Last night I went over to my next to door neighbor’s
I needed to borrow her scale which measures in grams, and was met with the melody of ice clinking in glasses, music and laughter. Candy was at the stove cooking in a huge cast iron skillet, dinner for the gang. By that I mean 6 adults and 3 kids.
It’s always an adventure in her kitchen.
I tried not to look hungry, but the aroma coming from her stove was positively tantalizing. But apparently, I did look thirsty and was given a nice little splash of wine.
If you have a crew over and want to whip up, not only a tasty, but filling dinner, you have to try this big crowd pleaser.
I call it, Shrimp Capers & Capers
Serves 6 adults and 3 children
Prep/Cook time: 1 Hour
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large red onion or white
- 2 6 oz. boxes shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup button mushroom
- 1 large red bell pepper
- “Shit ton of garlic” minced
- 6 fl. oz capers
- 2 lbs shelled/deveined shrimp
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- 2 16 oz thin spaghetti
- ½ Cup fresh dill minced
- Fresh grated dairy-free parmesan
Shrimp Capers & Capers Recipe
- In large skillet heat olive oil at medium
- Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized (20 min)
- Slice mushrooms add to the skillet. Cook until brown
- For color, add red bell pepper sliced thinly
- Mince 1 cup of garlic and throw in, cook for another 20 minutes
- Pour in the jar of capers with the juice and the lemon juice
- Simmer 15 minutes
- While the ingredients are cooking, put a large pot of water on for the pasta.
- When you add the pasta to water. Stir in shrimp to vegetable mixture
- Top with minced dill
- Drain pasta and drizzle with olive oil
Serve topped with Shrimp Capers & Capers, liberally dusted with parmesan and fresh dill.
While the pasta is cooking
Have one the gang whip up a nice simple green salad served with a vinaigrette dressing. If you have fresh homemade sourdough bread, (Candy makes her own) your people, will sing praises at the city gates.
I was thinking about my recent blog Show Me the Money: How Many $$ is that Smoothie, and it got me wondering about the cost of this fabulous meal for nine people.
- ($9.99 lb) Shrimp approx.
- ($2.46) Sanniti Spanish Capers 32 oz.
- ($15.38) 2 boxes DeCecco Spaghetti
- ($5.00) 1 box sliced white mushrooms
- ($10.00) 2 6oz. boxes shiitakes
Not counting the salad and the additional veggies in the shrimp pasta; You are feeding a crowd of nine, an exceptional meal for approx. $60.00! Good Job Candy!!!
This morning on my walk I was thinking…
Sharing precious family recipes is a wonderful way of connecting with others. Food talk can become a conversation bridge even among strangers, and everyone has a meal they love.
Where I used to live twenty-five years ago, I was delighted to find out my 80 year old, next door neighbor was from Alsace, France. During World War II, she worked in Paris. Because she could speak German, and English she was conscripted by the Germans, to be a stenographer. Of course, she didn’t have a choice.
I was fascinated.
Interestingly, most of our conversations were about the meals she had during the occupation. She told me, they lived on cabbage cooked and served in every way you could prepare a cabbage. Just thinking about the smell of the stuff made her sick. With her roommate, on weekends they would go out to the country and harvest dandelions and sorrel for soups. It was a happy day, the day they found some potatoes.
I see myself as a mother of three teenagers in Northern California laughing over the pretty little glass of sherry, she served, and chatting about our favorite recipes. I had absolutely nothing in common with Yvette. Except a mutual love of cooking, and serving a beautiful meal. She liked to show me her china. I couldn’t get enough of her. Neither could my girls who were 14 and 16 years old, especially when she came out with petite glasses of sherry for them, and offered cigarettes.
There is so much more to cooking than just feeding yourself or feeding your loved ones and friends. There is almost nothing I enjoy more than sitting around the table, after a good dinner, and sharing stories of life. We learn so much about each other as we walk over that bridge.
Saturday, I got a wild hair and bought a box of croissants
I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I did know it was going to be something really sweet. Rick used to have a bowl of ice-cream every night, before becoming a vegan. He needed a treat. I had in the fridge; a ⅓ cup of dairy-free yogurt, a small tub of dairy-free cream cheese and a basket of fresh strawberries.
Croque le fraisier fromage frais (For you Yvette)
Croissant with Strawberries and Cream Cheese
Serves 2 Adults
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 croissants cut in half
- ⅓ cup dairy-free yogurt
- 1 cup dairy-free cream cheese
- 2 tsp. Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- A half of a basket of strawberries, cut in slices
Croque le frasier fromage frais recipe
- Lay the cut in half croissant on platter
- In a separate bowl, mix the two cheeses
- Add the sweetener and vanilla
- Mix well with fork, there will be a few little chunks
- Spread over one side of cut croissant
- Top with strawberries
- Cover with the other half of the croissant
- Serve on pretty dessert plate, with garnish of mint (for color)
If you have a favorite old picture of a dinner with family or friends, if you want, attach it in the comments. It would be so fun to create a montage. The picture I included in this piece, is a photo from the cover of one of my favorite cook books; When French Women Cook by Madeleine Kamman.
P.S. Regarding the Shrimp Capers & Capers; the dill added such a rare interesting flavor; I’m obsessed; God Bless Rick, he planted a row in the garden.
P.S.S. About an hour after we had our tasty croissant, Rick asked me, “Was that a vegan croissant?” I couldn’t answer, because I had no idea, but now that he asked, I thought, dang it, there was probably ½ pound of butter in those beautiful pastries. He got on his lap top and was scrolling around the thing, and then handed it to me and said, “Here is a recipe for vegan croissants. Let’s make some for the next time.” And God Bless him twice.