back to the soup kettle we go

Well kids, I have good news and bad news.  Good news?  To the best of my knowledge, no one was raptured away this weekend.  The bad?  The Padres are in the cellar and we are forecast for yet another week of unseasonably cool and drizzly weather.  I AM RUNNING LOW ON WAYS TO MAKE SOUP, PEOPLE.  

Lucky for me, I was poking around the web yesterday and came across a New York Times article by Jane Sigal on shaved steak.   Any fan of beef in brodo, shabu-shabu, or phở will recognize this razor thin cut of beef that cooks almost instantly when dropped into hot broth.   The extreme thinness of the meat not only makes it a snap to cook, but also keeps the meat ultra tender while frugally adding tons of body to a simple soup.  As Sigal points out, this is a very forgiving cut and a good choice for a novice home cook – “foolproof,” in fact.  Having made this at home, the meat does come out remarkably tender and with a lot of volume for a small amount of meat

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pasta with shrimp, feta and sun dried tomatoes

Today’s recipe for Pasta with Shrimp, Feta, and Sun Dried Tomatoes is outstanding for three reasons: 

First: Everything you need for the standard version can be purchased at Trader Joe’s for about $20 – that’s one-stop shopping at around $3.50 a serving.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby (my condolences), most well-stocked grocery stores should work.

Second: This recipe is hard to screw up, but looks quite advanced and is dang tasty.  If you are trying to impress a date with a home-cooked meal but just barely know how to boil water, YOU CAN DO THIS!  If you don’t know how to boil water, go here first, then come back and follow the instructions below.  You can also do all of your prep work up to a day ahead of time so you only have to quickly assemble the sauce and cook the pasta when it’s time to serve. 

Third: This recipe adapts well and easily to many uses and dietary restrictions, including low-carb, low-gluten, and vegetarian (more on this below).

 And, okay, Fourth, take a look at this – it’s gorgeous!


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