loaf will do
3. Mixed lettuce (mustard greens mixed with arugula and other blends are optimal)
4. One egg
5. Goat cheese (optional)
6. Green garlic (optional) note. You can use regular garlic (minced, and mixed with some green onions for a similar look/effect).
7. Olive oil
8. Balsamic vinegar (black)
9. About 12 shrimp or more depending
10. Cocktail sauce (I like mine hot with horse-radish yum)
11. Some nuts/trail mix. I like the wasabi mix from trader joe’s which has wasabi peas, dried fruit and assorted nuts.
12. lemon
13. salt/pepper
14. Any herbs and spices you think would make your salad flavorful. I used Smoked Apple Salt, Herbs of Provence Salt, & Coriander.
15. Fromage blanc goat cheese. (I love Cowgirl Creamery)!


Again–don’t freak out. You don’t need 15 ingredients. I just tend to experiment and play with what’s in my cupboard :0] And with everything in life, especially cooking, failure is important–so you learn what flavors go well together and what don’t.

And despite my extensive list of ingredients I always encourage you to KIS. Keep It Simple.


1. Skin and mince garlic and simmer in olive oil (I used a cast iron pan–the best for potato hash).
2. Chop potatoes into very mini pieces.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (mini oven is preferred).
3. Stir potatoes until browned on all sides and somewhat soft. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Chop day old bread into bite size pieces and dress with a nominal amount of olive oil and put into pan.
5. Pour 1/3 cup of Wasabi Trail Mix into Pan.
6. Put cast iron into oven to bake.
7. If frozen, thaw shrimp in bowl of warm water. Let soak.
8. Clean and chop Green Garlic. If possible chop into tiny tiny pieces or chop in your food processor.
9. Put egg in boiling water.

Stir frying or baking nuts are a wonderful way to bring out the oils and the flavors of the nuts. They add a lot of umph to your dish.

10. Mix together three tablespoons of Fromage Blanc cheese with green onion and blend in food processor (I used my blender–not recommended).
11. Pat down shrimp and drizzle lemon over shrimp.
12. Take somewhat hard egg, cut in half using some of the egg whites in the salad and half the egg in the center of the salad.
13. Put dollop (or three) of cocktail sauce in the center of the plate.
14. Put dollop (or three) of Fromage Blanc in the center of the plate on top of the cocktail sauce.
15. Place half your perfect egg on top of those two creamy condiments.
16. Arrange the salad leafs around the periphery of the sauces and
17. For dressing I usually do a simple mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (black) along with lemon juice salt and pepper.

(note make sure your potatos have enough salt. I know I’m not your doctor–for those of you who need to go easy on the salt–go easy on the salt :-]

Crispy homemade croutons baked in a drop of olive oil are delicious

My mom raised us on funky salads. They are delicious and as a kid I ate salad every single night. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I could name one “Barefoot Contessa” of salads, it would be my mom, my inspiration for this dish.

Strega Nona-Rainbow Pasta With Shrimp in White Wine Sauce


I love fairy tales, I love culture, and I love food. So it is only natural that when I was young I fell in love with the story of Strega Nona the grandmother who cooks magic pasta.


Strega Nona is the story of  an older woman named Strega Nona who is seeking help from someone in both outdoor and indoor chores. The first to respond to her advertisement is tall, clumsy Big Anthony– she also warns him not to touch her magic pasta pot, an enchanted pot that produces pasta at the command of a spell. I hate to say it but I don’t let Jacob in the kitchen–I really like to manage the kitchen. We have a mutual understanding and I get to keep my pasta magical–and he remains a happy kitchen patron.

Get to the point bookworm chef blake….

Tonight I cooked Pasta that is called “Mother In Law’s Tongue.” Whoever created this brand must have had a mother-in-law with a very thin, flat and rainbow tongue…

I know it’s a strange name for such a beautiful pasta!

I made Pasta with Shrimp in a white wine sauce

This is a very special pasta–a little more expensive than your regular pasta–so I encourage you to save it for a very special occasion. With this pasta you can easily wow your guests with little effort-the pasta is gorgeous and needs little dressing.

If you have a Cost Plus near your house I recommend you stock up on these unique pastas there. If not you can order them from Amazon–in bulk.

or Art Deco kind->  Donna Del Grano Zebra Bowtie Pasta

There are a variety of colors, textures and styles…have fun with any that look appealing and use the same sauce.

Jacob told me the test for my recipes is he should be able to follow the instructions to make the meal. So this one he will be able to manage 100%. Meaning you will too even with no cooking experience!

For tonight’s beautiful gourmet shrimp pasta meal you will need:


  • One package 9 ounces Mother in Law’s Tongue pasta
  • half cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon light parmeson cheese (powdery kind–fresh is better if you can get it)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • Splash balsamic vinegar (black)
  • 20 shrimp (frozen–already peeled–Bay Shrimp are awesome but pricey–Trader Joe’s has great frozen shrimp)
  • two shallots
  • fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine (Chardonnay is good and dry)
  • cilantro (fresh)
  • TOOL? one pan (preferably cast iron) + a strainer!

Directions (Get ready for slight multi-tasking)

  1. If your shrimp are frozen, get a bowl full of luke warm water and let them soak to defrost
  2. Boil a medium sized pot of water
  3. Chop your garlic and place in pan with a table spoon of olive oil
  4. Once garlic browns, add peeled and chopped shallots
  5. Add defrosted shrimp
  6. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the shrimp
  7. Add the 1/2 cup of white wine and brown shrimp on both sides
  8. Put all pasta (four servings) in boiling water for 8-11 minutes (until soft)
  9. As shrimp heats on low, strain pasta and pour cold water over the pasta (let it soak throughout pasta)
  10. Put pasta in cast iron pan with shrimp and stir all ingredients together
  11. add rosemary, salt, pepper, cilantro and parmeson
  12. add more lemon
  13. move to a good sized bowl and add more lemon, parmeson and toss together
  14. add more live oil so it’s lightly dressed
  15. add a spritz of balsamic vineger
  16. add more lemon and a sprig of cilantro
  17. like a good top chef-taste the pasta to make sure it’s got enough umph!
  18. serve to someone you want to impress

Pasta is a delicious, flavorful and satiating food. Great to enjoy with the notion that in the morning you will get up and go for a jog along the water (well that’s what I will be doing!)