24 January 2009

The Bride Makes Shrimp Curry | First Attempt

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

The story goes that my mother once made this curry recipe and was so tired by the end, she served the dish and went straight to bed! While I don't think the recipe itself is difficult, I too was emotionally drained by the time it was placed on the table. I had built this meal up so much in my head all week that when we finally tasted it, I was disappointed that it didn't turn out the way I expected. Looking back with a clear head though, I see my mistakes and will make a second attempt at shrimp curry.

The recipe is torn from McCalls and is, I believe, circa 1968 give or take. I loved the illustrations on the page so much that I just had to make this the next recipe in the project!

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Curry Sauce

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped pared apple

1 clove garlic, crushed

2-3 tablespoons curry powder

¼ cup unsifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 cans (10 ½ oz size) condensed chicken broth, undiluted (do NOT skimp on this step!)

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons grated lime peel


2 pounds raw shrimp, shelled and deveined (18-20 per pound)

1 tablespoon salt

1 small onion, peeled and sliced

½ lemon, sliced

5 whole black peppers

¼ cup chopped chutney (I used sliced mango chutney)


  1. Make Curry Sauce: In hot butter in large skillet, saut̩ chopped onion, chopped apple, garlic, and curry powder until the onion is tender Рwill take about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat; blend in flour, 1 teaspoon salt, the ground ginger, cardamom and pepper
  3. Gradually stir in chicken broth, lime juice and grated lime peel
  4. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer sauce, uncovered 20 minutes, stirring it occasionally.

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography
  1. Meanwhile, cook Shrimp: Rinse shrimp under cold running water.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine 1 quart water, 1 tablespoon salt, the sliced onion, sliced lemon and whole black peppers; bring to boiling. Add the cleaned shrimp.
  3. Return to boiling; reduce heat, and simmer shrimp, uncovered, 5-10 minutes, or just until they are tender when tested with a fork.
  4. Drain shrimp, discarding cooking liquid. Add shrimp to curry sauce; stir in chopped chutney. Heat gently just to boiling.
  5. Serve the Shrimp Curry hot, with Curry Accompaniments and Fluffy White Rice below.

Makes 6 servings.

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Curry Accompaniments


Pickled watermelon rind

Chopped green pepper

Chopped green onion

Diced avocado

Cucumber slices

Diced tomato

Salted nuts; peanuts

Sliced banana; raisins

Pineapple chunks

Shredded coconut

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Fluffy White Rice*

1 ½ cups raw regular white rice

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ tablespoons butter
  1. In heavy, medium saucepan, with tight-fitting cover, combine 3 cups cold water with the rice, salt, and butter. Bring rice mixture to boiling, uncovered.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 12-14 minutes, or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
  3. Fluff up rice with a fork.

Makes 6 servings.

*I have a hard time with rice so feel free to substitute your preferred rice method for this recipe!

18 January 2009

For Buttermilk

On a tiny scrap of paper, is the reason my pancakes turn out fantastic. The reason I've never needed to buy a quart of buttermilk for a recipe that calls for a cup. This is quite possibly the best cooking tip/trick that I know - passed down from my Grandmother to my Mother to me...

For Buttermilk
add 2 tablespoons of lime, vinegar, lemon or grapefruit juice to 7/8 cup of milk.

My Notes: I've adjusted this tip in my everyday cooking to make measuring a bit easier. I use 2 tablespoons to 1 cup of milk with no problems. I've found that lemon is a fairly easy acid to use as most people have a bottle of lemon juice in their fridge. Vinegar has the advantage of offering different flavor options to enhance your dish. Case in point: For apple pancakes/waffles in the fall, I use Apple Cider Vinegar to give my buttermilk that extra kick.

02 January 2009

Creme de Menthe Squares

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

It is fitting that the first recipe in this project is one with a great story. My best friend and I decided to make these bars one day when we were about 12 years old. Not only did we pull a recipe out of my mother's box that contained alcohol, but the cap to the bottle of Creme de Menthe was stuck tight. The resulting search for an adult to open the bottle has long been a legend in both families!

My grandmother's version of the recipe was handwritten on a Michigan Bell notepad and dated "Summer of '82."

Creme de Menthe Squares

1 1/4 cups butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup green Creme de Menthe
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bottom Layer:
In a saucepan combine 1/2 cup butter with the cocoa, heat and stir until well blended. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir in graham cracker crumbs and mix well. Press into bottom of un-greased 9x13 pan.
Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography
Middle Layer:
Melt another 1/2 cup of butter and mix with Creme de Menthe. With mixer on a low speed, add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Spread over bottom layer and chill for 1 hour.

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography
Top Layer:
Combine remaining 1/4 cup butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips in saucepan. Stir until melted and spread over mint layer.

Chill entire pan for 1-2 hours prior to cutting. Cut into squares or diagonals and serve.