Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"The Invention of Wings" Shrimp Pasta Salad Mardi Gras Style

“Have you read the book” Book Club  

September 2014 Selection TheInvention of Wings
Author: Sue Ann Monk 

Thank you stopping by and spending a few moments with our book club.  
The book club ladies and myself are really big fans of Sue Ann Monk and one of our all time favorite books was The Secret Life of Bees, published in 2002. So when Rosemary suggested The Invention of Wings we all agreed that we would love to add this to the list for 2014, and selected September as the month to discuss the book.

The book is set in the city of Charleston, SC in 1803, one of my favorite cites. And just the thought of the variety food that is offered in this city brings to mind so many of my favorite recipes. 

Kary's Shrimp Pasta Salad, Mardi Gras Style. Hmm little heavy on the Parm
I was trying to decide what to serve at book club and inspired by The Invention of Wings I decided to borrow from several of my recipes; Shrimp Pasta Salad, Mardi Gras Salad and Lulus’ Awesome Shrimp Appetizer for my book club meal.  Ok now I am hungry and it is early morning, sometimes writing about food leads me to want to munch all day… 

Back to the book, Sue Ann Monk’s writing transports you to the coastal city of Charleston, SC; you can almost feel the salty sea air on your skin and smell the mouth watering aromas that drift out of the doors of the downtown eateries and permeate the air.  

The story is set 58 years before the US Civil War and I was not aware that the book was partially inspired by historical events until I read about the author, Sue Ann Monk and how she was inspired by the Grimke sister’s. 

Click on the links for an overview of the book and travel back in time with “Handful” and the Grimke sisters Sarah and Angelina. These brave women fought for equal rights in a time when women were seen and not heard. I encourage you to read the book and take a virtual trip back in time to Old Charleston, SC.  

Have you read the book? What are some of your favorite Charleston style recipes?  
Just cook something!
Cheers! Kary

And now for my Shrimp and pasta Entrée served with Trader Joe’s Cornbread 


        1 head iceberg lettuce chopped

        1 bunch (or 10-ounce bag) fresh spinach leaves, stemmed, rinsed and chopped

         I like to use baby spinach but any fresh spinach works as well

        8 slices bacon, fried and crumbled

        ½ red onion thinly sliced

        1 11 oz can Mandarin orange sections, drained or you can use the juice for the dressing

        1 pound Cooked shrimp, peeled and devein (you can purchase cooked & cleaned shrimp) You can use this recipe to marinate: Lulus’ Awesome Shrimp Appetizer or toss with the dressing and chill overnight which is what I did this time

        1 package Mushroom tortellini

        ¼ cup Shredded Fresh Parmesan Cheese 


        ½ cup cider vinegar

        1 teaspoon onion powder

        1 Tablespoon honey or 1 Tablespoon Agave or ¼ cup sugar or the juice from the mandarin oranges,

        1 tsp dry mustard

        2/3  cup vegetable or olive oil

        Dressing Options- I currently used about ¼ cup of “All Natural Garlic Vinaigrette from Aldi’s        

        Cooking Directions

        Whisk together the cider vinegar, onion powder, sugar, mustard and vegetable oil

          This can be made several days ahead of time and refrigerated

        In a large skillet, over medium heat cook the bacon, allow the bacon to cool then crumble

         You can cook the bacon several days ahead and refrigerate

        Rinse the lettuce and spinach, drain in a colander, pat dry with paper towels and chop

         I like to cut off the stems from the spinach

        Slice the red onion

        Drain the mandarin oranges

        Cook and clean the shrimp.

         Options: You can use this recipe to marinate: Lulus’ Awesome Shrimp Appetizer or toss with the dressing and chill overnight, or just add to the salad and toss in  

        Cook the tortellini per the package directions and drain

        In a large bowl toss together lettuce, spinach, bacon, onion, mandarin oranges, shrimp  and tortellini

        Whisk dressing; add about half to the salad, toss, and taste. If you need more dressing add.

         Some times less is more for dressing and Cheese

        Grate ¼ cup of Parmesan Cheese over the salad and Serve!  

Crunchy French bread or Cornbread are a great compliment to this dish.  

A delicious and satisfying meal for any occasion!
 Cheers! Kary

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