Monday, March 12, 2012

Interview: Laura Ray & Shrimp Lingurian a la Lou

Today I'm pleased to welcome Laura Roodman Edwards Roodman Edwards Ray (she married and divorced the same man with the same problems twice, hence the very long name). We got to talking about books recently at 6 North Cafe in Ballwin, Mo., and I knew her book, BRAIN DEAD IN THE BURBS, was perfect for this fun-loving group of foodies!

Laura lives in a St. Louis suburb with her two daughters, her loving husband, and a stepson close by. She is a full-time mom, law firm sales representative, and first-time author. She is currently finishing the second volume of her “memoir” and plans on making it an annual occurrence if anyone would like to continue reading the strange stories of her life and pick up great recipes at the same time. She welcomes anyone from the “Smoking Gun” or any other “truthful literary agency” to try to prove that her memoir is made up at all. That would be a lot less embarrassing to her, as well as to her family.

About her book: 
"She shares hilarious stories about her first husband (“the same man with the same problems whom I married twice”), job, girlfriends, dating, and spoils readers with recipes that will make you a hit at any party.
Once, when her young daughters snuck into bed to snuggle, Laura guiltily asked them, “How can I be a better mommy to you?”
The oldest looked at her and said, “Oh Mommy, just never leave me again [at grandma’s] when I’m sick.” Laura then turned to her youngest daughter, who, without hesitation looked up and said, “MORE BEEF.” Predictably, that chapter includes a recipe for scrumptious and “beefy” meatballs. With each struggle or bizarre incident, Laura brings us further into her world with a witty tone and positive yet slightly twisted outlook on life. Her insights will ring true to anyone who has ever questioned her own actions, sacrificed for love, or taken a stand to get what she wants. The book contains 24 recipes with full color photos and true stories that will make you laugh, cry and then cook."

BRAIN DEAD IN THE BURBS is available at Amazon & at most of the independent book stores and gift shops in St. Louis: Left Bank Books, Puddin’Head, Webster Groves,  etc.

If you were marooned on an island, and Pots & Pens granted your wish for only one book and one food, what would you choose? To Kill a Mockingbird and a steamed artichoke with 4 different condiments (I’m the condiment Queen and I would have melted butter, Green Goddess, honey mustard, and a Bernaise)…that way, all of my taste buds would be satisfied!) 

If you were serving one of your characters his or her ideal meal, what would it be and why? Sven (Who really is my husband Tom); I’d make him the Shrimp Lingurian (a recipe that I stole from Balaban’s before they closed….they wouldn’t give it to me, so I just made it up and actually my version (because I add more stuff!) is better, The Strawberry, Candied Pecan salad and warm blueberry bars right out of the oven with Vanilla Bean ice cream.

Let’s say a couple of your characters are raiding your fridge right now, what are they most likely to eat? Are they disappointed or excited about what they find? Every condiment you can imagine and left over Grouper sandwiches from 569-Dine.  Hopefully, they won’t be disappointed, and realize that even the best of cooks (especially the full time working mom ones) have to order take out some time.

What is your A+, number 1 writing/editing/query-reading snack? Drunken Brie with an assortment of crudités and gourmet crackers….to die for!!!!!!
Tell about a time when food inspired your writing or a book inspired your cooking. When my daughter and I were cooking three huge beef briskets for her swimming banquet at 7am in the morning (they take forever to cook) and my husband sleepily stumbled into the kitchen trying to make the first pot of perfect coffee and saw all of the beef, he stopped  and said, “Oh hell….Who died?”

Shrimp Lingurian a la Lou

1 Pound of Thawed, Cooked, Peeled & Deveined Jumbo Shrimp
½  Cup of Olive Oil
½ Cup (1 Stick) Butter
½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
½ Teaspoon Minced Garlic
¾ Cup of quartered Walnuts
½ Cup of Rinsed Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes (found in a jar in the Produce Dept. near the Tomatoes)
Salt and Pepper
¾ Cup of Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 lb. Of Spinach Fettucinni
1 lb. Of Fettuccini
In Large Pot, Boil Water with ½ tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of Olive Oil.
Cook both types of Fettuccini until al dente, stir so that the two pastas are mixed together.
When done (hopefully at the same time as the Shrimp Saute), drain and put in a Large Pretty Pasta Bowl.
At the same time, take large sauce pan, and under medium heat melt the butter and add olive oil.  Add Crushed Red Pepper,Minced Garlic, Walnuts, and Sun Dried Tomatoes. Salt and Pepper, and then add the all ready cooked Shrimp.
Saute all ingredients until hot.  At last minute, crumble the Feta Cheese, stir in lightly so that it is slighty warm.
Pour all ingredients over the pasta and serve immediately.

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