Friday’s ‘on sale’ Bread used on Sunday

Stop and Shop, a large food retailer, one of my ‘local’ sources, has a special on loves of Italian bread on Fridays. Loaves that usually sell for two dollars a loaf, are one dollar per loaf. I think they were driven to this action by the competing Met Foods down the road which has a deal with my local Monreal bakery selling loaves of Italian and French bread for a dollar a loaf on Fridays. Any given Friday when you walk into Met Foods there is the wall of fresh baked bread aroma, and several racks of bread just rolled out into the store isles. So, with this king of Friday deal, I usually pick up two loaves, one to use right away nice and fresh. The other I leave out to use on Sunday. By Sunday, the loaf left out has dries sufficiently to make a wonderful bread pudding. Now that autumn is here, its time to break out the autumnal treats.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups whole milk (or 2 cups half & half)
  • 1 stick (1/4 cup, or 4 tbsp) butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark, depending on taste preference)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of dried bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk (or half & half) just until film forms over top. Combine butter and milk, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to this mixture until its lukewarm. Now, in a large bowl combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Beat this until its well mixed and then slowly add the milk mixture.

Place the bread in a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with raisins if desired, and pour the batter on top of bread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm, perhaps with egg nog or warm cider.

Shrimp Salad for Summer

Here’s a nice appetizer that you can make for the hotter days of summer with all that shrimp we stocked up on at the Stop and Shop sale… right… Well, I enjoy this roast shrimp salad served on endive. It’s a simple presentation for an appetizer that’s a little more complicated.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Roasted Shrimp with Lime

  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Shrimp Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt and pepper then bake in the oven for 4-6 minutes (depending on shrimp size) or until light pink and the edges are slightly curled.

Remove the shrimp from the oven and immediately toss with lime juice, set aside to cool.

Now, let’s make the dressing. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, tarragon, mint, parsley, and sea salt… and blend well.

Chop the roasted shrimp into small pieces then toss with the dressing. Slice the end of each endive and separate the leaves. Fill each leaf with a spoonful of shrimp salad and present on a serving platter.

Simple Shrimp Sauce and Pasta

Shrimp and pasta… did I mention that Stop and Shop has a sale on shrimp. Well, here’s a nice quick shrimp and pasta dish that works best when the shrimp are of a medium size rather than those super-jumbo ‘revenge of the shrimp’ size crustaceans they are farming these days.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 lb peeled and deveined medium shrimp
• 4 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled and forced through a garlic press
• 1/2 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
• 1/2 cup Duck Walk white wine
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3/4 lb linguini
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• Romano and / or Parmesan cheese for garnish

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of water to a boil with a shake or two of sea salt.

Now, heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté shrimp, about 2 minutes, and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, wine, salt, and pepper to oil remaining in skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, about a minute or so. Then, add the butter to skillet, stirring until melted; this is the sauce to which we will add the shrimp. So, stir in shrimp, combine thoroughly and remove skillet from heat.

While making the shrimp sauce, cook pasta in boiling water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Toss pasta well with shrimp mixture and parsley in large bowl, adding some of reserved cooking water if necessary to keep moist. Plate it up and garnish with shaved Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Serve this with the rest of that Duck Walk wine, and enjoy a sunny dinner out on the porch.