2 Flatbread for The Golden Globes

Having tried pita for a short rib flatbread-type appetizer recently I wondered why some companies call them ‘pita’ while others say ‘pocket pita’. ALL pita have a pocket. Redundant much? While the pita I bought had very good flavor, cutting them into wedges revealed the double-layers and made eating the appetizer harder than it could have been.

Today I’m using Naan

Flatbread 1: Shrimp ‘scampi’ with white wine poached shrimp, great olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, Manzanilla olives, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and freshly ground black pepper layered on Naan that has been marked on both sides on a gas burner

Flatbread 2: Barbecue chicken with rotisserie chicken pulled and sauced with smoky barbecue sauce, quick pickle red onion, crispy Applewood smoked bacon bits and toasted sesame seeds layered on Naan that has been marked on both sides on a gas burner

Flatbread 2 might get some baby arugula because I have it on hand

Champagne or other favorite sparkling wine is always a good choice when you are serving foods with different flavors that a single wine might not be able to bring together.

Enjoy The Globes, or The Globs which is what they’re called around here!

Culinary confession

Culinary confessions are true confessions from the kitchen. Some might surprise, some may make you question my authority and some may entertain. In the end I hope they help and educate

Culinary confession: I am through buying frozen cooked shrimp

It is true; I have been buying and using frozen cooked shrimp for years now. It has been a crutch of sorts: easy to prepare and always a hit. I arrange (or pile) the thawed shrimp on a platter, garnish with sprigs of parsley and wedges of lemon (I’m not out to reinvent the wheel) and serve with my homemade cocktail sauce

But truth be told, I am done! I bought my ‘favorite’ frozen cooked shrimp for New Year’s Day and was nonplussed by them. It finally occurred to me: These shrimp have no flavor! None! No amount of sauce or lemon could help them. I was at a loss. I finished the Champagne and went to work on a Spicy Chicken Tortilla soup to make sure my taste buds were OK (despite enjoying the Champagne). I even thought I would just stop buying shrimp and find new recipes to make with my favorite shellfish, blue crab

Then I thought it was silly to eliminate shrimp from my repertoire, I just had to figure out a way to give them the flavor they so richly deserve

Resolved

I will forever now buy raw shrimp and cook them in a flavorful court bouillon myself. If food should have flavor then it is up to me to bring it forward and not rely on sauces and presentation. I may have stumbled with frozen cooked shrimp, but I am up-right again and back on track. I’m excited for my friends and family who will surely notice and feel the love and care that may have been missing all these years

Heck, maybe raw shrimp is even a better value

Court bouillon
Court bouillon is a great poaching liquid for fish, shellfish, poultry and vegetables

Ingredients
1 gallon water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup white wine
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
3 ribs celery heart (include fresh leaves)
1 medium carrot, ends trimmed, peeled, cut into thirds
1 lemon, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
8 steams fresh parsley
12 black peppercorns

Method
Combine all of the ingredients in a large kettle or heavy bottomed stock pot. Place over high heat and bring to the boil then lower to simmer and cook 30 minutes

Strain through several layers of cheesecloth and return to low heat if poaching small fish; or cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate 1 week or freeze in a zero degrees Fahrenheit freezer indefinitely

When poaching larger fish, add to the cold Court bouillon and bring to temperature
over medium heat

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