Making the most of shrimp

Recipe Finder

April 28, 1999|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Sun Staff

Shrimp -- one of America's favorite crustaceans -- is the subject of two recipe requests.

Bonnie C. Dunnigan of Finksburg wrote that she had a delicious cup of pumpkin-shrimp bisque at Rudy's 2900 Restaurant last year and was looking for a similar recipe. Beth Hunter of Timonium sent in her version, saying: "This recipe has been adapted from the 'New York Times International Cookbook.' I hope this is the one she is seeking."

Stacey Politzer of Baltimore wanted a recipe for shrimp in garlic sauce that is similar to the one served at Tio Pepe restaurant. Her answer came from Ellen Booker of Crofton, who wrote that her recipe was created by her sister. "My husband and I have tested many recipes as we attempted to re-create this dish, but I have to admit my sister's is the best duplication we have tried."

Recipe requests

* Sylvia A. Scott of Aberdeen writes that she works in an office where "we order lunch out every day. There is a deli in the area that serves a Seafood Lasagna that is great. It has scallop, shrimp and crab in it. The sauce is basil and tomato with provolone cheese, maybe. I have looked for this in many cookbooks but cannot find it. Would love to have it."

* Erin Drew of Salisbury remembers a dish for special occasions when she was growing up. "My late mother made a delectable dessert of crepes filled with lemon souffle and dusted with powdered sugar. All I recall is that they were first filled, then baked in the oven. Help with this lost recipe is greatly appreciated."

* Selma Kopelman of Brookline, Mass., writes that her daughter-in-law gave her a copy of a recipe called Sonny Bono's Pollo Chicken. "It has been lost, and if anyone knows about this, I'd very much like to have it."

* Mary W. Klauck of Rapid City, S.D., wants a pineapple upside-down cake using a cake mix. "I lost the one I had and it was so easy and so good."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Pumpkin-Shrimp Bisque

Serves 8

6 quarts water

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp

7 tablespoons butter

6 green onions, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

3 cups pumpkin puree

6 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup light cream

croutons, for garnish

freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Bring water and Old Bay to a boil in a large Dutch oven; add shrimp and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Drain well; discard liquid. Rinse shrimp with cold water. Peel and devein. Chill until needed.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan. Saute the green onion and onion until soft and golden. Add the pumpkin, chicken stock, salt and reserved shrimp. Bring to a boil, stirring, then simmer 10 minutes. Blend in small batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return soup to the pan.

Knead the flour with 2 tablespoons of butter and gradually add to the soup while beating with a whisk. Bring the soup to a boil, whisking until it thickens. Correct the seasoning, then add the light cream and remaining tablespoon of butter. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and croutons.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The flavor of shrimp is very subtle in this rich soup. Be sure to use plain, unspiced pumpkin puree. The organic brands tend to be the simplest, least artificial-tasting and are available in most stores. The texture is plush and decadent, but it might be improved if a handful of the shrimp were kept aside to garnish the finished bowls of soup. I don't think the nutmeg is really necessary; it brings it perilously close to pumpkin pie flavoring."

Garlic Shrimp

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon Italian or flatleaf parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon gumbo file powder

4 cups broth (use water the shrimp were steamed in and then add chicken stock to measure 4 cups)

2 pounds steamed shrimp, shells removed

In oil, saute onion and garlic until soft. Add flour and lightly brown. Add remaining ingredients, except shrimp. Stir until thick. Add shrimp. Serve with baguette.

Tester Reiley's comments: "I would use half as much liquid. Two cups, simmered in the onion/garlic roux, made quite enough sauce for 2 pounds of shrimp. The sauce is a pinkish brown, slightly thick sauce that tastes predominantly of garlic. Having eaten Tio Pepe's garlic shrimp many times, I would say that it's a close approximation, without quite the same richness. Also, I wonder if Tio Pepe's recipe has a bit of wine, sherry or other liquor in it to add a little verve."

Pub Date: 04/28/99

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