By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist
Nothing was predictable for a lunch gathering we held
recently. There were strawberries and capers in the green salad, cloves of
boiled garlic threaded on skewers with shrimp, and chopped mangoes and
cucumbers topped crab quesadillas.
Two little boys visiting us looked slightly horrified
at this conglomeration and stuck with corn on the cob.
The rest seemed to love the surprises and gobbled up
everything. Those children, too, will probably become more adventurous when
they grow up. Our guests were polite and pleasant; however, I never believed
in preparing special meals for children who early on proclaim likes and
dislikes. I was reared in the “eat what’s put before you school,” as
were most Depression and World War II children.
Today’s children would have a hard time even
conceiving of being that grateful for food — any food.
Well, I didn’t intend to get off on a lecture when
all I want to suggest is that if you’re looking for a bit of dining
adventure, you’ll enjoy these recipes. You might want to have some corn on
the cob on the menu, too!
Each of these recipes involves a base of purchased
Crosse & Blackwell products — chutney, mint sauce and cocktail sauce.
The mint sauce was new to me. I found it makes a very interesting salad
dressing. Expensive crab in the quesadillas is nice but not necessary. We
tried them both ways.
Tomato, Garlic and Shrimp Skewers
seafood cocktail sauce
3 lg. cloves
garlic, finely chopped
2 T chopped
fresh basil or 2 t dried basil, crushed
1 lb. raw jumbo
shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 to 14 large
cloves garlic, peeled
3⁄4 cup water, boiling
1 basket (about
16) cherry tomatoes
4 to 6 10-inch
Hot cooked rice
Directions: Combine cocktail sauce, oil, finely
chopped garlic, basil and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Add shrimp, toss to
coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Add the 12 to 14 garlic
cloves to boiling water. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain. Peel. Alternately
thread the shrimp, garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes on skewers. Grill or
broil, turning and basting with remaining marinade, until shrimp turn pink.
Serve over rice. Serves 4 to 6.
Crab Quesadillas with Mango Mama Salsa
mango chutney, mild or hot
mango diced, peeled and pitted
red onion, chopped
cucumber, seeded and chopped
3 T fresh
1 T fresh lime
1 t fresh
Monterey Jack cheese, grated
4 to 6 oz.
flaked crabmeat, optional
6 8-inch flour
1 T vegetable
Place chutney in medium microwave-safe container. Microwave on high for 30
seconds or until steaming. Stir in mango, onion, cucumber, cilantro, lime
juice and ginger. Set aside until ready to serve. Combine cheese and
crabmeat (if using). Lay 3 tortillas on work surface. Divide cheese mixture
evenly among tortillas. Spread cheese mixture over tortillas. Cover with
remaining tortillas. Heat 1⁄2 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet
over medium heat. Cook quesadillas one at a time for about 2 minutes per
side or until cheese has melted and tortillas are crisp and lightly browned.
Repeat with remaining tortillas adding oil as necessary. Cut each quesadilla
into six wedges. Transfer to serving platter. Serve with chutney salsa. Top
with sour cream, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Mixed Greens with Strawberries & Toasted Walnuts
10 cups mixed
walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 T capers
Directions: Combine mint sauce, oil and mustard
in small bowl. Whisk until well blended. Combine salad greens and
strawberries in large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss salad. Sprinkle with
nuts and capers. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.