Shrimp Scampi with Beer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Oh Shrimp Scampi. My love. My dear. One of my favorite meals in the world to eat. How I love thee.

Annnnd moving on. Shrimp Scampi is a great meal any day of the week. And if you happen to have leftovers, take them to work and make everyone else jealous of you. They will be. For sure. Because Garlic, and Butter, and Lemon, and Beer. I was going to finish that sentence but realized that’s all it needed. Just like the recipe.

Well and shrimp, and angel hair. Let’s get to the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb Shrimp
  • 16 oz Angel Hair
  • 1 Head Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 Medium White Onion, minced
  • 1/4 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 Medium Lemons, juiced and separated into 1 cup portions
  • 5 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt

Prep – 15 Minutes

In a bowl combine SHRIMP, SALT, and 1 cup LEMON JUICE; mix and set aside. Dice RED BELL PEPPER. Mince GARLIC and WHITE ONION. Chop GREEN ONION

The Cook – 15 Minutes

Cook the ANGEL HAIR and set aside.

In a large pan melt BUTTER and add VEGETABLE OIL. Add RED BELL PEPPER and WHITE ONION and simmer until soft and onions starting to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add GARLIC and continue simmering until soft, about 2 minutes. Add BEER and Juice from 1 LEMON and bring back up to a simmer. Add in the GREEN ONION. Add SHRIMP and simmer until pink 4-5 minutes.

Combine in the ANGEL HAIR and mix thoroughly. Plate and top with Parmesan.

EAT!

NOTE* It will feel like the lemon butter beer sauce is pretty thin and liquidy before adding the pasta. Don’t fear, all that angel hair is going to absorb the sauce and it will be a perfect.

Roasted Multi Colored Carrots

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

These roasted carrots basically taste like candy. I’m only slightly exaggerating. But the beauty of roasted carrots is that as the moisture slowly cooks away, their sugars start to condense. And a sweet candy like flavor develops. They are mighty mighty tasty.

I paired these carrots with a Roasted chicken with roasted onions and potatoes. I mean, c’mon, there isn’t a more savory and umami dinner that I can think of.

Did I mention they are insanely easy to make? Give it a try and let me know how they turned out in the comments below.

Ingredients

  • Carrots
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Salt

The Cook

Preheat oven to 425°.

On a baking sheet, lay out whole carrots. Cut off tops but leave about an inch of the stem. drizzle EVOO lengthwise over each carrot. Grind salt over the carrots.

Bake at 425° for 1 hour.

EAT.

Notes- I do not peel the carrots. I wash the carrots under cold water to get the dirt off the outer skin. But I leave them intact. I like the texture of them cooked with the skin on. It’s all personal preference. You do you.

Leaving about an inch of the stem makes for a really nice presentation. And they are crispy crunchy like chips. Yum!

Roasted for an hour at 425°

Something Good LA Collaboration

When I started Connor Cooks last summer, I set out to make cooking more accessible to the every day home cook. Maybe I could show you a thing or two that you didn’t know and perhaps you would feel comfortable to make a meal you had never dreamed of making before. I expected that it would stay in my kitchen and be mostly a digital space for cooking education.

So when Something Good LA, a full fledged food truck, asked me to collaborate with them, I could have sworn I was dreaming. Many pinches later, I realized it wasn’t a dream, it was a dream come true. I would be able to really test my chops and make food for the public. I wasn’t just cooking for my wife and son. No, I was cooking for you! And it was even more amazing and unbelievable than I could have imagined.

A million thank yous to Something Good LA and a trillion thank yous to all of you who came out and supported. There will be more to come…

So, Connor Cooks has evolved and become something more than a home cooking blog. It’s now in the real world and I’m afraid I have no intention of putting the cat back in the bag. Though, I do intend to keep home cooking the focus. I am so fulfilled by all the photos I get from friends, family, and fans, of inspired cooking and hope that I can keep that fire lit in all of you.

Hopefully, this is the start of more collaborations in the future! It was the time of my life and a memory I will hold on to forever.

Mariana and Chef Viviana of Something Good LA and me

Goldfish Chicken Tenders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Do you love Chicken Fingers? Do you love Goldfish? Of course you do. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy delicious “kids foods”. Although if you have kids, then make this for them! They will think you are the coolest parent since sliced bread. Or something like that.

This is a prep heavy meal. And it is messy. But it is so worth it, so just pretend I didnt say anything about that.

Prep Time – 1 hour

Cook Time – 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Chicken Breast
  • 2 cups Goldfish
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pepper
  • 4 Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil

The Cook

First you need to prep the GOLDFISH, FLOUR, and EGGS.

For the GOLDFISH, place in a bag and smash with a rolling pan until Goldfish are pulverized into crumbs. For the FLOUR, in a bowl combine FLOUR, GARLIC POWDER, ONION POWDER, DRIED OREGANO, SALT, and PEPPER. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. For the EGGS, crack 4 EGGS into a bowl and beat. Keep GOLDFISH, FLOUR, and EGGS in seperate bowls and set aside.

Prep the CHICKEN. Between sheets of wax paper or in a plastic bag, pound out your CHICKEN with a meat tenderizer. Cut into 1 inch thick strips.

Coat your CHICKEN by first covering with FLOUR, then dunk in the EGG, and finally in the GOLDFISH crumbs.

Heat VEGETABLE OIL in a frying pan on medium heat. You want the oil to be at least 1 inch deep for frying. Place GOLDFISH crusted CHICKEN into OIL and cook for about 5 minutes, flipping once.

Pull fried CHICKEN out of the OIL and place on a cooling rack to allow excess OIL to drop off. I had a sheet of aluminum foil underneath to catch the OIL and make for an easy clean up.

EAT!

Shrimp Scampi with Pad Thai Noodles

This is a standard shrimp scampi with a little bit of a twist. Instead of pasta, I used brown rice pad thai noodles. WOW. Just WOW. This will go into the book of amazing happy accidents. Amanda wanted a gluten free noodle for this meal, and we just happened to have a box of brown rice pad thai noodles forgotten in a corner in my cabinet. Forgotten no more. And now a legend. Pad Thai noodles are great for sauce stick and have a texture that amplifies the lemon garlic base sauce. Think little flavor explosions. Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it!

*Note- White wine is also commonly used in scampi. I did not have any on hand. So no white wine. No much of a loss, in my opinion.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Shrimp peeled
  • 1 box Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles
  • 1 Knot of Garlic
  • 2 Lemons Juiced
  • 5 Tbsp Butter, Seperated

Prep: 5 minutes

  • Squeeze LEMON juice, and chop GARLIC. Lots and lots of GARLIC. Marinate Shrimp in 1/4 cup Lemon Juice.
Marinate Shrimp in Lemon Juice

Cook: 10 Minutes

  • Boil the PAD THAI NOODLES. Cook. Strain. Rinse with cold water. Strain. Set aside.
  • While the NOODLES are cooking, make the LEMON GARLIC BUTTER SHRIMP. On Medium Low heat, start by melting 3 tbsp of BUTTER in a cast iron pan.
  • Soften Garlic. 3 Minutes.
Soften Garlic in Butter for 3 minutes
  • Add SHRIMP, 2 tbsp BUTTER, and the rest of the LEMON juice. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
Shrimp, Butter, and Lemon juice in the pan
Cover and simmer 5 minutes
Ready for Noodles
  • Mix in BROWN RICE PAD THAI NOODLES with the LEMON GARLIC BUTTER SHRIMP. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).
Noodles in the pan with the shrimp. Garnished with parsley
  • Plate and EAT. I finished with Parmesan and basil. You do you.

Bacon Pesto Grilled Cheese

We are at it again with the bacon pesto flavor profile. This time, in a quick and easy 10 minute meal! And by meal, I mean a meal near and dear to basically everyone’s heart, a grilled cheese. Cuz, who doesn’t love a grilled cheese?

Also, I am notorious for burning my grilled cheese sandwiches so i make them in a non stick pan with no oil or butter or mayo. That’s just me. For whatever reason I don’t have a good feel for making them those ways. But you do you!

4 ingredients. That’s it. This recipe makes one sandwich.

  • 2 slices of Bacon
  • 2 oz Pesto
  • 2 slices Whole Wheat Bread
  • Handfull of shredded Mozzarella

The Cook

First, spread the PESTO on one side of each slice of WHOLE WHEAT BREAD.

Spread the pesto on each slice of bread

Place the BREAD, PESTO side up, in a non stick pan on MEDIUM HEAT. Cover the bread with MOZZARELLA cheese.

Bread in a pan pesto side up with mozzarella

In a separate medium skillet, fry your BACON to your desired crispiness.

Frying Bacon

Once BACON is cooked, transfer BACON directly on to the MOZZARELLA in one side of the BREAD. Close the second slice of BREAD on top of the first.

Close up the sandwich and melt all the cheese

EAT.

Thick Cut Bacon is the best kind of Bacon

Chili Omelette

Chili and Omelette. If you take two amazing dishes from different meals and smash them together you have a mouthsplosion of savory goodness. Seriously delicious. It also only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. I added potato and tomatoes but you can sub those out for nothing or add your own flair. Onions, garlic, and bell pepper are all good options.

The Chili was leftover from a meal a couple of nights ago, but you can substitute canned chili if that’s what you’ve got. The recipe below make 1 serving or 1 omelette.

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Chili
  • 1/2 Baked Potato
  • 5 Grape tomatoes halved
  • 5 Frito Scoops Crushed
  • 1 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 1 Green Onion sliced thinly

The Cook

Crack your EGGS into a bowl. Lightly beat the EGG for 3 seconds. Set Aside.

Cut the POTATO into 1/4 inch cubes. Cut TOMATO into halves. Heat a 6″ non stick pan on MEDIUM and add the POTATOES and TOMATOES. Cook for 5 minutes until browned. Add the EGG and cover pan for 2 minutes. Add the CHILI to one half of the pan. Cook until EGG and CHILI is cooked through. About 2 minutes.

Plate the omelette and add the SOUR CREAM, FRITO’S, and GREEN ONIONS.

EAT.

Baked Lemon Dill Salmon

This is one of my favorite ways to make Salmon. My mouth is watering just thinking about how good this Salmon tastes. Seriously, lemon and dill are the perfect flavors to elevate Salmon. And to top it off, it’s incredibly easy to make. So give it a try and let me know how it turns out in the comments below.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb Salmon
  • 1 Lemon Squeezed
  • Fresh and Dried Dill

The Cook

Marinate the SALMON in LEMON JUICE for 10 mins. Liberally apply DRIED DILL to cover all of the pink meaty surface of the SALMON. It will stick easily because of the LEMON JUICE. Lay FRESH DILL over the top.

Heat oven to 425°. Bake SALMON for 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven, let rest under foil for 5 minutes, and EAT.

Fresh Squeezed Lemon
Liberal application of Dried Dill
Topped with fresh Dill
After baking at 425° for 20 minutes
Paired with roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grape Tomatoes, Marshall from Paw Patrol and a Construction Fork. Kids 😃

Bacon Pesto Mac and Cheese

I made my first Mac and Cheese last month and I’ve now made 4! Yeah, I’m into it. I didn’t realize how easy Mac and Cheese is to make. From afar, it seemed intimidating and maybe not my first choice for a meal. I never order Mac and Cheese at a restaurant, why would I make it at home?

Boy was I wrong. Homemade Mac and Cheese is next level delicious and hearty. You can make it exactly how you want it to taste. And it’s very flexible. Aka, it’s hard to mess up.

It’s also a great meal when it seems like there is nothing in the fridge to make. That’s really where this recipe started, just looking around the kitchen trying to avoid ordering out. I had some pasta and a lot of a little bit of different cheeses. Making something out of seemingly nothing is delicious and also quite rewarding.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Tri Colored Rotini
  • 5 strips Bacon chopped in bits
  • 5oz Pesto
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/5 cup Water (or Milk)
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Flour

All the Cheese

  • 5 oz Pecorino Romano
  • 4 oz Aged Cheddar
  • 3 oz Parmesan
  • 3 oz Mozzarella
  • 4 oz Goat Cheese
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese

Dice BACON into bits and fry. Remove bits and add BUTTER, a tablespoon of FLOUR, and WATER (or milk*) to the BACON grease to make a roux. Start slowly adding all the CHEESE and stir until smooth. Add more WATER if necessary to make the sauce smooth.

Separately, cook the PASTA. Add the PASTA to the CHEESE sauce, mix in BACON bits and mix.

You can eat now or plus it up a little. I added PESTO sliced MOZZARELLA, PARMESAN and THYME on top and Broiled for 8 minutes.

EAT!

*my milk was sour so I substituted water. It works just fine.

Bacon Pesto Mac and Cheese

Smashed Cucumber Salad

I’m not sure what it is about cucumber salads but I cannot get enough of them. I’ve got and addiction. And this Smashed Cucumber Salad is a go to for me every time that I am jonesing. In my book, it it right up there with Sunomono salad, the King of cucumber salads. The bonus of the smashed cucumber salad is it’s way easier to make and smashing cucumbers helps get some of the day out of your bones. When you put your weight into the broad side of a knife and the cucumber goes squish, well, it’s something that you should all experience. It’s magical.

Anywho, it is a really straight forward salad to make. Now let me break it down…

Ingredients

  • Persian cucumbers
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Red Pepper Flakes

Sauce

  • 2 Part Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Part Honey
  • 1 Part Soy Sauce
  • 1 Part Sesame Oil
  • Salt to Taste

The How You Do It Part.

Cut the ends off of the CUCUMBERS, and cut them in half longways. Next cut the long CUCUMBER halves into one inch long sections. With the broad side of a knife, apply force into each one inch section, until you hear it squish. You will feel the CUCUMBER give way a little bit and the skin may crack, as well. Place CUCUMBER in strainer and add a pinch of SALT and SUGAR. Place strainer in a bowl and refrigerate for an hour. CUCUMBER juice will accumulate in the bowl. I usually drink this juice for it’s super hero properties.

In a separate bowl, mix the ingredients of the sauce together. You will need a whisk to get the honey broken down and smooth in the sauce.

Combine all the ingredients and garnish with red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.

EAT!