Shrimp Creole

finishedShrimp Creole is one of the simplest Cajun dishes you can learn.  Seriously, it’s just roux, the holy trinity, tomatoes and spices/stock.  Now, if you know anything about me, I won’t settle for the “simple” recipe, so I took a recipe and made it mine. [Read more…]

Cream of Crab Soup

I was given a recipe from my boss, Brian, for cream of crab soup about 2-3 years ago.  I had lost the recipe when I “accidentally” deleted my old site, and thanks to another friend, Ryan Duff, I was able to restore my old recipes via web.archive.org.  Brian’s recipe was really good, but I wanted to see if I could improve upon that great recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 qt. half&half
  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 Can chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon assloads Old Bay
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley

Instructions:

  • Heat the butter in a heavy bottom pot, dutch oven or heavier, and when it is starting to smoke, add the flour to make your roux.  Once the roux is the color of heated butter (can you tell I suck at describing colors?), stir like a mad man, and make sure none of that shit gets on you.  It’s not called “Cajun Napalm” because it feels good. Make sure that if you see even the tiniest black spot, stop and restart the roux.
  • Once the roux is good, add the onion, cooking about a minute, getting it nice and caramelized.
  • Keep stirring.
  • Add the celery and cook about one minute as well.
  • Keep stirring.
  • Add garlic.
  • Keep stirring.  Change hands if need be.
  • Add chicken broth slowly, trying to avoid clumps.  This is where you can screw it up easy.
  • Once this is combined, add the half&half, stir in nicely.
  • Bring to a boil, add parsley, and as much Old Bay as you want (start with 1 tbspn.
  • Simmer for a bit to thicken, for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened.
  • Add crab meat, and let simmer till the crab meat is heated up.
  • Optional: just before serving add a teaspoon of sherry
  • Serve in a bread bowl (folks loved that, thanks Brian!) or with a sliced loaf of French bread.

nom nom

Baked Striped Bass

Some of you know that we have recently moved closer to the Chesapeake Bay strictly because we bought a boat and loved fishing.  We have been fishing in the Chesapeake’s tributaries since May of 2011, and it wasn’t until Oct 13th that I caught our first rockfish keeper. [Read more…]

Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

A bunch of friends went to DC for the Duran Duran concert at 7:30 on last Sunday, but the Ravens were playing at 4pm.  My brilliant idea was to find a sports bar close to the concert venue, and get there around 3:30, drink, watch the game, eat dinner and head over to the concert hall.  Little did I know that I’d order one of the best scampi dishes I’d ever tasted from a bar named The Exchange Saloon, about two blocks west from the White House.  Their dish was named “Shrimp and Scallops, served over pasta scampi style or saganaki style” for $17.99.  I ordered it scampi style, and immediately looked at my wife and said: “I have GOT to make a good garlic-y scampi soon!”   Last night, I did, and it was glourious!*

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp (20-25 per lb)
  • 12 cloves minced garlic (I use a jar of minced garlic, and used 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Half a box of angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley

Instructions:

  • Bring a Dutch oven full of water to a boil
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat and saute shrimp until cooked through, about two minutes, and transfer via slotted spoon to a bowl

  • Add garlic to remaining oil in skillet, along with pepper flakes, wine, salt and pepper.  Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute.

  • Add butter to skillet, stirring until melted, and then stir in shrimp

  • Remove skillet from heat
  • Reserve 1 cup of the water from cooking the pasta, then drain pasta in a colander
  • Toss pasta with shrimp mixture and parsley in large bowl, adding some of the reserved cooking water to keep moist

* After watching Inglourious Basterds, I refuse to spell ‘glorious’ correctly ;)

Beer Battered Fish Filets

I’ve only recently gotten back into fishing. I grew up in Georgia and loved fishing with my Dad on freshwater lakes, catching crappie, blue gill, and the occasional bass.  Now that I’m older, and live in Maryland, I can afford a boat and getting out on lakes and the Chesapeake Bay.  I foresee a lot more fish recipes in this here blog in the near future :)

[Read more…]

Crab Cakes

Having lived here in Maryland for the last 14 years, I’ve had my share of crab cakes, both good and bad.  I don’t believe I’ve ever had a bad crab cake that was homemade, but once you start trying restaurant cakes, you are bound to run into trouble.  Seriously, Applebee’s had crab cakes for Pete’s sake.

Almost finished crab cakes

Crab cakes, almost done

[Read more…]

Seared scallops over angel hair pasta with sauce

The full name of the dish is seared seasoned scallops over angel hair pasta in a basil, butter, and garlic sauce, but damn, that makes for a REALLY long title. I was sent this recipe from a friend, Rose (register on my blogs and I can link to you!), and I embellished a little from her recipe. [Read more…]

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

When I mention gumbo to folks, a lot of times they will ask me for my recipe.  To which I will respond: “Which gumbo?”  Sausage gumbo, seafood gumbo, chicken gumbo, gumbo with okra, gumbo without okra, etc.  Therein lies the beauty and frustration.  What is the right recipe for gumbo?  It’s the recipe that tastes good.  There are so many different variations of making gumbo that a book or 10 could be written about them all.

Oh, wait….they have.
[Read more…]