Friday, July 3, 2009
Spinach and Shrimp Salad from an All- American Cookbook
Boy, am I ready for a day when Americans celebrate their freedom and proud heritage! With Independence Day in mind, I've chosen a cookbook this week entitled; A Celebration of America-Timeless Recipes from the Kitchens of Pet.
Over the years, Pet Milk, and the other fine food products of the Pet Company have been staples of the American kitchen. Most of our moms used Pet Evaporated Milk in their pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving, or in fudge at Christmas. As most companies do, Pet branched out over time to include such familiar items as Whitman's Chocolates, Underwood Deviled Ham, Downyflake Waffles and a whole line of Old El Paso products, just to name a few. The beginning of this cookbook gives the reader a wonderful history of how the company (originally called Helvetia Milk Condensing Company) was started in Highland, Illinois at the turn of the century. Pet milk was a product born out of necessity in a time when there was no refrigeration and milk was delivered by horse-drawn carts. Pet provided canned milk that was fresh, clean and would "keep indefinitely on the pantry shelf of every American home." Louis Latzer, the company's founder, would change the way cooks in this country thought about dairy products and their availability.
This cookbook is not one of my older ones, as it was printed in 1984 by McGrew Color Graphics. Its ISBN is 0-87502-133-6. It is wire-bound with a hard cover. The front cover is beautifully done with a colorful array of foods that are typically American. I thought today's sample recipe should be something you could tote to a picnic. Here it is from page 97:
Shrimp Spinach Salad
1 lb. spinach or leaf lettuce
5 slices bacon
1/4 C wine vinegar
2 TBSP water
2 TBSP firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly-ground pepper
1 can 4 1/4 oz. Orleans Deveined Shrimp
3 eggs, hard-cooked and chopped
6 fresh mushrooms, sliced
Wash spinach and remove stems, or clean lettuce. Pat dry, and break into bite-size pieces. Meanwhile fry bacon until crisp. Drain bacon, reserving 2 TBSP drippings. Crumble cooled bacon. In small skillet, prepare dressing by combining reserved bacon drippings, vinegar, water, brown sugar, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Rinse shrimp under cold, running water: Drain thoroughly. In large bowl, toss together greens, dressing and shrimp. Garnish with chopped eggs and sliced mushrooms, and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.
I will be participating in recipe swaps at Grocerycartchallenge and Designs by Gollum today.