Butter Beans (or Lima Beans) with Shrimp

This is my version of a dish made by my favorite New Orleanian, the irreplaceable chef Leah Chase. It is good with fresh or frozen butter beans or baby limas, and best over fragrant Louisiana brown or jasmine rice.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

2 pounds peeled fresh Louisiana shrimp

1 drop liquid shrimp boil

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

½ bell pepper, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

2 pounds fresh (or frozen) butter beans or baby limas

½ teaspoon salt

Lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

About ½ to 1 teaspoon Crystal Hot Sauce

Tony Chachere’s or favorite Creole seasoning to taste

Cooked hot brown or jasmine rice and hot sauce for serving

1. Cover shrimp with water in a 3-quart saucepan. Add shrimp boil. Bring to a rolling boil and cook 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Let shrimp sit at least 15 minutes, until pink and mostly opaque. Drain and save shrimp broth.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Saute onion, bell pepper and celery until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, salt, pepper and enough shrimp broth to just cover them. (Freeze any leftover shrimp broth.) Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat to simmer. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar. Cook 15 minutes.

3. With a potato masher, mash some of the beans to thicken them. Add shrimp. Stir well. Cook 5 minutes.

4. While that’s cooking, in a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. Add flour and stir well to make a white roux. Cook just until the mixture starts to brown and smells toasty, stirring occasionally. Stir into the simmering bean and shrimp mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning with hot sauce and Creole seasoning. Cook over low heat another 5 minutes, then serve warm over rice.


Food Processor Carrot Cake

Page Nelson of the Friday Afternoon Club in New Orleans shared this recipe when I spoke to the group in 2014. She said it’s all her grandkids want for their birthdays, and I can see why. It’s made entirely in my favorite appliance, the food processor, and has a fine grain, like a poundcake. I added pecans and usually skip the icing. If desired, use half oil and half full-fat plain Greek yogurt.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

4 eggs

1 cup Wesson oil

2 cups sugar

1 pound peeled carrots, cut in 1-inch chunks

1 cup pecans

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. In the bowl of a food processor blend eggs, oil and sugar until smooth. Slowly add carrots through the tube. When they are about half grated, add pecans. When carrots are fully grated, remove lid and add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Replace lid and blend just until dry ingredients are mixed.

3. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, until cake pulls away from edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in several places in the cake comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a platter to cool completely before icing.

Icing

8 ounces cream cheese

½ stick butter, room temperature

1 pound powdered sugar

 Combine cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar in food processor and blend well. Spread or drizzle over cake.


Grilled Romaine

This is one of our favorite side dishes — salad on the grill. The marinade is based on Galatoire’s famous Creole Mustard Vinaigrette, and it’s excellent on many things, including Caesar salads.

Makes 2 servings.

1 large head romaine lettuce

Creole Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a grill to medium-high.

2. Discard any tough outer leaves of the lettuce, and rinse. Blot dry with dish towels. Cut lengthwise through the base of the head, so the halves stay intact.

3. Generously brush vinaigrette onto both sides of the lettuce, getting some down into the interior. Put romaine on the heated grill. (Vinaigrette can cause flare-ups.) In about 2 minutes when that side is lightly charred, carefully flip. When just charred and softened, remove from grill to a serving platter. Sprinkle each half with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Serve at once.

CREOLE MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

Makes about 1½ cups

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup Creole mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a 2-cup measuring cup or small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add oil in a slow drizzle while whisking.

Keeps for months refrigerated. Let come to room temperature; shake well before use.

Contact Judy Walker at judywalkercooks@gmail.com.