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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Shrimp Melts make tasty sandwiches

Thursday, November 09, 2000

Tested by Nancy Anderson

Elaine Grubbs, a two-time Countdown winner (Salmon Fillet with Sauce and Microwave Tuna Burgers) has come up with another seafood delight, Shrimp Melts.

These delectable dinner sandwiches are as pleasing to the eye as to the palate. No wonder they're a favorite in the Grubbs household.

"My family [husband Jim and daughters Alexandra, 15, and Rachel, 13] all enjoy them," she said, "And the addition of avocado makes it a little different from other seafood entrees."

Indeed it does. Adding a layer of ripe, soft avocado is the oomph that puts this sandwich into the gourmet quality.

The Lawrenceville resident, who has the Strip District in her back yard, recommends using sausage rolls instead of a loaf of Italian bread for the sandwich base.

"They're the right height," she said. "We usually eat BreadWorks bread, but it's just too thick for this recipe."

We agree with her, having used Friendship Farms Italian bread, and next time plan to take her advice.

She serves the elegant sandwiches with a simple green salad. We added a chilled bottle of Chardonnay.

Elaine, who has worked in the public affairs department at USX Corp for 34 years, has what every working wife needs -- a husband who cooks.

"Jim's really good in the kitchen" she said. "Today he got up at 6 a.m. and made waffles with walnuts topped with strawberries and whipped cream for the girls." Sigh.

Shrimp Melts

3/4 pound cleaned, diced shrimp
3/4 cup bottled salsa
2 avocados
6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 14-inch Italian bread loaf, split in half lengthwise, or hot sausage rolls, split

Preheat oven to broil (we set it for 450 degrees).

Saute shrimp in medium-size skillet with the salsa for 4 minutes. Slice avocados and layer on bread slices, dividing evenly. Spoon shrimp mixture onto avocados. Top with shredded cheese. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut each half in half, if using bread. Makes 4 servings.



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