I wrote a little bit last week about my very first cruise EVER. It was on the Ruby Princess and I had so many beautiful pictures of the Ruby Princess to share, I didn’t get to tell you about anything we actually did on our cruise.
This particular cruise had a culinary theme to it including a California Food and Wine Experience featuring Iron Chef Cat Cora (yes I got to meet her!) and Suzanne Tracht from Top Chef.
On the first morning of the cruise they did a cooking demonstration in the Princess Theater. This event was hosted by Jill Whelen who played the Captain’s daughter on the Love Boat. Y’all may not remember, I had forgotten, that it was a Princess Cruises ship used to film the Love Boat. In your cabin on the Ruby Princess there’s a channel on the television that plays old episodes of the Love Boat 24 hours a day. We watched a few episodes one night and it was hilarious!
But back to the food demonstration. Cat Cora and Suzanne Tracht each prepared two dishes. I fell in love with the sound of Cat Cora’s Avocado, Scallop, and Tequila Fettuccine and decided to recreate it at home. I used shrimp instead of scallops since they are more accessible and less expensive.
It’s a light, fresh pasta dish with amazing flavors. I did add 1/4 cup of cream to it. I can’t help myself. But I also added some tomato. Does adding something healthy make up for adding something unhealthy?
Avocado and tequila are two of my favorite ingredients and I always jump at the chance to use them. I don’t typically think to add diced avocado to a pasta dish but I love the creaminess it added.
Cat also made a tropical fruit tart and the kitchen crew on the Ruby Princess made mini versions and passed them out in the Piazza after the demonstration. They were unbelievable!
Suzanne made an Apple Celery Salad and a braised lamb shank. The lamb shank filled the Princess Theater with the most amazing aroma. I will be making it soon.
After the demonstration, everyone had a chance to get an autographed copy of Cat Cora’s new book Cooking as Fast as I Can: A Chef’s Story of Family, Food, and Forgiveness.
Later that day there was a wine tasting that featured an h’orderve from each Cat Cora and Suzanne Tracht. A few more of these cruises and I may actually start to feel like I know a little something about wine. 🙂
It was such an inspiration to get to meet these 2 highly accomplished female chefs. There aren’t nearly enough high profile chefs who are women. Why is that?
Stay tuned. Next week I’ll be posting about our Excursion to Santa Barbara Wine Country.
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- 12 ounces fettuccine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 shallot, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup tequila
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- pinch or two of red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cumin and paprika. Add shrimp to pan. Cook until pink on bottom and flip over. As soon as you get them flipped, add shallots and garlic. Then add tequila and carefully tilt the pan to ignite the tequila (if you have a gas stove). The flames can go pretty high so make sure your face is nowhere near the pan! Note: it's not necessary to light the tequila. Most of the alcohol will still burn off and it will taste pretty much the same.
- Remove shrimp and set aside. Add chicken broth and simmer until reduced in half.
- Add heavy cream, lime zest, and red pepper flakes and simmer 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add tomato and 2 tablespoons butter. Turn heat off, stir to incorporate the butter and add fettuccine and shrimp to pan. Toss to coat fettuccine.
- Divide into serving bowls and top with avocado and cilantro.
Recipe adapted from this recipe from Cat Cora.
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