Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cajun Shrimp and Crab Scampi

By Paul Briand

Last week I bought horseradish as part of a Bloody Mary Burgers recipe. Which begged the question: Now what do I do with the horseradish?

I could drink Bloody Mary cocktails on a regular basis. I could make more Bloody Mary Burgers.

But in an effort to expand my culinary use of horseradish I went to the horseradish experts at

I'm impressed by how much is on the web site for appetizers, side dishes, main dishes and evens kids' dishes that use horseradish. I settled on this recipe for Cajun Shrimp and Crab Scampi.

1¼ pounds shrimp
½ pound crabmeat, flakes (imitation works fine)
4 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
½ cup white wine
1½ teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic and thyme
½ teaspoon black, white and red pepper
4 cups cooked rice
1 cup diced green onions

1. In large saucepan over medium heat, combine and simmer margarine, horseradish, wine and remaining spices
2. Add shrimp and crabmeat and cook until shrimp is bright pink;
3. Remove from heat, add green onions and mix well. Serve over rice.
Digg this

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bloody Mary Burgers

By Paul Briand

This week's recipe comes courtesy of my son David. I went to bed not knowing what this week's featured recipe would be, then woke up to an email from David that guided me to the Bloody Mary Burgers.

He actually wrote to suggest I start posting some of my recipes on It's a great suggestion and I will post some future recipes there. But my problem this week was that all my creative energies had been devoted in other areas outside the kitchen, so I had no recipes to create, so I went to Tastespotting instead in search of a fun recipe and happened upon this burger recipe that is accompanied by a Cucumber and Avocado Salsa.

I was amused by the Bloody Mary Burger name, derived from some of the ingredients found in a Bloody Mary cocktail -- Tabasco, Worcestershire, horseradish, celery. No tomato juice, but there is ketchup. No vodka, but I suppose a creative chef out there could find a way to make it work.

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons horseradish
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 cup bread crumbs

1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl;
2. Make four patties and grill until desired doneness.

Serve and top with Cucumber and Avocado Salsa as follows:

1 cucumber, sliced in half, seeds scooped out and large dice
1 diced ripe avocado
2 scallions sliced
Zest and juice of a lime
Splash of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
Handful of chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Whisk dressing ingredients together and stir in to the cucumber, avocado and scallion mixture;
2. Allow to chill in refrigerator to let everything marry and serve on the burgers.
Digg this

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ham and Potato Casserole

By Paul Briand

Apparently I wasn't alone on Monday, wondering what I was going to do with the leftover Easter ham in the refrigerator.

"Leftover ham recipes" was one of the biggest search inquiries on the web on Monday.

In a bow to a recent visit to Alabama, where everything we ate seemed to have some kind of pork associated with it, I concentrated my own search to the Southern Food section of and came with this recipe for Ham and Potato Casserole.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes, thinly sliced, about 4 to 5 cups
2 cups diced ham
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half-and-half or 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
salt, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional

1. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Heat oven to 325 degrees;
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter; add onion and celery and sauté until tender;
3. Add bell pepper and sauté for one minute longer;
4. Stir in flour until smooth;
5. Gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly;
6. Add seasonings and salt to taste;
7. Continue cooking, stirring, until thickened;
8. Add sliced potatoes and diced ham and stir to combine;
9. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish;
10. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes;
11. Remove foil and bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until potatoes are tender;
12. If desired, sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the casserole and bake for a few minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4 to 6.
Digg this

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stuffed Red Peppers

By Paul Briand

My wife and I spent part of last week in Alabama. She was on business; I was tagging along for the ride ... and for golf.

We spent some time in Birmingham and made a point of doing two things: 1) Seeing the civil rights sites in what was once known as the most segregated city in the country and 2) sampling the local cuisine.

Both were eye-opening. On the cuisine side, we had barbecue at Mrs. B's on Fourth, just down the street from the Civil Rights Institute, and it was certainly one of the highlights of our gastronomic tour of the south.

But it's always nice to come back to home cooking. The challenge was to tone it down a bit, but not so much as to be a total bore. So I made these Stuffed Red Peppers our first night back.

4 red peppers
1 pound of ground hamburger
Brown rice
4 cloves garlic
4 shallots
1 green pepper
Olive oil
8 ounces tomato sauce
Parsley, oregano, basil
Shredded cheddar cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees;
2. Prepare enough brown rice for two people, following directions on the package;
3. Halve and clean the red pepper and blanch them, set aside;
4. Mince the garlic, slice the shallots and dice the green pepper;
5. Add the vegetables to a medium hot skillet with olive oil and saute until just tender;
6. Add the hamburger and cook until no longer pink;
7. Turn the heat down on the mixture and add the cooked rice and tomato sauce;
8. Stir in the parsley, oregano and basil to taste;
9. Heat through until bubbly and remove from burner;
10. Spoon generous portions of the mixture into and onto the red pepper halves;
11. Top with generous amount of shredded cheese (Parmesan is an option here too);
12. Heat in oven until the cheese is melted and starting to bubble.
Digg this