Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The Vagnino Recipes
Last night, I went to see "Julie & Julia" and while I found Julie Powell as a character to be incredibly annoying, Meryl Streep's performance definitely redeemed the $12.50 spent on the ticket. Yes, movies in NYC are that expensive.
The movie inspired me to cook and write about it -- after all, maybe if this were a food blog, I'd have Amanda Hesser coming over for dinner and a book deal just like Julie P.!
So for this entry only, pretend this is a food blog. I do love to cook and would honestly rank my skills at slightly-above-average. I still need to basically follow recipes, but the food I prepare is almost always tasty. And boy, can I ever zest the crap out of a lemon.
For a brief second, I contemplated posting my father's secret recipe for the "famous" Vagnino family spaghetti and meals. But then I decided that getting disinherited would be unwise, so instead I'll post a recipe from my aunt's humorous cookbook, How to Eat Like a Republican.
How do Republicans eat? Well, think heartland, think homestyle, think somewhat Southern. Many of the recipes in the book call for Tabasco and/or bacon and/or a shit-ton of butter. It's how we folks raised in the country's middle like to eat, regardless of the effects on our own middles.
This particular recipe was actually contributed by one of my aunt's Democrat friends -- it's called Zorba the Shrimp.
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 cups canned whole tomates (liquid reserved)
2 and 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
3 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Preheat the oven to 425.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or deep skillet. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the garlic, parsley, and dill, the stir in the mustard and sugar. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of the reserved tomato liquid and half of the feta. Simmer for 30 minutes, adjusting the consistency of the sauce with the remaining tomato liquid; it should not be too thick.
Add the shrimp, cook for one minute more, then pour the mixture into a heavy casserole. Sprinke with the rest of the feta and bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, until the shrimp are just done (bright pink, no gray left) and the feta melts.
Serve immediately over orzo or rice and great crunchy bread. Bon appetit!