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Ronnie Paul: Timeless recipes for modern times

Shrimp ceviche with a tropical twist.
Submitted by Jeff Kane |

I’m flabbergasted knowing that people are actually paying big bucks to sign up for a trip to the moon. There’s no way I’ll ever do this because last week I discovered a much closer and cheaper outer space adventure. I went to the mall.

Talk about studying a foreign culture! I arrived in what I first determined was an alien land of murmurers, until I realized the majority of Mall People (henceforth known as MPs) gab on invisible headsets. My flip top cellphone looked as outdated as a wind-up gramophone.

As I muddled through clothing racks looking to update my threadbare wardrobe, I felt like an 18th-century relic. I know poodle skirts and bobby socks are out, but what respectable granny wears navel-revealing halter tops and stilt-height glittery heels?



And instead of dental floss, I think I’ll just start using the less-than-barely-there underwear that’s more than over-the-top in price.

I was boggled choosing a pair of jeans, and open-mouthed that ripped ones cost extra. Apparently the simple jeans I favor have gone the way of the Nash Rambler.




Ultra-low, kind-of low, just below: what ever happened to waistlines? Deciding whether to wear flared, skinny, boot-cut, or boyfriend styles that come in denim, stone-wash, and light, medium or dark indigo made me pledge to wear skirts all the time.

Well, enough bellyaching. Hopefully, even MPs will appreciate these recipes.

Shrimp-Mango Ceviche

6 cups

Here’s a tropical twist on one of my favorite Mexican appetizers.

1 pound raw shrimp

3/4 -1 cup lime juice

1 cup chopped tomatoes (yellow and red cherry tomatoes look artistic)

1/2 cup chopped peeled and seeded cucumber

1/4 cup chopped celery

4 scallions cut in small Os

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 packed tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 mango, peeled and chopped

Salt and pepper

Dressing:

5 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons olive oil

Chop up the shrimp, put it in a bowl, and smother with lime juice. Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 1 hour until the shrimp turn pink. Strain off the lime juice.

Toss the shrimp with the rest of the ingredients and the dressing, cover tightly, and chill for a few more hours.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Roasted Potatoes in Curry Sauce

Serves 4

This recipe was born when I noticed we had way too many potatoes in the pantry.

4 cups red potatoes, cut in bite-size pieces

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper

1 cup finely chopped spinach

Toss the potatoes with the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the oil, and spread on a lightly oiled baking tray.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until the potatoes are tender.

In the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, sauté the onion with the spices, until the onions are translucent.

Puree the onion mixture with the yogurt, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

In the same pan used for the onions, sauté the spinach until it wilts.

Mix the potatoes with the sauce and spinach and serve with the upcoming chutney recipe.

Apple-Mango Chutney

About 2 1/2 cups

My mango madness resulted from buying a few when they were on sale.

1 cup diced apples (I used Gala)

1 mango, diced

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup diced onion

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Put everything in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and looks glossy, and the liquid’s almost absorbed.

Chill for a while and serve with the warm curried potatoes.

Crunchy Romaine Salad

1 cup (about 2 ounces) broccoli florets

6 ounces Romaine lettuce, torn in pieces

2 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Dressing

Whisk together:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon raspberry jam

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Salt and pepper

Drop the broccoli in boiling water for two minutes, and then rinse it under cold water.

Mix the salad ingredients together, pour on the dressing, and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower

6 servings

It’s oh-so easy to make this yummy veggie!

1 medium cauliflower, broken in bite-size florets

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic (the jar variety is easy)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Toss everything together and spread on a greased 9 by 13-inch pan.

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees until the pieces are tender.

Serve immediately.

Ronnie Paul is a freelance writer in Nevada City.


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