I’m alive! I survived the last weeks of school! Oh! I wish the sun would come out more to celebrate with me, but I’m relieved as all get-out that I haven’t been doing gardening in 90F!
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but not too busy for me to bake and cook. (Of course not!) Seriously, I think that is the only thing that keeps me balanced sometimes.
Take Sunday afternoon, for example.
While I was stressing about grading 140 final projects and exams, I carved time out of my afternoon to make the best lemon-pepper pasta dough ever! And since the lemony goodness kept calling my name, I made shrimp ravioli for dinner.
And only after the last dish was cleaned did I get back in to the paperwork tornado that had been slowly sucking every iota of energy out of my fingertips.
However, fortified with shrimp ravioli with roasted red pepper sauce? I so won.
Now, when most of you image us happy teachers to be lazily sucking down the lemonades while we wait for the next school bells to sound, I am actually racing around doing what I cannot normally do during the school day. Things like:
- getting my car repaired (dang factory recall)
- an oil change (stinking oil change places close before I get out of work and open too late!)
- having the trees trimmed (so we don’t get killed off by the EXTREMELY LARGE douglas firs in our yard)
- getting the house painted
- actually organizing and cleaning out my closets (GoodWill is gonna love me again)
- cleaning out the garage, etc.
And I’m also reading several novels for a new teaching assignment: Tenth Grade English. I have taught 11th/12th “Alternative” English classes (for kids who are usually apathetic and therefore in danger of not completing high school), but not a ‘regular” English course. I was rather excited to take on the challenge until my friend (the Department Head) told me that she calls the 10th Grade novel list the “Doom and Gloom” list. Nice. I’d better get a few of these bad boys out of the way before the gray skies gobble up my life again in the fall.
And I’m working. Yes, in case the above paragraph strikes you as “not working” when it too *is* work, I am working at school on/off for a little extra cash.
Oh. And in a few days? My in-laws are coming for a 3 week visit. Our house which normally holds just the two of us and the pup will soon be bursting at the seems with 7 adults and a toddler as my niece is coming too. Life is GOOD. My inlaws are the absolute BEST! And oh man! Does my father-in-law know how to COOK! Anyone out there have a craving for some rockin’ gluten-free Chinese food? Come on over! There will most certainly be plenty around here in the next month of so.
Today? No Chinese recipes to post, but I can share this great lemon-pepper pasta recipe, the shrimp filling for the ravioli, and the roasted red bell pepper sauce. It was delicious.
Since I had made it lemony, the shrimp in our freezer looked like – and were – a great mild accompaniment. (By the way, with food prices soaring for all of us – here’s a tip: Buy your frozen shrimp at the local Asian market. It’s much cheaper there!)
And the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce? I had a couple red peppers in need of being used. And two tomatoes on the vine left. It was a lovely combination.
I hope you get a chance to make your own ravioli someday soon. Rolling it out in big sheet (see the picture here), folding it in half after filling and closing the edges with a fork is really a piece of cake. I am making some more potstickers and ravioli this weekend for the freezer. Anyone wanna come over for a food-making party? You’re invited! The more the merrier!
Gluten Free Shrimp Ravioli (Lemon-Pepper Pasta and Roasted Red Pepper/Tomato Sauce)
1/3 cup (46g) tapioca flour
1/3 cup (50g) cornstarch
1/3 cup (65g) sweet rice flour
1 cup (182g) fine rice flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. gelatin or agar agar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons finely chopped lemon zest
3/4 cup cold water (*or more. Rice flours vary in the amount of water they absorb.)
5 Tablespoons (1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon) lemon juice
- Sift together dry ingredients.
- Place into a food processor.
- Whisk together wet ingredients.
- With the food processor running, Slowly pour the liquid ingredients in creating a soft pliable dough. The dough will easily give to your touch but NOT be sticky. If it does not give, add more cold water. If it is sticky, add sweet rice flour by the tablespoon until it remains soft but is no longer sticky.
- Roll out pasta on parchment paper dusted with sweet rice flour. Dust the pasta with sweet rice flour as needed. IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO ROLL THE PASTA OUT RIGHT AWAY: Store in a Ziploc or other airtight bag until you are ready to use it.
SHRIMP RAVIOLI FILLING
Ingredients (Makes 24 2″ ravioli)
1 pound of shrimp, shelled, deveined and cut in to 1″ pieces (I used 13-15 count because that is what I had on hand)
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 egg, beaten
salt/pepper to taste
- Flash cook the shrimp until they are 1/2 – 2/3 of the way cooked in butter.
- Coarsely chop shrimp through chives in your food processor. (See a picture of the completed filling here.)
- Add the egg and stir well.
- Refrigerate until you are ready to fill the ravioli.
- Fill ravioli with 1 Tablespoon +/- per ravioli.
ROASTED RED PEPPER AND TOMATO PASTA SAUCE
2 Red bell peppers
2 Vine tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
Seasonings to taste, but start with at least 1 1/2 teaspoons of each: fennel, oregano, paprika, sweet basil, salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
- Line a pan with tin foil (choose a pan with a slight rim/edges to avoid spillage of any juices). Turn the oven to broil. Place the cleaned/rinsed red peppers and tomatoes on the foil and slide under the broiled (about 5-6 inches a way).
- Broil, turning as needed with tongs, until the red peppers and tomatoes are blacked.
- Place the red peppers in a paper (not plastic!) bag and close the bag. Set the bag/peppers on a dish and set aside.
- Slide the blackend skin off the tomatoes and place the tomato “meat” into your food processor.
- Open the bag of pepper. Slide/scrap the blackened skin off the red peppers and add to the food processor.
- Add the garlic.
- Process together until you have a coarse sauce (or thinner if you so prefer).
- Pour into a pan and bring to a low simmer. Add your seasonings (1 1/2 teaspoons of each) and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
- Taste and adjust spices to your taste.
Each of these can be used on their own.
The pasta is delicious with just butter and parmesan cheese.
The Roasted Red Pepper sauce makes for a great sandwich topping too.
Oh, man! I think I’m gonna LOVE my summer!
Hope you are having enjoyable sunny weather. Especially in the midwest where my alma mater, Coe College, barely escape the flooding. Oh Cedar Rapids! You are in our thoughts and prayers…..