But the plating was horrid, lol!
Those of you that know me probably remember that I like to make special meals for my family and friends that are no longer with us, This is a meal I made yesterday for my late mother's birthday. Her actual birthday was the 7th, but her birth certificate said the 8th, as the country doctor just wrote down the date as he remembered it, lol. We always celebrated both days.
For this meal, I made baked stuffed shrimp with my aunt Hoohoo's pecan stuffing. It's basically breadcrumbs, ground pecans and butter, toasted in a saute pan first, but I updated it with Panko, Bay seasoning, and chopped shallots. Polenta was one of my mother's faves. It's ground cornmeal boiled in water to create a classic Italian dish. I added mozzarella, basil, scallions, oil-cured black olives, and tomatoes and thyme from my garden. The scallion pancakes is a Chinese dish. It's basically a flour, water and sesame oil batter, with lots of chopped scallions in it. I've made it two ways: one is to make a dry dough and roll it out and fry them. For this dinner, I made it "soupier" with an egg and a bit of buttermilk, and I made them as you would regular pancakes. I topped them with creamed Boursin cheese and parsley from the garden. The autumn after my father died in '86, I bought a new Lincoln Town Car and my mother and I took a "road trip" all around New England for 3 weeks. We stayed in bed-and-breakfasts in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. At one of them we had this Boursin and parsley spread and it was one of those things that stuck with us. We made it many times after that, always a nice reminder of that trip, which was good because it was basically a sad trip to start with due to the circumstances. Good came out of sad that time, so this was a great dinner to make in memory of my mom.
As far as the "plating" goes, it was way off. First off I should have had three or five shrimp on the plate—I hate even numbers! I should have served each shrimp on the pancake and Boursin, making cohesive units instead of all those unrelated ones, but it was at least 100° in my kitchen by the time I was finished and I was wilted! That's oil-cured black olives and feta crumbled on top to round out this Mediterranean-inspired meal. I also had one more dish to make, a nice salad of micro-greens and basil leaves, but I just couldn't stay in the ktichen one second longer to make the vinaigrette, lol. It would have tied it all together nicely, but still, it was one of the better meals I've had lately, and I know she would have enjoyed it immensely.