Tag Archives: Shellfish

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce #BrunchWeek

Welcome to the fourth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! Eight amazing sponsors are helping us host a GIVEAWAY of some incredible prizes for multiple winners. CLICK HERE to enter!

This is my first time participating in Brunch Week, so thank you for accepting me into the group! I’m thrilled to be here. We have some lovely sponsors for the week, including the one I’m highlighting today: Cabot Cheese.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

But, and I say this with one hundred percent seriousness, I had already committed to the idea of sharing a version of shrimp and grits even before finding out about Cabot’s participation. I absolutely adore shrimp and grits, in pretty much any form. Except maybe the overcooked shrimp versions. Those we can all do without. Anywho…

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

There are about as many variations on shrimp and grits as there are fiends for the dish, and while I have zero complaints about a well-executed stripped down version, for Brunch Week I decided it had to be a bit more complex and special. This particular recipe features spicy Andouille sausage mingling with the shrimp which forms a bit of a saucy topping for the firmer-yet-luscious grits, and then it’s drizzled with an even spicier yet creamy actual sauce on top.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

This was so delicious, so special and completely perfect to kick start Brunch Week. Stay tuned, there is much excitement to come! Enjoy!

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

Source: slightly adapted from Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp and Grits by Nathalie Dupree


1/3 cup green vinegar-based hot sauce, such as green Tabasco
¼ cup dry white wine
1 shallot, chopped
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Drizzle of olive oil, plus more as needed
8 oz. raw Andouille sausage, casings removed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ cup minced onion, such as Vidalia
4 tsp chopped garlic
30 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

5 cups water
3 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
8 tbs unsalted butter
2 cups coarse grits, not instant
8 oz. sharp white Cabot cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Start with the CREAM SAUCE: combine the green hot sauce, wine, shallot, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium-sized saucepan. Boil over medium heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Set aside.

Now make the SHRIMP: heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and crumble it with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cook, stirring frequently, until no traces of pink remain. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic and saute until veggies are tender. Add the shrimp, tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, and Old Bay seasoning. Saute, stirring, until shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Be aware of how much salt your Cajun and Old Bay seasonings may already have. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Now make the GRITS: bring the water, milk, cream and butter to a simmer in a medium-to-large stockpot. Gradually whisk in the grits. Stir frequently, until the grits are soft and thickened. This will take at least 15 minutes, and up to 1 hour depending on what brand of grits you are using. When the grits are ready, turn the heat to low and stir in the shredded cheese until it melts. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.

To serve, rewarm the cream sauce and shrimp. Spoon the grits into bowls and top with the shrimp and andouille sauce. Now top with the hot pepper cream sauce and serve immediately.

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Check out my fellow #BrunchWeek bloggers! Some very tasty recipes here!

BrunchWeek Beverages:

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

BrunchWeek Desserts:

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce #SundaySupper

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Welcome to a Meatballs-themed Sunday Supper!!! So much fun, so many possibilities of what to cook – I debated for a while but decided I wanted to showcase some seafood meatballs.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

So this is crab cakes meets meatballs in a delicious little appetizer that will likely remind you of being at the beach. If that sounds perfect to you, then you’re in good company. Bread-y seafood liberally dunked in tangy, creamy tartar sauce always wins in my book!

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

You may notice I do not call for salt in the meatballs – that is not a typo. Much of the binder is crushed kettle potato chips, and they provide plenty of salt already. As written, this may or may not provide an excess of tartar sauce, depending on your tastes and dipping style. I toss shredded green cabbage in my leftover sauce to make a very fast and quite tasty impromptu coleslaw.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Enjoy! And be sure you check out the meatball offerings of my Sunday Supper crew!

Sources: meatballs from The Meatball Shop Cookbook by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow; tartar sauce from 20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast by Emeril Lagasse


1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped cornichons
2 tbs minced shallots
2 tbs minced green onion tops
1 tbs finely chopped capers
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp Creole mustard or other spicy mustard
½ tsp Louisiana style hot sauce
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp dried basil
Small pinch of kosher salt

Olive oil, for coating the baking dish
1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat, picked over for shells
1 ½ cups crushed kettle-cooked potato chips
½ cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tbs Old Bay seasoning
Juice from ½ a lemon

First make the TARTAR SAUCE by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate until needed. Ideally, make this about 30 minutes ahead of time so the flavors have a little time to marry together.
To make the MEATBALLS, preheat your oven to 450 F. Drizzle enough olive oil to coat a 9×13” baking dish and use your hand, a paper towel, or a pastry brush to brush the olive oil over the entire surface. Set aside.
Combine the crab meat, potato chips, mayonnaise, egg, bread crumbs, Old Bay, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Roll the mixture into ¾-inch balls, making sure to pack the mixture firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, lining them up snugly in rows. Roast for 10-12 minutes, until the meatballs are firm and golden on top. Allow the dish to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Meatball Appetizers:

Meatball Soups:

Main Dish Meatballs:

Meatball Desserts:

Plus Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and More Amazing Meatball Recipes  from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

I’m guessing you read the title of this recipe post and thought some of the same things Matt and I said aloud as we were eating this meal. Things like whaaaattttt???? And maybe, insane! Deranged, perhaps. And, this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

It’s all true. Equally true though, is how unbelievably delicious this breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner if you wish) is. I made it out of sheer morbid curiosity – like, what the hell is Tabasco slurry and how does that work?? – but this ended up being surprisingly addictive and caused much swooning, in between wiping sweat off the brow.

Though it is quite hot and spicy, not for the faint of heart, I will highly recommend this to all y’all Cajun food lovers and chile-heads. The shrimp itself isn’t terribly spicy, but assertive and perfectly plump, folded into a lacy-edged, thin yet rich omelet, and then that Tabasco slurry really makes the whole thing.

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

It’s very sweet yet very hot, and it serves to balance out the dish yet simultaneously add an enormous punch. Even though it made my eyes water, I seriously couldn’t get enough. This recipe definitely falls into the category of Just Crazy Enough to Work, and if you like things spicy, then I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

Source: adapted from Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton

12 large to jumbo shrimp, about ½ lb, peeled and deveined, including taking the tails off
1 tbs Creole seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tbs unsalted butter, divided
4 large eggs, divided
2 tbs heavy cream, divided
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbs Tabasco

Place the shrimp in a medium to large mixing bowl, then add the Creole seasoning plus kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat well.
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbs butter over medium-high heat. When it melts, add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until opaque and cooked through. Remove to a plate. Shut off the heat and wipe out the skillet.
Beat 2 eggs in a small bowl with 1 tbs heavy cream, plus salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tbs butter to the same skillet and place over medium-low to medium heat (somewhere in between is ideal). When the butter melts, pour in the eggs. Use a rubber spatula to lightly and gently stir the top of the eggs – don’t scrape the sides or bottom of the skillet. Once the sides have set, use the spatula to gently lift them up and let the runny egg in the middle run under the firmer sides. Just before the last bit of the top of the eggs have set, place 3 shrimp on one half of the eggs. Carefully flip the other half over the shrimp. Let sit a few seconds, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs, 1 tbs heavy cream, and 1 tbs butter.
To make the slurry, briskly whisk the sugar and the Tabasco sauce until smooth.
To serve, place 1 omelet on a serving plate, then top with 3 more shrimp. Drizzle half of the Tabasco slurry over top. Repeat with the other omelet and serve immediately.

Viognier-Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

A few days ago, I noticed my body was absolutely screaming for some seafood and vegetables. And while I don’t really buy into the whole “intuitive eating” concept – sometimes my “intuition” is toddler-esque and wants to eat ice cream for dinner, and I have to say no to myself; and then of course, as any parent of a toddler does, try to ignore the ensuing anger, pouting and tears. But when my body yelps for something light and healthy, I do listen up.

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

Amidst all the holiday baking and heavier foods of the current season, I’ve been made aware of the need to balance it all out with some lighter fare. I’m going to take how wonderful this meal tasted, plus the way I was absolutely HORFING an arugula salad last night as confirmation that I did the right thing.

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

There is some wintry richness to this dish, but it’s really balanced. And just wonderfully delicious. There’s all the flavors and textures your palate could possibly want in one bowl. Briny and chewy clams, salty, crunchy bacon, sweet softness from the parsnips, and fatty richness from the cream base all come together for the perfect bite.

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

And if this isn’t enough to convince you, let me also say that this is the ideal weeknight meal, especially for this busy time. It comes together very quickly – the longest time-suck is roasting the parsnips, and that is mostly hands off and can be done days before. The rest comes together in one pot and very fast. Oh and if you can’t find Viognier wine, just sub in a dry Reisling. Enjoy!

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

Source: slightly adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, October 2006

½ lb. parsnips, peeled
2 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 oz. thickly sliced bacon, chopped
¾ cup Viognier
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbs snipped chives
Oyster crackers, for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Cut your parsnips in half crosswise, so you have skinny pieces and fatter pieces. Cut the skinny pieces in half once lengthwise and quarter the fatter pieces lengthwise. Place the parsnips on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the parsnips, turning once or twice, until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then slice them across ¼-inch thick. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until well browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon strips with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Add the Voignier, butter, shallots, and garlic to the skillet over medium heat. Add the clams and turn the heat to high. Cover the pot and cook until they open, 6 to 8 minutes. Use tongs to transfer each clam to a large bowl as they open.
Add the cream to the clam broth in the skillet. Boil until reduced by half, a couple of minutes. Add the roasted parsnips, bacon, chives, and the cooked clams in their shells to the skillet. Season generously with black pepper.
To serve, spoon into shallow bowls and garnish with oyster crackers. Serve immediately.
Serves 2-3 people.

Barbecue-Sauced Shrimp with Crème Fraiche Dressing


Finding simple, weeknight meal recipes that can be thrown together without much planning and that can be on the table in under an hour is not at all rare. Finding such a recipe in a Bobby Flay cookbook, however, is quite rare. No matter how many Food Network shows he does, Flay will always be a restaurant chef at heart. His recipes tend to be complex, involving many steps and many more ingredients. Which is fine, of course. Many, many home cooks, myself included, love a good kitchen project.

Barbecue Sauced Shrimp with Creme Fraiche Dressing

But, not the other night. The other night was weary and hungry and impatient, and demanded a flavorful dinner to hit the table right now. I really didn’t think the answer would be found in a Bobby Flay book, but I certainly won’t complain about my find, as this dinner couldn’t be simpler.

Barbecue Sauced Shrimp with Creme Fraiche Dressing

Heat the grill, toss the shrimp in a good-quality barbecue sauce, store-bought or something you already made, either works, and let them hang out for a few minutes. Make the dressing while the grill is coming up to temp, then throw the shrimp on the grill. Of course they cook very quickly, so you’re done in no time. Throw together a simple salad, or whatever side dish you prefer, and you have a perfect, light dinner.


Flavors are strong, with the sweetness of the shrimp, the spiciness of the barbecue sauce and the bitter tang of the crème fraiche playing together quite nicely. Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Cherry Crumble Pizza; Avocado Milkshakes; Banana Pudding Ice Cream; Peanut Butter Ice Cream; Reisling Ice Cream; Rocky Road Ice Cream; My Mom’s Taco Salad; My Mom’s Blackened Catfish}
{Two Years Ago: Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette; Cornmeal Biscuits with Cheddar Jalapeno Butter; Cheddar Risotto with Smoked Paprika; S’Mores Whoopie Pies; S’Mores Ice Cream; Cinco de Mayo Recipe Round-Up; Green Gumbo; Better Than Taco Bell Mexican Pizza; Cream Cheese Kolaches; Mango Liquado; Rhubarb Crisp; Salted Honey Pie; Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding; Fattoush Salad; Orrechiette with Heirloom Fingerlings and Asparagus Pesto}

Source: Boy Meets Grill by Bobby Flay

2 cups good-quality barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade
48 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups crème fraiche or sour cream
2 tbs finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbs fresh lime juice
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.
Combine the shrimp and barbecue sauce in a large bowl and refrigerate until the grill is ready, no longer than 30 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the barbecue sauce and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill until cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. Discard the used marinade.
While the grill is preheating, make the dressing by combining the crème fraiche, onion, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Store in the refrigerator if not using right away.
Pile the shrimp on a large platter and drizzle some dressing over them. Serve with the remaining dressing.
Serves 6 to 8 people, depending on appetites and quantity of side dish(es). I halved the recipe, served with a side salad, and it was good for 2 people.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Welcome to another Secret Recipe Club reveal day!! This month I was assigned The Kitchen Witch, a lovely food blog run by Rhonda. Rhonda is a beautiful straight-shooter, motorcycle-riding gal who has “retired” to Montana from a distinguished military career. She’s also a wife, mom, grandma, dog mom, professional photographer, freelance writer, and a master gardener. When do you sleep, Rhonda??!

spiced saltine crackers

spiced saltine crackers

I’ve been craving dips lately, and fortunately Rhonda’s blog can easily come to my rescue, offering tempting goodness like Garam Masala and Preserved Lemon Hummus, and Green Onion and Dill Dip. But, seeing as I have an extreme weakness for creamy seafood dips, yet for some strange reason have never shared one on the blog, my decision became an easy one.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

I was quite impressed with this family recipe of Rhonda’s. Quite. The saltines are what makes the whole thing, but not to neglect the shrimp dip – it was everything you want it to be. Crab would make a lovely substitute too, I think. I have to admit, I didn’t let the crackers sit in their little bath as long as the recipe instructs – I was too impatient and running short on time, but I did marinate them for about 5 hours, and it was perfectly delicious that way.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Be sure you check out The Kitchen Witch! And please do try this recipe, it’s a wonderful little appetizer.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

{One Year Ago: Salade-aux-Lardons Pizza; Steakhouse Pizza; Hamburger and Onion Bread Pizza; Roast Leg of Lamb with Parsley-Walnut Pesto}
{Two Years Ago: Glazed Donut Muffins; Caramelized Onion, Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza; Red Kidney Bean Curry; Three Cheese Beer Bread; Battered and Fried Merguez Sausages}

Source: slightly adapted from The Kitchen Witch (both the Dip and the Saltines)


1 1/3 cup canola oil
1 pkg Ranch mix
3 tsp crushed red pepper
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp dried thyme
3 sleeves saltine crackers

8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
8 oz sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 green onions
2 (4 oz) cans tiny shrimp, drained and rinsed well
Salt and pepper to taste

First make the crackers. In a medium bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, combine the oil, Ranch seasoning mix, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Whisk thoroughly and make sure it’s well combined. Arrange the saltines, standing up domino style, in a baking dish or a food storage container that will fit them in snugly. Pour the oil and spice mixture over all. Close the container with a tight-fitting lid and store at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 24 hours. If you can, flip the crackers halfway through (though I must confess to skipping this step and it was fine).
Just before you plan to serve, make the dip. Add the cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice to the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed (that lemon juice can really splatter!) until the mixture is smooth. Add the green onions and shrimp and mix about 1 minute more on medium low to medium speed. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately with the saltines.

Lobster Bruschetta #SundaySupper

Lobster Bruschetta

Welcome to Sunday Supper! Today we bring you a theme of Red Carpet Party, in honor of the Academy Awards airing tonight! This event happens once a year, is undoubtedly a bigger deal to some than others, but it can be seen as a very fun excuse to gather with friends and eat fancy, elegant food. And you know, my friends, they would *never* do this, but I’ve heard that *some* groups of friends might well, be catty and pass harsh judgment upon *critique* some of the fashions strutting up and down the red carpet, and maybe even have a money pool and get really competitive over who picked the most winners. See, it can be extremely fun! (From what I’ve heard, nudge nudge wink wink).

Lobster Bruschetta

But, everyone over at #SundaySupper agrees, you need some fancy-pants food to get the party started right. So I’m doing my part with this amazing Lobster Bruschetta. This is sort of a play on a lobster roll, but more sophisticated and a touch spicier from those serrano chiles. I seeded my chiles, and the heat level was surprisingly mild – so if you want some real heat, I’d highly suggest leaving those seeds in! The flavor is so delicious, with sweet tender chunks of lobster meat nestled in creamy mayonnaise and there’s a pop of fresh herbs in every bite.

lobster bruschetta

Tonight it’s just me and Matt watching the Oscars. We’ll likely have a contest between ourselves on who can pick the most winners. And then we’ll reminisce about taking a little weekend getaway to Los Angeles a few years ago, where we strolled down Hollywood Blvd, mostly to say we’d seen it, but we did stop at Kodak Theater and seriously could not believe how small it was!!! There seem to be some insane camera tricks involved when they air the show, because the red carpet looks so much grander on television than in person. So I’m sure we’ll make jokes about that. 🙂

Lobster Bruschetta

Everyone enjoy this elegant little appetizer! Your guests will be very impressed; and shrimp could easily be subbed in for the lobster if you want. It will still be quite delicious! Oh, and make sure you check out the Red Carpet Party the rest of my Sunday Supper group is throwing, it’s sure to be incredible and fit for the occasion. Enjoy!

Lobster Bruschetta

{One Year Ago: Margarita Meringue Pie}
{Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Fritters; Sloppy Joe Pot Pie}

Source: Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet by Padma Lakshmi

8 (1 inch) slices of crusty sourdough bread, grilled or toasted on both sides with a generous amount of olive oil
2 large ribs of celery, finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh chives
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
2 tbs good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
About 1 lb. cooked lobster meat, cut into chunks

Place the grilled bread slices on a platter.
In a large bowl, combine the celery, chives, parsley, chiles, mayonnaise, olive oil, black pepper, and salt. Whisk or stir to combine and work out any lumps the mayonnaise may have to offer. Now add the lobster meat and gently fold in until combined.
Top each bread slice with 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the lobster mixture. You can of course garnish with either chives or parsley, but I found it wasn’t necessary, for taste or looks. Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.

Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:

Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:

Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:

Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:

Nominees for Best Dressed Table:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

What is it about shellfish that is just so freakin’ sexy? Is it that all shellfish get lumped in with oysters – actual aphrodisiacs – or is it something else? Is it the whole slightly messy eating-with-your-hands thing, which makes consuming the food more primal and sensuous?

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Whatever the reason, I find a huge bowl of flavorful shrimp accompanied by hunks of bread and glasses of wine to be extremely sexy, date night food; and since Valentine’s Day is this weekend, I thought I’d give you an idea of what to make for your date!

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

This took two tries to get just right, but here it is in all its light, sumptuous, delicious glory. This dish is Creole, not Cajun, so it’s really not spicy. But it is garlicky and lemony and hugely flavorful. Don’t worry about the garlic on a romantic evening – you’re both eating it, so you cancel each other out!

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Instead of worrying about the garlic, just think about perfectly cooked plump shrimp that give that lush snap when you bite into them, accented with Creole flavors and bright lemony goodness. A sip of wine, a bite of bread mopping up that luscious sauce… Sounds like a great Valentine’s Day to me! Oh, and as an added benefit – this couldn’t be easier and comes together in mere minutes! I hope y’all enjoy it!

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

{One Year Ago: All-Purpose Mexican/Tex-Mex Spice Mix; Curry Powder; Pecan-Crusted Coconut Custards with Brandied Banana Sauce}
{Two Years Ago: Gin and Orange Juice Braised Endives; Beans and Greens Soup}

Source: adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, January 2008

1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs Creole seasoning
Kosher salt, to taste
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tbs unsalted butter, cold
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the garlic, Creole seasoning, salt, and bell pepper. In a large skillet, add the oil and preheat over medium-high to high heat until very hot. Add the entire contents of the bowl of the shrimp mixture. Saute, stirring frequently, until the shrimp is just cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the lemon juice and the butter. Stir quickly to melt the butter. Once melted shut off the heat, stir in the parsley, and serve immediately.

Louisiana-Style Shrimp and Andouille One Pot

Louisiana-Style Shrimp and Andouille One Pot 5150

A random grocery store run to Fairway a couple weeks ago turned out to be a major score, when I found a rare-to-this-area item sitting nonchalantly on the shelves: Abita Pecan ale. Now, I can find Abita regular brew, but the company also puts out a pecan harvest ale, and that I could never before locate anywhere in NYC. Happy dance time!

Louisiana-Style shrimp and andouille one pot 5134

Before buying it here, I’d only had it one time in my life. That time was with Matt in New Orleans, where the beer itself is brewed, and their pecan ale is seriously the best beer I’ve tasted, ever. With sincere apologies to the Shiner.

Abita Pecan Ale 5155

I figured it was perfect for this recipe, a simple one pot that can be thrown together for tons of Cajun flavors, and one that really requires a Louisiana beer. Obviously, using regular Abita (or another brand of Louisiana style beer) would be perfectly fine.

Louisiana-Style Shrimp and andouille one pot 5160

This was a very lovely dish. Bold flavors, just saucy enough, just messy enough, and pairs so perfectly with that amazing pecan beer. I’m still excited over it. And yes, I’m rationing my stash, trying to make it last, since who knows if I’ll ever see it in NYC again… Anyways, I hope you enjoy this easy one-pot! Oh! Very important – puh-leeze don’t forget a hunk of bread to mop up the delicious holy trinity sauce.

Louisiana-style shrimp and andouille one pot 5152

{One Year Ago: Hatch Chile Cheese Bread, Apple Pie Bagels, My Mom’s Apple Cake}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Olive oil
½ lb. Andouille sausage, thinly sliced or chopped
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 thyme sprigs
2 fresh bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tbs sweet paprika
2 tbs flour
1 (12 oz.) bottle of beer (I used Abita, from Louisiana, which I highly recommend)
1 cup chicken or seafood stock
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Louisiana-style hot sauce, to taste
1 ½ lbs. medium-to-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Crusty bread hunks, for mopping sauce

In a Dutch oven or deep, large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and the fat rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl or stir to combine it with the sausage drippings. Add the bell pepper, onion, celery, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, until completely softened and cooked. Add the garlic and chile flakes, and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Now add the paprika and flour. Stir 1 minute to cook the pasty taste out of the flour. Stir in the beer and cook 2 minutes, stirring to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the stock and Worcestershire, reduce the heat to low and simmer about 3 minutes to combine the flavors. Stir in hot sauce to taste. Add the reserved sausage back into the pot.
Lightly toss the shrimp with a little bit of kosher salt, then add it to the simmering pot. Cook over medium heat until the shrimp are opaque and firm to the touch, about 3-5 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves, and ladle into either deep bowls, or wide shallow bowls. Garnish with scallions and dig in!

Lobster, Charred Corn, and Avocado Sandwiches

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About one week out of every summer, I feel like the luckiest person on earth. Why? Because my grocery store gets these small, roughly-one-pound live lobsters and puts them on sale for around $6 per pound. Yeah. You read that correctly. It’s crazy. Matt and I can dine on lobsters for less than $15 total.

We never know which week of the summer this blessed event will occur, so you have to be vigilant and alert. And sometimes, like last year, you’ll be on vacation during that week and want to cry about it. But not this year! (Whew…)

Lobster, charred corn and avocado sandwiches 158

This year, we walked into the grocery store after a long, beautiful day at the beach with a shopping list for burger makings, and that quickly got tossed as we exuberantly exited the grocery store with our $6 lobsters, some garlic, herbs and butter. We had a leisurely, romantic dinner of boiled lobster, drawn garlic-herb butter and chilled Chardonnay.

The next day, I went out and bought two more of those low-price lobsters for this amazing, glorious sandwich. Some fresh sweet corn, ripe avocados, eggy Briochoe rolls, and we were in business.

This is one of the richer summer sandwiches I’ve eaten in my lifetime, but also one of the more delicious. Due to the (usual) price of lobster, I’m guessing it isn’t a sandwich most of us can have every day; I certainly can’t anyway. So once a year, I’ll thoroughly enjoy it and not feel the least bit bad. And you could always sub in jumbo shrimp for the lobster. Enjoy!

Lobster, Charred Corn and avocado sandwiches 168

{One Year Ago: Duck Fat Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Heirloom Tomato Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette}
{Two Years Ago: DrPepper Can Chicken}

Source: adapted from Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay

2 (1-1 1/4 lb.) live lobsters
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 large ear of corn
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1/2 small jalapeno or serrano chile
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
2 tbs sour cream
2 tbs chopped red onion
A handful of cilantro leaves, chopped, plus extra for garnish
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Few dashes of Tabasco sauce
2 Brioche buns, split and toasted

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lobsters and boil for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove with tongs to a shallow bowl or high-sided plate and let cool. When you can handle them, crack the meat out of the claws and tail. Cut the tail meat into chunks. If not continuing the recipe immediately, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Peel the husks and silk off the corn and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off. Add the butter to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, garlic clove, and chile and saute just until softened and toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer the garlic clove and chile to a cutting board and the corn to a large bowl.
Once cooled a little bit, mince the garlic and chile. Add to the bowl with the corn. Also add to the bowl the avocado, sour cream, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash and stir the whole thing together with a fork. You want it combined but still chunky.
Now assemble the sandwich. Dollop a hunk of avocado mixture onto the bottom bun and spread to the edges. Nestle a generous amount of lobster meat, both claw and tail, on top of the avocado. Mound a few dollops of avocado over the lobster, garnish with a few leaves of cilantro, then close the sandwich. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 sandwiches.