Joanna Shimkus' Angel Food Cake
1 cup cake flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsps. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract
1. Sift flour once and measure; sift 1 cup of the sugar with flour three times; set aside.
2. Put egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract in large mixing bowl. Beat until egg whites will stay in points but still look moist and shiny. Beat in remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, adding 2 tbsps. at a time, beating after each addition until mixture is stiff and glossy.
3. Sift about one-fourth of the flour-sugar mixture over the batter. Very gently fold in using a large spoon or rubber scraper with an up, over, and down motion, making 10-12 strokes.
4. Repeat until all of the flour-sugar mixture is gently folded in. Pour batter into ungreased 10-inch tubular pan. Bake in preheated 375 degrees F. oven for 35 minutes. Invert pan, let cake cool for about an hour in a place without any drafts.
Thoughts: Joanna's angelic fare works best when ingredients are all at room temperature and exact measurements are used. Serve alone or with slightly sweetened strawberries or red raspberries in season.
Joanna Shimkus' Shrimp Creole
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1/3 cup butter
One (1 lb. 3 oz.) can tomatoes
2 tsps. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 small bay leaf, crushed
Dash of Tabasco
1 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 lbs. raw fresh peeled, deveined shrimp
Handful minced fresh parsley
1. Saute onion, pepper, garlic and celery in butter until vegetables begin to soften. Stir frequently. Add tomatoes and all the remaining ingredients except the shrimp and parsley. Simmer 20-25 minutes over medium heat until mixture thickens and reduces one-third. Stir often.
2. Add shrimp and parsley. Cook 4-5 minutes (or until shrimp are barely cooked). Serve at once over mounds of fluffy cooked rice. Serve with crusty French bread and salad. Serves 6.
Thoughts: Joanna's favorite fish creation can be changed to please the palate: substitute fresh crab meat for shrimp (or use half crab meat, half shrimp); season the sauce by adding a pinch of thyme or a smidgen of grated lemon peel. Substitute fresh garden-ripe tomatoes for the canned variety. Add a hint of saffron to season the rice. To create Joanna's favorite salad, mix crisp greens--romaine, Boston lettuce--with endive, scallions, tomatoes, avocado, carrots, slivers of cheese and dress with an oil-and-vinegar dressing (available at health food stores).