Updated: Jun 15, 2018
This Mother's Day, I am honoring my mother, Lenore, who taught me to cook with love and to walk through life smiling. Her recipe for Shrimp Divan, luscious and creamy, was always my favorite dish. Each recipe was her whim. "Cook with your heart and careless abandon!” And I do!
This is a favorite recipe my mother used to make for us when we were growing up. I thought it was so elegant. Come to realize how effortless it was for her because she loved us, loved to cook, and loved to entertain. She always made sure the main ingredient was present every day in every way... a smile on her face and love in her heart. I am so proud to share her name, Lenore.
LENORE'S SHRIMP DIVAN (remember this was the 1950s)
2 lbs. cooked Shrimp (21-25 count)
1 can cheddar cheese soup, Campbell's of course!
Olive oil, just a little
1 c. chopped yellow onions, tiny dice
1 T. chopped garlic
2 8 oz. packages frozen broccoli spears, steamed till hot, certainly fresh is great
1 c. frozen garden peas, steamed until hot
4 c. favorite white rice (not brown)
Sauté the onions and garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil (my mother never measured) until translucent. Add in the Campbell's soup and milk. Stir to incorporate to a smooth creamy texture. Add in the shrimp and gently stir together until hot. Place a cup of rice on each plate. Ladle a spoonful of shrimp and sauce over the rice. Brighten the plate with broccoli spears and garden peas. Enjoy with a lovely glass of Chardonnay, my mother's favorite!
2 pounds raw medium-small shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp salt
3/4 cup lime juice (juice from 4-6 limes)
3/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 2-3 lemons)
2 T. ginger puree
2 cups finely chopped red onion
2 cups finely chopped English cucumber
1 cup each finely chopped red and green bell pepper
1 jalapeno chile, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 avocados, peeled and diced small, placed into a bowl with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 quarts of water, salted with 2 Tbsp salt. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute or longer, depending on size of shrimp. (Over-cooking the shrimp will turn it rubbery.) Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds to cool it for handling.
Drain the shrimp. Remove the tail from each piece. Cut each piece into thirds or quarters, or about one inch long. Place shrimp in the bowl with the ginger puree, lime and lemon juices. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, while it cools down absorbing the juices.
In another bowl, mix together the chopped (all the same size, except for the minced jalapeno) red onion, cucumber, bell peppers, cilantro and jalapeno chile. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Mix the marinated vegetables together with the shrimp. Right before serving fold in the avocado.
FILET OF BEEF WITH PEPPERCORN SAUCE
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup demi
3 tablespoons butter
4/ 5-ounce filet mignon steaks (each about 1 inch thick)
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
3 tablespoons drained green peppercorns in brine
Boil stock in small saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 7 minutes. Add in the Demi. Bring back to the boil for 1 minute. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Cook steaks to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plate (do not clean skillet).
Add chopped shallots to same skillet and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add reduced beef demi stock, 1 cup whipping cream, 3 tablespoons Cognac and green peppercorns. Boil until mixture thickens to sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over steaks and serve.
SALMON WRAPPED IN PASTRY AND CUCUMBER SAUCE
Aunt Betty’s favorite dish for me and her favorite for guests, family and friends! And it will be our little secret that a portion of it was tucked away for a salmon salad lunch tomorrow.
16 ounces cooked salmon
1 cup tiny diced sweet onion
1 cup tiny diced celery hearts
½ cup chopped roasted peppers, drained and dried
¾ cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 tablespoons chopped dill
2 cups mayonnaise
In a large bowl mix together the salmon, onions, celery, parsley, dill, pimentos, peas and lemon zest. Mix together with the mayonnaise. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Sauce: Mix together
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated packed cucumber, squeezed dry
Zest of one lemon
2 T. each chopped dill and mint
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Spray a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Lay one sheet of puff pastry on pan. With one sheet cut fish patterns and set aside.
Mound the salmon filling evenly across from one side to the other side about two inches from the bottom end. Wrap the pastry over the top. Pinch the bottom and top pastry, rolling to seal it closed. Lay the fish cut outs on top. Brush pastry with beaten egg and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower oven to 350 and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffy. Remove and let rest 30 minutes before serving.
1 frozen puff pastry sheet (from a 17 1/4-oz package), thawed
1/2 stick (1/4 C.) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar
7 to 9 Gala apples (3 to 4 lb), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and c red
Special equipment: a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron or non stick skillet
Preheat oven to 425°FRoll pastry sheet into a 101/2-inch square on a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin. Brush off excess flour and cut out a 10-inch round with a sharp knife, using a plate as a guide. Transfer round to a baking sheet and chill.
Spread butter thickly on bottom and side of skillet and pour sugar evenly over bottom. Arrange as many apples as will fit vertically on sugar, packing them tightly in concentric circles . Apples will stick up above rim of skillet.
Cook apples over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until juices are deep golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. (Don't worry if juices color unevenly.)
Put skillet in middle of oven over a piece of foil to catch any drips. Bake 20 minutes (apples will settle slightly), then remove from oven and lay pastry round over apples. Bake tart until pastry is browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer skillet to a rack and cool at least 10 minutes.
Just before serving, invert a platter with lip over skillet and, using potholders to hold skillet and plate tightly together, invert tart onto platter. Replace any apples that stick to skillet. (Don't worry if there are black spots; they won't affect the flavor of the tart.) Brush any excess caramel from skillet over apples. Serve immediately.