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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Shrimp Oscar wins big

Thursday, March 18, 1999


Planning an Oscar party Sunday? If you're looking for an elegant but easy entree, consider today's Countdown recipe. It's appropriately named - Shrimp Oscar - and it's a winner.

Susan Miller of Tarentum created the dish after tasting something similar in a restaurant. "I could pick out the ingredients, so I tried it at home" she said. "I've made it many times since then, and not only is it a high quality dish, it's a huge time saver."

We'll second that statement. Shrimp Oscar was sitting atop hot rice and sending out delicious, aromatic wafts of shrimp in less than 17 minutes (the rice took longer to cook than the entree).

Miller, who works evenings, part time, at the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Station Square, says she's the opposite of people who rush home to make dinner after work. She has to produce a quick meal because she's going to work.

Although she's made the dish for company, it's usually regular dinner fare for her family - husband Dennis, son Dennis Jr., 12, and daughter Ivana, 6.

"Both kids like it," said Miller, who confesses that cooking is a hobby with her. "My son doesn't like too many seafood dishes, but this is one he does like."

The kid has good taste. This mixture of shrimp, crab, asparagus and hollandaise is not only delicious, its appearance is like the chef's special in an upscale restaurant.

Miller suggests serving it as is, or over rice - we used boil-in-bag rice with 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon granules in the water - with a prepared, bagged salad and Italian bread.

A glass of chilled white wine is the perfect sipper for a dish of this caliber. - Tested by Nancy Anderson.

Shrimp Oscar

1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 6-ounce can crab meat, drained
1 package frozen or 10 fresh as- paragus spears - canned aspara- gus may be substituted
1 package hollandaise sauce mix
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Parboil asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp tender. Meanwhile, prepare hollandaise sauce mix with milk (we used 2 percent) and butter according to package directions. Drain asparagus on paper towels and cut into 1-inch pieces. Mix together with shrimp, crab and hollandaise sauce.

Place in a microwavable casserole dish. Cover and microwave for 5 minutes. Remove and stir. Makes 2 generous or 4 regular-size portions.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer(not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@Post-Gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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