We started with the eggplant salad some of which was in cherry tomatoes. This was served with the pickles. Then the main course was Varza a la Cluj which was a dish of ground beef, rice, cabbage and a sour cream sauce topping. Absolutely delicious, all of it. Our hosts then served brie and followed it up with a blueberry sponge cake. More food than I have eaten in a long time. It turned out to be delightful weather and they have a deck come pergola in the back yard with a table and chairs which is where we sat. Very pleasant and a extremely enjoyable day. I don’t have any recipes but am hoping to get them later.
What a pity the local asparagus season is over and that, to make this recipe, one would have to buy asparagus in the store.
Shrimp and Asparagus Skewers
Source: Zoomer Magazine, CARP
Makes 6 skewers, easily doubled
Note: Keep the shells on shrimp for the barbecue, as they protect the meat from overcooking too quickly, and also hold in all of the tasty juices. I like to serve these skewers with a mint aoli. With an easy hand blender method, it’s a cinch to make.
12 asparagus spears, the fatter the better
18 large uncooked shrimp, with the shells on
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 clove garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
scant 1 cup olive oil
1 small handful fresh mint
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the bottom 2 inches (5 cm) from each asparagus spear, as the ends can often be a bit tough. Cut each spear into two finger-length pieces.
- Boil the spears for just 2 minutes, then drain. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking, then drain again.*
- Thread 3 shrimp and 4 pieces of asparagus onto 6 metal skewers. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed.
- To make the aoli, separate the eggs (see page 61) and put the yolks into a tall pitcher. Squeeze 1 lemon and roughly chop the garlic. Add the garlic, mustard, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the oil to the yolks.* *
- Put an immersion blender to the very bottom of the pitcher, then start it running. Pull the blender very slowly from the bottom of the pitcher. As you bring the blender nearer the top of the pitcher, the mayonnaise will thicken dramatically and you will feel a suction puling under the blades. Add more lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. If the mayonnaise is a bit thick but tastes lemony enough, add a splash of water and blend again. This can be made a few days in advance and kept well chilled, if you like.
- Before you begin cooking, check that your charcoal is glowing white hot, or your gas grill is preheated to 400ºF. Season the skewers with salt and pepper, then grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the asparagus is slightly charred and the shrimp are pink all over. Quickly chop the mint and add to the mayonnaise. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges to garnish. Serve immediately with the mint aoli.
* * Gently crack the shell against the side of the bowl. Slowly pull the shell apart as cleanly as possible along the crack, tipping the yolk into one half of the shell. Let the white drain away into a bowl below. Drop the yolk into another small bowl.
Hope my Canadian friends are enjoying their Civic holiday. For the rest, have a great day.