Grilled Shrimp in Galena’s Tomato Vodka Sauce

Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Shrimp

Love this warmer spring weather we are having here in Memphis.  Last night was a perfect night to do a little outdoor grilling.  However I was really in the mood for some Italian food.  What goes great with any pasta dish????  SHRIMP

How to Grill Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
30 6-inch skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to use)*

Peel and devein the shrimp.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine shrimp, oil, salt and pepper.  Insert skewer through entire body of shrimp (this prevents  shrimp from curling up when cooked – see picture above).  Preheat grill to high heat, spray grill with cooking spray.  Place prepared shrimp on grill and cook 2 minutes on each side, or until shrimp is pink and opaque.  Remove from grill, when cooled, remove skewer from shrimp.  Place in bowl until needed.

Prepare Tomato Vodka Sauce according to directions.  Add shrimp to sauce with the heavy cream.  Toss with your favorite cooked pasta.  

Grilled Shrimp in Tomato Vodka Sauce

Grilled Shrimp in Tomato Vodka Sauce

*Soak package of skewers in a large bowl of water with a small plate on top to hold down the skewers.  Remove skewers and place in a zip lock bag in the freezer.  Your skewers will be ready for use whenever you need them.

Boun Appetito!


Baked Stuffed Lobsters

I just love traditions!  Our annual New Year’s Eve tradition is a wonderful lobster meal.  This year I stuffed the lobsters, purchased some shrimp fried rice at a local Chinese restaurant and some cole slaw from Germantown Commissary.  Yum!  What  a meal!

First purchase a couple of lobsters from your local grocery store.  Bob is the “killer of the lobster” person in our house.  I suppose I could do it, but I really like getting him involved in cooking.  Never had a lobster before we started dating back in 1971.  Bob’s family had a home on Long Island Sound and Bob grew up tending lobster pots with his dad.  I can remember the first time I had a lobster at his parents house,  his dad showed me how to open the little guy…but by the time I had it opened the meat was cold….hehehe.  Good memories.

Place lobster on his back

Place lobster on a cutting board.  Cut open the lobster by inserting your knife just underneath the head and the cutting down, splitting the belly (body and tail). Remove the “inners” (heart, guts, etc., but not meat).  Remove the black vein and rinse under cold running water.  Place lobster on baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the black vein

Remove the black vein

In a medium size skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of clarified butter.  Add shallot, celery, red pepper and lemon seasoning.  Saute until soft, about 10 minutes.  Deglaze vegetables with wine, sherry (I just love Harvey’s Bristol Cream in lobster recipes) and lemon juice.  Cook an additional 5 minutes over low heat.  Remove pan from stove.  Add 4 ounces of salad shrimp,  pankos, parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, mix until well combined.

Chopped shallots, celery and red pepper

Chopped shallots, celery and red pepper

Place lobsters on baking sheet, stuff inside with stuffing and drizzle lobsters with 2 tablespoons of remaining clarified butter.

Stuff lobster

Stuff lobster

Place in preheated oven and bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tail reaches an internal temperature of 140° on an instant-read thermometer.  This meal would be very expensive in a restaurant, but you can make this at home for a fraction of that cost.  It’s really pretty easy, and not that time consuming.  I hope you try this wonderful lobster recipe at home and feel free to leave me your comments.  Bon Appetite!

Baked Stuffed Lobsters

2 live 1 1/2 pound lobsters
salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1/4 red pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon Weber® Zesty Lemon & Seafood Seasoning
2 tablespoons white wine, drinkable quality
1 tablespoon Harvey’s Bristol Cream
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 ounces cooked and peeled salad shrimp, rinsed (can be found in the frozen seafood section of your grocery store)
1/2 cup Pankos
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Prepare lobsters for stuffing.  Cut open the lobster by inserting your knife just underneath the head and the cutting down, splitting the belly (body and tail). Remove the “inners” (heart, guts, etc., but not meat).  Rinse lobster under cold water.  Lightly season inside of lobsters with salt and pepper.

In a medium size skillet over medium high heat, melt clarified butter.  Add shallot, celery red pepper and lemon seasoning.  Saute until soft, about 10 minutes.  Deglaze vegetables with wine, sherry and lemon juice.  Cook and additional 5 minutes over low heat.  Remove pan from stove.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Place lobsters on baking sheet and stuff inside with stuffing.  Drizzle each lobster with 2 tablespoons of remaining clarified butter.  Place in preheated oven and bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tail reaches an internal temperature of 140° on an instant-read thermometer.


Clam’s Casino

What a wonderful Christmas we had…so great to have family all together.  We have always had a Christmas Eve tradition of doing “appetizers” to snack on all night long…Bob and I started this years ago when we first got married.  Below is a photo from our “1st Christmas Eve” together as husband & wife entertaining our very good friend.

Christmas Eve 1977

Christmas Eve 1977

This year was not any different, everyone chooses an appetizer, or two, of their choice.  Rob’s choice is always Clam’s Casino.  Pretty funny that these little guys are such a big hit since I do not eat clams.  When I was a little girl, my dad made me eat (yes, they did things like that back in the day) a raw clam…haven’t been able to put one in my mouth ever since; however I do make the best Clams Casino, Chowder, Baked Stuffed, etc….or at least that’s what I am told.  🙂

I think one reason Rob loves they so much is his remembrance of our clamming days in Port Jefferson, New York, when he, Jen and Bob would sit on the back of our boat eating clams and pitching the shells back into the ocean.  This particular day, they watched as Bob was shucking…

Port Jeff, NY

Port Jeff, NY

Open clams and place on a large sheet pan.
Shucked ClamsIn a large skillet, melt butter, add vegetables and cook until soft.

Saute VegetablesPlace sauteed vegetables over clams, add parmesan cheese, top with bacon and bake..ClamsTop with freshly squeezed lemon juice and or lemon wedges.

Baked Clams Casino

Baked Clams Casino

Clams Casino

3 dozen “littleneck” clams, shucked
(see video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGRAcit6FOA)
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup white wine (drinking quality)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & black pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound bacon, uncooked

Preheat oven to 425°.  Place shucked clams in a large baking sheet sprayed with pan spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onions, red pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook until vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).  Add white wine (or stock seafood stock if you prefer), and lemon juice, simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated.

Remove vegetables from heat.  Place 1 teaspoon of vegetables on top of clam, add grated parmesan cheese and 1 piece of bacon shaped to fit clam.

Bake 10-15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.  Top with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon wedges, if desired.


Butter Poached Lobster

This week is a special one….hubby Bob has a birthday.  Being born in Connecticut and living on the ocean almost all his life has made Bob a lover of seafood.  Especially shellfish!  We use to live on the coast of Long Island Sound and Bob’s favorite hobby was tending to his “40” lobster pots.

Lobsters

Lobsters

I can remember the times when Rob and Jenny would ask me what’s for dinner, when I replied lobsters they would say “lobsters again”….those were the days!

I thought I was the queen of lobster cooking, always trying new methods and recipes.  It wasn’t until we watched an episode of Master Chef that I discovered “poaching lobster”.  WOW…..what a great way of cooking lobster…why didn’t I think of that?????

On Father’s Day  I tried poaching lobster in a  beurre monte sauce.   Probably the best lobster I have ever eaten.  Guess what I am making for Bob’s birthday?????  Here’s how you do it.

Purchase lobsters from local grocery store.  Place them in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Lobsters

Lobsters

In a LARGE stock pot bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil.  Once the water is rapidly boiling, put lobsters to sleep ( you will feel better before you kill the little guys).  Just massage their head over his eyes for a few seconds, like this…

“go to sleep lobster”

Place lobsters (head first) into the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes.  In a large bowl add water and ice cubes (ice-water bath) and place the lobsters into the pan.

DSC_0047Using a good pair of kitchen scissors cut the lobster shell and remove the meat, trying to keep the lobster in tact as much as possible.

In a medium size pan bring 1 tablespoon of water to boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time.  This method will help it emulsify, which means mixing two liquids together that normally don’t mix well (water and oil).

Butter Poached Lobster

Butter Poached Lobster

Add the lobster and cook over medium low heat (do not let butter boil) for 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the lobster meat reaches 140-145°F using a Thermapen thermometer.

Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy!

Happy Birthday Bob!

Happy Birthday Bob!

Ingredients:

2 one and a half pound live lobsters (or one lobster per person)
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), cut into 1 tablespoon chunks

Directions:

1.  Bring a large pot of water to boil. Turn off heat and add the lobster. Cover with lid and let cook for 3 minutes. Place lobster into a large pan of ice water (this cools down the lobster to the touch and stops the cooking process).  Remove all lobster meat from shell trying to keep lobster in tact.

2. In a sauce pan, bring 1 tablespoon of water to simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in 1 piece of butter. When butter had melted, add another piece. Continue with remaining butter pieces, one at a time. Make sure the mixture does NOT come to a boil, otherwise the butter will separate.

3. Keeping the heat on medium-low, add the lobster pieces and cook for 5 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 140-145° is reached.  Serve immediately!


Lobster Bisque

Before moving to Germantown, TN in 1994, we lived on Long Island Sound in West Haven, Connecticut. Many wonderful memories from living there, the view of the ocean was just amazing. We built this house and had several balconies overlooking the water.

I can remember sitting at the dinner table telling my kids to look out over the water as the moon was coming up, the reflection was just breathtaking!!! Bob’s favorite hobby was tending to our 40 lobster pots. Funny as this sounds now, but I can remember Rob and Jenny asking me what was for dinner, when I would say lobster, their response was “lobster again”…

Yes, we had many lobster meals, it was always fun seeing just what I could come up with. On special occasions I would take the time to make “Lobster Bisque”. It’s not difficult but I have to admit it is time-consuming, but well worth the time and effort.

While doing my weekly shopping at Costco yesterday I noticed a package of cooked lobster claws…hummm…good price… So I purchased those little claws, took them home, had Bob remove the meat for me (he loves that) and so the process began….Here it is…

In a large saute pan add 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil.


When hot, add 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots and 3-4 cloves of garlic (all roughly chopped), and lobster shells (reserve the meat for later). Saute over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

When veggies are soft (here comes the really fun part) add 1 cup brandy and ignite (have a camera nearby..great photo op here)

Meanwhile…in a large saucepan add 2 quarts of cold water, bring to a boil and add 2-3 tablespoons of “Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base”. (however if you are using live lobsters, bring large pot of water to boil and add lobsters, cook 10-15 minutes. Reserve the broth for the bisque)

Add the sautéed veggies and shells, l sprig fresh parsley, 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 1 cup white wine (drinking quality) and 3 ounces tomato paste to the lobster stock. Simmer stock for 1-2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan make a “blonde roux”, equal parts of butter to flour, 4 tablespoons each and a few sprinkles of white pepper…cook until simmering, remove from heat and reserve until needed.

Remove the stock from the heat, strain through a fine sieve or chinoise.

Place the stock back into clean saucepan, bring to boil and add reserved roux. Whisk until thickened and cook 5-10 minutes. Add 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup Harvey’s Bristol Cream. Simmer 2-3 minutes.

Add reserved lobster meat, heat, serve and eat!

Shopping List:

2-3 1 lb. lobsters or 2 lbs. cooked lobster claws
extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
3-4 cloves garlic
l cup brandy
1 sprig fresh parsley
2-3 sprigs fresh theme
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/2 can (3 ounces) tomato paste
1 cup chardonnay
2 quarts lobster stock
1/4 cup blonde roux
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Harvey’s Bristol Cream



“Firecracker Shrimp”….something spicy for that special DAD in your life…..

With Father’s Day coming up on Sunday, thought you might like to cook him up a very yummie appetizer.  You can also make this “lite” by using low fat cheeses and turkey bacon, but I think dad deserves the real deal!!!!  Enjoy….

12 jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed

1 lb. large shrimp (31-35 count)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp. Ancho Chili Powder

1 lb. bacon

2 dozen 6” wood skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425º. Place bacon on a sheet pan and pre-cook for 10-15 minutes, do not brown. Remove from pan and set aside until needed

In a small mixing bowl add cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Cajun seasoning. Mix until well combined (you can also use a food processor). Place creamed cheese mixture in a gallon size zip-lock bag.

Cut the corner of the bag ½ inch width, creating a tip. Squeeze the cheese mixture into the jalapeno, top with piece of shrimp and wrap a slice of bacon around jalapeno. Thread the stuffed jalapeno onto wooden skewer. Place skewers onto a sheet pan and bake at 425º for 5-10 minutes or until bacon is crispy. If preferred, cook on a hot grill placing the jalapeno shrimp side down, cook 2-3 minutes, turn and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.



Fried Shrimp

One of the things my family misses about living on the east coast is a restaurant named “Jimmies”, also known as “Jimmies of 7 Rock”.  Jimmies is known for their delicious and succulent “fried shrimp”, among many other “fried goodies”.  The following recipe is as close to the original recipe and is one of my families favorites.  I hope you enjoy it as well:

2 lbs. 21-25 count (size of shrimp) fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left in tact

1 1/2 cups “Hooters Wing Breading”, or All Purpose Flour with 1 teaspoon paprika

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 cups Cracker Meal (not corn)

1/2 gallon canola oil

Tartar Sauce (recipe to follow)

Fresh lemon juice to taste

This process is known as a 3 stage breading process….one bowl for breading or flour, one bowl for egg mixture, one bowl for cracker meal,  you use one hand for dry ingredients and one hand for wet ingredients.  With wet hand place 4 shrimp in the breading bowl and cover the shrimp with using your dry hand….using that same “dry hand” place the shrimp into the egg mixture…using your “wet hand” cover the shrimp with the egg and place the shrimp into the cracker meal.  Using your dry hand coat the shrimp and place on a platter.  Repeat this process until all the shrimp has been breaded.  Cover the shrimp and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (this will prevent the coating from falling off during the frying process).

Preheat an electric fryer (or use a large stockpot) until the oil has reached 350 degrees.  Place 10-15 shrimp in the fryer and cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).  Drain on a wire rack and place in a preheated 200 degree oven to keep the shrimp hot while you cook the remaining shrimp.

If desired, squeeze the juice of one lemon over shrimp before serving.

Tartar Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup relish

2-3 tablespoons chopped jalapeños

3-4 drops hot sauce

Mix all the ingredient until well combined and chill until ready to serve.