Excerpt: The Family Dinner by Laurie David - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Excerpt: The Family Dinner by Laurie David

If it's not been made clear enough lately, let's just come out and say it: we love Lau­rie David! I par­tic­u­larly love the scope of her book, The Fam­ily Din­ner. She gets it so right when she says that it's not just about what's on the table that makes fam­ily meal times impor­tant. If you can't man­age to cook some­thing from scratch every night — and I know few who can — you're not obliged to hand in your parent-of-the-year badge if you sit down together over take out. Just sit down together. Of course the book is also full of great ideas for what does go on the table.  We're lucky enough to be run­ning a recipe that I wish I was going to be eat­ing tonight. Hmmm… maybe I will. Don't for­get to sign up for our newslet­ter for a chance to win one of the two copies we're giv­ing away this week!

Tasty Tangy Shrimp Tostadas

Here is a great quick din­ner with no “cooking” involved. Just throw all the ingre­di­ents together and put them in bowls on the table. Let your fam­ily “stack” their own tostadas.

What kids can do:
Pick out inter­est­ing bowls for the fix­ings and fill them.
Squeeze the cit­rus juices.
Make the guacamole.


For the Cit­rus Shrimp

1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup chopped red onion
1 tea­spoon salt
1 cup chopped cel­ery
½ cup chopped red pep­per
1 table­spoon minced jalapeño, seeds and white pith removed (optional)
2 table­spoons chopped fresh mint and cilantro (optional)

For the Cab­bage Salad

½ small white cab­bage, finely shred­ded
1 small jicama or 1 medium-size seeded hot­house cucum­ber, peeled and cut into match­sticks
½ cup sea­soned rice vine­gar
Chopped fresh mint and cilantro (optional)

For the Fixings

Gua­camole (store-bought or see page 134)
Salsa (store-bought or see page 133)
Tostada shells (the flat kind) or tor­tilla chips
Limes, cut in half
Hot sauce
A driz­zle of Mex­i­can crema or sour cream


Mix all the ingre­di­ents for the cit­rus shrimp together in a bowl and put this into the fridge for at least 10 min­utes but no longer than 30 min­utes. In the mean­time, mix together all the ingre­di­ents for the cab­bage salad, and make the guacamole.

To make your own, put the shrimp, cab­bage salad, and fix­ings in sep­a­rate bowls. Let every­one make their own tostadas.

Or, if you want to plate the tostadas, put a tostada shell or a hand­ful of tor­tilla chips on a plate for each per­son. Top with the cab­bage salad, then a layer of the shrimp, a dol­lop of gua­camole, some tomatillo or tomato salsa, a jaun­tily placed sprig of cilantro, and half a lime on the side. Serve and enjoy.


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