Friday, February 27, 2015

Shrimp and Grits

I'm straying a bit from my mission to post recipes using local foods, but this recipe for Shrimp & Grits was so good I didn't want to lose it.  It was from a Family Circle magazine article.
  • 1 pound  cleaned raw shrimp  It is OK to use frozen shrimp; just be sure they are uncooked.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 1 cup coarse ground corn grits, either white or yellow works (such as Bob's Red Mill)*
  • 2 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 14 ounce can creamed corn
  • 3/4 - 1 cup  heavy cream
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and sliced
I got some excellent grits from the Old Mill General Store in Pigeon Forge Tennessee when we were on our trip to the Smoky Mountains.  They have an old grist mill to grind their grains.  Just don't use instant grits.

1. In a medium bowl, toss shrimp with Old Bay seasoning. Set aside.
2. Bring 3 cups water and the salt to a boil in a large, lidded saucepan. Gradually stir in grits and reduce heat to medium. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 25-30 minutes.  They can also be cooked in the microwave so you don't need to worry about them scorching.  Taste to be sure they are done. Stir creamed corn into grits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile cook bacon in a skillet until just crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels.
4. Reduce heat under skillet to medium and add garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes, turning, until pink. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp.  Remove shrimp and garlic to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
5. Pour heavy cream into skillet, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Simmer 4 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in shrimp and garlic and bacon pieces. Just cook long enough to warm up the shrimp 30 seconds-1 minute.
6. Pour grits onto platter. Top with shrimp mixture and scatter scallions over top. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Carrot Cake Waffles

As I mentioned in my last post we have lots of carrots.  While searching for recipes to help use some of our carrots I came across this recipe.  I made the waffles this morning for breakfast.  We had hoped to go to the indoor farmers' market for breakfast but with below zero wind chill conditions we decided to take a pass.

These waffles are an interesting mixture of healthy and decadent.  I'm sure you could make changes to make them healthier but I followed the recipe from the blog site Baking A Moment. 

    For the Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Waffles:
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
  • 3/4 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple, or canned crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
       For the Cream Cheese Whipped Cream:
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
    Make the Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Waffles:
  1. Preheat a waffle baker.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flours, nuts, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt, and stir to combine.
  3. In another large bowl, place the milk, carrot, pineapple, melted butter, Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, and stir just until barely combined. Do not overmix, or the waffles could come out tough. The batter should be lumpy.
  5. Place about 1/2 cup of batter onto the hot waffle iron, and bake for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Keep warm in a low oven.
  6. Make the Cream Cheese Whipped Cream:
  7. Place the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and whip on medium speed for about 3 minutes with the whip attachment.
  8. Slowly drizzle in the cold heavy cream, while whipping on medium speed.
  9. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl with a silicone spatula, increase the speed to medium high, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
You could serve the waffles with maple syrup, but the topping is delicious and worth making at least once.
Adapted from 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Szechwan Carrot Soup

We subscribed to a Winter Veggie Lover's Share again this year from our CSA Farm Driftless Organics.  This share is a regular season-sized CSA box delivered every other week and stuffed full of potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, a head of cabbage or kale; and a small assortment of roots like beets, turnips, winter radishes, parsnips and garlic. 7 total boxes are delivered over the course of 14 weeks.  We did this last year and really liked prolonging our CSA season a bit longer. 

Their carrots are beautiful and we got a lot of them--not a bad thing.

This was one of the soups that I made which we both agreed was excellent.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 lb carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
34 inch fresh gingerroot, peeled and sliced thin
18 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth
1 12 tablespoons soy sauce
1 12 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup milk

2 tablespoons heavy cream
14 cup sour cream, mixed with the cream (or just plain sour cream)
In a large heavy saucepan cook onion, celery, and garlic in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until onion is softened.

Add carrots, ginger root, red pepper flakes, and broth and simmer, covered, until carrots are very tender, about 45 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients.  Then using an immersion blender puree mixture.

Serve soup drizzled decoratively with sour cream mixture.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

New York Cheesecake with Cherry Topping

This is a recipe for the cheesecake that I made for our last gourmet club dinner.  We brought dishes from private eye novels.  It is mentioned in the book Crimson Joy by Robert B. Parker that Spenser eats cheesecake.  I'm not sure this is the cake that he had, but if it isn't it was his loss.  The texture and flavor of the cake and topping are just right.  Plus it is a very easy cake to make.

It is an added bonus if you happen to have some Door County cherries in your freezer to use to make the topping. 

1 2/3 cup graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
7 tbsp butter melted
1 16 oz sour cream container
24 oz cream cheese (3 8 oz. packages)
5 eggs 
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp almond extract
6 tbsp flour all-purpose
1 16 oz red tart cherries bag frozen
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine graham cracker crumbs in a bowl and stir in the sugar until well combined. Add the butter and mix until the crumbs just hold together when pressed. Press into the bottom and 2-inches up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sour cream and cream cheese; beat until smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat until smooth. Add the flour and mix briefly until combined. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F; bake in the center of the oven 1 hour and 5 minutes or until the cheesecake is almost set. Turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven another hour. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Meanwhile, combine the cherries, sugar and almond extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Stir in cornstarch that has been dissolved in 2 tablespoons water; return to a boil and cook until thickened, 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and chill 2 hours. Spread cherry mixture over top of cheesecake before slicing.

Decadent, rich, creamy cheesecake is even better with luscious cherry topping. The cake must be made at least three hours ahead, but can be made up to five days in advance.