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Mom had leftover ham in the fridge when I got to her house. I thought it would be the perfect time to make ham salad--mom likes ham salad whereas I find it absolutely disgusting (something about pink paste just doesn't make me hungry). I thought Deviled ham or chicken spread (p. 180) would be perfect (especially since I had just been to Penzey's and some terrific paprika on hand).
The recipe was simple--diced ham, mayonnaise, chicken broth, some fresh parsley out of mom's garden, paprika, and a bit of salt and pepper went into the food processor (I halved the recipe because mom didn't have enough ham for the full recipe).
And processed it:
I found it horrifying but mom thought it looked delicious. If you like ham salad, it's a good use of leftover ham. The paprika gave it a more robust flavor than most meat salads (doesn't that sound disgusting? "Meat salad"?).
Mom also had a bag of frozen shrimp she wanted me to use during my visit. While looking through the shellfish recipes, I spotted the perfect recipe--Broiled shrimp or scallops with persillade (p. 387). I figured it was perfect because it used fresh parsley and mom had a fecund parsley plant right outside (fecund--now there's a GRE word!). A persillade is apparently a mix of chopped parsley and garlic and is often mixed with breadcrumbs.
I spread the shrimp on a jelly-roll pan and sprinkled them with some olive oil.
In a bowl I mixed breadcrumbs, parsley, and (more) garlic (than the recipe actually asked for). I covered the shrimp in the breadcrumb mixture.
And into the oven it went. It's only supposed to broil for a couple minutes on one side and a couple of minutes on the other side. After the first couple minutes, I thought "uh oh":
As you can see, the shrimp started to burn (or rather, the breadcrumbs on the shrimp started to burn). So if you make this recipe--keep your eye on it! I think it would be much easier in my electric broiler than it was in mom's gas oven (easier to watch, at least). The shrimp was still really good though and I loved the breadcrumbs--delicious and easy. I will make this again but I really need to watch it better next time!
For some mysterious reason, I thought Cornmeal waffles (p. 647) would be the perfect accompaniment to the shrimp. It probably had more to do with the fact that I didn't want to leave mom with a bunch of leftover buttermilk and thought I should knock out another recipe that requires a waffle iron than that I thought the two foods went together. The recipe started similarly to the other waffle recipes. I mixed buttermilk, melted butter, maple syrup, and egg yolks in a bowl. Flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt went into another bowl.
(This picture isn't totally accurate, obviously the garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs weren't involved in the waffles and the melted butter was added to the wet ingredients):
The wet ingredients were mixed into the dry ingredients...and then...
I needed to whip up the egg whites in another bowl. Whipping egg whites was (embarrassingly) something I've been really afraid of--which was one of the reasons I decided to start TJOTJOC. First I tried to whip the egg whites by hand, which was never going to happen (it takes several minutes of fast whisking--apparently I don't have the stamina!). Then I put the whisk attachment on mom's Kitchenaid hand mixer and *bam* there it was! Not very difficult--I think I may have moved past my fear!
The egg whites were then added to the batter:
And folded in. I didn't know how far to fold them, so there were still lumps of egg white when I finished (this picture is pre-finish but not much):
The waffles were AMAZING. OMG they were delicious. They were light and fluffy and cornmeal-y (and I LOVE cornmeal muffins/bread/pancakes/etc). Since the maple syrup was already included, a little (or a lot) of butter and they were ready to go. I actually wanted to continue eating these long after I was full. Plus they froze perfectly (as waffles should). I can't recommend these enough!