Archive for ‘Shrimp’

June 20, 2012

Words Fail Me | Garlic Scape Pesto and Prawn Pizza

I have a tendency to be effusive.

I also wish, at times like this, that I wasn’t all those other times.

Because sometimes, you end up with a garlic scape pesto and prawn pizza with an egg on top.

And you haven’t ever made pizza before because you just thought, “well, I am kind of terrible with breads and I’ll probably be terrible with pizza crusts, too.”  But then, lo! you have this amazing friend, who’s super-supportive and encouraging for you to go ahead! Try to make it! You can do it!

My friend Kate is this person.  In addition to being a talented and creative entrepreneur, she’s also an incredible cook.  I stood in her kitchen for a few moments mid-day today after she handed me gifts of a ball jar of cherry stones and a bouquet of garlic scapes from her very own enthusiastic garden and I remembered: she makes really great pizzas.  I remembered, too, that Kate never seems to fuss with her dough and when I asked her about it, I had all of those questions: “oh you’d have to rest it, right?  and you need to make it in the morning or something, too, huh?”

Quite simply she said, no.

She stood in the kitchen with the sun streaming in through the window and wrote on a scrap of paper the simplest recipe for pizza dough around.  And said, “hey, those scapes make awesome pesto.”

After her incredibly simple explanation of the dough and remembering the ease of pesto, I stood there gesturing wildly with my jar of cherry stones exclaiming, “Yes!  I will make pizza tonight!  I will do it.”

“Here, take some cheese,” she said.

September 23, 2011

Lowcountry Crush | Shrimp and Okra Pilau

My friends and I have been kind of fawning over Sean Brock, chef and owner of Husk and McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina.  Add to that that he was a James Beard Award winner in 2010.  And Bon Appetit named Husk best new restaurant this year.  Sean lives and breathes local.  And he’s just so cute.

And he loves pugs.

I am smitten.

I was so happy to see that he was featured in September’s Southern Living and that he gave up some great recipes.  I made his Lowcountry Shrimp-and-Okra Pilau for dinner tonight.  Fabulousness in a bowl, really.  Plus, Cherub’s first experience with okra was a successful one thanks to this recipe.  I used some local Schmidt’s Bahama Mama smoked sausage as well as the okra I picked up at the Worthington Farmer’s Market.  Don’t be afraid.  Okra is delicious, even when unadorned and not fried.

While you do simmer this dish for about 30 minutes in the middle, you can use that time to clean up the kitchen.  Because who has time to cook?  You do.

Wine pairing: Chateau Bonnet 2009 Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon – Muscadelle.

Playlist included Police Dog Blues, by Hugh Laurie.

February 1, 2011

Two Minute Solution to Elevating Your Game | Dashi

We do a lot of Asian cooking here in Persephone’s Kitchen.  I’ve said before that I regularly whip up some version of a stir-fry noodle dish once a week.  I love them because they’re so fast and so delicious.  But I think I found a new secret weapon to really improving the flavor of my dishes.

Two ingredients that can be purchased not just at an Asian supermarket like Tensuke here in Columbus, but at Whole Foods: bonito flakes and kombu.  I know, these ingredients have been around, well, thousands of years.  But that such a simple solution to authentic flavor for my Japanese noodle dishes could be found so easily and took the addition of almost no time to dinner has just left me kind of giddy.  Yes, let’s all discuss it again: Persephone is such a nerd.  Laugh if you want, but dinner tonight took about 20 minutes and had a depth of flavor that was almost staggering.  So there.

Ichiban-Dashi with Salmon, Shrimp and Noodles, serves 2 to 3

1 six-inch piece of kombu

1/2 c bonito flakes

8 cups of water (although I used a lovely vegetable stock, water is just fine)

Soy sauce and Mirin to taste (about 5 T of soy and 3 of Mirin)

1 bundle of udon noodles (I have some that take 12 minutes, check your package, yours might take less time, add them in at the right time)

1/3 pound salmon

1/3 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin batons

3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1/4 c shiitake mushrooms, torn or sliced into small pieces

3 inch piece of daikon radish, peeled and sliced into thin batons

2  ribs of bok choy, thinly sliced

Sesame seed oil, optional

In wide, deep pan, add the water and the kombu.  Over medium heat, bring to a boil.  Add the bonito flakes.  Turn off the heat, let the flakes settle to the bottom of the pot.  Strain the solids and return to the same pan.  Add in the soy sauce and mirin.  Taste and adjust seasoning. Bring up to a nice low simmer: bubbles, but not boiling away like mad.  Set a timer for 12 minutes.  Add in the salmon and udon.  At ten, add the carrots.  At eight, add the green onions and mushrooms.  At six, add the bok choy ribs, reserving the leafy greens. At five, add the shrimp. At four, add the daikon and remove the salmon to remove the skin, if you have a piece with skin, and flake into large pieces.  Return to the pan.  At two, add in the green tops from the bok choy.  Simmer the rest of the time.  Taste for seasoning and add a bit more mirin or soy if you think it needs it.  I added a few drops of sesame seed oil just before serving.

Divide between bowls and slurp loudly.  It’s only polite.

Playlist included Wait Up (Boots of Danger), by Tokyo Police Club.

January 26, 2011

Potluck Party | Crab Pot Pie with Pimento Cheese Biscuits

I was so excited to be invited to a cool little supper club started by a friend here in Columbus.   The ingeniously-themed meet up was entitled Showcase of the Crusted Arts.  Meaning bring something with a crust on it somewhere.  The smart and gracious hosts cooked up a beautiful whole striped bass in a salt crust.  Other clever folks brought goat cheese pizza, clementine pie, Hot Pockets, pork pie, spanakopita, all sorts of deliciousness.

I wanted to make something that would travel fairly well and have something substantial and savory, if perhaps a bit non-traditional, as a crust.  Enter a pot pie of sorts with crab and shrimp, topped with Georgia-inspired pimento cheese biscuits.  Kosher it ain’t, but it was good.

Greensboro Pie, serves plenty folks

For the Pie:

1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 T butter (made some quickly with all the Snowville cream I had)

3/4 c white wine

3/4 c vermouth

1 1/2 c homemade fish stock or chicken stock

3/4 c heavy cream (Yup, Snowville)

January 17, 2011

Winter Kitchen | Fritto Misto, Crudités and Bagna Càuda

Traditionally fritto misto is a dish of fried seafood and vegetables.  Last night, I lightened it up by leaving the vegetables uncooked for dipping into a luxurious sauce flavored with garlic and anchovies.  Bagna càuda loosely translates as hot bath.  Intensely flavored, it heightens the fresh crunch of vegetables that have gone for a quick swim around the bowl.  This is sophisticated but familiar game day food:  bite-sized pieces of fried fish and shellfish along with crispy, seasonal crudités and a warm, creamy dip.   A nibble here, a bite here and you’ll be satisfied without having gone around the bend.

Fritto Misto and Bagna Càuda, serves 2 to 3

For the Bagna Càuda:

c whole milk or half and half

6 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and minced

8 anchovies

December 9, 2010

South-Texas Locavore / Shiner-Steamed Shrimp with Ruby Red Grapefruit Salsa

Tonight’s dish highlights the soul of local food.  It’s perfect for late fall in South Texas.  The grapefruit are sweet, but also a little savory.  They’re a beautiful color, and plentiful.  And because it’s coming on grapefruit season in the Rio Grande Valley, they’re awfully cheap.  Meanwhile, the local Meyer lemons are juicy and fragrant.  So when I saw the shrimp from Harlingen Farm, this idea started to take shape.  I’m honoring what’s local, now, while giving a little wink to everyone who has fond memories from this corner of the world.  Oh, and there’s Shiner.  It’s nice to be back.

Shiner-Steamed Shrimp with Ruby Red Grapefruit Salsa

For the Salsa:

2 ruby red grapefruit, supremed and diced

Juice from 1/2 Meyer lemon

1 jalapeño, diced

November 15, 2010

Low Country in the Midwest | Ooh, Lah Lah Shrimp & Grits

Awww.  I live in the midwest!  I feel happy about that!  Most people confuse Ohio with Iowa.  But whatever, even Ruhlman (who is from Cleveland) visited here last weekend and was, I think it’s safe to say, gobsmacked by how great it is in little ol’ Columbus.  (It’s in Ohio, not Iowa, people.)

So.  Dinner tonight was Shrimp and Grits.  I wanted to make this because I got my hands on a super secret new product that Snowville Creamery is developing.  And they gave it to li’l ol’ Persephone to try out.  Snowville developed a uniquely wonderful dairy product by concentrating very low-fat milk 2 1/2 times with a nano filtration system.  Science!  It makes the milk kind of like evaporated milk, only without heating.  It’s so deliciously sweet and thick and almost like cream, but with the fat of 2% milk.  You want it, right?  You’re thinking, “what might I do with that?”  Well, Persephone thought grits.  She also thought about rice pudding, but that’s another post.   Being from Texas, and having spent a fair bit of time in Georgia as well, cheese grits are something that frequently comes to mind.  Can’t help it. 

So without further ado and back story:

Ooh Lah, Lah Shrimp & Grits, serves four, plus a small Cherub with some leftover grits for breakfast (yay me!)

1 cup stone ground grits (I used local grits from Stutzman Farm)

3 cups Snowville Creamery Ooh, Lah Lah (or 3 cups whole or low-fat milk; please just not skim.  Please.)

3 cups of water (or stock)

1/2  cup smoked (really!)

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