Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Classic Shrimp Cocktail-Las Vegas Style!

No food says Las Vegas like Shrimp Cocktail! I mean, .99 cent shrimp cocktail?!?! What a deal! When I moved to Las Vegas .99 cent shrimp cocktails were every where. You could walk in to a number of places like Silver City, Circus Circus, Binions Horseshoe, The Silver Slipper and get your fill of .99 cent shrimp cocktail-as many as you want. You still can! It was so much fun, and it still is. Did you know that Las Vegas uses more shrimp than any other city in the world?? That's a lot of shrimp cocktails.!!! And I love them. Here's my version:
Classic Shrimp Cocktail
5 Raw, Shell on Shrimp
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
3 tablespoon Cocktail Sauce
1 Lemon
2 leaves Romaine Lettuce
 Thaw the shrimp under cold running water.
This will only take a few minutes.
Peel each shrimp so that the only remaining skin is the
last little piece before the tail. Leave that piece and the
tail on.

Even though the shrimp I bought were deveined, I like
to remove the vein in the underside of the shrimp.
Take a small paring knife and cut into the shrimp
where the vein is. It will come out with your knife. 
If it doesn't, just scrape it out.
It is not necessary, I just think it is a cleaner look.

In a small pot or saucepan, add 1/2 cup of water,
1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of
Old Bay Seasoning. Bring the water mix to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, gently add the shrimp.
Cover the pot and let the shrimp cook for 2-3 minutes,
or until pink.
 Rinse with cold water and drain.
Make an ice bath. Put ice in a bowl, and fill with
Put the shrimp in the bowl, and put in the refrigerator.
Slice the ends off of the lemon.
Cut the lemon into quarters.
Cut each wedge about 1/4" to give it a place to
hang on the glass.
Take the 2 pieces of lettuce, wash it, and
cut the lettuce into 4 pieces, lengthwise.
Trim any dark or bad pieces off.
Turn the 4 pieces and cut.
Place the lettuce in a wine goblet.
Place the cocktail sauce on top of the lettuce.
Place the shrimp on top of the glass.
Add the lemon.
What a pretty appetizer!

Thanks for joining me today.

I hope you find the time to enjoy this appetizer.

Please stop by later today to check out our soup for Las Vegas week:
French Onion Soup!

See you then!

A Shopping I will Go!

Please let me apologize for this late post!!! The last 2 days have been very hard on The Freshman Cook. Late on Friday, as I was trying to post last weeks dessert, I realized that there was really a big problem with my computer. Especially my blog! Well, I finally got the dessert posted after about 2 1/2 hours, and then I went to work trying to figure it out. On late Sunday evening, as I was pulling out my last little bit of hair, I got it to work.
It was something so simple~it's stupid. Well, actually I am! Never, never, never, (and I know this), should I download something on to my blog that I am not very familiar with. It always comes back to haunt me. And it's always expensive!!
Oh well, I hope the problems associated with this screw up were not major for anyone! Again, I apologize if they were. So here is yesterdays blog of the menu and grocery list for this week. Thanks!

This weeks menu is based on something that is near and dear to me~Las Vegas. I moved here when I was 22 years old. I have lived here for the majority of my adult life.  I finished college here, I married someone who lived here, my son was born here, most of my life's big moments happened here. When I first moved to Las Vegas the extent of my "going out to eat" was fast food! That's just the life of a college kid. But here I got to go to nice dining rooms, with fancy, grown up names, and crystal chandeliers. The food was inexpensive everywhere. At that time it was cheaper for two people to eat out than at home.

 So we ate at fancy restaurants, at bars, at casinos, at little hole in the wall dives, and at buffets. It was good! No, it was great!! Which brings me back to today! This weeks menu is made up of my old time favorites from all over Las Vegas. I tried to get as close as I could to the original. I haven't been to some of the places in a while. I hope you will join me in my walk down memory food lane!

Appetizer~Shrimp Cocktail
Soup~French Onion Soup
Entree~BBQ Beef Tips
Side Dish~Nachos Nachos Nachos
Dessert~Carrot Cake

Here's our list:
Shrimp Cocktail:
Shrimp (5 per person-medium size)
1/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
2 pieces Romaine Lettuce
1 Lemon
1 stalk Celery
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Cocktail Sauce(3Tbl. per person)

French Onion Soup:
(for 6 people)
3 large Onions
Beef Base
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
6 slices French Bread
12 ounces Mozzarella Cheese

BBQ Beef Tips:
Prime Sirloin Beef (1/3 lb per person)
Sweet Onion
BBQ Sauce
Potatoes(1 per person)
Sour Cream

Nachos Nachos Nachos:
Mission Nacho Strips Restaurant Style(1 bag)
5 Cheese Mexican Blend Cheese (1 lb) 
(shredded if you can find it)
1 Tomato
2 Onion
1/2 lb Ground Beef
3 Jalapeno
1 lb dried Pinto Beans
8 slices Bacon
2 Garlic Cloves
Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 bunch Fresh Cilantro

Carrot Cake:
 1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
1 sm. box Yellow Pudding Mix
2 Eggs
Vegetable Oil
3 Carrots (large)
Cream Cheese(2 8oz. packages)

Thanks for joining me today. 

I hope you will come back tomorrow.
We will be making Shrimp Cocktail, Las Vegas Style!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Apple Bread Pudding w/Vanilla Sauce

Apple Bread pudding is this weeks fruit inspired dessert. Bread Pudding has long been a favorite of mine, and adding the apples definitely brings it up a notch! Comfort Food at it's best.!!
Apple Bread Pudding
3 cups Whipping Cream
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon Sugar
pinch Salt
8 slices French Bread
3 eggs
2 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the whipping cream into a saucepan.
Put the heat on low.
Add the butter.
Add 1 teaspoon of butter.
Add 1/2 cup sugar and pinch of salt.
Heat until the butter melts.
Using a 2 quart baking pan, butter the pan.
Tear the slices of bread into bite size pieces, 
and place them in the baking dish. They should not be
all the same size. This is a rustic dessert. It should
look homemade!
Place all the pieces in the pan.
Go bake to your sauce on the stove. Using a whisk,
mix the ingredients together. The butter should be
melted by now. Mix to make sure the cinnamon
is fully mixed, and not in clumps.
Pour the saucepan of cream over the bread in the baking dish.
Let the sauce and bread sit for a few minutes, but push 
down any pieces of bread that want to pop up
and not stay submerged.
Put the three eggs in a bowl,
and whisk them like you would for 
scrambled eggs. (Not real hard, but enough so the
whites and eggs are together)
Pour the eggs in the bread and cream mix. Stir it in.
Peel the apples.
 Core the apples with a corer, or cut around the core
as I did. You will end up with 4 quarters from each 
apple. Then slice the quarters.
Cut each quarter into 4 pieces.
Here are all your apples.
Sprinkle the apples and raisins over the mix in the pan.
Push the apples and raisins down into the mix.
We need to make a water bath to cook the bread 
pudding. To do that, place the baking dish with the
bread pudding in it inside a larger dish. The larger dish
has to have enough room to hold water.
 Pour water in to the larger pan so that it surround the smaller pan,
and pour it so that it is within 1"  of the top.
In a small bowl mix together the 1 tablespoon of sugar
and the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Thoroughly mix.
Sprinkle the mix over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake for 40 -60 minutes. To test, slide a knife in to the center.
If it comes out clean~it is done.
Vanilla Sauce
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
2 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Boiling Water
1teaspoon Vanilla
Boil water in a different pan or tea kettle.
In a saucepan, add sugar and cornstarch.
Add the boiling water to the pan.
Simmer for 5 minutes, then add butter and vanilla. 
Turn heat up to medium. Let heat until sauce thickens.
Pour sauce over bread pudding for a delicious treat.

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope you enjoyed all of our fruit inspired dishes.

Next week I will be featuring some of my
Las Vegas Favorites!

See you tomorrow!