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.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Marinated Shrimp Salad with Avocado—summer food at its finest

This was as refreshing a summer salad as you could want—and talk about colorful! Red from the bell pepper and onion, green from the avocado plus salad greens, mint, and cilantro, and then orange sections—beautiful in appearance and delightfully healthy.

From my garden were the red onion and mint, although we expect the red bell pepper before the summer’s over. Shrimp and avocado have got to be one of the best combinations around.

To amp up the color one more notch I enjoyed serving this on my grandmother’s Fiesta dishes—not today’s new Fiesta so popular with brides but the authentic issue, which as a child I dined on at her table. Platters full of fried chicken were heaped on those plates once upon a time; today’s fare is a little more health-conscious, but the memories remain. What will our grandkids remember being served at our house?

Marinated Shrimp Salad with Avocado looks a lot more complicated than it is. All these steps are a breeze. As with the typical salad prep, the only time-consuming part is the chopping and slicing. It’s a goodie!

Marinated Shrimp Salad with Avocado

1 pound Perfect Poached Shrimp (see below)
4 oranges, sectioned
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Citrus Vinaigrette (see below)
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce (I subbed spinach)
2 medium avocados, cubed

Citrus Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon country-style Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Perfect Poached Shrimp:
4 quarts water
juice from 1 lemon
lemon halves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt (or salt substitute)
2 pounds unpeeled, large raw shrimp (this recipe calls for 1 pound; you have 1 pound remaining for another recipe)

To prepare shrimp, fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water. Pour 4 quarts water into a Dutch oven; squeeze juice from the lemon into the Dutch oven. Stir in lemon halves, peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add 2 pounds (26/30 count) large raw shrimp. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Stir shrimp into ice water; let stand 10 minutes. Peel and devein shrimp.

For salad combine first six ingredients in a large bowl; whisk together ingredients for Citrus Vinaigrette and pour over shrimp mixture. Gently toss to combine. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours. Place lettuce on a platter. Spoon shrimp mixture over lettuce. Reserve vinaigrette. Drizzle with reserved vinaigrette. Top with avocado. Makes 6 servings. (Source: Southern Living May 2012)

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