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A 6 ‘7″ chef with a flair for home cooking has stolen my food heart. My first attempt to address him at an Appetite for Books appearance led to shy stuttering and a rescue by Montreal journalist Susan Schwartz, who recognized my distress and pitched in with my intended message. He’s very famous, for a Canadian, so I’m sure you all know him and can’t wait for him to steal your food hearts, too.
Michael Smith. Look up. Look way up. Look up to his cooking prowess, too, while you’re at it. I saw him make this Shrimp Cocktail on his TV show and discovered the recipe in his latest book “Back to Basics.” He makes cooking look simple, and his soothing voice makes you feel welcome and embraced.
Shrimp Cocktail at Its Very Best
- 3 c water
- 1 c really good white wine
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 t sea salt
- 1 lb large shrimp, shells on, thawed but cold
In a medium-sized pot, bring all ingredients except the shrimp to a boil. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and immediately remove the pot from the heat. Cover the pot, and let the shrimp poach for 8 minutes. Strain, plate and refrigerate the shrimp. Peel the chilled shrimp before serving, leaving the tails on. Garnish with parsley leaves and serve with Cocktail Sauce. Serves 6.
- 1 c ketchup
- 1/2 c horseradish
- 1 T each soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate. Amount is more than double what’s needed for 1 pound of shrimp.
- The old me figured that shrimp could simply be tossed into boiling water with some lemon for a couple of minutes. The old me could never understand why my shrimp were not flavourful. The new jittery me is ecstatic over the aromatic sea flavour of these shrimp. Don’t even ask about the cocktail sauce. Beyond, beyond, beyond perfect. Yep, that’s my food heart talking.
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- Thank you, Michael Smith, for granting me permission to blog away your recipes. Here’s to sharing many wonderful recipes together!
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