Recipes bring back memorires

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I’m still going through the box of old recipes that I found last week. It’s funny how a box of paper can bring back so many memories. For awhile here in Natchez I owned a shop downtown called the Cook’s Corner. We catered, sold kitchen merchandise and also did cooking classes.

Bloody Mary soup

6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded

4 large red peppers, seeded

2 large green peppers, seeded

2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded

3 stalks celery, string removed

1 clove garlic

1 medium red onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 2 limes

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons horseradish

1/2 cup vodka, optional

Cut the vegetables, garlic an onion into large chunks and purée in batches in a blender or food processor, adding some olive oil to each batch. Add lime juice and Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, Tabasco, horseradish and vodka, if using. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours and overnight is better. Taste before serving and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Next up is a recipe that was given to me by the late Chef John Martin Terranova. John Martin was a dear friend of mine and boy could that man cook!

Pasta jambalaya

1 pound angel hear pasta, cooked

4 tablespoons butter

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into rounds

1 cup chopped ham

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained (save the liquid)

1 pint of oysters with their liquor

2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Tony’s seasoning to taste

1 bunch green onions, chopped

After you cook the angel hair pasta drain it, place in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons butter. In a large skillet brown the sausage, drain off the fat and combine with the pasta. In the same skillet, brown the ham, add flour, bell pepper, onions, celery, garlic, basil oregano and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the Rotel and stir to make a gravy, use a little of the Rotel juice, if needed, to thin grave. Cook the oysters in their liquor in the microwave on high for 1 and a half minutes, just until they begin to curl. Drain the oysters and add to the pasta and sausage. Sauté the shrimp in 2 teaspoons butter and Tony’s to taste. Toss the shrimp with the pasta mixture and then pour on the gravy and vegetables and toss to coat. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle on the green onions and serve.

Christina Hall writes a weekly column for The Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com