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Showing posts with label seafood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seafood. Show all posts

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Harlem Shrimp

All I can say is that this spice blend is as rich in culture and flavor, as the neighborhood it's named after.  Harlem Garlic Pepper seasoning by BADIA, is one of  my new favorite spice blends.  The flavors of garlic and pepper and prominent, while dehydrated veggies and other spices play a perfect part.  The kiss of sweetness, balances out the salt even more.  
I love this blend because salt is not the first, second, third or fourth ingredient.  As a matter of fact, each serving contains only 60 mg of sodium, that's 60% than a serving of Kosher salt!  You can get the beauty of the spices; garlic, onion, pepper and  bell peppers, without blowing your sodium intake for the day!  
I sprinkled some on popcorn for an awesome snack and also some salt and vinegar chips to test it out.  Lots of flavor and possibilities led me to the creation of this recipe.
Recipe: 
I sprinkled some de-shelled, de-veined and prepped Wild Caught Red Argentine Shrimp 21/25 ct. with the Harlem blend and allowed it to hang out while I made the wet batter.  
I used 1 part seasoned flour and one half part buttermilk pancake mix, along with some evaporated milk and a little water, to achieve the consistency I needed.  I didn't want them to be batter heavy and greasy tasting, so I thinned the batter just so it could drain off and set up in the hot oil. 
 Once the shrimp had been fried and drained well on paper towels,
 I plated them and added a bit more Harlem Garlic Pepper to seal the deal.  
I made a dipping sauce from 4 parts ketchup and 2 parts horseradish, with a hit of Blazin' Hot Ranch, mixing well.  It was phenomenal.  The "Father of Harlem" Philip Payton Jr. would be proud. 


 


 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Creek Gourmet: Sauteed Garlic- Lemon-Thyme Butter Crayfish

It's that time of year again and I can't wait.  My sister Bonnie and her husband J.R, who are both avid 'outdoorsmen' gift me with small bounties of local Virginia crayfish, caught fresh from the creek near their hunting cabin, deep down in a hollow, the same place we found our first Morels.  They have been a bit scarce over the past two years, hauls so small, they leave them, in hopes of a larger haul in the near future.  On a gorgeous day maybe two weeks ago, before the rains finally made it to our region, we got together and helped her with some watering of the expansive garden plot down at the cabin,  full of rich, red soil.  After toting fresh water from the creek in 5 gallon buckets, I went back to enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape and the man made pond, where we helped to feed the newly restored and restocked fish, juxtaposed to the cabin site.   

As I walked along the winding creek, I paid close attention to the deeper sections and noticed movement from small fishes and ultimately langoustine looking critters, scuttling amongst the mud and pebble laden bottom, plus around and under mossy rocks.  I even observed a crayfish noshing on another crayfish, apparently that is not uncommon with these guys, creek cannibals indeed!  They bait the traps with protein, usually a good sturdy chicken leg, raw preferably, because it has staying power and isn't easily conquered by the hungry brood, and they seem to like it very much!    The traps remain submerged until a decent haul is amassed.  Sometimes, they may eat the bait and scurry away, given enough time between trap checks.   The crayfish remain alive all the way up until the time to cook them arrives, being transported in a bucket with fresh creek water.

With the hardest part being done, the fun and most delicious part is just around the corner.  I give these "mud bugs" or "crawfish", as they are known by in the lower lying states, namely Louisiana, a good time in a sink pool, for around 2 to 2 1/2 hours, refreshing the water many times over.  I swish and slosh them a bit with a rubber spatula.  I plan to use a scrubby brush on their little hands and bodies for the next time around, as I have observed on every Mukbang video featuring seafood, for good measure.  Next, I transfer them to a large strainer or colander, shaking it constantly and running more cool water over them for the final rinse. 

The crayfish are ever moving and you will have to shake them down relentlessly.   I then chop copious amounts of fresh garlic, parsley and sprigs of thyme from my herb garden.  Then, I melt some  salted butter and a couple turns of the pan of good Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large saute pan and infuse it with garlic and thyme flavor, at a just warm temperature.  After about 5 minutes.  I turn the heat up to medium high and add the crayfish.  I shake and toss until all the crayfish are a brilliant bright red, about 5 minutes, dressing with the parsley, fresh lemon and cracked pepper, then transfer to a large platter, pouring the pan juices over.  

We eat them with our good, clean hands and lots of paper towels.  We lick our fingers too.   Man, I can't wait.

Beautiful and Tranquil Virginia Landscape

There were small, medium and large alike.  I noticed one of the traps nearby, but it had yet to be baited. 


Virginia Crayfish, looking for food.

My sister Bonnie, watering their garden.



Virginia Crayfish hanging out in the sink

 
Sauteed Virginia Crayfish in Garlic Lemon Thyme Butter

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Fish Tacos with Sun and Soul

My Southern Style Fish Tacos w/ Hawaiian Slaw as featured on the Cook's Cook.
 Well Folks, the weather seems to have 'broken' and the time is nigh to begin to enjoy the warmer weather, the fabulous summer grilling and chilling and maybe a fish fry or 20.  With the Covid 19 cases on the steady decline, for the first time in a year for Virginia, vaccinations are enabling us to finally gather again.  Normalcy is just around the bend.  I finished up my rounds of the Moderna vaccination last week and I  breathed a sigh of relief, I feel empowered again.  I hadn't expected to feel such a weight lifted from my shoulders and a renewal of zest and zeal, because  I thought I was doing okay, as far as keeping my eyes forward and not losing sight of a 'regular' day some time in the future, not plagued with new cases and our countrymen dying at every turn.  I continued to rally my troops to keep Hope alive and trust in the process of this terrible time running its course.  I had no idea that I was as oppressed, suppressed and depressed as ever, putting on an inwardly apprehensive face with a plastic smile, as not to worry my children.  Very much like the commercial with the people holding up those smiley faced fronts, hiding in plain sight, an internal mess.

I was unaware  I would feel this good again, mentally, A mentally more serene (in some aspects), happier place.  I implore you to seek that same relief, cerebral restitution if you will, of which we all are entitled to, quoting Niccolo Machiavelli "the end, justifies the means..." Humans are  social creatures of habit, gathering and congregating is inherent.   Studies even support the power of being social and the benefits bestowed upon us as a result.  We need each other, in one way or many.  What is the fun in a great recipe, if there's no one around with whom to share it?

Cooking and entertaining with friends and family is something that has always brought my family joy.  This featured recipe was created during the darker days of this Pandemic, and highlighted by one of my online cooking families, The Cook's Cook.   Now is  a great time to click on the following link and have the taste of summer right at your fingertips! southern-style-fish-tacos-w-hawaiian-slaw/ .   Exhale and take a delicious bite out of the wondrous times ahead, with this Pandemic in our rear view mirrors and a magnificent dish in hand, that you can take to the next cookout! The only Zoom will be the sound the car makes, on its way to fellowship with the world once again.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Jonah Crabs, New Found Delight!

Jonah Crabs, delicious and sweet!
I like to consider myself a purveyor of things delicious and ever gathering the inside track on what I must try in my culinary journey and I recently became aware of the Jonah Crab or Cancer Borealis.  This crustacean is harvested and abundant right here in the Americas, on the East coast , Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island bringing in the most.  The New England states are home to many delicacies as seen by food culture and this one more to add to the list.  The Jonah Crab was once seen as a nuisance to many trappers, especially during the 80's, often thrown back when hauled in with the more desirable lobsters and other more popular fare, much to our favor, because they have been afforded the opportunity to thrive, thus making it much more affordable than its counterparts. They are also found further up, in Newfoundland and all the way down to Florida.  

The Jonah Crab is delicious.  I ran across a 2 lb. bag of steamed and scored crab claws and legs at Walmart.  The scoring makes for hassle free enjoyment, missing only a portion of clarified or salted butter and lemon to set the stage for a most beautiful engagement.  Ghee is also an option, I used some and WOW!   The meat of the Jonah Crab is delicate and sweet.  The claws are quite meaty and easy to manipulate.  I found complete satisfaction with devouring them just as they were, steam thawed with some seafood seasoning in my Foodi, but they would be perfect for crab dips and crab cakes if you choose.  The claws are heavy for their size and make for awesome presentations as well.  

I recently purchased a gorgeous blue wooden bowl that would have been perfect for presentation, but after failing to find it in a timely fashion, I ended up standing and dining at the stove top, where the Foodi was situated and eating straight from the pot. Of course, I had paper towels and a large short sided paper towel lined cardboard box to use as my plate. The box was part of the canning process of my Blueberry, Ginger and Bacardi Rum Jam, I will be posting that recipe soon!  

I was able to grab enough blueberries on sale for $1 for 12 oz. cartons, (Thanks Walmart) to make 24 -1/2 pint jars, with some extra to snack on with toast and bagels, fantastic!  I feel that eating seafood out can be a very costly affair if ordering crab legs, crabs, lobsters, etc...so this was a perfect way to get that pleasure right at home for a reasonable price and will allow you to get more for your money, which is always good.  Besides, crabs can be quite a messy meal and who wants to look like a savage in public? Haha, nk.

Jonah Crab Claws and Legs with Butter

 If you are looking for a seafood fix, be sure to be on the lookout for Jonah Crabs, they won't disappoint, I don't know how I made it this far without knowing about these guys, now we can both be in the know and start reaping its sweet and delicious benefits. If you already knew, then have some anyway!  Jonah Crab for the win. 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Jewels on the Virginia Nile by the Cupful



Aside for the much needed change of scenery and time to re-center, this past week brought some pleasant surprises along with the rain that hung out there for the whole trip.  I am a coffee appreciator and lifelong fan. I happened by this robust and flavorful caramel noted brew at the supermarket in Clarksville, the town on the bustling Buggs Island Lake.  
This is a superb place for relaxing, water skiing, wakeboarding, camping and the fisherman alike, from leisure to pro sport, walking or by boat, the activities of this area are bountiful and the atmosphere is magical.  The above is a picture of the coffee I discovered and just had to try.  I am an advocate of local, small businesses and believe in doing my part, when and where I can.  The object in the front is a piece of driftwood I found on the shore behind our cabin. I find it full of character and as a piece of natural water/nature made art.
The coffee itself is from a small batch roastery called Lake Gaston Coffee Company, situated in Littleton, North Carolina.   Lake Gaston is a manmade lake with about 35 miles of shoreline.  It is situated near Buggs Island Lake or John H. Kerr Dam, which is a  50,000 acre reservoir. It was constructed between 1947 and 1957, as a means of hydroelectricity and flood control.  This massive lake extends into North Carolina. I admiringly call it The Virginia Nile.
Lake Gaston Coffee Company offer both Arabica whole bean and ground roast in an array of flavors and intensities brewed from beans from all over the world, including South and Central America and East  Africa.  They also offer teas, wine slushies, Lattes to go, Farm Sciences CBD oil and much more! They even have a small coffee shop located in Littleton.  
I have fallen in love with this fabulous bag of coffee and I am eager to try more.  Good news should not be kept to oneself, so I thought I'd share it with you.  Stay tuned for more updates on products and coffee talk.  This roast was indeed as described with a satisfyingly hearty flavor and true notes of caramel chews and toothpicks made from cherrywood.  
Anytime is a good time for coffee in my book and the constant cool showers and uncharacteristically, inclement weather, presented the perfect storm for trying a new hot beverage. 
 I generally go for medium roasts, since I drink quite a bit of it, but this Buggs Island Lake Columbia grind, with my skimmed down amounts, was just a darling!  I've provided a link for your discovery and enjoyment.  This micro-roastery is a real gem.  https://lakegastoncoffee.com/ 







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