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Lemon Shrimp

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Going into the weekend with a well-stocked refrigerator makes for more relaxing time on the couch and since I’m in the middle of three books that I’m thoroughly enjoying (see note below), I’m going to make this shrimp for the weekend. This nicely seasoned shrimp is a good appetizer or lunch paired with a nice cheese and sliced artisanal bread, or a good salad (put a spoonful on a leaf of Bibb lettuce and surround with sliced tomatoes, olives and a few crumbles of goat cheese).

*The books are Double Down by Mark Helperin, A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer, and 61 Hours by Lee Child. A political biography, an historical fiction and a Jack Reacher thriller—nice, light, perfect weekend reading.

 Lemon Shrimp

Serves 6

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Ingredients:

Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
6-8 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
6 Kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
2 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
20 whole jumbo shrimp

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients except the shrimp and set aside.

Fill a large saucepan with water, bring to the boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and the shrimp and boil for 1 to 2 minutes or until they just turn pink. Drain the shrimp, cool until you can handle them and then peel, devein and add to the marinade. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for one to two hours. Serve with good bread for dipping in the marinade.

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Irish Potato Pancakes

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St. Patrick’s Day is Monday and in honor of those of us with some “Irish” in us—today’s recipe is for a delicious side dish of potato pancakes. …Continue reading: Irish Potato Pancakes

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Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons

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For people in my age bracket, cauliflower spent some years in the penalty box. I remember it as part of a bland and boring “vegetable medley” in restaurants and in frozen foods and was sort of a crumbly, tasteless additive. Freshly cooked, it was only boiled or steamed and gave off a sort of unpleasant cabbage-y aroma as it cooked. Coming home to the smell of cooking cauliflower, never elicited a cheerful “mmm, what’s for dinner?” more of a suspicious “uh, what’s for dinner?” with a follow-up disappointed “oh.”

Then a few years ago, some genius cook came up with the idea of roasting it, and a yummy new vegetable was born. Roasted, it tastes buttery, nutty and creamy, all at the same time—and loves to be sauced with flavors like curry, capers, garlic and lemon. So when I saw a version of this soup in Food and Wine magazine, I was inspired to try it, and I am happy to report that the results are really good.

This made a very satisfying lunch for us—we just had this soup and kept two small bowls of croutons and snipped chives nearby to replenish our toppings every so often. It also reheats well, so we repeated this meal several times, with no change at all to the taste or texture.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons

12 servings

For the Soup

1 large head of cauliflower, leaves removed, stem trimmed
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
Kosher salt
1 large onion, minced
¼ cup heavy cream
Fresh chives and olive oil for garnish

For the Croutons

8 slices pumpernickel bread, torn into ½ inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 sprigs rosemary
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

To make the soup:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the whole cauliflower in a pie pan (or other baking dish). With clean hands, take four tablespoons of the softened butter and rub it all over the cauliflower. Sprinkle all over with kosher salt. Pour ½ cup of water into the dish. Roast for an hour and a half until the cauliflower is very tender. Remove it from the oven and set aside to cool.

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Meanwhile, make the croutons:

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Melt the butter and the olive oil over low heat in a medium skillet. Add the rosemary sprigs and the garlic and gently cook for a couple of minutes. Remove the rosemary and the garlic from the pan and add the croutons. Stir the croutons to coat with the flavored oil and butter and sauté over low heat until crisp. Set aside to cool.

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To finish the soup:

In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on low heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft but not browned, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Chop the cauliflower and add it to the mixture, along with 4 cups of water. Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes. If you have one, use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it is smooth or work in batches and puree the soup in a blender or processor. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, the cream and kosher salt and pepper to taste.

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Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of oil, a small handful of croutons and chopped chives.

 

 

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Cajun Shrimp Casserole

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This morning I was watching CNBC and somewhat oddly, for a financial news channel, they were airing an interview with the Olympic Dutch speed skating coach. …Continue reading: Cajun Shrimp Casserole

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White Lasagna

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On a business trip to Paris a long time ago, I was invited to “the boss’s house” for lunch. The house was a beautiful apartment above the famed Place Vendôme.

…Continue reading: White Lasagna

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Chocolate Trifle

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This recipe for Trifle is a chocolate lover’s riff on the traditional English version of sherry-soaked cake layered with egg custard, preserves and whipped cream. I had fun making my layers taste their Sunday-best by making a chocolate cake from scratch, …Continue reading: Chocolate Trifle

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