The Shrimp Cocktail – A Retro Favorite

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s, um, shrimp ka-bobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. . . That’s, that’s about it.” – Mykelti Williamson The Appetizer Of All Appetizers      Mykelti, you failed to mention the Classic Shrimp Cocktail. Of all of the ways to serve shrimp, it is my favorite. It basically is…

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Cranberry Brie Bites

Bring A Snack To Share      You’ve been invited to a party, and you’ve been asked to bring a snack to share with the others in attendance. What’s a good snack to bring as your offering?     Considerations      We usually stick with the following criteria for a good party snack: We think individual bites are best – something a guest can pick up and put on their plate. Our current go-to snack is Cranberry Brie Bites. We avoid taking snacks that are messy or need to be cut, sliced, or spread at the table prior…

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Meatballs. Sicilian-Style

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” – Julia Child      I’m not advocating eating pasta three meals a day. I think of pasta as the ultimate in comfort food, and once a week I like to treat myself. And, if I’m going to treat myself to some extra calories, I want it to be over the top. While I absolutely love spaghetti and meatballs, the Sicilian Meatball recipe featured in Men’s Journal (March 2018, page 24) is just the…

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Bone Marrow Roasted

     Bone Marrow. For years now, nutritionists have been touting the benefits of consuming bone marrow in our diets. Claims have been made that it builds immunity, aids in digestion and wound repair, and even helps fight cancer.      It’s considered a culinary delicacy, but it’s been around long enough that it no longer has vogue status. It’s becoming more and more common to find bone marrow listed on menus, usually as an appetizer. Yuck!      And when you see it, it’s not terribly appetizing. It’s a soft and mushy…

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Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Quick and Easy      Linguine with a white clam sauce – sounds difficult, right? Not really. This is one of those quick meals you can prepare on the spur of the moment. If you have your act together, you can have this on the table and ready to go in about 40 minutes.      There is not a long list of ingredients. Garlic, shallots, and white wine are usually part of what you will have available in your kitchen. I have added linguine, cans of whole baby clams, and parmigiano…

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Georgia Chain Gang Chili

Now What?      When you find yourself lying on a bunk in the big house, and the only appointment you have scheduled in the next 20 years (to life) is with the Georgia Department of Corrections, you realize you’re going to have lots of free time on your hands. So, what’s the plan?      You can volunteer to work in the kitchen and hone your culinary skills. I don’t know if this is Hy Abernathy’s story or not, but given the name of this chili, I’m sure it must have chain-gang roots…

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lemon curd

The Versatile Lemon Curd

A lemon curd? I’m thinking YUCK!      My introduction to this was at a friend’s house. Their breakfast offering was scones served with a lemon curd. The curds and whey mentioned in the nursery rhyme immediately popped into my head.      This always sounded awful to me, so with some trepidation I spread it on my scone. It resembled a spreadable custard in consistency, and it is in fact a type of preserves. It was delicious. And when you look at the list of ingredients, it’s no wonder it tastes so good – sugar, egg yolks,…

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A Seafood Bolognese That’s Very Interesting

A Seafood Bolognese?      By definition, a seafood bolognese makes no sense. According to culinary tradition, a Bolognese sauce is meat-based and it’s referred to as ragu’ in Italy. It is cooked over low heat for many hours. And because it’s meat based, it reflects the cuisine of Northern Italy. This part of Italy is more fitted to support livestock and wildlife with its green pastures and woodlands. Also, the North borders Austria and France which also influences what they prepare.      There’s no meat in this recipe. Instead, a fresh seafood selection…

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Croque Madame. Invite A French Lady To Breakfast.

Offering a French Delight – The Croque Madame      If you are hosting overnight guests for the holidays and you want to add a cosmopolitan touch to breakfast, serve each of them a croque madame. If they’ve never eaten one before, then they are in for a treat.          It’s really quite simple to make. It’s a half sandwich where a slice of bread is covered with a high-quality wet-cured ham. Ladle some béchamel sauce on top of the ham, and cover everything with a layer of coarsely-grated Gruyere cheese. And then add the pièce…

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Holiday Side: Candied Sweet Potatoes a la Emeril

Joke: What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? About ten cents a pound. Let’s Get Something Straight      First of all, it’s time to get something cleared up. Contrary to what many people think, a sweet potato and a yam are not the same. It’s true, they are both root vegetables but they belong to different plant families: the sweet potato belongs to the morning glory family and the yam the lily family. In a nutshell yams are sweeter, are larger, but they don’t supply as much nutrition.      …

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