Back in the Kitchen

I have been missing from many of my usual places due to a fall and vertebral fracture, with complications that have made me grateful others were doing the cooking!  Part of my treatment is being encased in a bulky cast/brace, no bending, twisting, or lifting. So my contributions to meals have been limited. I have missed Kitchen Keepers posting, so as I return, I would like to sort through my collection of cookbooks, clippings, and family favorites from years past, picking a few to share. Going through old recipes is something I enjoy and rarely have time to indulge in, so this will be fun. I hope you will see one or two you want to try. Almost all of these will have a story!

In 1986, our family made a big change. That was the year that Sean graduated from Plano Senior High School in Plano, TX. It was also the year Joe took a position with ARCO International with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA. He began working in LA soon after the first of the year while the boys and I stayed in Plano for Sean’s senior year finish and to get our house on the market. While Joe looked for a new home for us in California and I readied our family and household for the move. Sean would come with us for the summer, but return to Texas to enter North Texas State University in the fall. We did not know it at the time, but our move to Thousand Oaks, CA would be for just over a year. By Fall the following year,  Joe, Jeremy, Ben, and I were headed to our next home in Jakarta, Indonesia!

During the year that we lived at 347 Bethany Street in Thousand Oaks, we were glad to have Don and Brenda Mann and their daughter, Donna, as neighbors. They and their friend Myrna invited us to begin a supper club, one evening a month where we ate at each others’ homes. It was called Gourmet Dinner. The host for the evening prepared most of the food; others brought an appetizer and dessert. Myrna Bates kindly printed the recipes from March 26, 1987 at our home. I  made Shrimp Toulouse, an item then  on the menu at Court of Two Sisters restaurant in New Orleans, LA. I also served  Baked Rice and Artichokes, Green Beans Rotel, and a cold asparagus salad.  One of the guests brought a hot clam dip and Myrna provided dessert – Eclairs with Praline Sauce.

Shrimp Toulouse

1/4 lb. butter

1/2 cup chopped shallots

1/4 cup diced pimientos

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 cup sliced mushrooms

3 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup white wine

salt and pepper to taste

Draw butter, add green peppers, shallots, celery, pimiento, mushrooms, and shrimp. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Add wine, salt, and pepper and simmer additional 5 minutes. Add parsley and serve over toast or in patty shells. Serves 6.

 

 

Shrimp in Pastry Shells

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On our first wedding anniversary (over 52 years ago) we lived in Corvallis, Oregon. Our budget did not allow restaurant meals and I was still a beginner cook. But I served Joe Shrimp in Pastry Shells on our wedding china and we still consider it one of our fanciest dishes. Somewhere I still have the index card on which I taped the simple recipe clipped from a magazine, using Campbell’s Cream of Shrimp soup and canned shrimp.  These days, I do not buy the little shrimp in a can, but I do keep a bag of frozen peeled and deveined shrimp as a freezer staple. This version is how that first anniversary shrimp n shells dish has changed, definitely for the better.  However, Pepperidge Farm still makes their wonderful Puff Pastry Shells that make it so easy to pull puff pastry out of my oven for the base of a wonderful entree.

Shrimp in Pastry Shells

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry shells (6 shells)

1/2 to 1 pound medium size shrimp, shelled and deveined (fresh or thawed from frozen) We like plenty of shrimp.

2 Tablespoons butter,

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 can Campbell’s Cream of Shrimp soup

1/2 cup milk or half and half

1 Tablespoon minced fresh dill,

1/4 cup Sherry

Bake Puff Pastry according to instructions on package..  Be sure to save the discs of pastry that you remove from the top after baking to top each serving. Place each pastry on serving plate, with tops on the side.

Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in saute pan, add mushrooms and simmer until mushrooms have cooked down and liquid begins to reduce. Add soup  plus only 1/2 cup milk and simmer until well blended and beginning to thicken.  Add shrimp and cook, stirring, 4-5 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through. Blend in dill and sherry and ladle into pastry shells.  Top each with a puff pastry topper.

 

 

 

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.

Linguini with Shrimp and Arugula

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I love tangy bitter greens in salads, but the added flavor arugula brings to this sauce for linguini is amazing.  Preparation is simple even though a few steps are necessary for the sauce to come out right.  A fresh bunch of arugula from our CSA share this past week paired well with these ingredients.  We will make this again soon! Recipe is adapted from one found at http://www.epicurious.com, printed in a 1993 issue of Epicurious.

 

Shrimp and Arugula with Linguini.

yield:Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (about 12), shelled and deveined
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup canned chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch of arugula, the stems discarded and the leaves washed wel
  • 3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced sweet basil
  • 1/2 pound linguini

In a heavy skillet heat oil until it is hot but not smoking,and sauté shrimp,  garlic, and  pepper flakes, stirring until the shrimp are pink and almost cooked through. Take out shrimp with a slotted spoon and reserve.

In the same skille,  add onion, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender. Add whitee wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add broth, simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, and stir in the cream. Simmer the sauce until it is thickened slightly, then stir in arugula and shrimp, and simmeruntil the shrimp are cooked through. Stir in the parsley, basil, salt and pepper and keep the sauce warm, covered. In a kettle of boiling salted water cook linguini until al dente.  Drain pasta, then combine with sauce in large bowl.  serve with shaved parmesan on top and add a slice of crusty French bread.

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.