" /> I taste: October 2011
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October 17, 2011

Shrimp "Garden Variety"

1 lb. med. Shrimp, deveined and peeled*
Celery, 1 rib, minced
Scallions, 1 bunch: whites minced, greens cut diagonally in 1 in. pieces
2 large garlic cloves, minced fine
2 Tbsp. butter or ordinary olive or other cooking oil if you prefer
Grape Tomatoes, 15 or so, halved lengthwise
2 oz. milk or water
½ cup (or more) of Sour Cream
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch

Mix the cornstarch and water/milk thoroughly.

In a heavy saucepan large enough to eventually accommodate all; over a low fire, sweat the celery and minced onion in butter until soft. Do not brown. Add the garlic for another minute or two until it begins to perfume the kitchen.

Turn up the heat to medium and add the shrimp. After 2 minutes, remix the cornstarch, and add it, along with the tomatoes and green onions. Cook for another minute or two, till shrimp are pink. Add half of the sour cream. Mix well, then add the rest. Cook for another few minutes to fully thicken, and to soften the onions and tomatoes. Add more sour cream if the mixture is too thick. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Mix with cooked pasta or serve over white rice.

(This is a recipe fashioned from refrigerator left overs before leaving the lake at season's end; turns out to be our new-found favorite recipe for shrimp.)

*If using precooked shrimp, remove the tails if still attached, and add them along with the onions and tomatoes to avoid overcooking. Be sure in any case that everything is heated through completely.

Posted by Curmudgeon at 2:17 PM

October 10, 2011

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower (adapted from Ruby Tuesday's)

1 head cauliflower, or one 1 lb. rattle-pack frozen cauliflower
1/2 medium Spanish onion, well chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, well chopped
2 tbsp. butter
¼ cup water
1 tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded white cheese, optional but yummy
(I use Sargento 6 cheese blend)

1. Divide a head of cauliflower into florets that are all roughly the same size. (I prefer the frozen.) Steam cauliflower pieces in a 3 qt. sauce pan in ¼ cup of water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Then drain it well and mash with a potato masher.

2. While the cauliflower is cooking, sweat the onions in butter in a small skillet, until soft and clear, then add the garlic for 2-3 minutes.

3. In a little hot water, dissolve the cornstarch, sugar and salt, and add the pepper. When the onion mixture is cooked, add it to the water and mix well. Add this and the milk to the cauliflower.

4. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (If you lack an immersion blender I have found that mincing the onion and garlic before cooking makes for a more smooth end product. And I presume it is possible to transfer it all into a standard blender and puree it, though that is a pain in the . . ..

5. Reheat and simmer over a low fire for 5 minutes to thicken and finish. Add a little more milk of too stiff.

As an option, when completed stir in ¼ cup of shredded cheese.
Prepared, it will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days if covered tightly.

The recipe has been modified from Ruby's internet recipe. The original calls for onion and garlic powders, along with heavy cream. Produced in bulk this makes sense, but it is better using fresh onion and garlic (better still with the optional cheese.)

Posted by Curmudgeon at 12:51 PM