Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shrimp and Grits from R'z Cafe'

Photo courtesy the Cooking Corner.

    When you combine the bold Cajun flavors with fresh shellfish, I'm right there with you. A local eatery recently hosted a Cajun night so I had to go. 
    Although I've made shrimp and grits that were good, I've never came close to this taste level. This version of shrimp and grits was so creamy and rich, with just a little hint of heat that went away quickly. 
   Don't be afraid of the grits either. It doesn't taste like it sounds. These were so smooth and creamy you could've almost imaged mashed potatoes. I'm so glad Candy decided to share the recipe.

Shrimp and Grits
Courtesy of Candice Yancey, R'z Cafe

8 pieces raw bacon - rough chop
4 oz. butter
finely diced red and green peppers
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup beef stock
4 cups cream
2 T. crushed red pepper
4 oz. pepper jack cheese
Sriracha to taste

Sauté bacon, butter, garlic and onions until bacon is cooked. De glaze with stock. 

Add cream and stir. Add cheese until melted. Add crushed red pepper and sriracha to taste.
Serve over white cheddar grits.

Garnish with green onions and additional bacon if desired.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shrimp Mac and Cheese

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.

     One of my favorite comfort foods is mac and cheese. Over the years I've found a few ways to make this (from scratch). After watching a TV show that featured lobster mac and cheese, I decided to try it with shrimp. There was some left in the freezer from another food experiment, so this was a great way to use it. The mac and cheese was rich and creamy and the crumb topping was a nice texture contrast. Of course, the little shrimp bites were the best hidden ingredient.

Shrimp Mac and Cheese
1/2 stick butter
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb. raw shrimp
1 cup milk
1/8 cup flour
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
white pepper
Shrimp mac and cheese with dinner.
2-3 cups water
1 cup small shell pasta
3 T.  panko (or bread) crumbs
2 T. melted butter

Spray coat a small baking dish.

In medium pot add water until 2/3 full. Bring to boil and add pasta. Cook 5-6 minutes until a la dente (just done, but slightly firm). Drain, reserving one cup of cooking liquid.

In medium saucepan, heat butter over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp. Old Bay seasoning, stirring well.

Sprinkle remaining Old Bay on shrimp and add to saucepan. Cook in garlic butter about 2-3 minutes, just until shrimp begins to slightly turn pink. (Do not walk away, do not let them cook through or you'll have rubber wads.) Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

Sprinkle flour over melted butter and stir until combined. Slowly add milk, stirring well until it slightly thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Add shredded cheeses, stirring constantly until well mixed.

Remove pan from heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in drained pasta. Add a little more of the reserved cooking liquid until desired thickness and creaminess. (I used about 1/4 cup.)

Stir in shrimp until well combined. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with Panko and drizzle melted butter over top.

Heat broiler and cook until top is golden, about 3-4 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crab Roll

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
     I wished we lived near a great body of water so that we could eat (and cook with) real crab. However, this is not the case. Here in the Midwest we have fresh catfish. This did not deter me from trying my hand at an East coast favorite, crab rolls. It's basically a crab, or lobster, salad served on a hoagie roll. This classic is as easy as it sounds, combining chunks of crab meat with mayo and Old Bay, everything else is to your tastes.

Crab Roll
3 pkg. frozen chunk crab
1 stalk celery, diced fine or 1/4 tsp. celery seed
2-3 T. each onion, red and green bell peppers, diced
3 T. (heaping) mayo
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
squirt lemon juice
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Let crab thaw in refrigerator 24 hours prior to use. Remove from package and drain well.

Mix all ingredients together, trying not to break up the crab too much. When well combined, refrigerate for at least an hour or two to blend flavors and chill well. Adjust salt, pepper and Old Bay to taste. Serve on a sturdy bun. Makes 6 sandwiches.

Can also be used on lettuce as a salad or served on crackers.

Taste Of Home Recipe of the Day