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--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shrimp de Jonghe and Broccoli with Mustard Seeds and Horseradish

Anybody who has ever eaten or worked at a traditional New England restaurant will recognize Shrimp de Jonghe because it's a standard "baked, stuffed" seafood dish. But I am happy to say that this one has a few extra touches that make it stand out--namely, medium-dry sherry and toasted almonds. The sherry is worked into the breadcrumb butter mixture, and the almonds are sprinkled on top. Both flavors work beautifully with the shrimp.

If you go ahead with the recipe (and it's so easy, why not?) please note that it is damn near impossible to mix softened butter with sherry as the recipe directs. Just dump the breadcrumbs right in and it will come together in seconds. I don't know what they were thinking with that one.


I have to confess that as an adult I'm kind of on the fence about broccoli. As a kid I loved it because my mom provided large bowls of what we called "broccoli sauce", made with Hellman's and lemon juice. Pretty sneaky lady, my mom. I would have eaten old sneakers if they had enough broccoli sauce on top.

But now that I'm grown up I wonder what it was about that sauce that perked broccoli up so much, and for sure it was the tart/creamy combo. Broccoli tossed with butter and vinegar will give you (kind of) the same kick, and of course hollandaise would do it if it's properly made. Cheese sauce or a gratin works for me--anything but plain steamed salted broccoli or raw on a crudite platter.

Broccoli with Mustard Seeds and Horseradish does it too, I'm happy to report. Epicurious does not have this recipe so I'll just fill you in--you saute mustard seeds in butter until they pop and then stir in lemon juice and horseradish--the prepared kind, not the sauce. A little salt and pepper, toss with previously steamed broccoli and you've got an unusual, extremely satisfying way to serve and eat broccoli. Dr. and Mrs. S., not usually big broccoli fans, really enjoyed this and I did too.

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