Saturday, March 9, 2013

Better Than Bouillon Tasting and Giveaway: Spanish-Style Toasted Pasta and Shrimp

Congratulations to my two giveaway winners, Angela and Velva!  Please contact me with your flavor requests and address and we'll get them out to you. 



I've talked before about how much I love my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.  At risk of repeating myself, which it has been pointed out by my children that I frequently do, I must say that I have never made a recipe from this book or the PBS show of the same name that hasn't been really great.

The other day I happened to catch an episode of the TV show, and on this particular day they were preparing a recipe for Spanish-Style Toasted Pasta and Shrimp.  This dish is a combination of toasted pasta (known as fideo in Spanish cooking), tomatoes, smoked paprika, and shrimp all cooked in a flavorful broth.  Not only was it mouthwatering, but it so happened that this was just the type of recipe that I had been searching for.

You see a week or so ago the folks at Better Than Bouillon asked if I'd like to review a couple of their products and give some away to my readers.  Having been fond of their premium and organic  products for years now, I of course said yes, so the search was on for a brothy recipe to showcase their products.



Up until this communication with them I thought that they made only chicken, beef, ham and vegetable bases.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they make 26 soup bases in all with flavors like au jus, chili, mushroom, turkey and fish, to name just a few.  Many of these flavors are also available in vegan, organic, low-sodium, and kosher.  To learn more about this line of products, click here to access their site.

When they asked me what flavors I'd like to try, I decided to step out of my box and cook with some of the ones I wouldn't normally have in my pantry like the fish and no chicken.  It is not that I don't like fish, I just don't like fishy fish and have been burned so many times that I am really quite shy, and if I'm being quite honest, I would probably never buy it.  As for the no chicken, I was really anxious to just check out the flavor and report to my vegetarian friends that there is a new (to me) product that they can play with.

So this is where the ATK recipe comes in.  This recipe claimed to have an easy preparation, just a few ingredients, rich Spanish flavors and almost 4 cups of broth.   The original recipe calls for the broth to be made from shrimp shells cooked in chicken stock, but I'm letting the Better Than Bouillon fish base stand in in its place because besides the fact I wanted to try it, I really didn't want my house smelling like shrimp all night.

Well, preparing this recipe looked pretty fast and easy on television.  In reality, it does take a little time to clean the shrimp and get them ready to go, but once that is done things do take shape pretty quickly.  On the show they claimed that this would be a great Tuesday night dinner, which is true if you are an experienced and organized cook.  Otherwise, save this one for a time when you aren't tired from a day's work and have a few extra minutes to spare, but do yourself a favor, make it, and make it soon because it is delicious.

As for the Better Than Bouillon, the fish base receives two enthusiastic thumbs up, even from a fish shy girl like me.  It has a pleasant and subtle flavor that is really the perfect base for dishes like this or soups and chowders.  I love it and will be keeping it on hand from now on.  This just might be a whole new beginning for fish and me. 

I'm sad to say that my jar of no chicken was a casualty of the United States Postal Service and a replacement didn't make it in time for this post, but when it does arrive I'll be sure and let you know what I think.

 

Spanish- Style Toasted Pasta and Shrimp (adapted from America's Test Kitchen)


3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced (1 tablespoon)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds extra large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined, shells reserved
2 3/4 cups water
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (I used 3 teaspoons BTB fish base and 1 teaspoon chicken base since I wasn't making stock from the shrimp shells)
1 bay leaf
8 ounces spaghetti or thin spaghetti, broken into 1- to 2-inch lengths
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and chopped fine (I used petite diced)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (I omitted this)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I substituted chopped green onion tops)
Lemon wedges

Combine 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/4 salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium size bowl.  Add the shrimp, toss to coat, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

At this point I deviated from ATK and added 3 teaspoons BTB fish base and 1 teaspoon BTB chicken base to the water called for to steep the shrimp shells, with 1 large bay leaf.  I brought this mixture to a simmer, covered and let it cook until I was ready to use it, removing the bay leaf before adding the broth to the pasta.

Toss spaghetti and 2 teaspoons oil in broiler-safe 12-inch skillet until spaghetti is evenly coated. Toast spaghetti over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and nutty in aroma (spaghetti  should be color of peanut butter), 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer spaghetti to bowl. Wipe out skillet with paper towel.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and beginning to brown around edges, 4 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick, dry, and slightly darkened in color, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining garlic, and paprikas.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add spaghetti and stir to combine.

Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer (if boiling the shrimp shells, if not add the broth) into skillet. Add wine, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly thickened and spaghetti is just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.  Preheat broiler about halfway through cooking time.

Scatter shrimp over spaghetti and stir shrimp into spaghetti to partially submerge. Transfer skillet to oven and broil about 6 inches under broiler element until shrimp are opaque and surface of spaghetti is dry with crisped, browned spots, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

On the TV show, they served this with a homemade aioli which I plan on trying next time.  In the print version they suggest serving it with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.  I didn't have either but found it to be great with some chopped green onion tops.

Serves 6


*To see America's Test Kitchen's original recipe and their simple technique for breaking spaghetti into spaghettini (or fideo), please click here.

And now for the giveaway.  Better Than Bouillon will provide two of my lucky U.S. readers with four assorted jars each of their soup base.  To be entered all you have to do is leave a comment stating what you'd make with a jar of their soup base.  You can earn an extra entry by signing up to receive my posts by e-mail.  To do this just type your address into the field at the top right hand corner of this page under the Foodgawker badge.  Be sure to leave your contact information in your comment.  My winning readers will have 48 hours after notification to respond or a new winner will be drawn.  I will draw my lucky winners on Friday, March 15th around noon mountain time.  Good luck!

**The folks at Better Than Bouillon provided me with samples of their products to review and give to two of my readers.  No payment of any kind was received in return for this post and all opinions stated here are my own.

 



45 comments:

keflon said...

Oh Karen! Why put me thru this on a day I really do not want to venture out! But now I won't be able to get it out of my mind!
I would make shrimp and grits and try the fish base! YUMMY

keflon said...

Why put me thru this on a day I do not wish to venture to the store...but now I will dream of this recipe!
I would love to make shrimp and grits using Better than Bullion fish base. YUM!!

Ansh| Spiceroots said...

What a delicious way to make pasta. Just the thing to eat on this snowy day.

I love to use the better than bouillon in my Thai chicken soups and in a chicken biryani. It packs a punch of flavor.

Barb | Creative Culinary said...

Wow this looks amazing. Very interested in the fish base...I'm just not the type that would have make fish stock so I pass on recipes as a result. BTB to the rescue it seems! Great photos my friend!

Kirsten@My Kitchen in the Rockies said...

I have been using "Better Than Bouillon" organic Bases for years. LOVE them. The other day I used some of the organic chicken base in my Santa Fe chicken recipe. It is a wonderful flavor enhancer without using salt.
I prepare a very similar pasta shrimp dish, but haven't made it in forever. Thanks for the reminder Karen.
Your photography in this post is very pretty and I WANT this plate!

Danielle D'Ambrosio said...

I love your review and what a really COOL product! I am dying to make some risotto with shrimp and asparagus. I think the fish base would be great for that :)

Velva said...

I would definitely go for the chicken base!

Glad the fish base worked out for you! Your dish looks really good.


Velva

Charlie@seattle trekker said...

Looks truly amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

Angela said...

I've used this product for years in my ham and bean soup and chicken noodle. I have not used the fish base yet and would like to try to make a shrimp soup using that.

Angela said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angela said...

I've used this product for years in my ham and bean soup and chicken noodle. I have not used the fish base yet and would like to try to make a shrimp soup using that.

Craig said...

That looks gorgeous - will be trying. If you haven't tried them Karen, I highly recommend Trader Joes Argentine red shrimp. They taste like a combination of shrimp and lobster and would brilliantly in this dish I think. TJ's don't always have them (in the freezer section) so when they do, buy 6 or 10 packets. Sadly we can't get Argentine red shrimp in the UK - God knows I've tried EVERY avenue!

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

I had no idea they made anything but beef, chicken and vegetable. I love their products and would want to try the fish. I've never made fish stock for the same reason as you. And I'd make this same recipe that you did. I'm a smoked paprika fan and this sounds delicious.

Karen Harris said...

Hi Craig! Trader Joes is supposed to be opening up in Denver sometime soon I hear and when they do I will take your recommendation and buy some. I wish could trade you some for some back bacon and double cream.

Mary Spilman said...

This looks lovely as usual, Karen. I

I would love to try the fish base for making cioppino.

Heather King said...

I'd love to use the fish base in a Thai larb recipe-yum!

Elizabeth said...

I would try the au jus base and braise some beef and carrots in it!

Holly @ abakershouse.com said...

I think you have a winning combination-- the bouillon sounds great and the shrimp dish is gorgeous. I'll give this one a try and let you know how it turns out at my house.

Amanda Thompson said...

I would make Clam Chowder with the Clam base.
adb6{at}humboldt{dot}edu

Kim Doyle Wille said...

Count me in for the fish base! I've used the Better than Boullion chicken and beef bases and have them in my cupboard right now but would love to make some seafood dishes like a lobster pot pie or any number of Thai dishes. Nice blog and great photos, Karen! <3

Kim Doyle Wille said...

Count me in for the fish base! I've used the Better than Boullion chicken and beef bases and have them in my cupboard right now but would love to make some seafood dishes like a lobster pot pie or any number of Thai dishes. Nice blog and great photos, Karen! <3

Amanda Thompson said...

I subscribe via email :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Whatv a delicious looking dish! I love watching America's Test Kitchen on TV. I never knew that "Better Than Bouillon" has so mnay flavors! What a time saver! I have to look for the low sodium products as I do watch my sodium intake as much as possible. I'd love to try the fish or clam or lobster sauces to make an Italian "Frutti di Mari" (seafood) sauce for pasta.

Craig said...

You've got it Karen! I would gladly trade you back bacon (it is great isn't it?!) and some double cream. As you know we like what's bad for us over here!

rachel said...

Perhaps chicken tortilla soup? Or maybe a more elaborate chicken dish.

Lisa Keys said...

I'd make Singapore noodles trying your mix of the fish & chicken base

G'ma Jan said...

I'd try the ham and make ham and dumplings

Carole said...

I have used both the chicken and beef.

Realia Mazing said...

i would make my moms famous tortellini and meatball soup!

daniellex at gmail dot com

Vera Khule said...

I would make a vegetable bean soup.

manda said...

Vegetable soup!

shankyouverymuch11 at yahoo dot com

Angie said...

I love to use BTB when I make my cheater's French onion soup - I very slowly caramelize the onions with a bit of oil and then mix in BTB and water. It makes French onion soup easy!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Oh my, doesn't that look good. I have used BTB products for ages and think they are excellent. The beef and chicken bases are staples in my kitchen. Nice giveaway, Karen, I have my fingers crossed.

Lynne Laino said...

It's so great to know that there are so many varieties of Better Than Bouillon. I would never have picked up the fish base without your vote of confidence Karen! I will be making the Spanish-Style Toasted Pasta and Shrimp for my best friend who happens to make the best Fideo - I hope she's impressed!

Lynne Laino said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susan Bickta said...

I've always wanted to try this product. I'd definitely make Ham and Bean soup (Ham Base) and some kind of Seafood Stew or Chowder (Seafood Base) .....Geez, I could go crazy, here, thinking of ways to use Better Than Boullion! Thanks for this offer!!

Susan Bickta said...

Oops!!! Forgot to include my contact info: bicktasw1024@gmail.com Thanks, again!

Laurie Lufkin said...

I would make risotto or a yummy pasta dish that relied heavily on the taste of the broth.....it's really good stuff and I have been using it for years!

Laurie said...

And I do subscribe to posts through my email. Great giveaway!!

ELNM said...

This recipe looks delicious! I would like to try the Better Than Bouillon beef flavor to punch-up the flavor of my beef stew. Thanks for the chance!
ellen(at)myerly(dot)net

Anne @The Cooking Campaign said...

I love this recipe! It was in ATK's Cooks Illustrated Magazine.... so delicious!

Susan Bickta said...

I have GOT to try this recipe ...... love toasted pasta!!!!

Angela said...

Hi! I was one of the two winners picked for the BTB giveaway. You said at the top of the blog to contact you with the flavors that we would like. My four favorites would be chicken, beef, fish and the au ju. Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway.
Angela
PS I voted for your bacon corncakes in PBO - best of luck.

Karen Harris said...

Gosh Angela, please contact me with an e-mail address so I can contact you about this giveaway.

Anonymous said...

awesome! i love better than bullion!