Magical Weiss Shrimp

We have a small family, and most often our get-togethers revolve around weddings and funerals. We celebrated a happy occasion two days ago: My uncle’s 80th birthday. Family flew in to Connecticut from as far away as Florida (me) and the Midwest (my sisters and our mother). We had two delicious meals, one at a restaurant Saturday night, and brunch at my uncle’s house Sunday.

Recipes aren’t just about food; sometimes they’re memories, sometimes they’re tradition, and sometimes they’re a family favorite with a back story. The birthday boy – my Uncle Don – served this easy-peasy shrimp dish at Sunday brunch. The original recipe came from his neighbor Mr. Weiss, and now it’s referred to as Magical Weiss Shrimp.

Magical Weiss Shrimp

1 can beer

1 can vinegar (any kind, use the beer can as a measure)

1 can water

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (if you like the tails on, that’s fine)

1 bottle Italian dressing (use your favorite)

Bring the beer, vinegar, and water to a boil. Add the shrimp, and when the poaching liquid boils again, remove the shrimp. Put the cooked shrimp in a sealable container (you can use a zip-top plastic bag) with the Italian dressing; refrigerate and marinate at least 24 hours. Can be made two days ahead of time.

Serve in a bowl chilled or at room temperature. These make a lovely addition to a brunch table, or as an easy appetizer.

I enjoy adding fast and versatile recipes to my recipe box, and I bet you do too. Let me know how you like this!

Sliced Ham and Pineapple in Mustard Sauce

I had a lovely weekend visiting two beautiful homes that are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Friday night Husband and I traveled to Winter Park to celebrate the wedding of Joanna Campbell Slan’s son and his wife. A private wedding was performed in November at Joanna’s Florida home, and the family and friends partied in December at Casa Feliz. It’s a beautiful former private home that is available to tour several times a week and for weddings.

Saturday I attended the Fika Pause at Hallstrom House. Axel Hallstrom built his lovely, two-story home/office at his pineapple plantation, completing it in 1918. He was a Swedish immigrant who came to the Vero Beach/Fort Pierce area in 1903. The Fika Pause is a coffee and pastry break similar to afternoon tea. Delicious Swedish pastries were made by Kelly Thompson, one of the Indian River County Historical Society’s volunteers. After the treats, we were able to tour the house on our own.

Talk about Axel Hallstrom’s pineapple plantation got me thinking about how to use the can of sliced pineapple in my pantry. I had a jar of honey and pineapple mustard, and bought a small sliced ham. A few pantry staples later, I had a fast and easy dinner on the table.

Sliced Ham and Pineapple in Mustard Sauce

1 can sliced pineapple in juice, 1/4 C juice reserved

2T butter

2T brown sugar

2T honey and pineapple mustard (or your favorite mustard)

1 small sliced ham

In a saute pan, heat the reserved pineapple juice with the butter and brown sugar. Add the pineapple slices and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the warmed fruit from the pan, and add mustard to the pan, stirring it into the juice/butter/brown sugar mixture. Layer the sliced ham in the pan, and top with the warm pineapple, adding any juices from the pineapple to the pan. Baste the ham with the sauce, and warm through on low heat.

Serve with the side dishes of your choice. I had an acorn squash and a spaghetti squash, and cooked both to serve with the ham. Delicious! And leftovers of ham and pineapple for another meal.

What historic houses are in your area? I’d love to hear about them.