Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cauliflower’s the star of this surf & turf

We couldn’t have been more surprised with how this turned out. A surf-and-turf dish using the humble cauliflower as its underpinning? Prevention magazine’s new issue thought this was a good idea. It suggested that cauliflower can be a low-cal “turf” because its meaty texture contrasts well with the seafood.

Prevention (April 2011) used sea scallops in its version, but I had a couple-dozen shrimp in the fridge and subbed them (original recipe was called Sea Scallop Surf & Turf). Create flat disks by slicing the cauliflower crosswise. Roast the veggie slices in the oven while you get everything else ready.

The addition of capers, shallots, fresh parsley, and sun-dried tomatoes season this up nicely. Some toasted, crunchy pine nuts as topping are really great.

We loved the roasted cauliflower (I tossed in some leftover broccoli for roasting, too. Why not?) This all became a tasty, quick meal-in-one. Hubby, who sometimes queries, “Are we having something else with this?”, was content with this all-encompassing combo.

Shrimp Surf & Turf

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), stem removed
24 medium shrimp, rinsed and tails removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chopped dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or sherry wine vinegar)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line sheet pan with nonstick foil; coat lightly with olive oil spray. Slice head of cauliflower crosswise to create flat disks (1/2-inch thick); arrange on prepared pan. Coat tops with olive-oil spray; season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt (or salt substitute) and pepper. Roast in upper third of oven; turn veggies once with spatula until cauliflower is golden brown on both sides and is tender, about 25 minutes. Turn off heat and leave pan in oven to keep warm. Pat shrimp dry and season with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add shrimp and cook, turning once until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to plate. Add shallots, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes to skillet and cook. Stir over medium heat until shallots are tender, about 2 minutes Stir in vinegar. Return shrimp to pan, sprinkle with parsley, and heat through, about 2 minutes. Arrange cauliflower on plates; top with shrimp. Spoon juices from skillet over scallops; sprinkle with pine nuts. (Originally featured as Sea Scallop Surf and Turf). Makes 4 servings.

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