All posts filed under: Shellfish

Taste of Summer ~ Saffron Steamed Mussels

There are memories of sea things that will always remind me what a magical time & place summer is at the ocean… Being pulled away from Lost in Space on the TV and braving the torrential rain at the Desoto Beach Hotel restaurant to dine on Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks; Chowing down with the family after getting suitably roasted on the beach at Captain Anderson’s in Panama City as a kid (complete with my very own captain’s hat); Sweltering night at open pit Oyster roasts on the banks of Wilmington Island;  gorging myself on steamed clams under the Thunderbolt bridge at Desposito’s; buying (and single-handedly devouring) an entire brown paper grocery sack of seasoned blue crabs from Keith’s (or “Keet’s”.. as the locals pronounced it) Crab Shack in the somewhat shady area of Savannah…. and any one of the 200 times that I had a big pot of steamed mussels with a cold brew, plucking them out of the shells and watching the sun ripple and drift slowly below the horizon. Summer… Sand… Seafood – …

Taste of Summer – Herbed Shrimp Burgers

  Long, many years ago there once was a shack at the far end of Tybee Beach that served Shrimp Burgers. Two gals ran the place – One hidden in the back, whacking and chopping fresh Thunderbolt shrimp into mincemeat; while the other fried them up and slung the finished burgers out to a long line of adoring, albeit overly brown and oily, fans. It wasn’t fancy. It was primarily just whack-a-chopped shrimp, coleslaw, and a bun. But, you know, they were probably one of the best things I’ve eaten on a beach. Granted, a patty of pure, fresh, chopped shrimp is going to be a little chewy, and it was… a little. But I swear – I still dream about them. Herbaceous Shrimp Burgers Makes 6 Burgers Ingredients 1/2 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs – About 2 slices of bread. I’m not going to say “use the best bread you can find” Because in reality… it’s a binder. However, make sure it’s something you like eating and is fairly non-desript in flavor. (ie. don’t use …

Vacations Past & Seafood Veracruz

Sometime well before The Gulf Cost of Mexico became a slightly more garish version of Panama City, you could grab a $150 flight with an ID and a promise that you were a US Citizen, bribe a taxi, and be on the beach somewhere in the vicinity of Campeche just before the sun started to set. I used pack a case of books, an industrial sized bottle of Hawaiian Tropic (back when we all got as brown as cocoa beans) and make my way there whenever I could. It’s not that there weren’t tons of things to do. I’m sure that if I were in the adventurous mood, I could have kept myself busy doing all types of exciting activities. But for me – There was the beach, there was the cold water flat, there were the waves that lapped dangerously close to my lodgings at night.. and down the beach, across 200 yards of scorching sand, was a hut that served my dinner every night –  grilled fresh fish veracruz and cervezas. Those trips were some …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Lobster & Crab Salad

Back a couple of weeks ago, we pick up two of those pre-cooked chicken lobsters from the market with plans of doing lobster night. Although I really wasn’t expecting Lobster Bar quality, I did think they would be edible. They weren’t – they were stale, chewy, watery… just plain overcooked. Like good soldiers, we plowed through them…after all we had spent the money on them. This week we tried again, except we only bought 2 good fresh lobster tails… not precooked. Since they were still small-ish, we thought a better use of them would be to make a pasta salad to get the maximum lobster flavor out of the little tails. As it stood, they still weren’t quite enough meat, so we added a can of lump crab meat to the mix to flush things out. It was stellar! So today’s Simple Dinner Sunday offering is : Lobster and Crab Pasta Salad Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 2 Lobster Tails 1 6 Ounce Can Lump Crab Meat – Drained 1/2 Cup Fresh Peas 1/2 Cup …

True Grit (s)

Grits. It is a Southern birthright and we are as picky about our grits as Kentuckians are about their Mint Juleps. Properly prepared, It is a marriage of texture, thickness and creaminess. Improperly made, it’s a bowl of watery, grainy glop. It is also a puzzlement for non-southerners. Working in convention hotels, I would get a lot of travelers that may not have been to the South before, and therefore, may not have been exposed to some of the finer southern delicacies…. like grits. I have been told by customers that they didn’t think they could eat a whole bowl.. “Can I just have one grit to try?” Or.. “What does a grit plant look like?” or even.. “Wow! these are really small seeds…” It’s just very sad….. What it am… Grits are corn ~ coarse-ground hominy corn to be exact. Hominy is made from a large, flat kernel called flint (or dent) corn. It is then air-dried on the cobb and shucked. The kernels are then soaked in a lye or wood ash solution …

Sometimes it isn’t Necessity – it’s a Disaster, that’s the Mother

Back last month, I was watching the tube and saw a commercial for these shrimp and lobster raviolis  (ready made) from some pre-packaged food stuff giant. Which usually means butter…milk…inedible. So, being the industrious kitchen-y type, I figured I could make them myself, using dairy safe products, and come up with a suitable, tasty, had-to-be-better-than-packaged alternative. A couple of key tidbits of information here…. 1. I make lousy pasta 2. I’ve always made lousy pasta 3. I always think this time I’ll have magically grown some Italian, pasta-making gene and be able to produce Italian grandmother style pasta 4. I never do… 5. My pasta still sucks..yet rest assured, I’ll try it again… be forewarned. This was no exception. My pasta roller thingy wouldn’t hold onto the counter, so it was slip-sliding all over the place – meaning that I had to man-handle the thing, which only succeeded my hands slipping off the crank, knocking over the flour container, and coating the kitchen in a fine dusting of flour – leaving me to roll out …