I love experimenting in Liberty's galley. Since full-timing, this is my outlet where I can let loose of my creative juices. Before we sold our former home in Kentucky, I had a killer craft room but now Liberty's galley is my place to create. In fact, when we traded our Heartland Cyclone toy hauler in for our Landmark in late 2015, my big stipulation is it had to have an ample-sized kitchen; one that I could essentially prepare a five star meal in. Well, maybe not 'five' star, but you get the picture.
Recently, I bought this new huge, non-stick, induction-safe pan (with heavy glass lid) on Amazon. I got this set with a grill pan and lid for about $70 (free S&H because we're Prime members) total. It was an Amazon 'Deal of the Day'. So glad I snagged it. I luuuuurve getting new cooking tools; they make me giddy inside!
I love preparing meals on my induction cooktop because I can control the temperature better and more comfortably than I have previously with propane gas. Something about having an open flame in an RV scares the bejeevers out of me...reason why when shopping for our current 5th wheel, it had to have induction cooking capability. This 12" diameter pan is so heavy and big, it takes every bit of strength to pour out of but its perfect for one pan cooking; from saute' to simmer to serve. Its way bigger than the cooktop burner but because it's induction, the heat is transferred evenly so I don't worry about hot spots or uneven cooking. Its not so big though that I can't use the other burner though. I'm still trying to find a place to store it. However, for now, it sits on my induction cooktop...to show off.
Anyways, since it was cold and rainy December day while we were in Pahrump, Nevada, I decided to put this bad boy to work creating an exquisite dish that would give a five-star restaurant chef a run for their money...well, a girl can dream, right? The funny thing is, I can boastfully admit, I can put out some amazing dishes however, if you asked me what I made, I'd say something to the effect, 'shrimp, spinach, tomato, with wine and broth and some sort of gravy sauce'. I really need to learn culinary terms before creating dishes so I can make them sound awesome just by titles alone...but I digress, let's just get to this incredibly delicious dish.
1 lb Shrimp
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Garlic Paste
1 Tbsp Italian Herb Paste
1 Pkt Ranch Dressing Mix
1 Cup White Wine
1 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Bag Fresh Spinach Leaves
4 oz Goat Cheese (not pictured)
Penne Pasta (or your choice)
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper (to suit individual taste)
Clean, de-vein and pat dry shrimp; remove all shells (even on tails).
Clean, pat dry and halve grape tomatoes
Wash and pat dry spinach leaves
Make flour/water mixture for thickening; set aside
In a medium sauce pan, I brought a 3 quarts of water to boil and added in the pasta; cooked to tenderness. We like it tender and soft; not al dente but not mushy either. Drain, cover and put aside. (Do not rinse pasta - by not rinsing, it allows the sauce to adhere to the pasta)
In my big pan, I drizzled in my olive oil, shrimp, S&P, Italian Herbs and Garlic Pastes; cooked on medium high (number 8 on my induction cooktop). You don't want to overcook shrimp; it will become tough and chewy if you do.
Sprinkle in Ranch Dressing packet and stir in.
I added in the wine to reduce the alcohol. I then add in the chicken broth and allow to simmer (number 4 on cooktop) for about 5 minutes.
I add in the halved grape tomatoes and simmer another 5 minutes; stirring occasionally...
...then add in fresh spinach; simmering until totally wilted.
After spinach has been wilted and tomato skins have partially peeled from their flesh, I add in the goat cheese and stir until all chunks and crumbs are completely melted and sauce is smooth. Reduce heat to medium low (number 2 on induction).
I then add in my flour/water mixture to thicken the sauce mixture. It will thicken quickly. You don't want it really thick, just enough to add a smooth consistency to stick to the pasta. Cook about a minute or two more...
...and here's what you call my "Shrimp & Spinach Garlic Herb Béchamel Sauce! I plated the pasta and spooned the sauce; making sure there were ample portions of shrimp, tomatoes and spinach. I sprinkled freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite wine...or beer...or both.
Serve with a huge smile and say "I did this!"
Bon Appétit !
by Lisa Brown