Simpatico: Happy Birthday Feast!

Simpatico

Just the life and times of a silly girl, her dachshunds and all things Southern!

Happy Birthday Feast!

Today is Reed's birthday! Yay, him!! So tonight involves a feast of his favorite foods dined en familia. It's a family tradition. The night before we eat out. In our case we ate in; the house filled with people playing games, and eating pizza and wings from Pizza Hut.

The day of the birthday we celebrate with family, serving the birthday boy or girl their favorite dishes.

So in honor of Reed's birthday, here is tonight's menu...

Tonight's Birthday Celebration Menu:
Stracciatella Soup
Tomato and Onion Salad

Shrimp and Spaghetti Aglio Olio (Garlic and Oil)

Crusty Bread served with my homemade bread dipping spice



Stracciatella Soup
* 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 2 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
* 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 2 tablepoons chopped fresh basil leaves
* 1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves, cut in thin strips
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, cheese, parsley, and basil to blend. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir the broth in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin strands of egg, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach, then season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Tomato and Onion Salad
* 5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, gently seeded, and thinly sliced
* 1 small white skinned onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
* 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls)
* A generous drizzle extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
* Coarse salt and black pepper
* Crusty Bread, as an accompaniment

Toss the tomatoes and onions with the chopped parsley, oil, salt, and pepper. Let stand about 20 minutes.

Shrimp and Spaghetti Aglio Olio (Garlic and Oil):
Shrimp
* 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 lemon, juiced
* 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls)
* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
* Coarse salt, about 1 teaspoon
* 2 tablespoons (a couple of generous drizzles) extra-virgin olive oil

Aglio Olio:
* 1/4 cup (4 turns around the pan in a light stream) extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 (2-ounce) tin anchovy fillets
* 6 to 8 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls
* Coarse salt
* 1 pound spaghetti, cooked to al dente

Combine shrimp with next 6 ingredients and toss to coat shrimp evenly.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat, then add half of the shrimp. Cook shrimp 3 minutes until pink and just firm. Remove shrimp to a warm platter and repeat process with remaining shrimp.

Return pan to heat and reduce heat to medium low. Add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add anchovies, garlic, and pepper flakes to oil. Break up anchovies with a wooden spoon until they melt away into the oil and garlic mixture.

Toss spaghetti in the pan with parsley and the garlic oil, then season with a little coarse salt, to your taste. Top servings of garlic and oil spaghetti with shrimp and serve

Bread Dipping Spice:
*1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
*1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
*1 tablespoon minced garlic
*1 teaspoon dried thyme
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*1/2 teaspoon fine-chopped fresh rosemary
*1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
*1/2 teaspoon olive oil
*1/8 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

In the bowl of a small food chopper or small food processor fitted with the metal blade, place all the herbs and spices. Chop or use on/off pulses to chop all the ingredients to a uniform size. Place in a small bowl and add oil and lemon juice. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. Makes about 4 1/2 tablespoons spice mixture.

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agreeable, likable, being on the same wavelength, congenial, sympathetic, of like mind or temperament, compatible.

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