Updated 2012-01-16 00:19:12 ID=659:1

© 2012 The Romantic Table
©2012 The Romantic Table, Saffron Scallop Risotto 2012-01-15 21:30:19:317
©2012 The Romantic Table

Saffron Scallop Risotto is worthy of your most sophisticated guest! With a nice salad and a nice wine to accompany it, you've got a spectacular meal--and so eye-appealing as well!

January's Recipes Offer a Lot of Quick Easy Ways to Serve an Outstanding Meal!

Our home and office have been so chaotic since Christmas---too many irons is the fire! So I decided to go back to some of my quick meals that I've made over the years to "save the day!" These new recipes will help you too when you're in a bind but want a delicious meal!

When we were putting all the holiday decorations away, we were starting to feel "in a funk" ---adjusting to this "blah-time of year" of getting back to our routines with little excitement to look forward to. When I'm in this emotional state, I know I need to hit the "reset button" and get on with it. The best way to do this is to make some things with a new twist that will warm our hearts and tummies.

Our first recipe really accomplishes that. It's a Saffron Scallop Risotto. I hadn't made this for years--and tastes change, so I was anxious to learn if I still liked it as much as I remembered. Since I last made this, it's much easier to find Bay Scallops in the grocery-store. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Albertsons carries a frozen line of Bay scallops in four-ounce packages for one dollar --and they're good!

©2012 The Romantic Table,  Bucatini with Sausage, Porcini Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce 2012-01-15 21:33:28:318
©2012 The Romantic Table

Hearty Bucatini with Sausage, Porcini Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce
Using canned Swansons vegetable broth, you make the risotto with a little butter, chopped white onion, the vegetable broth with saffron mixed in, white wine, salt and pepper and a little Italian parsley. It's absolutely delicious and worthy of your most sophisticated guest! With a nice salad and a nice wine to accompany it, you've got a spectacular meal--and so eye-appealing as well! One of the best things about this dish is that you can have the ingredients on hand most of the time--as long as you have the scallops in your freezer.

Our next recipe is a hearty Bucatini with Sausage, Porcini Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce . I had some bulk sausage in the freezer, so I decided to throw it together with some hydrated dried Porcini mushrooms that I had on hand, with garlic, red pepper flakes, a little tomato paste, red wine and salt and pepper. Nothing that "earth-shattering" but delicious just the same!

©2012 The Romantic Table,Pasta Shells with Walnuts and White Cheddar 2012-01-15 21:35:23:319
©2012 The Romantic Table

Pasta Shells with Walnuts and White Cheddar is quick and easy to make, and delicious meal when served with a salad and glass of wine!
Our next rejuvenating recipe is another that you could have on hand for emergencies: Pasta Shells with Walnuts and White Cheddar. You start out by making a roux with flour, butter and onion. Then you deglaze the roux, with a little hot chicken broth, add chopped walnuts, Italian parsley, salt and pepper and toss with the cooked pasta shells and shredded white cheddar cheese. Another quick-easy to make- and delicious meal when served with a salad and glass of wine! This too got me excited by its simplicity but full-bodied flavor.

These last several weeks have been very busy for my husband and I. My husband has been working practically night and day on a renovation project. I also know the best thing to serve him and keep him content and healthy is a hearty "manly meal." ---There is a "truth" to the saying, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!" And one way to do this for MY man, is to serve him a hearty Ragu on a bed of soft Polenta! So I call this recipe Heros Quick Sausage and Mushroom Ragu with Soft Polenta .

©2012 The Romantic Table, Heros Quick Sausage and Mushroom Ragu with Soft Polenta 2012-01-15 21:37:38:320
©2012 The Romantic Table

Heros Quick Sausage and Mushroom Ragu with Soft Polenta is a "manly" Ragu on a bed of soft Polenta.
This recipe uses Fennel sausage, white onions, garlic, fresh Italian brown mushrooms, canned whole tomatoes, red wine, oregano and Italian parsley served on a bed of soft Basic Polenta. It's delicious for "unmanly females" too!

Our "recipe blast from the past" is SO good and so economical this time of year: Golden Cauliflower with Pancetta and Penne . Using the normal white cauliflower works and tastes the same as well. This has got to be one of our favorite recipes! It's quite unusual but satisfies the heartiest of appetites.

By first making a roux using chopped Pancettta, hot milk and flour, then adding the Parmesan cheese then tossing with the cauliflower that's been steamed beforehand, then tossing again with the cooked penne pasta, this is a meal that both "manly men" and their non-manly counterparts will love and devour. It's especially savory on these cold winter evenings.

I hope by now I've got YOUR "recipe thinking caps" on and in the mood for a little experimenting in your own kitchens. I hope this has you fired-up for another month and even though you're back to your routines, you have a positive attitude that this year will be a good one---hopefully for us all!

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A tip from Sue!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds when you get through with a brick of Parmesan cheese! They can be used to flavor soups deliciously. Store them in the freezer in a plastic bag, and use as needed.

The Parmesan rinds give unbelievable flavor and soul to soups and will turn a bowl of soup into an "entree" worthy of any guest. I generally use about two ounces of Parmesan cheese rinds to a stockpot of soup. Add them in after you've added the liquid and let them cook along with the rest of your soup's ingredients. You won't be sorry!

read more:
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind