Baked Shrimp Scampi

I watched Ina Garten make this dish on her show a few weeks ago and was dying to try it out.  Let’s just say, it did not disappoint.  This dish kind of blows baked stuffed shrimp out of the water – it’s full of so much flavor and is really easy to put together.  I made some small adjustments and it tasted like perfection.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb. large shrimp (U8-12), deveined with the tails still on
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp dry white wine
TOPPING
    • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    • 4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
    • 1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
    • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 extra large yolk
    • 1 cup panko

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Butterfly the shrimp but leave the tails on
  • Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and combine with the olive oil, white wine, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper – let the shrimp sit and marinate at room temperature while you prepare the topping
  • In a small bowl, mash the softened butter together with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest and juice, egg yolk, panko and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Arrange the shrimp in one layer, cut side down around the edge of a 14 inch oval gratin dish, you want the tails curling up facing in towards the middle of the dish – pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp
  • Spread the topping evenly over the shrimp
  • Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes or until its hot and bubbly and the shrimp is totally pink – you can broil it for a minute or so to brown the top if it’s not crunchy enough

Caesar Salad

This classic Caesar salad dressing recipe comes from my mother-in-law’s cooking files.  I’ve been to a restaurant where they make the Caesar dressing table-side… but I couldn’t exactly take notes.  I was looking for a recipe to try out and this one seems to match!

INGREDIENTS

  1. 3 large eggs, room temp
  2. 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  3. 5 medium garlic cloves, pressed
  4. 1 tsp Worchester sauce
  5. 3/4 tsp anchovy paste
  6. 1 cup olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  8. 1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce
  9. 3 cups freshly grated Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
  10. 3 large heads Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  11. 9 pieces of thickly sliced country bread, crust cut off
*Recipe yields approximately 2 cups of dressing

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients in small bowl
  • Gradually whisk in olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce (if the dressing is getting too thick, add in a little bit of warm water and then continue to whisk in the olive oil)
    • Alternatively, you could put the first 5 ingredients into a food processor or blender and then slowly add in the olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce (again, if dressing gets too thick, add in a little bit of warm water and then continue to add in the olive oil)
  • Brush the bread with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and cut into cubes (you could also sprinkle the bread with garlic powder if you desire)
    • Bake at 300°F until crisp and golden brown, approximately 10 minutes
  • Finally, toss together the lettuce, enough dressing to coat the lettuce and the grated cheese – then top it off with the fresh croutons

Marushka’s Tabouleh

Here is my mom’s recipe for this traditional Middle Eastern salad.  It’s refreshing and full of so many different flavors.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch of parsley
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed wheat (bulgar)
  • A few chopped leaves of fresh mint or 1/4 tsp of dried mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing*
*LEMON AND OLIVE OIL DRESSING
    • Mix equal parts of fresh lemon juice and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste – so easy!

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Rinse the crushed wheat (bulgar)  in cold water and squeeze it dry
  • Combine the chopped tomatoes with the crushed wheat (bulgar) – mix well
  • Finely chop the scallions and season with salt and pepper – add this to the tomatoes and bulgar
  • Pick the leaves off the parsley stems and wash them well and squeeze them dry
  • Either finely chop the leaves by hand, or BRIEFLY place them in a food processor – one pulse and it’s done (don’t over process, it will turn to mush)
  • Combine the parsley with the mint and add it to the rest of the ingredients
  • Pour the lemon and olive oil dressing over the tabouleh and serve with fresh romaine lettuce