I don’t think so. I love shellfish, but not so much before noon. Hence, I made #108 a dinner. This was a special dinner because I had guests. I played hostess to my friend Melissa, who is getting married later this month, and two of her bridesmaids, Kate and Erin (Erin has had the DiS! experience before–she participated in Pot Roast in Foil). I hosted this quasi-bridal shower because I didn’t attend Melissa’s actual shower due to the hurricane that wasn’t.
But I digress. Since the bride-to-be is a vegetarian, I had a hard time finding a dinner to serve. The powers that be over Marjon Promotions were very meat-minded (for real. Last night–this is many meals later, mind you–Cleave said to me “man, we eat a lot of meat.” And we do. And it’s showing up on the scale. But I am a slave to Dinner is Served!) Hold on, where was I again? Oh–thank heavens that Melissa isn’t full-on veg and eats seafood. So I selected stuffed shrimp.
Since I was feeding people other than Cleve and was, in essence, entertaining, I did the bulk of the work for #108 the night before.
I began with the Warm Sour Cream Apple Kuchen. I’ve never heard of this so I kept calling it ‘coo-chen.” Cleve corrected me. It’s pronounced “kook-in.” I guess he had this a lot growing up? Is it a German thing? Anyway, it’s basically just a cake covered in apples.
I used this recipe from Food.com:
- 1 (18 1/4 ounce) packages yellow cake mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 eggs
- 4 -5 apples, large, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place a rack in the center of the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Lightly grease the pan(s) of your choice according to how moist or firm you like your cake.
- 9×13 inch pan for a moist, gooey cake.
- 10×15 inch jelly roll pan for a firmer, sheet cake.
- Or 2 8×10 disposable pans for firm cakes (that are great for bake sales.).
- In a large mixing bowl, place the cake mix, sour cream, 4 Tablespoons butter and the egg.
- Blend on low speed just until the mixture forms a thick dough (about 1 minute).
- Gently press the dough evenly over the bottom of your chosen pan(s) so that it reaches the sides.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice in another mixing bowl.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Remove the cake from the oven but leave the oven on.
- Arrange the apple slices in rows over the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the apples.
- Drizzle the remaining 4 Tablespoons of melted butter over the sugar mixture.
- Return the pan(s) to the oven and bake the cake until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (30 – 40 minutes for the firmer cakes), (Ann Byrn bakes her 9×13 for 30-32 minutes but this was too gooey in the center for me).
- Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.
A note with the cake, I used a lot less sugar for the cinnamon-sugar topping. The damn thing was going to be sweet enough without an additional 1/2 cup of sugar! Another note, this ended up being A LOT of cake. Good cake, but a lot of it.
Another thing that I pre-made was the shrimp.
I splurged and bought the jumbo shrimp because shrimp shrink so much when they’re cooked. This recipe was pretty much what you’d expect in a stuffed shrimp recipe: bread crumbs, onion, mayo, etc. One exception: the neat way that the shrimp were stuffed–they were curled in a pinwheel shape and fastened with a toothpick. I’m used to butterflying the fish and placing the stuffing on top. Well, this method is far superior. It’ moves along the stuffing process and it’s super-easy to serve. Well done, DiS!
They fit perfectly in my new circular faux-Pyrex dish that I got from Goodwill.
Here is where the real brunch-y part comes in: scrambled eggs with chunky tomato sauce.
For the chunky tomato sauce I combined a can of diced tomatoes, some onion, garlic, herbs–I basically threw together a lot of Italian-type ingredients in the hope that the result would be something good.
Yeah, not really. It tasted like the individual ingredients–nothing really melded into a cohesive sauce. In hindsight, I would’ve been better off serving the eggs with some jarred salsa. It would’ve been easier and tasted better.
Although I didn’t take a picture, for the fruit I combined a can of peaches (in lite syrup) and canned tart cherries in water. I combined them in a bowl. Done. And pretty good.
A few sesame sticks, a bowl of almonds, and a couple glasses of sherry later–
Here is the end result:
Not a bad interpretation, if I do say so myself. These shrimp were really frickin’ good. I don’t know about the other ladies, but I could have easily taken down a whole dozen of these. When I reheated them for dinner I put the oil/butter mixture on them (I also added a healthy sprinkle of paprika) and then placed them in the oven for the suggested 15-20 minutes. I didn’t like the way the shrimp looked at this point so I put the dish under the broiler–checking it frequently–until I got a nice golden color. It was perfect.
I already covered the eggs with the sauce. In addition to the sauce not turning out as well as I would’ve liked, I’m not very good at making scrambled eggs. If anyone has any tips on that, they would be greatly appreciated.
Also, I baked without incident. Always a win for me.
I also want to mention that the bride-elect–by the way, I love that term. It seems so ridiculous to me. Yes, we the Bridal Board give you permission to drop a crap-ton of cash on a dress you will only wear once, tiny napkins with your name on them, Jordan almonds, and a cover band; sign a document that legally binds you to someone else; and change your name, therefore confusing your co-workers, friends, and creditors alike. After that process you will live happily ever after with all the love and joy and security and all the other good-type stuff that happens once you are accepted into our totally awesome and totally exclusive club!
I now totally forget what the point of this was.
Oh! The bride-elect was the one who brought the sherry. And it was a deeeeeee-licous sherry. It was a cream sherry from Spain (how fancy, ole!) and we all enjoyed it very much. I typically only have sherry in the house for cooking (and wow does Dinner is Served! love its sherry) but I would totally get this again for sipping. I’d put my mink stole and my pearls on, drink it out of a tiny glass, and pretend that I’m Bette Davis.
Damnit, Bette is so freakin’ awesome! I urge you all to rent “All About Eve” right now.
Anyway, I thought that #108 was a success and I hope that the ladies thought the same. It was my pleasure hosting this little soiree. Early congratulations to Melissa and her groom-elect, Trey!
Yes, I did go into rhyming verse for some reason.