|Shrimps in Spicy Sauce|
This is really a nice recipe. It's colorful, tasty, and has what I call good "mouth appeal" as a main dish. I like to start it a couple of hours in advance. Gently saute 2 small cloves of chopped garlic along with ½ c. chopped onions. When the onions are tender, remove them from the heat for an hour or so to let the flavors blend. I don't know whether this does any good, but it sure gives the kitchen an appetizing aroma and starts one's digestive juices flowing.
Return the pan to the heat and add a small can of tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. chopped capers, ¼ c. chopped parsley and a dash or two of Tabasco sauce. Be gentle with that. When the sauce begins to boil, add about 12 oz.of cleaned and deveined shrimp and simmer until done. This doesn't take too long. Taste the sauce for proper seasoning. It should be tart but not sour, peppery but not too hot. Zesty might be a good description.
Vaqueros Y Indios
I rather like the Spanish translation of this dish: Cowboys and Indians. It derives, of course, from the white color of the rice and the red of the beans, as Moros y Cristianos means Black beans and white rice. Start with ½ c. raw rice and cook according to package instructions. I know the Frugal Gourmet would have a hissy over this, but use instant rice if you're in a tearing hurry. Don't tell and nobody will know the difference.
While rice cooks, prepare sofrito. In a skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and cook a small tomato which has been peeled, seeded and chopped with ¼ c. chopped onion and the same amount of a chopped green pepper. Sprinkle with season salt and stir often, mashing vegetables as they cook down.
When rice is done, add to it a 1-lb. can of light red kidney beans, undrained, and the finished sofrito. Stir and check seasoning; keep hot until ready to serve.
What? You've never tried plantains? Poor child, you've missed out on one of life's pleasures. But fear not, Uncle Pete is here, and he will take care of you and see to your education. First of all, a plantain is one of those funny looking things that resembles an ugly, overgrown banana. It looks that way because it's a cooking banana. Why is it that Americans think they're so sophisticated about food when the rest of the world has known about plantains for centuries? In many Latin American countries, they are a nutritious dietary staple like beans, rice or potatoes.
Buy either the greenish or yellow plantains at the produce section of any large market. They will usually be found near the bananas, and one large plantain will be enough for two people. There's not too much difference between the green and yellow ones except that the yellow, as you might surmise, will be somewhat sweeter. Neither will even begin to approach the sweetness of the common bananas.
Peel the fruit and cut diagonal slices about 2" long and ½" thick.
Fry in ¼" vegetable oil until they just begin to turn golden.
Remove the plantains to a sheet of brown wrapping paper; a paper bag will do. When cool enough to handle, cover with a second sheet of paper and mash with the heel of your hand until the slices are about ¼" thick. Return to the skillet and fry until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels and dust with either powdered or granulated sugar. Add a little cinnamon if you like. Serve hot.
Submitted By SAM LEFKOWITZ On 11-29-95
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