Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Date Night Dinner

I have really been loving the Chesapeake Bay Seasoning from Penzey's ( According to the container, it is a mix of paprika, salt, mustard, celery, ancho, black pepper, red pepper, dill, caraway, allspice, horseradish, cardamom, thyme, ginger, bay, mace, cinnamon, savory and cloves. I have found that overdoing it makes the dish too salty, but I have been rubbing it on seafood lately, and it is very, very good.

For supper tonight, we had shrimpcargo, salmon, Au gratin potatoes, stuffed zucchini, fresh tomato and mozzarella salad, garlic bread and peanut butter pie.

Shrimpcargo (Recipe from my friend Amber... published at
1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 peeled and deveined large shrimp (21 to 25 per lb)
6 mushrooms, stems removed
2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat the butter and garlic in a skillet over medium heat until the butter begins to bubble. Stir in the shrimp, and cook until they just turn pink, about 3 minutes.

Divide the cheese evenly and stuff into the mushroom caps. Drizzle a spoonful of the butter/garlic mixture into each mushroom, on top of the cheese. Place one shrimp on top of each mushroom cap. Drizzle any remaining butter mixture over the top of the mushrooms.
Bake in the preheated oven until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese is golden and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with bread to mop up any remaining garlic butter goodness.

For the salmon, I just rubbed it with the Chesapeake Bay Seasoning and baked it in the oven until it flaked, about 20 minutes. I also made a dill sauce. The recipe for that is posted on July 31 under "Post Boating Meal." The fresh tomato salad and garlic bread recipes have also been posted previously.

Au Gratin Potatoes (or as Brad says, "Old Rotten Potatoes")
5 medium sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 small onions, thinly sliced
1 cup sharp cheddar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, in
seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a square baking dish with cooking spray. Put down a layer of potatoes. Spread 1/2 of onions over potatoes and 1/2 of cheese over onions. Sprinkle lightly with seasoned salt. Put down another layer of potatoes. Spread the remaining onions and cheese over potatoes. Sprinkle lightly with seasoned salt. Cover with another layer of potatoes. Pour milk evenly over the top layer of potatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously. Evenly space pieces of butter over the top. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour. Stick a fork in the middle after about an hour. When the potatoes feel like the texture you would enjoy eating, they are finished. You can also cover them with saran wrap and cook them in the microwave. I begin by cooking in 7 minute increments. As it gets closer to done, I decrease the time.

Stuffed Zucchini

1 medium zucchini
1 8 oz. package fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white wine (I used Yellow Tail Chardonnay)
1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup 6 cheese Italian blend

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Cut ends off of zucchini, and then cut in half horizontally once and the vertically once, to get 4 pieces.

Cut or scoop pulp out of the center of the zucchini. Set shells aside. Chop pulp. In a nonstick skillet, saute the zucchini pulp, mushrooms and onion in butter for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add wine. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in salt and pepper, breadcrumbs and cheese. Stir until mixed well. Stuff 1/4 of the stuffing mixture into each shell. Place in a baking dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on desired doneness of zucchini.

Peanut butter Pie (from, modified)

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 (8 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups candies (2 packages containing two each)
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

Spoon into graham cracker pie shell. Chop candy and sprinkle over the top of pie. Cover and freeze until firm. Store in freezer.

Dinner was really yummy, and used lots of ingredients I had on hand. When I ran to the store, the only items I needed to buy were 6 whole button mushrooms, tomatoes, french bread and cool whip. I bought the zucchini at the grocery store last week after boating, and I had sliced mushrooms in the fridge that needed badly to be used. I opened the package of fresh mozzarella a few days ago, so it was getting near the end of its life. I despise throwing away food, yet I seem to always have something go bad. I was pretty proud of how I used exactly the ingredients I needed to use.

As for the challenge, I used salmon and shrimp from the freezer and peanut butter and pie crust from the pantry. Somehow it seemed like I used more ingredients than that when I was cooking...

It was very very tasty.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

This whole "whatI had for dinner" thing you keep us updated on is a blasty. For one it makes me feel better than i'm not the only one who sometimes slacks on cookings when it just me...and im seriously considering the squash enchiladas! Keep it comin!