Spicy Shrimp with
Tasso Cream Gravy
over Grits Cakes
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup celery
1/4 cup diced Tasso ham
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup shrimp stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Lemon juice to taste
Hot sauce to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound (16- to 20-count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt to taste
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, tasso, thyme, cayenne, paprika and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Whisk in the shrimp stock, bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and reduce the liquid by half. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce is thickened to a creamy consistency, about 4 minutes. Finish the sauce with the salt, pepper, and the lemon juice and hot sauce, to taste. Keep it warm while you cook the shrimp and make grits.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shrimp, season with salt, and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until almost cooked through. Pour in the tasso cream and stir to coat shrimp. Lower the heat to medium and cook about 2 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
To serve, place one portion of grits on each plate and spoon the shrimp and cream over the top. (You can make grits cakes by putting cooked grits in individual ramekins until set.) Garnish with sliced scallions.
Bistro-Style Short Ribs
4 pounds short ribs, in 1 long piece or at least in pairs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 large tomato, quartered
3 ribs celery
1/2 head garlic, peeled
1/4 bunch fresh thyme
11/2 cups dry red wine
2 cups low-sodium, organic beef stock
4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat a cast iron grill or outdoor grill.
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil, and brown on all sides. Place the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and tomato into a food processor and blend until you reach a consistent, smooth pulp.
Take a large Dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Add a 3-count of extra-virgin olive oil and add the thyme to infuse the oil. Next add the vegetable pulp, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for about 10 minutes. Pour in the red wine and stock and bring it to a boil.
Using tongs, take the ribs and nestle them into the braising mix; the liquid should just about cover the meat. Place the lid loosely on top, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the meat is very tender, approximately 21/2 to 3 hours. When the ribs are about finished, remove about 1 to 2 cups of liquid and strain into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat the sauce until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
1 red onion, julienned
2 bell peppers, julienned
4 boneless, chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
Pepper to taste
11/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt to taste
Place chicken in a heavy, large skillet. Add cream. Place over medium heat. Poach chicken in heavy cream just until it loses its pinkness. Add onion, peppers and garlic. Mix well. Add cumin and pepper.
Cook at a slow simmer until the onion and peppers are almost done. Reduce the heat if necessary. The sauce should be getting nice and thick. Finish thickening the sauce by adding cheese a little at a time. Season with salt if necessary.
Serve immediately over hot, white rice.
Note: You can use shredded Monterey Jack instead of Cheddar. And you can use a combination of red, yellow and green peppers for a colorful, rich dish.
Chocolate Fantasy Cheesecake
11 chocolate sandwich cream cookies, crushed
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup crampème de cacao
11/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
3 ounces German sweet chocolate, grated
In a small bowl stir together crushed cookies and melted butter or margarine till well combined. Press crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer till smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in sour cream, whipping cream, crampème de cacao and vanilla extract. Stir in melted semisweet chocolate and grated German chocolate. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the center no longer looks wet or shiny. Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the inside edge of the pan. Turn the oven off, return the cake to the oven for an additional 2 hours. Chill, uncovered, overnight.
Makes 12 to 18 slices.
NEMS Daily Journal