i love fridays. because i’m finished with work at 115 & all i want to do is grab some food & cook. i am very inspired by “chopped,” on the food network in which the chefs have to compete by creating something out of a basket of mystery ingredients. this is what you do when you have to use up food in your kitchen. i have been a recipe junkie most of my life but lately i’m trying to trust my own instincts, so i created 4 dishes on my own, 3 which are featured in today’s taste of the fry.

guacamole is the easiest thing on the planet to make. especially if you go to the mexican market for your avocados. not only are they the ripest, they are the cheapest. mash them with tomatillo salsa & that’s it! it’s all about the avocado, so you don’t want to mess too much with it.

next up is creamy red potato leek soup with fresh thyme & truffle oil. i always make broasted chicken stock & put it in the freezer. i also always save bacon drippings. these 2 things sent my recipe over the top.

6-8 cups chicken stock
2 T. bacon fat
1 T. butter
4 leeks
6 cloves garlic
4 large red potatoes skinned
salt, pepper
1 c. cream cheese
fresh thyme
truffle oil (optional but it sure tastes good)

heat the bacon fat. thin slice the white part of the leeks & sautee 10 minutes. add the garlic whole, salt & pepper. cook 5 minutes. large dice the potatoes & add with the stock. cover & cook 1 hour. add cream cheese & cook till melted. top with chopped thyme & truffle oil.
simple. very delicious.

the grand finale features jumbo shrimp bought from a fulton market wholesaler. i had to buy 3 lbs, so i have plenty for another meal. this is garlic cilantro shrimp cabbage salad.

1/2 head cabbage
2 bunches cilantro
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 habenero chili
1/2 c. olive oil
5 cloves garlic minced
1 lb raw de-veined jumbo shrimp
1 fresh mango diced
1 fresh avocado diced

thin slice the cabbage & toss in one bunch chopped cilantro, olive oil, lime juice & white wine vinegar. salt & pepper. cover & marinate an hour or more. marinate the shrimp in the garlic, chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, habenero, some lime juice & olive oil. when ready to eat, plate the cabbage. quick fry the shrimp using all the marinade for 3 minutes. place on top of the cabbage, add the mango & avocado & drizzle with remaining shrimp marinade. easy!