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Wednesday, September 26

Sesame roasted shrimp sticks with zippy apricot dipping sauce

Sauce
Mustard, dry English
1+ tablespoon
Water
1 tablespoon
Apricot jam*
¾ cup
Ginger, peeled, minced
1 tablespoon
Green onions, very thinly sliced
2 small
Rice vinegar, unseasoned
2 tablespoons
Shrimp
Egg white
1
Salt
½ teaspoon
Chinese five-spice
½ teaspoon
Sesame oil
1 tablespoon
Sesame seeds, 3 parts white to 1 part black
3 tablespoons
Shrimp, large, peeled, deveined, remove tails
1 pound
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water 1 hour
16 to 20
  1. In a small bowl, mix the mustard and water; let sit for 5 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients until well mixed. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 475°F. 
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white, salt, five-spice, and sesame oil. 
  5. Put the sesame seeds in a small bowl. 
  6. Lightly oil a baking sheet, or spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray. 
  7. Drop shrimp in the egg white mixture, and toss to coat. 
  8. Skewer a shrimp, curled into a circle, on the tip of the skewer, so that it looks like a shrimp “lollipop”. 
  9. Sprinkle each side of the shrimp with sesame seeds, and sit aside on the prepared baking sheet. 
  10. Repeat with remaining shrimp, spaced on the baking sheet so they are not touching. 
  11. Roast the shrimp for about 5 minutes, or until just cooked through and pink. 
  12. Serve the shrimp skewers on a platter and the sauce in a small bowl with a tiny spoon for drizzling, or plate them with a small puddle of sauce. 
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

*I could only find apricot preserves on the shelf of my local grocer, so I opted for an apricot-chili jam.

Fullers five-onion soup

Leeks, large, coarsely chopped
2
Onion, medium, cut into chunks
1 red +
1 yellow +
1 white
Shallots, quartered
4
Garlic
6 cloves
Butter
4 tablespoons
Sherry, dry
1 cup
Bay leaf
1
Black peppercorns, crushed
6
Thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon
Chicken broth
6 cups
Cream, heavy
2 cups
Brandy
¼ cup
Cornstarch
1 tablespoon
White pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon
Salt
Chives, thinly sliced
Garnish
  1. Coarsely chop the leeks, discarding the tough green parts, and rinse them well to remove sand. 
  2. In two batches, process the leeks, onions, shallots, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, but not mushy. (Do not overprocess.) 
  3. Melt the butter in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. 
  4. Slowly sauté the onions for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until they just turn a bit golden. 
  5. Stir in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits in the pan. 
  6. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, and broth. 
  7. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour, or until golden in color and rich in flavor. 
  8. Add the cream, and simmer another 30 minutes. 
  9. Mix the brandy and cornstarch, and whisk into the simmering soup. 
  10. Add the white pepper, and then season with salt to taste. (The amount of salt needed will vary, depending on whether you used homemade stock or canned broth.) 
  11. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes more; remove the bay leaf. 
  12. Serve immediately, garnished with chive.
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

I don’t typically endorse one cookbook over another. My cookbook library includes nearly 100 books to support my varying epicurean moods. I must recommend, however, Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table if you live on the west coast (or don’t mind having certain items shipped express). Her recipes are modern and fresh takes on local cuisine. Her cookbook is lush with photos and details for the intermediate to advanced cook. Trust me, for her recipes, my online cookbook is a poor substitution for the source.

Monday, September 24

Pan-fried okra

Okra, fresh, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 pounds
Milk
1 cup
Bisquick
1 ½ cups
Salt
1 ½ teaspoons
Pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon
Garlic powder
1 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon
Butter
4 tablespoons
Olive oil
4 tablespoons
  1. Soak the cut okra in the milk. 
  2. Combine the Bisquick, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne in a shallow dish, and dredge the okra through. 
  3. Melt butter with oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet, and add the okra. 
  4. Cook until it browns and is tender.

Dijon chicken

Chicken breast, boneless, skinless
4
Salt

Pepper, freshly ground

Butter
2 tablespoons
Olive oil
2 tablespoons
Chicken broth
¼ cup
White balsamic vinegar
¼ cup
Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon
Basil, dried
¼ teaspoon
Tarragon, dried
¼ teaspoon
  1. Rinse the chicken, and pat dry.
  2. Either thinly slice chicken, or pound flat with a mallet (great stress reliever!), and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Melt butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the chicken; cook until lightly browned. 
  4. Remove skillet from the heat, and add the broth, wine, mustard, basil, and thyme. 
  5. Heat on high until the mixture boils, and then reduce the heat to low. 
  6. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked. 
  7. Remove the chicken, and keep cover with foil to keep warm. 
  8. Boil pan juices for 4 to 5 minutes to reduce the sauce. 
  9. Pour over the chicken. 
  10. Serve with rice or buttered egg noodles, and a green vegetable side.

Thursday, September 13

Champagne chicken & mushrooms

Flour, all-purpose
½ cup
Salt
1 teaspoon
Pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon
Chicken breast, boneless, skin on
4
Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons
Olive oil
2 tablespoons
Shallots, minced
½ cup
Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
1 cup
Garlic, minced
3 cloves
Champagne or sparkling wine
2 cups
Thyme, fresh, chopped
2 teaspoons
Cream
½ cup
  1. In a shallow bowl, stir together flour, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Dredge chicken in flour mixture; place on a wire rack, and let stand for 15 minutes. 
  3. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture again; return to rack. 
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil. 
  5. In batches, cook chicken 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. 
  6. Place chicken on a plate, and set aside. 
  7. Add shallots to the skillet; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  8. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. 
  9. Stir in Champagne and thyme; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. 
  10. Reduce heat, and return the chicken to the skillet. 
  11. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until done. 
  12. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. 
  13. Stir cream into the mushroom mixture; cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. 
  14. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. 
  15. Serve sauce over chicken, and devour immediately.
Recipe from Southern Living 1001 Ways to Cook Southern.