Thursday, January 3, 2013

old year’s resolutions

One of the very convenient things about not achieving any of my goals for last year is that I don’t have to think too long or hard about my goals for this year.

1) Have a successful blog and start making money from writing. In some measure of fairness, I did not have the blog until I set it up last year, so I did make that much happen, but now I’d like to have people visit, comment, make it seem like a nice place to advertise.

2) Get buff. So yes, this means while I shop, cook, eat, write about food I am also trying to get leaner (and stronger). Not easy, but that’s the goal. Again.

3) Meditate daily.

4) Be a totally enjoyable, funny, happy, healthy wife.

Ok there are some changes from last year. I’m giving up on getting pregnant. And a new goal is on the scene – I have an idea for a new business venture. So I’ll be working on that new idea while tripping over irritating, endless reports about Princess Kate’s and Kim Kardashian’s royal fetuses. I actively try to avoid, and yet… ech.

Ok, lest you think that all I’ve been doing is licking my wounds about unmet goals, I have been cooking like a mad woman. Between birthdays, out of town visits, holidays, I’ve been cooking and cooking. We had some neighbors over for a New Year’s Day brunch. I loved the menu and will do it again, but may pick a different day for entertaining. After a night of hard partying for many, there was quite a bit of attrition from the invitee list, but those who made it all had a good visit.

The main menu was inspired by a Southern Living idea for a ‘Grits Bar’ and then I set up a mimosa station, bloody mary, beer and booze station, and a coffee station. Of course we also needed black eyed peas and some greens, so I adapted a favorite Persian recipe for the black eyed peas.

Menu

Mimosa Bar

Orange Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Sparkling Wine and Vodka with Salmon Mozzarella Pinwheeels, Bacon Rounds and Hard Boiled Eggs with Maldon Salt

Bloody Mary Bar

Martha Stewart’s Bloody Mary with Horseradish Bagel Bombs and last minute Guacamole

Coffee and Some Sweets Station

Homemade Pop Tarts, Donut Holes and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Grits and Bits Bar

Mascarpone and Cheddar Grits with Bourbon Shrimp, Shredded Beef, Buffalo Chicken Thighs and Blue Cheese Crumbles

Also some blanched green beans, salad with candied pecans and meyer lemon vinaigrette; and black eyed peas with greens. Git yer new year on!

I did the Bacon Rounds in the microwave – just twisted them into a donut shape on top of some paper towels and nuked 4-6 minutes. Guacamole I always do with red onion, seeded jalapeƱo, cilantro, fresh lime and coarse salt. The bagel bombs I just did cream cheese mix with horseradish, some worcestershire, hot sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper. Pop tarts were assorted jam flavors inside a basic tart dough recipe. Any other recipes or details please feel free to write and ask! In the meantime, I’m publishing the shrimp recipe from Emeril which is somehow daring and delicate at the same time. Happy new year and wishing the gifts of patience and persistence to all.

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Drunken Shrimp

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

I substituted my fav ginger liqueur for the green ginger wine and served the shrimp on their own as a topping for the cheese grits rather than over watercress as the recipe suggests.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 Tbsp Emeril's Original Essence*
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Scotch whisky
1/2 cup green ginger wine
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

- melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat and cook shallots until softened, about 2 minutes
- add garlic and ginger, saute 1 minute
- add shrimp, Essence, salt, lemon juice, whiskey and ginger wine and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes
- remove shrimp from the pan and add cream and honey and cook until thickened
- return shrimp to pan and serve

Recipe from Emeril Lagasse on food network.com

*Emeril’s Essence

Combine 2 1/2 Tbsp paprika, 2 Tbsp salt, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp each of black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme

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