Charlotte didn’t just get a new chef and restaurant when Jay Pierce left Lucky 32 in Greensboro and came here to open RockSalt, 512 Brandywine Road, behind Park Road Shopping Center. We also got a new author, and you get a chance to get a new book.
Pierce’s book, “Shrimp,” is one of the newest releases in the Savor the South cookbook series from UNC Press. (Disclosure alert: I have two books in the series, “Bourbon” and “Pecans.” The series now has more than a dozen entries, with “Catfish,” by Paul and Angela Knipple and “Gumbo,” by Dale Curry have released this spring.)
In “Shrimp,” Pierce combined his Louisiana roots and his North Carolina ties to come up with 50-plus recipes for shrimp, including Small Plates, Salads, Soups, With Your Hands (sandwiches and such), With Noodles, With Rice and Composed Dishes (things topped with shrimp).
This recipe caught my eye, for its use of flavors and for its history. Pierce got it from Carroll Leggett, a food raconteur whose grandmother ran a cafe in Windsor from the 1920s to the 1940s.
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I have a copy of “Shrimp” to give away (I bet I can even get Pierce to sign it). To enter a drawing, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, put “Shrimp” in the subject line, and include your contact information. I announce a winner Friday. And if you don’t get lucky and win the book, you also can get a signed copy at his book signing, 2 p.m. March 29 (that’s Sunday) at Park Road Books.
Bertie County Company Shrimp and Crackers
From “Shrimp: A Savor the South Cookbook,” by Jay Pierce (UNC Press, $18).
1 pound small to medium shrimp (61/70 or 41/50), peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
2 tablespoons finely diced spring or green onions
4 tablespoons finely chopped sweet pickles
3 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped diced celery (aout 3 stalks)
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s)
Place the shrimp in a small pot of salted water. Place a bowl of ice water nearby. Bring to a boil and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, place in ice water for a few minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Place the shrimp, cream cheese and pickle juice in a food processor and pulse until the shrimp are finely minced. Remove to a bowl. Add the onions, sweet pickle, red bell pepper, celery, cilantro, salt and pepper and mix. Add the mustard and mayonnaise and mix well.
Chill and serve with crackers.
YIELD: About 2 cups.