I did a lot of cooking over the weekend. Saturday I learned how to "de-vein" shrimp for a dish I made for the SouthEastern Michigan Gluttony Society (pronounced "SMEGS: friends, conversation, and stupid amounts of food.") Sunday I made a bacon spinach smoked sausage lasagna that was an invention of Bill's. He's commented that he likes it when I figure out how to make a crazy idea of his into a reality. In this case you take half a pound of bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled, plus a couple links of smoked sausage, thinly sliced, and add them into an otherwise quality spinach lasagna recipe, mixing the bacon into the spinach/ricotta mixture and layering the smoked sausage between the cheese mixture and the tomato sauce.
Monday I made a spinach-stuffed lamb roast, with the sirloin half of a leg of lamb -- which effort pointed out I really need a meat mallet-- and scalloped potatoes. It turned out pretty well. I removed the bone first so I could pound out the meat and tie it in a roast with the stuffing inside. Then I roasted the bone beside it. I think pulling the crispy bits off the bone was my favorite part.
De-veining shrimp is kind of a gross process, though I got better and faster at it as I went on. Basically, you're removing the intestines from the shrimp - not a vein at all. If you're lucky, your shrimp will all have clear intestines and not need de-veining. The batch of shrimp I had, almost all the shrimp needed de-veining. I looked this up in a basic elements of cooking guide that my mom and dad gave me a while back. It explained that you slice the shrimp open down the center of the back, and then you use the fingers or the tip of your knife to remove the "vein". I highly recommend using the tip of the knife, since the yucky strands tend to stick to the fingers. It can be tricky, though, to lift the "vein" out with the tip of a sharp knife without cutting it. Also, make sure to cut through all the way to the "vein" - other wise, as you pull it out, it can get stuck under a crosswise structural shrimp-part and you might accidentally squeeze and empty the intestine as you pull on it, instead of pulling it and its contents out together, all cleanly contained, which is what you want. No intestinal contents to be left in the shrimp!