This is a spectacular and easy dinner to make and serve for 2 or 4. While it may be called a beet “vinaigrette”, it still retains its beetiness with the background flavors amping it up a bit and really delivering. The vinaigrette can even be prepared a day in advance. It pairs wonderfully with the salmon, is a refreshing change from a potato or pasta and looks beautiful on the plate.
Rob’s mother Alice regularly has her girlfriends over and I’m always happy to get an invite. They are my very first South Jersey girlfriends and I really enjoy their company. We talk, laugh, share stories, drink wine and eat. We all sat around her deck this evening since it’s a bit cooler than it’s been and she has lots of nice, big shady trees. I love this dish and it was perfect tonight: a one-pot meal that she put on the table with a big bowl of rice and everyone helped themselves. It was seamless and easy. I know this is a bastardized version of a more authentic shrimp creole, but the point here is not to slave over homemade shrimp stock. And there are times, especially when girlfriends, wine and lots of chit-chat are involved, that it is of the utmost importance to stay put. If there’s a lot of running to-and-fro to get this-and-that or to make sure something is served at its perfect temp, you’re just plain old going to miss out. Miss the end of someone’s story when they’ve already more than moved on to another topic. “But what happened after she got locked in the school and had to call her husband? Or did the police get there first?…”
Pretty darn good bastardized version
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1, 1 pound can whole tomatoes
- 1, 8 ounce can seasoned tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- Dash of tabasco (or more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons cold water
- 1 pound raw, cleaned shrimp
- 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Heat oil in a large pot and cook onion, celery and garlic until soft but not brown. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water and stir into sauce. Cook and stir until mixture thickens. Add shrimp, green pepper and parsley. Simmer for 5 minutes or until shrimp are just done. Serve with rice.
Credit: Recipe courtesy of Alice’s friend Betty.