Tag Archives: cooking

Mini Crawfish Boil

Despite the fact that this took the largest pot we currently own, in the scheme of crawfish boils, this was rather on the small side. We only fed 4 adults and 2 boys. Though I had never seen either boy eat more than they did at this meal. 

This adventure began with the remembering of a new seafood shop in town. In reality, it’s been open at least a year now. We really have been meaning to stop by since noticing the large CRAWFISH sign in the window. Despite living in Florida, that’s not something we get very often. We decided to stop in one Saturday and check it out. I believe we will become regulars there.

With our 5 pounds of crawfish and 2 pounds of fresh shrimp, we headed home to create magic and find a few people to help us eat this meal. 

Taken by MiCTLaN74

Crawfish Boil (should feed about 6 adults)

  • 5 pounds crawfish (fresh is best, but frozen will work too)
  • 2 pounds shrimp (fresh is best, frozen would work too)
  • 1 cup Zatarans Crawfish, Shrimp, and Crab Boil (link takes you to Zataran’s site)
  • 3 pounds Red Potatoes
  •  1 ear of corn per person (you could do more or less)
  • 1 artichoke
  • plastic tablecloth
  • newspaper

In a large stockpot, mix about 4 quarts of water (we didn’t actually measure, we just filled our pot and added more water as needed.) and Crab Boil. Add the artichoke. Bring water to a boil. 

While waiting for water to boil, cut up potatoes and shuck the corn and cut into halves or thirds. When water is boiling, add the potatoes and boil for about 10 minutes. Then add corn and boil for about 5 minutes.

When the potatoes are nearly cooked, it’s time to add the crawfish and shrimp. Toss in the crawfish first. Let boil a minute, then add the shrimp. Boil for another minute or until the shrimp have curled and are pink. Remove from heat and let sit 15-20 minutes (If you want to make it even spicier, add cold water or ice and soak for 20-25 minutes).

While the hot soak is going on, spread the plastic tablecloth over your table. Then spread the newspaper across the middle of the table. Grab a roll of paper towels to use as napkins. 

Just before serving, drain the water from the pot. To serve, spread the boil over the newspaper in the middle of the table. Then comes the best part. Roll up your sleeves and dig in!

I thought I had many wonderful photos of this meal, but they are all blurry. I only have one that turned out. I borrowed a couple of photos from previous boils in NOLA.

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Eating Healthy

I’m not very disciplined at being a healthy eater. I know I could do it, but there are just so many foods out there that taste way to good to give up. Also, I don’t like feeling hungry. So given the choice between cheese and crackers or cucumbers and green peppers, I’m going to choose cheese and crackers. Why? Because I’ll be full longer. Like a few hours versus 30 minutes.

In an effort to eat healthier, I am adding vegetables wherever possible. Like in the sauce that I cover my chicken in. I add peas to a recipe that only had corn. The soup gets spinach. My chocolate cake gets zucchini (that makes it healthy, right?)! I don’t know if I’m being successful, the scale doesn’t think so, but it feels a little better.

Thankfully, my newest Food Network magazine is full of lower calorie meals. Including my new recipe of the week; Stewed Chicken and Chickpeas. Overall, the meal was fairly good. I think I overcooked it a bit, making it a little mushy. My brain also is leading me to believe that I made something quite similar that tasted much better (I have to seek out that recipe). I really think the only reason I didn’t love this dish was because it was mushy, which could be solved by not overcooking dinner.

The taste of the dish reminded me of a dish I loved in Egypt called Vegetarian Couscous. That may have been the garam masala. Which is an easy to make blend of coriander, cumin, pepper, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Depending on whose advice you follow the mix contains most or all of these. Had I realised how easy it would have been to make my own, I wouldn’t have bought a ready-made bottle as we also own all these spices.

Usually, the first time I make a recipe, I don’t make changes. I like to see how it tastes as is. But this one called for a couple changes. First off, I added a small onion. You can’t have green pepper and garlic with no onion. Along with the onion, I tenderised the onion and garlic before adding the rest of the ingredients. We also didn’t add the Greek Yogurt. I had it on hand, we just didn’t put it on the food. I substituted slices of my Anadama bread rather than pitas. I would recommend naan over pita bread.

To improve the next attempt, I’m going to use smaller pieces of chicken. They will cook faster which will help in not overcooking the sauce. I’ll also cut the dried apricots into quarters instead of halves. This way there won’t be random large chunks in the smaller diced vegetables.

 

 

 

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Shooter Sandwich

Several times over the past couple of months we’ve heard about “the best sandwich in the world”, also known as a Shooter Sandwich. Today we decided to sit down and try one for ourselves.

Ingredients:

  • A crusty round loaf (in this case, Mountain Bread from Publix)
  • 2 steaks (we used New York Strip)
  • 8oz white mushrooms, diced
  • three onions, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bucket of rocks from the garden
  • dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper to taste

First, we seasoned the steaks with some salt & pepper and set them aside while preparing everything else.

 

We had just made BLTs for lunch, so I used some of the leftover bacon fat to saute the diced onion, mushroom, bell pepper, and garlic, seasoned with a little salt. The vegetables are cooked for a while with the lid on to sweat them, then Worcestershire is added and the lid removed so that the sauce could thicken up. Anna doesn’t care for mushrooms, but generally doesn’t mind them as long as there are not large chunks. She says it’s a texture thing, not a flavor thing. So, I attacked the cooked vegetables with a potato masher to create a nice thick mush.

raw veggiescooked veggies

sweating veggies

After the vegetables were done I pan-seared the steaks and finished them up with a short trip through the oven.

seared steaks

While the steaks were in the oven, I cut the top off of a loaf of Mountain bread, and scooped out the inside of the bread to make a big bread bowl.

mountain bread

After the steaks were ready, into the bread they went…

steaks in bread

…followed by a healthy scoop of the vegetables

veggies in bread

…some swiss cheese

swiss cheese

…a little dijon

dijon

…and then the remaining vegetables are stuffed into the bread.

filled

Then the top went back on the bread, it was wrapped in wax paper and foil, and then the fun part…

bread closedpaperfoil

SMOOSH!

smoosh

The sandwich has to stay like this for hours. In this case we let it sit for about five hours before digging in.

shooter sandwich

It didn’t turn out too bad, we’re probably going to try it again, perhaps with a better cut of steak next time.

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