Friday, February 15, 2008

So, how did Valentine's Day go?

We had spaghetti, which we have every year because we don't do quiet, romantic VD's...we have Family Mayhems. More kids than adults and The Big Boy plays DJ waaaay too loud and everyone starts drinking when they get off work and so they're happy when they get here.

So, VD dinner. Spaghetti, which I won't even THINK of telling you how to make. A couple of years ago I realized that I didn't make just...GREAT...spaghetti, so I sent out a plea to all my cooking buddies and asked for tips. One that stuck was from my sister-in-law, who...after the sauce is simmered...puts a wedge of parmesan in the sauce and then simmers it while the cheese melts. Luscious. Another tip involved a tablespoon of blackberry jelly to emphasize the caraway in the Italian sausage but OMG...I HATE caraway. I hate liquorice. I hate fennel. Something in my genes just does NOT get that taste. But then, that's me.

So we had spaghetti, my SIL's salad and we're waiting on permission to share the GoodTrue dressing recipe. Parmesan bread sticks. Flourless chocolate torte. (Both in preceeding posts.) A chocolate fountain but that's another blog and another post. And then. CG and I have a friend, Mary Virginia. And MV is one hell of a cook and one HELL of a cook for a crowd. And this appetizer is one of her specialties and once you make it you'll know why. Last year for VD I put it in the den and my little brother was just sitting on the floor scooping it up. There's something about the fresh vegetables, the shrimp and the cheese...this WORKS.

Mary Virginia's Layered Shrimp Dip

1 pound grated Mozzarella cheese
1 pound shrimp, boiled, peeled and deveined and chopped
1 12 oz jar cocktail sauce
2 8 oz packages cream cheese
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T Tabasco
4 garlic cloves, pressed
6-8 green onions, chopped
Fresh parsley
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped

In a springform pan layer mozzarella evenly, then shrimp and cocktail sauce. Blend softened cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and garlic in a bowl. Spread evenly over the layers in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. When ready to serve, unhook the pan and invert onto a serving platter. Top with green onion, parsley, tomatoes and bell pepper. Serve with crackers.

I use cooked, frozen shrimp and add horseradish to the cocktail sauce. You can always tell where this is on the buffet because...that's where the crowd is.

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