Lots Of Cooking

When it’s 100+ degrees outside, the a/c has been going non-stop and you’re tired from work, most people resort to take-out foods. For us, the best way to cook less is to make dishes that will last several days. Last night we cooked up 3 meals at once!

On the menu:
1) Langostino* and artichoke hearts on a bed of arugula with shaved parmigiano (for the same night)
2) Italian rice salad (for the next 2 nights)
3) Spanish-style potato and egg tortilla (for the next 2 nights)
We probably will have some leftovers for lunch, too.

We had a little disagreement about the origins of the langostino and artichoke salad. From my recollection, I came up with the ingredients based upon an article on a spa menu featured in a women’s magazine. My husband doesn’t remember this and since he creates 99% of our dishes, he thought that he came up with this. Most likely it was a combination effort!

Since we were already preparing the langostino and artichokes, my husband decided to include those 2 ingredients in the rice salad, too. Although there are some classic recipes, the beauty of rice salads is that you can include any ingredients you have on hand. For this salad, we had capers, green olives, red onions, peas, langostino (often it’s shrimp), artichoke hearts, tomatoes and boiled eggs. Ham and cheese are often included in this recipe. Note: The rice must be arborio; other types of rice are too glutenous and would not work as well in a cold rice salad.

Boil the arborio rice, then drain it and let it cool. Boil the eggs. Sauté the langostino and artichoke hearts separately. Meanwhile chop everything that needs chopping. Mix all the ingredients together. Add extra virgin olive oil,salt and pepper. Drizzle in lemon juice. The traditional recipe also calls for mayonnaise but we don’t often add this to keep it lighter.

It’s good to know that we won’t have to heat up the kitchen for the next 2 nights and a big batch of mouth-watering rice salad and a potato tortilla is in the fridge!

Langostino means ‘little lobster’ in Spanish. According to Wikipedia, in America, it is commonly used in the restaurant trade to refer to the meat of the squat lobster, which which is neither a true lobster nor a prawn. The langostino tails that we buy at Trader Joe’s is from Chile so I’m assuming we’re eating red shrimp, which is what langostino refers to in South America. All I know is that it can easily replace shrimp in many dishes and has an unmistakable lobster-like taste!

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