Shrimp Boil

April 6th, 2011
Shrimp Boil

* 2 lemons, halved, plus wedges for serving
* 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
* 8 cloves garlic, smashed
* 1 large red onion, quartered
* 6 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1 pound baby red potatoes
* 4 ears corn, husked and snapped in half
* 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, unpeeled
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions

Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and add the squeezed lemon halves. Add the Old Bay, garlic and onion. Tie the thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine and add to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the pot and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, slice along the back of each shrimp through the shells; remove the veins and rinse the shrimp. Add to the pot, cover and cook until the shrimp curl and are just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the shrimp and vegetables with a slotted spoon or skimmer to a large bowl. Add the butter and about 1 cup broth to the bowl and toss until the butter is melted. Transfer the shrimp and vegetables to a platter. Serve with the remaining broth, lemon wedges and hot sauce, if desired.
- Foodnetwork

I understand if you are not a fan of peel-and-eat shrimp. But if you are willing to do the extra work...or have someone who will do the work for you...this is a great, summery meal. A lot of the ingredients are expendable and you can play with the seasonings all you want. The only thing that really makes this dish and should not be avoided is the Old Bay seasoning. I added a 12oz beer (Amstel Light, for the curious ones amongst you) and 2 andouille sausages cut into roughly 1-inch pieces. The beer was added to the water at the very beginning and the sausages went in with the corn. I used an 8-quart stock pot for this and it was full to the brim and fed two people (though I eat significantly more than the average person). Now I need a bigger stock pot so that I can make this for friends. The Old Bay added great flavor and a little heat to the dish; my lips tingled a little at the beginning of the meal, but had calmed by the end. With something like a corn bread, this could easily be served for four people.

Old-Time Beef Stew

March 30th, 2011

* 2 pounds stew beef
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 cups water
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 clove garlic, peeled
* 1 or 2 bay leaves
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* Dash ground allspice or ground cloves
* 3 large carrots, sliced
* 3 ribs celery, chopped
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots and celery. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.
- Paula Deen

Delicious.

A few modifications to the recipe above:
1) I added 10oz of sliced baby bella mushrooms and they went into the pot at the same time as the carrots and celery.
2) When I added the carrots, celery and mushrooms I added more water to bring the liquid level up to cover everything to try and cook it more evenly.
3) Instead of 1 clove of garlic that is ultimately removed, I used a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic that I left in.
4) I found no need for the cornstarch, I just turned up the heat and reduced what liquid I had.

We will save this recipe and eat this over and over.

Again, delicious.

Recipe of the Month - September, 2009

August 25th, 2009

Cinnamon Oranges

* 2 oranges
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* Fresh mint leaves, torn, for garnish

Directions

Peel oranges and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on a serving platter.

Combine honey and cinnamon in a small bowl. Drizzle honey mixture over oranges and garnish with mint leaves.
- Bobby Flay

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Beer of the Month - September, 2009

August 24th, 2009
Brooklyn Local 1
Brooklyn Local 1

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Steamed Mussels with Leeks, Garlic, Thyme, White Wine, and Butter

June 30th, 2009

* 3 pounds mussels
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
* 1 cup white wine
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

Rinse the mussels under cold running water while scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Remove the stringy mussel beards with your thumb and index finger as you wash them. Discard any mussels with broken shells.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables cook down to a pulp, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels and give everything a good toss. Add the white wine. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the mussels open. Stir occasionally so that all the mussels are in contact with the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and a drizzle of olive oil to the sauce remaining in the pot and swirl to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
- Tyler Florence

I had no idea it was this easy to make mussels. You literally put them in a pan with some aromatics and a steaming liquid and a few minutes later they're ready to eat. If it is of any value to you, I substituted shallot for the leeks and probably doubled the amount of garlic in this recipe (mmmmmmm).

I have a friend who makes mussels all the time and his recommendation after we discussed this recipe was to cut the wine with some water. He said that it will tame the wine flavor a little and almost smooth out the taste of the mussels. This is a trick I'll definitely try the next time I make mussels.

I recommend a toasted crusty bread with this recipe.

Beer of the Month - July, 2009

June 29th, 2009
Chang Beer
Chang Beer

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Recipe of the Month - July, 2009

June 25th, 2009

Egg, Potato, and Prosciutto Pie

* 1 (1-lb) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
* 2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
* 4 to 5 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
* 1 large boiling potato (10 to 12 oz)
* 12 large eggs

Put a baking sheet in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. If the dough is in 1 piece, cut it in half. Roll out each piece into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured surface. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with 1 piece of dough, draping it slightly over sides. Stir together onions, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and spread in an even layer over dough. Top with prosciutto. Peel potato and thinly slice (about 1/8 inch thick), then arrange in one layer over prosciutto, overlapping slightly. Crack eggs on top of potatoes, gently arranging yolks so they don't touch one another. Season eggs with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cut several slits in remaining pastry square and lay over top of pie, then crimp edge and trim. Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, 50 to 60 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8 (breakfast or brunch)
Active time: 20 min
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hr

- Gourmet.com

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Beer of the Month - June, 2009

June 4th, 2009
Yuengling
Yuengling

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Beer of the Month - May, 2009

April 29th, 2009
Saison Dupont
Saison Dupont

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Tetley's English Ale

April 6th, 2009

Right off the bat I am a sucker for gadgets...or in this case widgets. Tetley's features a Nitrogen widget which gives this English ale it's thick, creamy head. You ever just sit at the bar and watch a freshly poured Guinness? If you are as easily entertained as I, Tetley's is a great way to bring that home...without the big, bold flavor of an Irish stout. Which brings me to my disappointing news: You won't have the bold flavor of an Irish stout...but you don't have much flavor at all. There is some light malt, but not much else. This beer goes down like creamy, slightly malty-flavored, mildly-expensive water. I could drink a lot of these and feel no worse for the wear. This isn't a bad beer, but at this price point I will probably pass on it in the future.