The What’s-For-Dinner Worksheet

May 27th, 2011 · 14 Comments · Dinner, Picky Eating, Quick, Seafood

Fried Shrimp Rolls

Add vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. In a bowl mix together 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup club soda or seltzer, salt, and pepper. On a plate, mix about 1 cup bread crumbs or panko with a few tablespoons of fresh oregano. Dredge 1 pound shrimp in the flour mixture, then the bread crumbs. Fry them in a pan until cooked through, about 2 minutes a side. Drain on paper towels and stuff into split hot dog buns with tartar sauce. (Sometimes I hollow out the buns a bit with my fingers so they’re not too bready.)

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Shrimp and Grits (and then some)

August 26th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Dinner, Rituals, Seafood

Greetings from South Carolina! I know…Grits!…I’m so predictable. So New-Yorker-trying-to-be-a-Southerner! Well, yes. The thing is — you should know this about me — I’m so helplessly impressionable. Remember about eight years ago when brown was the new black? Or I should say, when brown paired with any other color — pink, green, light blue — was the new black? Those combinations were all I wore for an entire year. When my friend Jim was cooking for me while dancing to Graham Parker’s “Hold Back the Night,” I cooked and danced to that song in my own kitchen for my next three dinner parties. And so whenever I cross the Mason-Dixon line, which I do at least a few times a year, it is absolutely a non-negotiable requirement for me to make grits. And I don’t feel as spineless as I usually do about it because I think this particular brand of impresionable-ness falls under the very forgiving category of “When in Rome.”

It seriously never occurs to me to eat grits any other time the rest of the year, even though there is in fact a shrimp and grits recipe in Time for Dinner, and even though the girls (and Andy) have been coming to South Carolina their entire lives — Phoebe’s first trip was when she was 3 months old; Abby’s when she was 6 weeks. Tonight, we tossed in some sweet, plump shrimp (the shrimp down here deserves a different shellfish category altogether, btw) some fresh summer vegetables and had ourselves a Lowcountry Lovefest. (more…)

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Shrimp with Feta

April 21st, 2010 · 16 Comments · Dinner, Quick, Seafood

I realize there is a whole segment of the American population that is going to be instantly turned off by the title of this post. Seafood and cheese — that’s just…wrong. But this recipe might just change your mind, as it did for me the first time my friend Melissa made it for us about a decade ago. Melissa, co-author of  The New Brooklyn Cookbook, was one of my first kitchen heroes — one of those friends who would serve me something that I would then pass off as my own to the next dozen dinner guests I cooked it for. (Oh, this? Just something I came across…hmm where was it???) We’ve served it to bosses and in-laws, neighbors and siblings. And, of course, to our children — even when it meant cleaning the sauce off a few pieces of shrimp before serving.

Greek-Style Scampi

To make: Preheat oven to 425°F. Saute two minced garlic clove in olive oil in an ovenproof skillet set over medium heat. Add one 28-ounce can of tomatoes (drained, very important), and stir, breaking up tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes. Nestle in a pound of shrimp and cook until shrimp starts to turn pink all over, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle two-ish handfuls of feta on top and bake in your preheated oven for about five minutes until cheese is melty. Remove from oven, add chopped parsley and the juice of  half a lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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