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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Try this tart-sweet pickled shrimp appetizer

“Quelle surprise.”
That’s all that I could muster when the doctor told me that I had been working through pneumonia for the past week. Oh, the mistakes of stubborn and stupid men. I tend to convince myself that I can magically make a random head cold go away; then, when it turns into bronchitis, I always figure I’ll give it just one more day to save the time and money related to a doctor’s appointment. And then, when I just can’t take it anymore, I go to see the people who actually know what they’re talking about. Alas, this is when I get the news that I don’t want, but that so far hasn’t been too devastating.
I guess now that I’m in my late-forties, it’s time to start taking occurrences like this a little more seriously, as this is when you start hearing about people who aren’t so lucky as to escape with a simple nebulizer treatment and some antibiotic shots. I count my lucky stars every day that my poor decisions haven’t hurt me any more than they have.
You see, things get away from me once I’m in full swing in the semester. Things get a tad crazy, as it does for everyone, and before I know it Halloween is almost here and Christmas is but a short hop, skip and a jump away. The next thing I know, I’m looking around the room trying to figure out where my next breath is coming from, a place that no one should be.
But, more important than that is the fact that I am always amazed at how quickly a few antibiotics will clear things out. I try to avoid antibiotics, but sometimes you just need to take them. And as I feel much better right now, I can attest to the fact that it was well worth the visit to the doctor. Does this mean that I’ll keep ignoring episodes in the future to make the recovery all the better? I certainly hope not, but as I wrote on social media today, “#StupidMenDoingStupidThings.” That just about sums it up.
So here I sit nursing myself back to health in the college’s kitchen, as work stops for no man (have no fear; doc said it wasn’t contagious). In fact, time stops for no man. I have to muscle through it just like anyone else. In fact, this reminds me of another post that I saw online yesterday. Apparently, it was written on the 86-board in the kitchen of a restaurant, and the caption was as follows:
Actual Conversation
Employee: “Chef I feel awful today”
Chef: “Oh no! Which hospital are you in?”
Employee: “Oh, I’m at home.”
Chef: “OK, I’ll see you at 4.”
I laugh to myself as the memory of this picture is rekindled in my memory. I chortle, even.
I’m sitting down now and enjoying the pickled shrimp, a simple dish that we make once a semester and a similar variation whose recipe is below is sufficient to chase away any autumn blues that one may possess. As usual, we held a busy luncheon comprised of six courses for some support staff, and I can’t stop eating these pickled shrimp, the amuse bouche to our meal.
I love these shrimp, simmered in a court bouillon and then chilled in tart-sweet vinaigrette. There’s something so immensely simple about them that you will be making your own variations down the road. The secret is to not overcook the shrimp. That’s it. It’s as simple as taking care of a head cold before it turns into pneumonia.
Is that an analogous stretch? Absolutely, but it doesn’t change the fact that the shrimp is perfect, as is my health, relatively speaking.
Quelle surprise.
Pickled Shrimp
Makes enough for 24 hors d’oeuvres
24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail-off
2 lemons, quartered
2 quarts Water
1 cup White vinegar
4 Bay leaves
1/4 cup Pickling spice
Pickling Dressing, as needed (recipe follows)
24 Orange segments, fiber removed
24 Cilantro leaves
Combine all of the ingredients except for the shrimp and bring to a rolling boil, cooking for five minutes
Add the shrimp and cook for about three minutes or until the shrimp is just barely cooked
Remove from the pickling liquid and immediately place it into a bag with the dressing. The next step is critical so pay attention!
If you use a Ziploc bag, close it up, squeezing out the air, but you must submerge in an ice bath immediately to bring the temperature down quickly. If you shock the shrimp in an ice bath, you stand the chance of losing some of the flavors that you cooked in there. So, the bag will help to keep in the flavors
Serve the pickled shrimp with an orange segment and a garnish of cilantro leaf.
Bon appetite!
Pickling Dressing    
Makes about 2 cups
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Whole mustard
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley, finely minced
2 Tbsp. Chives, finely minced
1 cup Grapeseed oil
Combine everything except the oil and whisk until well-combined
While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle the oil in until you have a nice emulsion
Set aside until ready to use