A Taste of Spr/ummer

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Spring, Boston, trees, recipe, shrimp

After what seemed liked the longest, coldest snowiest winter in recorded history, Spring has finally come to Boston! While part of that sentence may be hyperbole, let me tell you, it certainly felt like “the worst”. The calendar may have said “Spring” for a month and a half, no one bothered to tell the dormant leaves on the trees, the hibernating bulbs in the ground, or the weatherman either for that matter.

Today was a day that almost made up for all that.

While just yesterday we were still wrapped in our sweaters as the temperatures hovered around 50. Today, the sun was shining, the buds have popped, the little patches of ground in front of a brownstone that we city-dwellers call a yard are edged with tulips, daffodils and petunias. And all of that seemingly overnight.

Today, we pasty-faced, shell-shocked Bostonians emerged from our bunkers, looked up at the clear blue sky and smiled. Then we smiled at each other. Everyone was out walking and for once we met each other’s eyes instead of avoiding them. It was like a scene from a disaster movie where the survivors climb out of the ruins and rejoice, happy to be alive. Sweaters were replaced by shorts and t-shirts, UGGS replaced by flip flops.

So that was Spring. It was lovely while it lasted.

Tomorrow, when it will be over 80, Summer will arrive. Soon it will be 90, where it will stay until September. Time to clean off the air-conditioner.

All of that is a very long preamble to the brand new recipe I just tried.  I’m a collector of recipes, most of which I never get around to making. I print them out and put them in a pile until the next time I organize my kitchen. Feeling spiritually renewed after my long walk in the sun this afternoon, I decided to tackle the pile.

I came across a recipe from Food & Wine for something called “Shrimp Cakes”. They’re listed as both “fast” and “healthy”.  Already a win – win,  much to my surprise I actually had everything I needed in my cabinets/fridge/freezer. That almost never happens. I took it as a sign.

“These chunky little shrimp cakes from F&W’s Justin Chapple are spiked with scallions, lemon and smoked paprika, and served with an almost-instant spicy mayo.”

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  3. 1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp, chopped – (I cannot sing the praises of something called “Argentinian Red” shirmp found in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s. I buy them whenever they have them. Best shrimp ever.)
  4. 3/4 cup panko – (The next time I plan to try this with GF breadcrumbs)
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  7. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  8. 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  11. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  12. Lemon wedges, for serving

Boston, Spring, Shrimp, recipe

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the hot sauce.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped shrimp with the panko, eggs, scallions, lemon zest, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Form the mixture into eight 3/4-inch-thick cakes. (I got 9)
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. In batches, add the shrimp cakes and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to plates and serve with the spicy mayonnaise and lemon wedges.

Literally easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Two cakes is a serving. They are light and zesty; a little bit Spring and a little bit Summer and completely delicious. (I’m typing this between bites.) This one’s a keeper.

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