Let the Parties Begin!

One of the great things about Christmas is the opportunity for parties with friends and family.  And of course this always involves food – lots of food!  So to get you started here is a very simple recipe you can prepare for your own party or take to one as your contribution to the festivities.

We are going to prepare a simple Shrimp Dip.  The ingredients are: an 8 ounce package of cream cheese, a 6 ounce can of small shrimp, mayonnaise, a teaspoon of garlic salt and a sweet onion (medium).

Before starting let the cream cheese come to room temperature and place it in a mixing bowl after cutting it into chunks.  Next open and drain the shrimp (don’t rinse) and finely chop or use a fork to mash the shrimp up and add it to the cream cheese.

Now chop the onion as finely as possible or use a food processor. Add the onion to the cream cheese and onion mixture.

Add the garlic salt and a rounded tablespoon of the mayo to the mixture and continue to mix well. If needed a few drops of milk can be added to help the ingredients mix better .  Now cover the mixture and refrigerate for about 24 hours to allow the individual flavors to blend together.

About 30 minutes before serving remove from the refrigerator and serve with your favorite chips or crackers.

Now if you are really industrious use your grill to prepare a small amount of freshly grilled shrimp and substitute for the canned shrimp. Tasty and different!

Not Near the One You Love, Love the One You’re Near!

No, this is not an X-rated post, but simply one about substitution!  One of my favorite places to dine out is Cheddars. They have a grilled tilapia with mango salsa topped with grilled shrimp – simply to die for!

We did grilled tilapia at home a few nights back and I found myself without mango salsa or the ingredients to prepare such.  So what to do?  I knew that tartar sauce or cocktail sauce or any other such sauce would be an insult to the grilled tilapia flavor. 

Well upon exploring the contents of the frig I found chunky salsa and a jar of peach-mango preserves.  You guessed it – take a couple of tablespoons of the chunky part of the salsa (getting only a little of the juice) and mix with a like or slightly larger amount of the preserves (balance the sweet and the tangy to suit your own taste) that has been heated just a few seconds so it will pour easily. Mix together and add a few bits of fresh cilantro!! 

Not what they serve at Cheddars, but it does add a tangy sweetness to the fish and I just bet it would go well with something like pork chops too! Many of you have probably already done something like this, but if you haven’t – try it – and feel free to substitute another flavor if peach-mango doesn’t appeal to you. Enjoy!!