A West Ashley reader is looking for shrimp stir-fry recipes. I wish I could say be sure to use Lowcountry shrimp, but shrimping season has not yet opened in South Carolina this year. The word is it will be sometime in early June.
Indications are that the catch won't be plentiful, I hear. Let's hope that forecast somehow changes -- my freezer stock is running very low, and I bet I'm not alone.
Henry Babilon of Walterboro kindly shared a few straightforward, easy recipes in response to the request. Serve with cooked rice and you're good to go.
Editor's note: Although these recipes don't say so, I think it is best to remove and reserve the shrimp after the initial stir-frying so they don't overcook. Add them back in at the end with the sauces.
Oriental Shrimp Stir-Fry
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
2 tablespoons chablis or other dry white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
Vegetable cooking spray
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons peeled, minced ginger root
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 pounds medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups Chinese cabbage, such as Napa, chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Remove scales from stalks with a knife or vegetable peeler, if desired. Cut asparagus diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Combine wine, vinegar and soy sauce in a small bowl, stirring well; set aside. Coat a wok or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add oil. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Add minced green onions, ginger root and minced garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add shrimp and asparagus and stir-fry 5 minutes. Add wine mixture and cabbage; stir-fry mixture 5 minutes.
Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add to shrimp mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Serve.
Shrimp, Peppers and Pea Pods
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined and split
1/2 onion, cut in half and sliced
1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 pound pea pods (snow or sugar snap), stringed and blanched
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Heat oil in wok. Stir-fry garlic 1 minute. Add shrimp, fry 3 minutes until pink. Add onion, mushrooms, peppers and pea pods. Fry 2 minutes. Add soy and oyster sauces. Toss.
In separate small pan, heat pan to hot. Don't use any oil. Toast seeds until light brown. Remove wok from heat. Garnish stir-fry with sesame seeds.
A trifle more
Here's a belated thanks to some folks who also supplied recipes for the recent trifle request: Eloise Gatch of Walterboro and Amy Hartley of Huger.
I also wanted to revisit trifles after hearing from Maxwell Mowry of Charleston. He offered two trifle recipes "that are quite different from the traditional fruit-and-sherry trifles," he wrote.
"I first encountered the Brownie Trifle about 10 years ago when St. Johannes Lutheran Church at the corner of Hasell and Anson streets downtown had a dessert cafe during the Spoleto Festival. The day that I sampled the Brownie Trifle, the woman who made it was one of the volunteers, and she kindly shared the recipe with me. It's been a favorite ever since."
1 package brownie mix (Duncan Hines recommended)
1/4 cup praline liqueur or Amaretto
Large package (5.1-ounce) instant chocolate pudding, made according to package directions
1 package brickle pieces or 8 Heath bars, crushed
12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, defrosted
Bake the brownies according to the package directions in an 8x8-inch pan. Brush praline liqueur or Amaretto over the brownies in the pan while slightly warm.
Remove half the brownies from the pan, crumble and place in a deep bowl or trifle bowl. Prepare the instant chocolate pudding according to the package directions, and pour half over the brownie pieces in the bowl.
Sprinkle half the brickle pieces over the pudding, then spread half the container of whipped topping over this.
Repeat these layers with the remaining ingredients: crumbled brownies, pudding, brickle and topping. Chill until ready to serve.
Along those "different" lines is this recipe from Sara Peagler of Cross.
Cappuccino Mousse Trifle
2 1/2 cups cold milk
1/3 cup instant coffee granules
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 loaves (10 3/4 ounces each) frozen pound cake, thawed and cubed
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, stir milk and coffee granules until dissolved; remove 1 cup and set aside. Add pudding mixes to the remaining milk mixture; beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in half of the whipped topping.
Place a third of the cake cubes in a 4-quart serving or trifle bowl. Layer with a third of the reserved milk mixture and pudding mixture and a fourth of the grated chocolate. Repeat layers twice. Garnish with remaining whipped topping and chocolate. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Who's got the recipe?
--A Ravenel reader wants to hear from people who make a good turkey burger, and how they do it with seasonings, cheese, toppings, etc.
--Still looking: Sandra Salmon has lost a recipe clipping for a dessert she describes this way: multiple fresh fruits (she used strawberries, peaches and blueberries), "frosted" with sour cream and sprinkled with brown sugar. No cake or crumb base, strictly fruits. It was chilled overnight and served chilled.
--A caller asked for good recipes to make peanut (or other nut) brittle.
Looking for a recipe or have one to share? Reach Food Editor Teresa Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org, 937-4886, or 134 Columbus St., Charleston, SC 29403-4800.