Excerpt: The Family Dinner by Laurie David

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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