Cooking in the House
SHRIMP SALAD with CAPERS
Summer is on! Bring out the BBQ, the potato salad, the watermelon. I get torn between hiking some beautiful trail, and putting in my time in the kitchen. I want to do the one, and need to do the other. A happy compromise is to pull out a few easy recipes that won't break up my day too much, but that will be a treat when hunger hits. Ginger Chicken is one of those recipes; I can prepare for it ahead of time, and maybe I'll even get one of the men to work the barbeque pit. My work is done!
A history of catering brings back memories of preparing for weddings and other events typical of summer. An especially fond memory is of the summer engagement party we had for our own son and his fiancée a few years back. Exciting times! We included a special shrimp salad, garnished with a "tomato rose". For the rose, use a small, sharp knife to cut a tomato in a spiral as in peeling an apple. Wind the peel up and place it (pretty side up) on your dish- it looks great!
Another sign of the season: A great variety of veggies and fruits, appetizing and refreshing to the palate. The abundance of some of our fruit crops can be overwhelming- I can't eat all those plums myself! But I know I can't take them for granted. The colder, darker months come in due time, when I'm thrilled to find some of the summer's dried fruits in a back cupboard. I add them to salad greens, appreciating even a shadow of summer's bounty. When I'm pricing those dried fruits in the winter season, I'm even more grateful for what I've put up using my trusty dehydrator. I'm sure those who have canned their summer produce feel likewise about their jams, chutneys, and the like.
A friend of mine takes advantage of the availability (and economy) of summer crops by freezing her concoctions. Mention of yellow peppers piqued my interest. They can carry a hefty price tag around Christmastime, yet in summer might be the same price as other peppers. By pureeing some roasted, peeled yellow peppers (perhaps along with some Bosc pears), a base can be made (and frozen, as needed), to make a bright, golden summer soup; a portion of summer put up for a later date!
SHRIMP SALAD with CAPERS
For best results, sauté raw shrimp, as boiled shrimp loses much flavor to the water it's cooked in. Serves 4.
1 lb. shelled, raw shrimp
2 TBS. fine-chopped onion or shallot
1/2 c. loose-packed parsley, chopped fine
1 med. peeled, seeded tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
2 TBS. capers, patted dry
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 c. mayonnaise
Chopped Romaine or butter lettuce for garnish (optional)
Sauté until no longer translucent (just a few minutes), in a bit of olive oil: > 1 lb. shelled, raw shrimp
Mix the following ingredients into cooled shrimp: > 2 TBS. fine-chopped onion or shallot > 1/2 c. loose-packed parsley, chopped fine > 1 med. peeled, seeded tomato, chopped > 1/2 tsp. sugar > 1 tsp. dried basil > 2 TBS. capers, patted dry > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1/4 tsp. pepper > 3/4 c. mayonnaise
Marinate 2 hrs. or so. If desired, just before serving, you can toss with: > Chopped Romaine
Or serve on leaf lettuce. Garnish with "tomato rose" or cherry tomatoes. (For tomato rose, see directions in article.)
This is a tasty but simple main dish. Being marinated, it keeps well and can be left out for several hours at room temperature while serving. Serves 15 or so.
3 lg. cloves garlic
approx. 2-4" pc. fresh ginger, sliced
1/8 tsp. cayenne
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. soy sauce
1 c. white vinegar
9 lb. fresh or frozen chicken pieces, w/ skin and bone in (thighs are a favorite)
In processor, process: > 3 lg. cloves garlic > approx. 2-4" pc. fresh ginger, sliced > 1/8 tsp. cayenne > 2/3 c. brown sugar > 1 c. soy sauce > 1 c. white vinegar
Marinate chicken in the above mix for 1-4 days in a sturdy zip-lock plastic bag. Use : > 9 lb. fresh or frozen chicken pieces, w/ skin and bone in (Thighs are a favorite)
Bake at 325° for 1 hr., or barbecue on the grill. Serve right from oven, or at room-temperature, or chill to serve cold.
Enjoy more recipes in Jennifer Cote's cookbook/devotional, From The Land Of Milk And Honey , from Winepress Publishing.
AUTHOR BIO – Jennifer Cote
Jennifer Cote, with husband Tom, opened The New Deli in Pinole, CA in 1985. Her cookbook, " From the Land of Milk and Honey ", is available at the shop, and online. More recipes, plus a lunch and catering menu, can be found at thenewdeli.com. Comments, questions? Email Jennifer at email@example.com.