Friday, May 28, 2010

I love Giada!

Over the past couple of years, I have really started to enjoy cooking. Strangely enough, my husband likes this trend as well! One chef whose recipes I continue to use again and again is Giada de Laurentiis. I love that she was born in Italy and raised in LA - because her recipes reflect that. They are a combination of the old-school Italian recipes but with a slightly American twist. What I mean by that is that she makes sure to use fresh ingredients from what she can find at American grocery stores, while keeping with the traditional style of the recipes she's inherited from generations past.

She has really become popular in the past few years as well; she's an Emmy winning star of the Food Network for 3 separate shows, she's a Today Show correspondent (which is where I see the most of her), and she is now the author of 5 fabulous cookbooks, 3 of which I own. Finally, she has an adorable daughter named Jade. Seriously this little girl is THE cutest thing I've ever seen - there are lots of sweet pictures of her and Giada in her newest cookbook called Giada at Home.

Today I wanted to share with you a recipe that I have now made twice from Giada at Home and I LOVE it! The first time I made it, it was for Griffin's 2nd birthday party (not for the kids, for the adults) a couple of months back. Then, I made it again last night for just the 3 of us (well, Griffin didn't really eat it, but we wolfed it down) last night and it was then I knew I wanted to share it!

The recipe is called Nonna Luna's Rice. Sounds kind of boring, but it's just the opposite. What I like about it is you think it's a basic shrimp and rice dish - but it's not because you add a little tabasco or frank's red hot sauce, some heavy cream (don't freak!) and it's totally unique. Best part is, it only took me 30 minutes from start to finish - about the amount of time it takes Griffin to watch one 30 minute episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (to keep him from being underfoot in the kitchen!). Perfect!


1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature
2 cups parboiled long-grain
rice, such as Uncle Ben's
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pounds small
shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup lemon
juice (about 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 cup whipping cream
Freshly ground black pepper


In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat 1/2 of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and rest covered for 5 minutes.
In a large skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Stir in the cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Using a fork, fluff the rice and arrange on a platter. Spoon the shrimp cream sauce over the rice and serve.

Here are Giada's 3 cookbooks that I own - I'm sure you'll find many recipes in each that you will love as much as I do!

Giada at Home

Giada's Kitchen