3/06/2011

Sunday Dinner

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Pickled Shrimp


Bread Pudding Soufflé with a Whiskey Cream Sauce



 If you are a reader, you might remember that I spent several years of my childhood just north of New Orleans across Lake Ponchartrain.  My Dad, my Mom and my sisters and I went to every Mardi Gras shouting "throw me somethin' mister" to catch beads, cups, dabloons, and various other projectiles thrown from Krewe floats.  Those were some good times.  Mardi Gras is this Tuesday and I thought it would be fitting to have a "N'awlins" inspired menu this Sunday to enjoy with my family.

Red Beans and Rice is a Cajun classic and a perfect dinner choice because it cooks on the stove top for hours allowing me to get other things done around the house or just be with my family.  The cabbage slaw is a wonderful side that cuts the richness of the beans.  The cornbread helps to sop up every last bit.  The Bread Pudding Soufflé is a perfect ending for which I make my own New Orleans-style French Bread to stay in the spirit of the menu.  

On Sundays I feature one recipe from the menu.  This week it is the starter, Pickled Shrimp.  Having a paper bag full of freshly steamed crawfish would be more true to a New Orleans themed menu, but unfortunately I can't get my hands on those tasty little mud bugs up here unless they're in the freezer section:(  These shrimp will make up for that loss.


Pickled shrimp are the antipasto of the South. They are perfect for picnics, tailgating (how many more months until college football?), buffet tables, cocktail parties or even a light lunch when served over a bed of greens.  By letting them bathe in the marinade overnight, they soak up all the flavor, so no dipping sauce on the side is needed--just pick 'em up and eat.  I don't live near shrimp waters anymore, so I like to use shell-on shrimp that are already frozen (IQF-individually quick frozen), cleaned and de-veined--the dirty work is done for you.  This is also a versatile dish because you can change the ingredients to suit your own taste. You can use basil, dill, or parsley, change or omit the cheese (my children really like the taste of the marinated cheese) and you can add any veggie of your choice, like red peppers, onions, or cucumbers.  As I have said before, make it for you; make it your own and, "Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler"!!



♬ Mardi Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
Party Gras, pambo, mambo, mambo
Mardi Gras mambo-ooh
Down in New Orleans ♪





Pickled Shrimp
serves 4-6


*recipe can easily be doubled


1 1/2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
5 bay leaves, broken
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (sodium/sugar free)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 lemon, halved
1 pound raw, easy-peel shrimp (21 to 25 per pound); thawed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 kirby cucumbers, sliced
1/2 medium white onion, top and root end removed; slice on the grain
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a large bowl, whisk together the peppercorns, red pepper flakes, cloves, mustard seeds, bay leaves, lime juice, vinegar, and sugar.  Set aside.


In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil.  Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and drop in the lemon halves.  Add the shrimp and boil until the shrimp just turn pink and float to the top, about 1-2 minutes.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.  Leaving the tail shell intact, peel the shrimp body and legs.


Add the peeled shrimp to the marinade and toss to coat.  Add the onion, cucumber and cheese; toss again.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours.  Transfer the shrimp and vegetables to a serving bowl; add the parsley.  Season with salt and pepper and gently toss.  Serve chilled or at room temperature with toothpicks/small forks and Ritz crackers.  Enjoy!


Source: Adapted form Fresh Every Day

4 comments:

  1. This sounds and looks so flavorful! A nice healthy dish - love that!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

    ReplyDelete
  2. The kind of dish that reminds me how lucky we are to live in SC on the water and get fresh shrimp. This recipe is definitely filed for shrimp season! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This definitely sounds like a fabulous meal to celebrate Mardi Gras. I've never heard of pickling shrimp before but I bet it's something my family (major shrimp lovers) would adore! I'll have to give it a try!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gorgeous photo! Love "antipasto of the South". Just stumbled across this photo at Tastespotting. I am from New Zealand and have never been to the USA but have always pined for the food of New Orleans. Bold flavours and comforting forgiving dishes make me very excited. I hope to visit New Orleans one day for a culinary adventure. Consider me a fan of your blog from today.

    ReplyDelete

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