Posts Tagged With: dinner

Culinary Treats from Chez Ronni: Shrimp Fra Diavolo

After eating little more than leftover baked gammon (see: ham) in one variation or another since Easter, I decided to cook something new for dinner last night.  In an effort to “change things up” a bit, I steered clear of chicken and salmon since those meats end up being our staples, going instead for a good shrimp recipe.  This one turned out to be fantastically delicious with the added perks of being exceptionally easy to make, extremely healthy, and also quite versatile.

Credit for this recipe goes to Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis (who, by the way, I’ve yet to make a recipe from I didn’t like).  Shrimp Fra Diavolo, though, seems to be a pretty basic dish as the recipes for it didn’t vary greatly from one place to another.  I served this with wild rice and steamed broccoli, but it would be perfect over pasta and likely also pretty good with roasted or mashed potatoes.

Also, because of the nature of the recipe it would be very easy to substitute different meats in.  Chicken or some sort of Italian sausage would be wonderful in this recipe (or a combination of several types such as shrimp and sausage).  Likewise the sauce would probably do well baked over tilapia or another mild fish.  Jason was still raving about this recipe this morning and suggested that I cook up the sauce in advance to freeze for an even quicker dinner.

(Supposedly this also makes fantastic leftovers as the sauce and meat continue to flavour through.  When we eat the leftovers, I’ll let you know for sure.)

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes (can use seasoned, fire roasted, etc.)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (or 3tsp dried)
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves (or 3tsp dried)
  1. Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes.
  2. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté for about a minute, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside.* Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  5. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for a few minutes so the flavours meld together.
  6. Stir in the parsley and basil.
  7. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.

*As a point of interest, the shrimp was really tasty just plain like this.  Jason kept snitching pieces from the plate while I was cooking up the sauce.

  • I used seasoned canned tomatoes (in London they don’t have fire roasted tomatoes readily available, so I used tomatoes with pepper and chillies instead).  Incidentally this probably was unnecessary as I didn’t notice it added significantly to the flavour except perhaps to put a little extra heat in it.  If you like spicy, feel free to do this, but regular tomatoes should be fine.
  • I added a little bit of tomato paste to the sauce to thicken it up a bit, and also cooked it slightly longer than called for to allow it to flavour through well.
  • I used dried herbs, so rather than just stirring them in and immediately serving, I let the mixture simmer for a few minutes after adding the basil and parsley.
  • I didn’t need any extra salt for the sauce.  All I used was the teaspoon I tossed the shrimp with.
  • In London, they have two heat options for crushed red pepper (mild and hot).  I don’t know if this is the case in the States, but I happen to have the hot variety in my herb box.  This might make a difference as to how spicy the dish ultimately ends up.  Feel free to add or subtract the spice to your preference.  Jason commented (and complimented) that it was spicy in a flavourful way without just being blatantly hot, so it’s safe to use the hot variety.
  • I didn’t have a regular onion so I used several small shallots, and as Jason isn’t a huge fan of large pieces of onion I chopped mine up a bit more finely.  It didn’t seem to detract from the dish at all

I definitely recommend everyone trying this one out.  It literally took 15-20 minutes to cook (with a bit of extra time for chopping the garlic and onions), and is a nice change up from the average spaghetti or pasta meal.  Let me know what you think!!


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Culinary Treats from Chez Ronni: Superhealthy Salmon Burgers

Only I could take a 3 day trip to Paris and turn it into a novella (those who know me well will be unsurprised by this).  To break up the monotony before finishing up my final Parisian post, I’ve decided to share with you secret recipes from Chez Ronni.

Not being a culinary master, I’m afraid I can’t claim credit for the invention of these recipes (yet), but if they’re good enough to make the cut, I wouldn’t want to deny others the pleasure of enjoying them too!

Since coming to London, I’ve resolved to begin experimenting with cooking in an effort to avoid Jason’s defaults of frozen dinners and dining out (a month of which has done untold quantities of damage to my figure!).  With the additional perks of expanding on my culinary horizons and developing my personal cooking skills, it proves to be a worthy endeavor, and the yummy noises coming from Jason when he’s wolfing it all down is definitely encouraging.

One of the many beauties of living in a huge, cosmopolitan city is the presence of a plethora of interesting and exotic ingredients with which to make delicious (and often healthy) food.   I’m hoping that most of the recipes I post won’t have such outlandish ingredients that you won’t be able to find them in your average local grocery store, but in some cases you may either need to go to an ethnic grocer (Indian, Asian, etc.) or make some gentle substitutions.

First up!

Superhealthy Salmon Burgers

(No, I didn’t make up this especially creative name.)

  • 4 boneless, skinless salmon fillets (550gm or 1lb 4oz total), cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
  • Thumb-sized (2 inch) piece of fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  1. Tip the salmon into a food processor with the curry paste, ginger, soy and chopped coriander.
  2. Pulse until roughly minced.
  3. Tip out the mix and shape into burgers (6 small or 4 larger).
  4. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then fry the burgers for 4-5 mins on each side, turning until lightly crisp and cooked through.

Serve with sweet chilli sauce and whatever sides sound good.  I used steamed rice and soy sauce sautéed vegetables (fresh baby sweetcorn, sugar snap peas, and mushrooms) which complemented the whole dish nicely.

A warning note, don’t over process the meat.  I bought a new food processor/electric chopper especially to make this dish and got a bit button happy with it.  In a matter of about 2 seconds flat the meat was less minced and more mushed so the burgers didn’t hold together well in the pan.  Another heads up, the mixture (even with still salmon looking pieces) will be very wet from the ginger, soy sauce, and the oil in the curry paste.  It’s meant to be this way and supposedly if the meat is still pretty solid the burgers should hold together fairly well.

I halved the recipe to make it for just Jason and myself, and it was still a lot of food.  A nice perk to this dish is that you can mix up the meat and keep it in the fridge overnight or throughout the day until you’re ready to make the patties.

Let me know if you do anything interesting by way of sides or sauces. I’d love to try variations.

And in the event you care:

Nutrition Per Serving

292 calories, protein 29g, carbohydrate 7g, fat 17 g, saturated fat 4g, fibre 0g, sugar 6g, salt 0.83 g

Bon Appetit!





The second attempt at the burgers turned out much better.

I’m not sure how they got theirs to be so light…maybe they used a different kind of oil or something.  Still, mine tasted really yummy and didn’t fall apart!

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