Shrimp and Eggs

Is it just me, or does the idea of combining shrimp and eggs just seem weird?  Oh, I’m sure that there are bound to be chefs out there that know recipes that call for shrimp and eggs but, I’m just a simple home cook and, until this morning, shrimp and eggs lived in two different worlds. 

Eggs are extremely versatile, and there are many ways to prepare shrimp but, combing them into one dish never crossed my mind.  That all changed when I found some raw shrimp in the refrigerator this morning.  My daughter made (excellent) shrimp quesadillas a few nights ago and there were a few shrimp left over.

Raw shrimp doesn’t last long in the refrigerator so, quick action was needed.  I had planned on making simple scrambled eggs in the wok for breakfast but, I felt a sudden compulsion to marry the shrimp and eggs.  It was a beautiful ceremony!

Ingredients:

8 large, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 large eggs

1/4 cup chicken broth

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon sake

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1 green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal

2 Tbs canola oil

Directions:

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, sake and oyster sauce.  Stir quickly, to incorporate.  Add green onions.

Heat a wok to medium-high heat.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp.

Briefly stir-fry the shrimp until they turn pink. This might take only one minute.  Remove the shrimp and set aside in a warm place.

Add a tablespoon of oil into the wok and turn the heat on high.  When the oil is hot, add the egg mixture.

Scramble gently for about 1 minute, then return the shrimp to the wok.

Continue scrambling until the eggs are almost cooked. Remove from the heat and let it rest for a minute before serving.

King Cake French Toast

Mardi Gras is right around the corner and that means King Cakes are back in season.  My wife recently made her first attempt at making a King Cake and I must say, it was superb!  The texture of the cake was springy and light and the sweet glaze that topped the cake was sprinkled with yellow, green and purple confectioner sugar, in traditional New Orleans style.  We have been nibbling at the large cake for a few days and it occurred to me that it might be well suited for French toast.  So, that’s what I did this morning.

Ingredients:

Several 1” thick slices of King Cake

2 eggs

1 cup whole milk

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ lb butter (on stick)

Maple syrup

Directions:

Add eggs, milk and heavy cream to a shallow baking pan, or shallow plastic storage container.  Whisk the ingredients briskly. 

Lay the slices of King Cake in the mixture and allow the cake to soak for 15 minutes.  Turn the slices over and soak for another 15 minutes.

While the cake soaks, heat a large skillet, at low heat, and add the butter.

Once the butter begins to bubble, turn the heat up to medium heat.  Place slices of cake into the pan.  Do not overcrowd the pan. 

Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes and turn the slices over, after they have browned.  Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes and remove the slices to a serving dish. 

Serve with maple syrup, bacon and fresh fruit.

Quick and (Fancy) Easy Brunch

The inspiration for my most recent post came from a brunch dish I made recently.  I was expecting early morning visitors but I didn’t know how many (or if any) would show.  I took a page from one of my wife’s recipes and changed it a little.  She uses crescent roll dough to make a delicious breakfast sausage and cream cheese casserole.  Her recipe makes enough to feed a small army, which is perfect for large, holiday breakfasts.  Since I didn’t know how many people would actually show up, I decided to alter the recipe to make individual pastry cups.  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for several days and they are can be pulled out and reheated in a microwave oven for a quick and easy breakfast, or a light snack.

Breakfast Sausage and Cream Cheese Pastry Shells

Ingredients:

2  8-count crescent roll tubes

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage (mild)

8 oz cream cheese (1 pack)

Directions:

Cook the sausage in a skillet and remove, to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, crumble the sausage by hand to break down any large clumps.

Add the cream cheese to the sausage and mix thoroughly with a spatula.

Unroll the crescent roll dough on a clean and lightly floured surface.

Form the dough into a rectangle and press the edges together with your fingers.  Press the perforated parts of the dough together, lightly, with your fingers. 

Using a pastry cutter, or a clean credit card, if you don’t have a pastry cutter, slice the dough into 4” squares, to make 12 squares.  The squares don’t have to be perfectly square.

Lay the squares over the holes of a non-stick muffin pan.  Press the squares down to conform to the pan.

Drop the sausage and cream cheese mixture in the pastry shells by spoon.

Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the pastry are golden brown.

Serve warm, with a side of fresh fruit.