My good friend JoJo had our tennis group over for a festive cocktail party a couple weeks ago. Everyone brought hors d’oeuvres and we had the nicest time enjoying each other’s company. JoJo’s friend, Dorine, was visiting from New Hampshire, which was the inspiration for the party! This is a fabulous group of women who are passionate about both tennis and food!
|The Shrimp Dip is in the center.
|Doreen on the left and JoJo to the right.
I brought an old-fashioned Shrimp Dip that I found in my home-made Cookbook collection of recipes clipped over the years from magazines, newspapers, and old recipe files. I don’t have a clue where it came from, but it sure was yummy!
1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley, chopped (I used curly as that’s what I have growing.)
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 scallions, both white and green parts sliced
3/4 lb. cleaned, cooked shrimp, roughly chopped
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream (I used Greek style yogurt.)
2 Tbsp. bottled chili sauce, such as Heinz
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. drained bottled Horseradish
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
Couple dashes Tabasco sauce
Optional garnish: one whole shrimp and smoked paprika
Finely chop the onion and parsley. Thinly slice scallions. Coarsely chop the shrimp. In a medium bowl stir together cream cheese, sour cream (or yogurt), and mayo until smooth. Stir in parsley, onion, scallions, shrimp, and remaining ingredients until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with one whole shrimp if you like and smoked paprika. Cover and let the flavors marinate in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight. Dip keeps for up to a week.
Spaghetti Carbonara was my sister Cathy’s “signature” dish. It was her go-to dish when she needed something fast, yet elegant.
|Cathy’s on the left and I’m on the right.
We used to spend hours together planning
menus and that is what we’re doing here.
I saw Marc Murhpy make Carbonara on ‘Chopped’ the other night so decided to try his version. Did you know Marc Murphy was born in Milan Italy?
I happened to have a nice piece of guanciale from my friend Jay Bileti so used that instead of the bacon. Guanciale is cured pork from the pigs jowl or cheek. It is rich with a deep porky flavor. Pancetta works well, too, and is a bit more mild. Pancetta comes from the pigs belly. Both are fatty cuts and are great in Carbonara. Because bacon is both cured and smoked it provides a completely different flavor. Bacon was Cathy’s choice of meat in Carbonara and it seems it is Marc Murphy’s too! I LOVED the guanciale because it is such a rare and unique flavor.
|Jay displaying his guanciale.
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 pound slab bacon, cut into small dice (or guanciale or pancetta)
1 pound spaghetti (I like to use Bucatini as it is thicker and holds up well to the sauce.)
3 whole eggs, at room temperature
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil. Add 2 Tbsp. salt. Add pasta and cook 10-12 minutes or until just al dente. Render the bacon or guanciale until crisp. Do not drain fat. Add 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Combine eggs, cheese and black pepper in a large bowl. Drain the pasta and add to the egg mixture. Add a couple Tbsp. of pasta water, which thickens the sauce. Add bacon/guanciale and fat. Stir until eggs are cooked and pasta is well coated and creamy.
That’s it for today!
I’m going to pop a chicken in the oven
stuffed with lots of fresh herbs, lemon
and garlic. In about 1/2 hour the
house will smell great!
Keep Loving in your Kitchen!