Chicago, Eat, Recipes
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Carlyn Berghoff’s Shrimp Martinis

I was recently asked which family recipe passed down from prior generations was my favorite to prepare?  I admitted that I don’t have any family recipes that were passed down to me.  While I have many cherished memories, the thought of not having anything from my grandparents and great-grandparents in the form of recipes made me sad.  Especially since my grandparents loved to prepare everything from scratch and I can still taste their specialties.  I wish that I had that piece of them.  I’d make sure to keep the tradition going even though I don’t cook much at home.  I  mostly lack time and motivation.

After a tour of The Berghoff restaurant in Chicago, I was gifted with a cookbook containing a collection of the family’s history and recipes.  A gift of motivation…..I resolved that I’d take the time to prepare the dishes along with my son.  It would be another thing for us to bond over.

Looking forward to the time we’d have together during his winter break and my vacation time, I’d set aside a day for us to prepare two meals from the cookbook.  Donovan, my son, is 17 years old now and will soon be a high school graduate so I know big changes are on the horizon.  I’m NOT ready!!!

On the day we’d scheduled to prepare dinner, his friends invited him, unbeknownst to me, to hang out at an indoor trampoline park.  I later found out that he declined the invitation because he was cooking with his mom.  My heart was beaming!  It meant so much that this was important to him and he was looking forward to our time together too.  He even shared our activity and pictures on his Instagram story!  That’s a big deal.  He’s picky about his social media, lol!  He’s not ashamed to be home cooking with his mom on the weekend.

 A glass of wine is part of my cooking prep! A glass of wine is part of my cooking prep!

I told him that we should make this a tradition to cook together on December 24th each year and he told me to not get too ahead of myself, lol.  He said, and I quote “ok, mom, now you’re getting like dad….too emotional, let’s just have fun!”  hahahaha, I guess that I was being a bit too extra!

Our shrimp martinis were so easy to make and incredibly delicious!  In fact, the wine sauce was so good, Donovan, was scooping what remained out of the saucepan and just eating it.  We both agreed that we could put that wine sauce on everything! My husband gave both meals his seal of approval too!

Thanks go out to the Berghoff family restaurant for sharing this wonderful cookbook full of your family memories with me and helping me create my own.

Shrimp Martini

Mashed Potatoes
4 large Idaho potatoes
½ cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

White Wine Sauce
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) salted butter; softened
Ground white pepper

Shrimp
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 medium-size shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped, or lobster may be substituted
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives for garnish

Make the mashed potatoes:  Peel and dice the potatoes.  Place in a medium-size saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a simmer, and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from the heat and drain.  Using an electric mixer, whip the potatoes to a thick puree with the half-and-half, butter, salt, and pepper.  Set aside the potatoes in a warm place until ready to serve.

Make the sauce:  In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the white wine over medium heat and simmer until reduced by two-thirds to 1/3 cup.  Add the heavy cream and continue to simmer until reduced again by half to about ½ cup.  Remove from the heat and gently whisk in the butter, a little at a time, until thickened.  Season with white pepper, and set aside in a warm place until ready to serve.  This recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce.

Make the shrimp:  In a 10-inch skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add the shrimp and sauté until tender and almost cooked through.  Add the chopped garlic and sauté for another minute.  Do not allow the garlic to brown or burn.  Remove from the heat immediately.

Assemble the martinis:  Divide the hot mashed potatoes among eight martini glasses.  Place two cooked shrimp on top of the potatoes in each glass and drizzle each martini with 2 tablespoons of the wine sauce.  Garnish with the chopped chives and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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