"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Curried Cole Slaw, Braised Scallops with Bacon, Pasta with Shrimp and Red Pepper


Some more recipes from my cookbook – all different, all good; and as I hope those of you who have followed my recipes, not too complicated if not easy to prepare.

Curried Coleslaw

There are certainly hundreds of coleslaw recipes, and I have posted a few of my own on this blog.  There are two main but different foundations for coleslaw – one with a mayo-yoghurt base; and the other with oil and vinegar.  The former is more familiar and offers many more variations of ingredients, and therefore I use it more; the latter is more like a salad.  This recipe is interesting because it uses curry powder and sweet mango chutney:

* 1/2 head cabbage, chopped medium-coarsely.  I like the consistency to be pretty much like deli coleslaw.

* 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

* 2 Tbsp. whole milk yoghurt

* 3-4 Tbsp. mango chutney.  There are many brands of chutney, but avoid the ones you find in the supermarket such as Major Gray’s.  An Indian store would be best.  They come either hot or mild, your choice

* 3-4 heaping Tbsp. curry powder.  I prefer Madras-style curry, but you can use any good curry powder.  The McCormick’s supermarket brand is quite OK.

* 1/2 lg. sweet (Vidalia or similar) onion, chopped medium coarsely

- In a large mixing bowl add the mayo, yoghurt, chutney, curry powder and mix well.  Taste – you may well want to add more of any or all of the above ingredients.  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can easily control the final product.

- Add the cabbage and the onion and mix well.  Again taste, and adjust ingredients if required.  Add salt to taste, and finish with ground pepper.  Serve.

Braised Scallops with Bacon

The combination of bacon and scallops is a classic one – they go perfectly together.  This recipe simply gives some tips on how to do it and a few things to add:

* 1 1/2 lbs. sea scallops.  Since this recipe calls for the searing of the scallops, smaller bay scallops are not right for it.

* 3 pieces of bacon

* 3 chopped green onions

- Fry the bacon until crisp, reserve

- Drain all bacon fat except 1 Tbsp. which is left in the skillet

- Heat the fat to very high heat, just beginning to smoke

- Place the scallops one by one, but quickly, into the skillet, and let them sear.  Turn over and sear on the other side

- Turn the heat down to medium, replace the scallops and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes per side

- Remove and plate (this is a good first course for four people or enough for two as a main course).

- Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, garnish with green onions and ground pepper and serve.

Shrimp with Cream, Sherry, and Red Pepper Reduction

This recipe has a number of ingredients and steps, but all are simple to manage, and the result is worth it.  The combination of the red pepper, cream, and sherry are good enough to serve over penne alone; but the addition of the shrimp stock made from the steamed shrimp make it memorable.

* 1 lb. jumbo shrimp

* 1/2 lg. red pepper, cut into 1” pieces

* 1/2 lg. onion, chopped medium coarsely

* 1/4 cup freshly grated Italian parmesan cheese

* 1/4-1/2 cup Amontillado sherry (good bourbon can be substituted)

* 2 Tbsp. unsalted European-style butter (easy to find, higher fat content, and much tastier)

* 2 cups white wine (this is for steaming shrimp, so ordinary wine is fine); 1 cup water

* 3/4 cup half-and half

* 2 Tbsp. sour cream

* 2-3 gratings from whole nutmeg

* 1/2 lb. penne

- Steam shrimp in white wine and water

- When shrimp is cooked (about 10 minutes at most, or when all shrimp are pink with no greyish uncooked portions visible), remove from the steamer, leaving the liquid

- Remove the shells and place them in the steaming liquid.  Boil over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Strain the liquid into a small bowl and reserve

- Melt the butter in a frying pan and sautee the red pepper until soft

- Add the reduced shrimp stock, stir well, reducing the liquid by about half

- Slowly add the half-and-half, sour cream, nutmeg, stirring frequently over low heat for about 10 minutes.  Take care to keep heat low and stirring frequent so that the milk products do not separate

- Slowly add the grated parmesan and mix well

- Taste for salt and add as required

- Add the shrimp to the sauce and heat over very low heat, only enough to heat the shrimp.

- Plate, and sprinkle some grated parmesan over each portion.  Grate black pepper and serve.

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