Category Archives: Fish/Seafood

Spicy Hot: Shrimp Wraps!

September 11, 2005

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INT. HOLLYWOOD MANSION–KITCHEN–DAY

Sizzling shrimp are the focus as Caryn prepares lunch. She tosses them around, determining that they are done, and then carries the skillet to the counter where the rest of the ingredients wait patiently.

Flora walks in with arms full of dirty laundry.

CARYN

Hey, Flora.

FLORA

It’s good to have you back again, Caryn. This place is so lonely when he’s on a movie.

Caryn smiles as she carefully drops the shrimp on top of the lettuce, cheese, tomato and jalapenos that sit in the center of a large flour wrap. Flora shoves the laundry into the chute and watches it tumble down to the basement.

CARYN

Will he be coming to the table for lunch today?

FLORA

No, Caryn, I’ll bring it to him.

Caryn stops, a bowl of pink sauce in her hand.

CARYN

Are you kidding me? I haven’t seen him in a week. Is he going to hide away in his room forever?

Flora shrugs apologetically. Caryn sighs with impatience. She finishes the wrap and slices it neatly in two before handing the plate to Flora.

CARYN (CONT’D)

In that case, Flora, tell him I’m leaving early today. I’ll put his dinner in the fridge.

Flora disappears through the swinging door. Caryn looks at the rest of the shrimp in the skillet. She resignedly shakes her head before taking out another wrap for herself.

Spicy Shrimp Wraps

This is a fast, but tasty, recipe for a quick meal. Pretty much all the portions of ingredients are negotiable, so adjust according to taste.

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 TB. ground cumin

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cayenne

2 TB. olive oil

1 lime

1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

1/2 cup tomato, diced

4 oz. hot jalapeno jack cheese, shredded

1/2 cup pickled jalapeno, chopped

4 large flour wraps (or flour tortillas)

Sauce:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 TB. sour cream

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped

2 tsp. adobo sauce

1. To make sauce, combine ingredients in small bowl until smooth.

2. Combine salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and cayenne. Add shrimp and toss to coat.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add shrimp and saute until cooked through, about two minutes. Remove from heat and squeeze lime over shrimp.

4. Evenly distribute lettuce, tomato, cheese and jalapenos over the bottom third portion of each of the four wraps. Divide shrimp over the other ingredients on the wraps. Drizzle with desired amount of sauce. For each wrap, fold in sides and roll up from the bottom. Slice in two and serve.

Yield: 4 wraps.

Memories of Childhood: Linguine with Clams!

September 2, 2005

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INT. KITCHEN IN ATLANTA HOME–EVENING–FLASHBACK, LATE 1970s

CHILD CARYN, about 5, sits at a table flanked by her YOUNG MOM and her blond-haired, blue-eyed SISTER KRISSY, about 7. Her YOUNG DAD sits across from her wearing square glasses with thick black frames. All are dressed in the appropriate attire for a family in the late 70s: bellbottoms.

Caryn and Krissy pick at the plate of pasta in front of them while their parents try to ignore them. Caryn sorts little pieces of indistinguishable seafood from the long strands.

CARYN

Mommy, what’s this?

YOUNG MOM

Linguine. Eat it.

CARYN

Lin-gweeeee-neeee?

Caryn spears a piece of shrimp with her fork and sniffs it. Krissy does the same and both girls immediately recoil in horror. For the rest of their meal, the girls attempt to clean the pasta of any evidence of the sauce before sucking up one strand at a time.

INT. CHURCH–CHRISTMAS EVE–FLASHBACK, EARLY 1980s

The traditional church with hard, mahogany pews is filled with the radiant light of the candles in the PARISHIONERS’ hands . The CHOIR leads the church in familiar Christmas hymns.

Mom, Dad, Krissy and Caryn, dressed in festive velvets and taffetas, sing the chorus with full, wide-opened mouths. One by one, the FOLKS in the pew in front of the family turn around to see who is behind them.

Mom and Dad seem to catch on to the unwanted attention before the two girls. Dad casually whispers to Mom at the start of the next verse.

DAD

Maybe next year we shouldn’t have the chicken with forty cloves of garlic before the candlelight service.

INT. ATLANTA KITCHEN–EVENING–FLASHBACK, 1980s

Caryn continues to grow up with every appearance. She wanders in wearing a neon orange sweatshirt with matching ribbons in her pigtails. Mom, now with a wavy perm in her hair, stirs parsley into a sauce on the stove.

CARYN

What’s for dinner?

MOM

Your favorite.

The drama queen spots the can of clams and staggers back.

CARYN

Nooooooooooo!!!!

INT. ATLANTA KITCHEN–DAY–FLASHBACK, LATE 1980s

Same place, same Mom in a sparkly blouse, but Caryn’s pigtails are now gone and she’s a tad bit taller. A large stock pot simmers on the stove. Mom peaks in as Caryn tries to steal a look too.

MOM

Want to try it?

Caryn is alarmed at the mere suggestion.

CARYN

Before dinner?

Mom flips off the lid.

MOM

Yep.

She scoops a little of the rich, tomato sauce into a bowl, leaving the chunks of pepperoni and sausage in the pot.

MOM (CONT’D)

I always like to have a little of the sauce with some bread for lunch. I like it better than on spaghetti.

She hands Caryn a slice of white bread. Mom and daughter tear off a piece of their bread and dip it into the sauce, coloring it a bright orangey-red. Caryn tastes it.

CARYN

Mmmmm. I wish we could have spaghetti every night!

Krissy, now the typical 80s teenager with big hair and colorful hoop earrings, walks in and sees them eating.

KRISSY

Hey! How come nobody called me?

INT. ATLANTA KITCHEN–EVENING–FLASHBACK, 1990

Dad, older but wearing the same thick-framed glasses as before, stands at the counter opening the mail. Mom stirs a pound of linguine into a pot of boiling water. The sound of a car’s motor is heard from the garage off the kitchen.

DAD

She’s baaaack.

Before long, a teenage Caryn comes in and unloads her backback in the middle of the floor.

MOM

Don’t leave that there. Take it upstairs.

CARYN

What’s for dinner?

MOM

Linguine.

Caryn dejectedly picks up the backpack and stomps out.

CARYN (O.S.)

Motherrrr, why can’t we ever have meatloaf or mac and cheese like a normal family?

Mom and Dad shrug to each other and continue about their business.

EXT. CARYN’S DUPLEX APARTMENT–EVENING–PRESENT DAY

A travel-weary Caryn drags her over-stuffed luggage up the steps of her front porch. She takes out her key to unlock the front door, but is surprised to find the door already slightly ajar.

INT. APARTMENT

Mom is sitting on the couch watching television when Caryn enters.

CARYN

Mom, what are you doing here?

MOM

I thought I’d come visit for a couple days. Good thing, too, because you really left this place a mess.

Caryn shoves the suitcases aside and plops down on the couch.

CARYN

You really could have given me a little warning before heading across the country to visit me.

MOM

I made dinner.

Caryn perks up at the thought of food. Mom goes into the kitchen.

CARYN

What’d you make?

MOM

Your favorite.

Mom’s Linguine with Shrimp and Clams

I learned to cook by watching my mother, who rarely made a bad meal. Originally from a Joy of Cooking recipe, Mom has made this quick pasta for as long as I can remember, much to the dismay of her children. She has adapted it over the years and often adds a dozen fresh littleneck clams to the canned. If using fresh clams, steam the clams in white wine by themselves in a pot with a lid. Make the sauce without the shrimp and add the steamed clams when you add the canned.

6 Tbl. olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1 cup minced clams with liquid (canned)

1/2 lb. shrimp, chopped into small pieces

1/8 tsp. oregano

1/2 cup white wine or vermouth

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 lb. linguine

parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1. Cook linguine according to package directions.

2. While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in large skillet until hot. Add minced garlic and cook gently 5 minutes.

3. Add parsley, clams, shrimp, oregano, wine and cayenne. Heat until bubbling and shrimp are pink.

4. Add sauce to hot cooked pasta and dress with parsley and lots of fresh parmesan.

Serves 3-4.

**This entry fulfills my obligation to the Memories of Childhood Meme for which I was tagged by Haverchuk. I’m now tagging Lisa at the new Lekker Lekker Lekkerste, Tara at the beautiful Seven Spoons and my buddy Danno at Cook’s Journal and Nola Cuisine (because he tagged me once before and I’m getting him back).

Market Street’s Shrimp & Grits!

June 21, 2005

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EXT. MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY–NIGHT

The only car out tonight is a stretch limo racing down the still warm pavement. Odd sight considering the area.

INT. LIMO

Caryn and Mr. R. are positioned at their opposite ends of the car, a mound of luggage piled on the seats between them. Mr. R. peers out the window.

MR. R.

I’m hungry.

Caryn looks out her window, but the car is enveloped in utter darkness.

CARYN

Shall we fetch some roadkill?

Mr. R. leans forward and rolls down the dividing window to speak to the driver.

MR. R.

Can you pull off at the next town to grab a quick bite?

The driver acknowledges the order but Caryn isn’t as willing to accept the change in plans.

CARYN

We’ll be late for our flight.

MR. R.

Don’t worry. They’ll accommodate me. I’m in first class.

Caryn sinks back into her seat and mutters to herself.

CARYN

I’m not.

EXT. COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI–MOMENTS LATER

The limo turns down a street bringing them into the center of an old, southern town. Beautifully preserved buildings lock in the secrets of their long history.

They approach a restaurant with big, glass windows that looks like the storefront of an old general store. A green sign in the window reads “Market Street Grocery and Grill.”

INT. LIMO

Mr. R. is considering his options when he sees the restaurant.

MR. R.

Stop here. This looks good.

INT. MARKET STREET GROCERY AND GRILL

Caryn and Mr. R. find themselves in the door of a classy, dimly-lit restaurant of polished wood. Dessert plates on the tables have been wiped clean, but the many happy DINERS show no signs of leaving just yet.

MR. R.

Ahh, civilization!

The HOST, a very tall man with dark hair, walks up and greets them. Friendly but showing no signs of recognition of his famed guest.

HOST

May I help you?

CARYN

Can we see a menu?

He hands them a menu and the two pour over it with discerning eyes. The lengthy list of delectable selections is a virtual buffet of southern classics, spiced up nicely by some signature recipes.

CARYN (CONT’D)

Shrimp and grits! Yes!

Mr. R. turns on the charm to the host.

MR. R.

Would it be possible to get some food packaged to go?

CARYN

We’re not staying?

Mr. R. feigns annoyance.

MR. R.

I thought you were concerned about missing the flight.

Caryn turns to the host.

CARYN

Table for two please.

As they are shown to a table, Caryn mutters to herself.

CARYN (CONT’D)

The plane will wait.

Market Street Grocery and Grill

121 5th Street South

Columbus, MS 39705

662-245-1086 ph.

Market Street is a culinary gem in the heart of downtown Columbus. If you’re in the area, you must stop by! If it’s too far, Chef Opal was kind of enough to provide a taste:

Market Street’s Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp Sauce:

3 cups shrimp stock

2 cups heavy cream

3 Tb. fresh basil – chiffonade

1/2 cup white wine

TT salt and pepper (white)

TT any seasonings, personal choice

1/4 cup roux, blonde. (or until thickened)

Reduce stock by 1/4. Then, add cream, basil, wine and seasoning. Heat to simmer then add roux. Whisk until it coats back of spoon.

Grits:

4 cups yellow grits (works best but Quaker grits will do.)

**enough water to prepare grits according to package directions

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1 cup cheddar cheese (or any creamy cheese)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

TT salt and pepper

Add grits to boiling water**, whisking.

Add cream, peppers and seasoning until thick.

Add cheese, stir until melted.

10 per plate – sauteed shrimp. 21/25 count works best. Peeled and deveined.

Plating:

Works best in large pasta bowl.

Grits in middle (cakes, scoops or slightly runny.)

Sauce on top and around.

Place shrimp around and on top of grits.

Garnish with green onions and chopped bacon.

Chef Opal’s recipe is an estimate based on her cooking in quantity for the restautant. Adjust portions as necessary, especially with the grits.