Mary Ann’s Oriental Ambrosia with Celery Seed Dressing

The ingredients for this recipe are too colorful to skip a photo this time. So I borrow this similar photo from Flickr user Ben Brown. Ingredients shown vary slightly from my recipe.

Oriental AmbrosiaToday is the first day of Spring and although I am still pretty much house bound I am watching the greening of our garden from my window, planning seed planting for someone else to do, and thinking of delicious salads we have enjoyed in the past.  This shrimp salad is a wonderful addition to your Easter buffet, and delicious for light meals through Spring and all summer long.  I first made it over 40 years ago when I was introduced to the flavor combination by a friend.

Mary Ann’s Oriental Shrimp Ambrosia

2 cups of peeled, cleaned, and cooked shrimp (fresh is best, but frozen works well)

1/2 cup toasted cashews

1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

1 cup mandarin oranges, drained

1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained

4 cup torn romaine or butter lettuce

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped green peopper

1/4 cup coconut flakes

Place torn lettuce in large bowl.  Combine other ingredients and place on top. Serve with following dressing. If you prefer, set each ingredient out in a separate bowl and let those at your table choose and mix their own.  However, tossing everything together results in a beautiful, tasty combination!

Celery Seed Dressing

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated onion

1 cup salad oil

1 teaspoon celery seed

Combine first 4 ingredients in blender and mix. Add 1 cup oil gradually, until mixture thickens.  Add celery seed.

Ginger Shrimp and Broccoli

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Baking in parchment paper packets is a quick and simple way to make this delicious meal. This recipe comes from the Reynolds Wrap website, which provides a how-to video demonstrating how to make the packets.  I also like to bake fish fillets on a bed of Napa Cabbage in the same manner.

Ginger Shrimp and Broccoli. 

4    cups broccoli florets

1    pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

2    cloves garlic, crushed

1    tablespoon sesame oil

½   tablespoon grated fresh ginger

½   tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400°F. Tear off four 15-inch sheets of parchment paper.  fold each sheet in half and crease it in the center.  Cut each into a heart shape; unfold.

Divide  broccoli and shrimp evenly on one-half of each sheet near crease. Mix garlic, sesame oil, ginger and soy sauce.  Spoon ¼ the mixture evenly over broccoli and shrimp on each sheet. Fold over other half of each sheet to enclose ingredients.  Starting at top, make small overlapping folds down entire length of parchment to secure edges together.  Twist last fold several times to make a tight seal.

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Place parchment packets on a large baking sheet with 1-inch sides.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until shrimp is done.

Add  parchment packets to dinner plates.  Carefully cut an “X” in the top of each packet; open carefully, allowing steam to escape.  Serve immediately.

Shrimp Mosca

019Sweet Texas Gulf Shrimp are a treat whether you boil, broil, bake, or fry them.  This skillet of spicy shrimp served with rice is just as perfect for a special guest dinner as for a casual family gathering.  I cooked Shrimp Mosca first from a recipe found in one of my Louisiana cookbooks:  Shadows on the Teche.  In New Orleans everyone knows of  Mosca’s restaurant, owned and operated by the Mosca family. Its claim to fame is that it serves  THE BEST ITALIAN  food in the South.  It reminds me of my recipe for Singapore style Chili shrimp because traditionally the shrimp are prepared and served with the shells on, with the messy fun of peeling at the table and having the sauce to dunk your bread in. In this version of Shrimp Mosca, I peel and devein the shrimp before cooking.  The addition of bread crumbs does soak up some of the sauce but gives a delicious crusty topping.

2 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 stick of butter,

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper

5 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

2  teaspoons fresh thyme

1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and minced

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 cup bread crumbs

Set oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and devein shrimp and place in large baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Put all ingredients escept the shrimp and bread crumbs in a pan and simmer on low for about 5 minutes without bringing to a boil.  Pour sauce over shrimp and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve with rice and crusty French bread.