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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This mango/raspberry/shrimp-on-spinach salad was devoured in a hurry

I’m still working my way through telling you about that quartet of marvelous spinach salads that I’ve been mentioning. Today’s tub-thump is about Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad. With a recipe containing shrimp, mangoes, and raspberries along with the spinach, how can a person go wrong?

This recipe is part of that recent extravaganza in which Southern Living attempted to give an alternative to the traditional spinach-salad topper of hot-bacon dressing. These “newfangled” selections featured fruit, cheese, or nuts or a combo of all three.

This one involved grilling some fresh shrimp that had been marinated in Basil Vinaigrette. The grilled shrimp, tossed into a spinach, mango, and red onion mixture, had more Basil Vinaigrette added to it. Crumbled goat cheese (I subbed feta) and raspberries went on top.

This divine concoction didn’t last long around our house. Shrimp became my object of craving when I was expecting one of our children decades ago. I’ve never lost my attraction for it and thus, post-haste, gobbled down servings of this salad.

Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad

8 (12-inch) wooden skewers
2 pounds peeled, large raw shrimp (31/40 count)
Basil Vinaigrette, divided (see recipe below)
2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
2 mangos, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled (I used feta cheese)
1 cup fresh raspberries

Soak wooden skewers in water to cover (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile preheat grill to 350 to 400 degrees (medium-high heat). Devein shrimp, if desired. Combine shrimp and 3/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal and chill 15 minutes. Turn occasionally. Remove shrimp from marinade; discard marinade. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Grill shrimp, covered with grill lid, for 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp from skewers. In a large bowl toss spinach, mangoes, and onion with 1/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette; arrange on a serving platter. Top with grilled shrimp. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and raspberries. Serve with remaining Basil Vinaigrette. Makes 8 servings.

Basil Vinaigrette

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup olive oil

Whisk together the first seven ingredients. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Whisk constantly until mixture is smooth. (Recipe source: February 2012 Southern Living.)

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