Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shrimp Po'Boy

Its just about time for the Annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival but with so much to do this summer, a trip down just wasn't in the cards. However we had to find a way to celebrate. New Orleans is know for a few things but Good food and Great music are two of the things that really speak to me. I decided that even though it was a rainy afternoon we didn't have to settle for the same - old lunch, shrimp po'boys are fast to make and since shrimp keep so well in the freeze its easy to keep most of the ingredients on hand.

Without the friend shrimp (or some other seafood), you wouldn't have a po'boy but don't underestimate the power of the bread in this sandwich. For us, we were lucky enough to hit the local store as a fresh delivery of brioche rolls were just being unloaded from the cart. I couldn't resist the soft buttery, flaky pillows of bread even though they are not traditional for a po'boy (a crusty french baguette seems to be favored down in NOLA). When toasted and smeared with a healthy dose of remoulade, pickles and lettuce, the crisp bread is the perfect contrast to the shrimp.

Use the same recipe as the Soft Shell Crab Po'Boy here

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Over All Soup Swap Winner: Indian- Style Seafood Stew

We had so many wonderful options in the soup swap but there can be only one winner. Matt's Indian-Style Seafood Stew won not only in his category (seafood and meat) but took in the most votes overall! He agreed to write up a little guest post about his experience cooking this winning dish and share it with us.....

I had this recipe in my possession for a while now however, since it feeds six, and I'm a single guy who's doesn't generally have dinner parties, finding the right opportunity to make this eluded me until this event. I picked up all the fish from my favorite local fish market, Two Cousins Fish Market on the Nautical Mile in Freeport (once you find a good local fish market you'll never buy fish at the supermarket again). I doubled the recipe to make sure I had enough stew for both the swap and the contest. It took me longer to clean the shrimp and marinate the fish than it did to cook. This couldn't have been an easier recipe to follow. When I first tasted it after it was done I was worried I had used a bit too much cayenne, but the jasmine rice balanced out the heat perfectly. I was blown away by how everybody enjoyed this! Seemed like I everyone was going back for seconds (and some for thirds). There wasn't a drop left in the crock pot by the end of the night. I look forward to the next time I can make this for friends.
read on for Matt's recipe

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Crab stuffed Portobella mushroom cap

Every year my uncle makes a wonderful appetizer for family holidays, it is actually a spin off of something that my grandfather started making.... crab stuffed mushrooms. I decided to take this from an appetizer to main course by increasing the size of the mushroom! Portobello caps make the perfect single serving dinner, you can dress them down with sauce and cheese and make it into a "pizza" or class it up with ingredients like crab. The hearty texture makes it a great substitute for meat, no matter if you are a true vegetarian or just celebrating meatless Mondays. I love mushrooms in just about any form. We are lucky enough to have a great mushroom "farmer" (perhaps cultivator is a better word?) that visits the Union Square Farmer's Market regularly, Bulich Mushroom Farms.

This recipe is quite simple and really no different that many of the crab cakes that I have made before. Since the mushroom cab provides some of the structure I felt that I could leave out the breadcrumbs and make this pure crab-tastic indulgence. I did however make a few "true" crab cakes by adding about 1/2 c of breadcrumbs to the leftovers (I unfortunately only had 2 mushroom caps on hand and the pound of crabmeat quickly dominated them!)

click through for the recipe!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Souper Soup Swap & First Annual Soup Awards

Food swaps are the newest craze in the foodie world....they aren't exactly new as cookie walks have been around as a holiday staple basically forever. But now you can mass produce and swap baked goods, soups, baby food, garden harvests, frozen dinners or any thing homemade! The benefits of food swapping are simple instead of having leftovers for a week of the same old boring meal,  you switch with friends (or strangers in some cases) for their versions of the food in question. If you have ever tried to cook soup for one you know how hard it can be - it seems like no matter how carefully you measure you end up with a giant pot simmering away on the stove and lunch leftovers by the dozen.

 (pictured clockwise from top left - split pea, minestrone, indian style seafood stew, 
and tom yum goong) 

We had 9 different soups entered into the swap and everyone who participated brought home 4 different containers for a variety of leftovers. We ended up with three main categories for our soups - vegetarian, meat/seafood and chicken broth based.  It was a lot of fun and we had a great time sharing our recipes and picking our favorites. Then again when you have good friends any reason to get together is always a great time!

Here are the entries & winners in each category:
1st Place - Split Pea Soup
2nd Place - Cold Watermelon Soup
3rd Place - Wild Mushroom and Leek Soup

Meat/ Seafood:
1st Place - Indian Style Seafood Stew (pictured above)
2nd Place - Chili
3rd Place - Tom Yum Goong

Chicken Broth-Based
1st Place - Pasta Fagoili (pictured above)
2nd Place - Vermont Cheddar Ale
3rd Place - Minestrone

Some of the participants: