{In case you're wondering, that means "Everyone to the table to eat!" in Italian}

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Best Shrimp Cocktail

Best shrimp cocktail ever! I got the recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Best Shrimp Cocktail
  • Shrimp:
  • 2 pounds deveined, shell-on jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 8 (2-inch) strips lemon peel plus 1/4 cup juice, from 2 lemons (reserve the lemon halves that have been juiced)
  • 8 cups ice
  • Cocktail sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Combine the shrimp, 4 cups cold water, salt, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves and celery seeds in a large pot. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring every so often, until the water registers 170 degrees and the shrimp are just beginning to turn pink, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and add the lemon peels, juice and lemon halves that have already been juiced. Cover the pot and let the mixture sit until the shrimp are completely pink and firm, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the ice into the pot and let the shrimp cool completely, about 5 minutes. Drain the water and peel the shrimp, leaving the tails intact. Refrigerate the shrimp up to 24 hours until ready to serve.
  3. For the cocktail sauce, whisk all the ingredients together until combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve with the shrimp.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup {Gluten-Free}

We have recently decided to go gluten-free as a family, but a few of our favorites have cream-of-something soup as an ingredient, so I came up with this recipe.  It tastes 1000 times better than canned soup and is way better for you, too!  If you aren't gluten-free, you could just use flour in the recipe. PS I have added a wheat-free label to my sidebar, so be sure to check those recipes out if you are looking for some ideas.  We have been using cornstarch a lot when a recipe calls for flour for thickening or coating meats, and it works great- we can't even tell the difference!

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup {Gluten-Free}
2 Tb butter
2 Tb cornstarch
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder or 1 cube
1 tsp dried parsley

Melt butter in saucepan.  Whisk in milk, water, cornstarch and bouillon.  Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened.  Mix in parsley and use in any recipe.  This makes the equivalent of one can of soup.

Suggestions for using this soup: Chicken Divan, Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Variations: you could use this recipe for any cream soup, just leave out the bouillon powder and...
  • Cream of Mushroom- sauté 4 ounces sliced mushrooms with butter, continue as directed.
  • Cream of Broccoli/Asparagus- trim 1 cup broccoli florets or asparagus spears, chop into 1/2" pieces, cook 'til tender, and add to soup at end of recipe.
  • Cream of Potato- Peel, cube & boil 1 potato 'til tender, add to soup at end of recipe.
  • Cream of Celery- sauté 1-2 chopped celery ribs with butter, continue as directed.
Each of these would need to be seasoned with salt & pepper at the end of cooking.  Enjoy!