Cathy's Low Country Shrimp Boil

My daughter loves meals like this....we usually dump it all on a newspaper in the center of a table outside, but we ate this indoors and as half the dining table is being used as an office right now, we were slightly neater than usual. Not as much fun, but just as delicious.
Great flavors here and such an easy meal to put together, all in one pot. Cathy from Noble Pig has such great recipes!

Low Country Shrimp Boil
From Cathy at Noble Pig

2-1/2 pounds  extra large prawns, unpeeled
5 quarts  water
1 (12 oz) beer
1 bag Shrimp and Crab Boil
1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning
2 T kosher salt
2  lemons, juiced plus rinds
1 large onion, quartered
1-1/2 pounds small red potatoes
4 ears corn, broken into smaller pieces
1 lb  kielbasa
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic

Do ahead: de-vein shrimp and set aside on ice or in fridge until ready to use.
In a large stock pot, add water, beer, shrimp and crab boil, Old Bay, salt, lemon juice and rinds from both lemons and onion. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add corn and kielbasa, cook for 5 minutes more. Add shrimp, cooking for 3 minutes or until pink.

Drain broth and toss with butter that has been melted with minced garlic. (We melted some butter with minced garlic and then added a couple cups of the broth. Then, just drizzled it over the platter.

Serve on a bed of newspapers with lemon wedges and your choice of dipping sauces such as cocktail sauce or a spicy mayo.


Summer Tarts with Vegetable Spirals

From what I understand, a photo of these vegetable-swirled tarts was posted on the internet a couple years ago and went viral. Dina from Olive Oil and Lemons decided to replicate the recipe...I think I may have seen it on Pinterest and it caught my eye.

To begin with..these were delicious! Well worth the patience it took to make them. We only made four little tarts and wish we had made 12! My daughter and I have been splitting them and eating them for lunch every day. 
Dina's instructions look lengthy...don't let that frighten you from making these. You'll get the hang of it in no time. I lined the 4 1/2 inch pastry tins in advance and froze them; the cheese filling is simple, you just have to make certain the cheeses are room temperature. It's the slicing and swirling the vegetables that takes patience. The slices need to be very thin so they twirl nicely..you could use your mandolin or your vegetable peeler (press down hard if you use the peeler) and you'll need to trim your veggies to make them all the same height. Press them down into the cheese a little, it will hold the twirls in place. It's simpler than it looks. Patience!

Summer Tarts with Vegetable Spirals

From Olive Oil and Lemons

Ingredients for pastry:
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup ice water

Method for pastry:
Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the cold butter and pulse with on/off until the butter pieces are coated with the flour.
Begin adding the water in a thin and steady stream while continuing to pulse on and off. The dough may not yet come together but no loose flour remains.
Scrape the dough onto the work surface and shape the dough into a disk, handling it as little as possible. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When ready to proceed remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut in half. Working with one half at a time roll the dough out into a circle large enough for one 8 tart or 4 individual tarts.
To fit the dough into the tart pans I cut it into circles large enough to fit into the pans and pressed them into place individually. 
Gently press the dough into the tart pans and then roll the rolling pin over pressing it gently onto the edges. This will cut the dough into each individual tart pan.
Refrigerate until cold before filling. (I froze my tarts)

1/2 cup cream cheese
 1/2 cup goat cheese
 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine the cheeses in a bowl and bring to room temperature. When they are soft, mash them together with a spoon until blended.

Ingredients for the vegetables:
2 green zucchini
2 yellow zucchini
3 carrots
1/4 cup melted butter for brushing over the spirals before baking
salt (for sprinkling over the spiral before baking)

Method for assembling:
Cut off the ends of the zucchini and carrots, then slice into vertical ribbons with a mandolin or a vegetable peeler.
 Stack the  ribbons and cut them by half vertically so they are all approximately of equal width. Depending on their size, you may not need to cut the carrots.

Remove tart shells from the refrigerator and spread with some of the cheese filling.
Begin rolling the vegetables into a spiral form. Start with a ribbon of carrot and roll it onto itself tightly. You can press the veggies into the cheese to hold them in place. Now add another ribbon of green or yellow zucchini and wrap it around the carrot. Keep the skin side of the ribbons up for better visual. Continue wrapping the ribbons around, alternating the colors and making the spiral larger until you nearly reach the the edges of the tart shell.

Place the tarts on a baking sheet, brush melted butter over the vegetables and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and just beginning to turn golden. Do not let the vegetables brown.

Remove from oven, let cool a little and then remove from the tart pan.


Pierre Herme's Viennese Chocolate Sables

You can always tell when my daughter is coming to visit because you'll see a chocolate cookie recipe on my blog! Although calling Pierre Herme’s Viennese Chocolate Sables a "cookie" is an understatement. They are unique, ambrosial, delicate, velvety and elegantly simple. I didn't decorate mine, but just took a photograph on a white plate so you could see how gorgeous they are. These are perfection. With tea, with coffee, with anything....a show stopper. 

But I really want you to see them decorated too, so please give the Butter and Brioche blog a look...HERE...she's decorated them fit for a magazine shoot. (Which it may have been!) If you want to decorate yours, you could use a simple dusting of confectioner's sugar or go all out using white and dark chocolate for dipping and top with chopped, flaked or slivered nuts or almond nougatine. I'm too lazy and anyway, my daughter is all about the sable, not the decorations.

Pierre Herme's Viennese Chocolate Sables
Adapted From Pierre Herme's recipe via Butter and Brioche

1 3/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour, sifted
5 tablespoons best quality Cocoa, sifted
1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature.....very soft
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons lightly beaten egg whites ( I lightly beat 2 large egg whites, then measured out 3 tablespoons.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use two racks in the oven....line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Get a pastry bag ready with a medium-sized open star tip. (You can make these any shape you want.)

In a small bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat the butter until it is light and creamy. NOTE: For the recipe to be successful, the butter must be very soft.  

Whisk in the sugar and salt, then stir in the egg whites. NOTE: Don't be concerned when the mixture separates, as it will come together when you add the dry ingredients.  

Gradually add the flour/cocoa mixture and blend only until incorporated. Don't overwork. A light touch is what will give these cookies their characteristic crumbliness.

It is easier to work with this dough in batches. Spoon about 1/3 of the dough into your Pastry Bag. Pipe the dough into "W" shaped cookies, each about 2-inches long and 1 1/4-inches wide, and place 1-inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. If desired, you may pipe the cookies in any shape that you desire. 

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes (no more) or until they are set but neither browned nor hard. Remove from oven. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure that you don't put the dough on hot baking sheets.

Before serving, you can dust the cookies with powdered sugar or decorate any way you like.  


Rhubarb Mousse

This is my final rhubarb recipe for the summer. I promise. And I wasn't even going to do this one, but Food 52 sent it in an email and how could I resist? It reminded me so much of my mother's Lemon Sunshine recipe, I can't figure out why I never thought to make her recipe with rhubarb! Loved the amaretto addition too. 
It was so pretty to serve with some edible flowers...made it festive and elegant.  
Note: needs to be refrigerated 3 hours so the gelatin can set up nicely.

Rhubarb Mousse
From Kevin, via Food 52

Serves 4 - 6 

1 pound rhubarb – cut into 1” lengths  
4 tablespoons Amaretto - separated  
2 tablespoons water  
3/4 cup sugar  
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin  
1 lime  
2 egg yolks  
2 cups whipping cream  

Peel lime, being careful not to include pith, cut into strips, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate. (I didn't do this part as I used flowers to garnish.) Squeeze juice from lime(s). You need about 1 tablespoon. 
Place rhubarb in a large sauce pan with 2 tablespoons amaretto, water, and 1/4 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until rhubarb breaks down - about 15 minutes.
Transfer to a blender, add gelatin and lime juice, and process until smooth. Taste. The mixture should be fairly tart but should make you pucker. You made need to add a bit more lime juice or a bit more sugar. 

In a double boiler, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until they are a pale yellow. Cook over just bubbling water, stirring constantly, until yolks have thickened. Cool to room temperature. 

Mix rhubarb mixture with egg mixture. In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff then whip in remaining 2 tablespoons of Amaretto. Fold cream into rhubarb mixture.Chill at least 3 hours in your favorite serving glasses or bowls. 
When ready to serve, garnish with strips of lime peel. (Or edible flowers, if you have them.)


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