Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Shrimp Burger

I threw this together a few nights ago. Approximately 20 small shrimp, peeled, deveined, and diced. One egg, beaten. Two scallions chopped. 1/3 cup Panko. Some lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning. Fried in butter for about 7 minutes per side. Served with a mayo, grain mustard, Frank’s Hot Sauce, lemon juice and Old Bay spread. Steak fries. Bok Choy with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes.

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry with Veggies

For years I have wondered why do I only find shrimp from Thailand here in New England–both at the supermarket and a favorite fish store. Why? Why aren’t Gulf Shrimp distributed and sold here in New England? I recently discovered a company called Biloxi Shrimp. And I ordered 10 pounds from them. I couldn’t be happier.

Reading from their website:

“Biloxi Shrimp Co. was founded in June 2020 by Mark Mavar and Jonathan McLendon, owners of merged commercial shrimp processing companies Biloxi Freezing & Processing, Inc. and M&M Shrimp Company LLC. 

“These two successful businessmen, whose commercial business tag line is “The Coolest Guys in Town,” were both born and raised in Biloxi, Mississippi “seafood capital of the world,” where they grew up in their respective families’ shrimp and seafood businesses with a natural love for their city, their Gulf Coast and their family heritage. 

“More of the history is detailed below, but in short, they built one of the largest and most modern shrimp processing facilities in the entire Gulf, serving both the restaurant/foodservice industry and retail stores. When the pandemic arrived in spring of 2020, they found their freezers full of product that would have otherwise been shipped to the shuttered restaurant industry. Naturally, with shrimp season set to begin soon, they needed a different sales channel to make room in their freezers for the new crop of shrimp soon to arrive at their docks.” (More on their website.)

Ingredients
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 small bunch asparagus, cut into small pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
A handful of cashews, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook until pink, 5 minutes, then remove from skillet.
  2. Return skillet to heat and heat sesame oil. Add asparagus, peas, mushrooms cook until about 5 minutes, but still crisp. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch, lemon juice, brown sugar, and the red pepper flakes. Add to skillet and toss to coat. Add cashews and shrimp and cook until heated through, 2 minutes.

The shrimp is delicious. Perfect. Here is the first dish I made earlier in the week; a simple stir fry with quinoa.

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

I never made Irish Soda Bread until this recent St. Patrick’s Day. Susan has been asking me to make it for years. “My mother always made it,” she said. “Would you make it for me?”

I did. It was delicious.

Me in the kitchen getting ready to make the bread. Freddy watching me.

I used a recipe from Julee Rosso’s cookbook, Great Good Food. Rosso is the co-author of the Silver Palate cookbooks and The New Basics Cookbook, which I believe total over 5 million copies in print.

She writes: “Grandma Clark taught me how she made this in the Old Country for special occasions. I know she’d like the taste of this one, even without the amount of butter she used.”

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar (Next time I might cut back on the sugar; 1/2 cup perhaps.)
  • Juice of two oranges (I also added the zest of the oranges.)
  • 1-½ cups golden raisins
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped (Rosso called for 1/4 cup applesauce; I didn’t have it.)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg, well beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray or wipe a 12 to 14 inch cast-iron skillet with vegetable oil (I used a bit of butter.) Line the buttered skillet with a circle of waxed paper. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter and set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, place the raisins and orange juice and chopped apple. Macerate until the raisins are plump. About 5 minutes. Drain.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add raisins, apples, zest to dry ingredients and toss well to coat.

Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, oil. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.

Spoon batter into the prepared skillet and smooth top. Drizzle the melted butter over the dough.

Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 1 hour. (Mine was done after 55 minutes.) Either serve warm directly from skillet, or let cool completely on a rack, and then wrap carefully and refrigerate overnight.

I served this with, what else, corned beef and cabbage!

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Fat Tuesday Jambalaya

Somebody has said that if ever a good Louisianian died, went to heaven and found no gumbo there, he’d come straight back!

I’m not from Louisiana. I am still standing. And I made gumbo a few months ago. Fat Tuesday called for Jambalaya. Homemade Hot Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya.

I based my recipe on this:

Susan made a Maraschino Walnut Cake. So delicious!

A recipe from the following book. If you can find it, buy it. It’s a classic.

McBride writes: “I would rather show my appreciation of American food by eating it than by writing about it. But because I have a weakness for trying everything once, I finally did begin the well-nigh impossible task of writing the history of America in its food.”
Posted in Color Photography, Documentary Photography, Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Chicken Sausage Gumbo

Every Christmas our son and his girlfriend return to Western Massachusetts from Denver to visit family and to celebrate the holiday.

Susan and I always prepare a special dinner for the two. One year we made their favorite; Chicken Piccata. Another year Pasta Putanesca. And once, Piccadillo.

Here I am at the stove making the Roux for the Gumbo. The recipe says to Stir, Stir, Stir. Do not stop stirring until the roux is the color of chocolate milk. This might take 45 minutes! And when you have a sore right shoulder it is work. At one point I did stop stirring, walked to the fridge, grabbed the container of chocolate milk so I could compare its color to the color of the roux. Close enough.
Chicken Sausage Gumbo.

Days later Susan and I had the leftovers for lunch.

Here is recipe upon which I based my Gumbo. Note: I baked two chicken breasts and once cooled cut them into bit-size pieces. I cooked bacon first, set it aside, and used the fat instead of oil to make the roux. I also used local Polish Kielbasa. And I added a can of chopped tomatoes to the dish. I didn’t have a green pepper so I used two seeded and chopped jalapeno peppers.

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Amazing Appetizer

I believe in using the good china. The good crystal. Drinking the champagne.

This appetizer is so delicious, and easy to prepare, it cries out to be served on a holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day. But for me, every day is a holiday. So get out your good china. Your good crystal. Abd uncork that bottle of champagne!

Here’s the recipe with my changes noted:

Reading from The New York Times:

“This was the first recipe that the chef and writer Gabrielle Hamilton brought to The Times as an Eat columnist for the Sunday magazine in 2016, a snack-tray-sandwich version of a celery-and-fennel salad served at her restaurant, Prune, in the East Village. It calls for thick, white toasted Pullman bread spread wall to wall with unsalted butter, with slices of blue cheese neatly laid on top, below a mound of shaved celery and thinly sliced scallions dressed in garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and the whole shebang dusted in ground black pepper before being cut in halves or quarters. ‘The ingredients come from the grocery store,” she wrote in her column. “These toasts are not expensive or intimidating, but they are outstanding.'”

Ingredients

  • 2 slices country white Pullman bread, 1/2-inch thick (I used Italian bread.)
  • Sweet butter
  • 4 ounces Cambozola triple-cream blue cheese, sliced, divided evenly between two toasts (I used Blue Cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. So delicious!)
  • 1 cup shaved celery, from the inner head, toughest outer stalks removed, thinly sliced on the bias (I also used many leaves.)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on bias all the way up from the white through the green
  • 1 large clove garlic (I did not use any garlic.)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Several grinds black pepper

Preparation

  1. Toast the bread to golden. Butter generously, “wall to wall.” Lay cheese slices on top of buttered toast, neatly, evenly. (I toasted the bread in the oven.)
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the celery and the scallions. Microplane the garlic into the celery mixture.
  3. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and stir very well, until completely dressed, almost wet with dressing.
  4. Mound the shaved celery salad evenly on top of the blue-cheese toasts, and grind black pepper over them very generously. Cut each in half or quarters. (I put the toasts back in the warm oven to slightly melt the cheese.)

I served this with lentil ham soup.

A few days later I made celery toasts again. This time I added a few chopped blue cheese stuffed green olives.

These served with roast chicken.

Bon Appetit!

Posted in Christmas, Color Photography, Documentary Photography, Food Photography, Inspiration

Christmas Day 2021

Woke to light snow covering the ground and trees. Snow enough to warm our hearts and delight the children.

Before heading to our daughter’s home, Susan and I took our Rapid Covid tests; both negative. Everyone attending the Christmas dinner took a rapid covid test. Sign of the times.

As soon as we arrived at the party, our granddaughter ran out of her house, a new camera in hand, and exclaimed, “Pops! Santa gave me a camera!” Here she is camera in hand:

Here are a few other photos from the day:

Posted in Black & White Photography, Christmas, Color Photography, Documentary Photography, Food Photography, Inspiration

Christmas Eve 2021

A blessing it was to host our traditional Family Christmas Eve Party a few short weeks ago. Last year we were unable to have our traditional Family Christmas Eve Party because of Covid.

Here is our menu:

Here are photos from the party (Click on photo to enlarge.):

Left to right: apple cranberry crisp by Susan; jalapeno corn muffins by Susan; Daryl looking at 2022 calendar of Rocky Mountain National Park photos by me; Julia and Daryl; Kate, Lauren and Owen opening presents; kielbasa; Lauren; Lauren and Owen looking at book of NYC photos by me; Owen and Lauren; Picadillo; sweet and spicy nut and pretzel mix; shrimp cocktail; Susan holding present from Julia and Daryl; new vinyl from Daryl.

A blessing and joy it was to get-together.