Tis the season for a SUMMER SEAFOOD BOIL by Ric Orlando



CREOLE SEAFOOD BOIL
So this is a definitively American experience; note I didn’t say dish. This is a use your hands-stand around the table-drink what you want-paper napkin experience.
I’ve enjoyed many boils but the coolest experience I’ve has was in New Orleans at a divey blues bar called the Mapleleaf. I went with a few friends to see some blues on a Sunday night.
When our uber droped us off the backboard in the entranceway stated
“Sunday Supper and Blues, $10”. We dropped our $10ers and entered.
The bar was long and narrow and the music room was through an archway to the right. The music room was also long and narrow and plasted with posters and graffiti. The stage was to the right, in the front windows and the entire length of the room was set with 5 eight foot banquet tables end to end, unlinened. The aroma in the room was incredible. There were about 50 people lining those tables and as we approached so we couldn’t really see what was going on there. As we approached, people parted just enough to let us in.
The 5 tables totalling 40 feet were scattered steaming shrimp, sausages, corn, potatoes and other goodies.  We dove right in, holding our beers between our knees, eating more or less shoulder to shoulder.
Everyone was peeling, eating and dropping their shells into empty beer boxes on the floor that were deftly kicked along as the line proceeded on down the tables. There was a cook bringing out more boil. After he dumped a basket of steaming seafood boil on the table, he returned with a squeegee on a broomstick. He literally squeegeed what was remaining on the first table onto the second, and proceeded to fold up and walk off with the first table. The eating went on for over an hour, in a slow caterpiller like procession table to table, one by one being squeegeed and removed until about 10 of us were left at the last table.
I engaged the guy with the squeegee who turned out to be the owner. I told him how delicious his local shrimp were. There were hacked bone in meat pieces of something cooked into that boil that I assumed were rabbit. I asked him about the meat.
“No, dats coon” he said in a dense Creole accent.
“We put in what we got dat day”
I could never recreate that experience, but this time we’ll try for our own, using a little chicken and rabbit. Ok?


Seafood Boil
Serves about 20
This cooking is about the layering and timing so everything is cooked perfectly and the seafood is not over cooked. You have options of the seafood. If you care using more than one type, could can cut back. You’ll need about 12 oz of meat per normal person of seafood.
12-15 lbs head on gulf shrimp
or
1 25 lb sack of crawfish
or 75-100 blue crabs
or a mix
4 small chickens, cut up, skin removed
or 4 rabbits, cut up
5 lb good andouille sausage, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 lb smoked slab bacon, diced large
10 lb very small potatoes
20 ears of corn, shucked and broken in half
2 onions, peeled and wedged into 8-10 pieces each
4 ribs celery, cut into 1 inch sections
8-10 cloves garlic, whole
32 ounces mild lager beer
32 ounces chicken stock, lightly salted water or canned clam broth
10 fresh bay leaves
6 springs fresh thyme
1 small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped, stems and all
4 lemons, sliced, plus more for eating time
a generous amount of a good Creole season (my CAGE is nice, or Old Bay works well too)

Have large serving platters of a newspaper lined table ready.
Also set up a few shell bowls and a few dipping bowls with a knob of butter in each.
In a heavy pot layer the bacon, chicken or rabbit, garlic,  onions and potatoes.
Sprinkle with a little seasoning, a spring or two of thyme, a sprinkling of parsley and a few bay leaves. Now layer the corn, sliced lemons and sausages on top of that. Season the same way with the herbs and seasoning.
Add the beer and stock/water and cover.
Bring to a rolling boil.
After about 12-15 minutes fish out a potato and a piece of meat.
Check it for doneness. If or when they are both just cooked, dump the seafood on top of everything. Season again this time adding  a little kosher salt.
Cover and let the seafood steam 5-8 minutes or until everything is just perfectly cooked.
Turn off the heat and leave covered until ready to serve.
Pour it out onto your table or large platters.
Serve with more lemon wedges, good bread.
 Ladle some of the cooking liquid into buttered dipping bowls to offer on the side. 

County Fair Strawberry Shortcake

This is all about the juice....as you will see...

County Fair Strawberry Shortcake
This is the best!
Serves 6-8

For the berries.
2 quarts fresh ripe strawberries, hulled and cut into large pieces, either halved or quartered.
4 cups water
3 cups sugar
5-6 fresh bay leaves or two sprigs of garden basil
Put the prepped berries in an non reactive bowl.
Bring the water, sugar and leaves to a boil. Stir to melt the sugar and turn off. When slightly cooled but still warm, pour over the berries to macerate. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least an hour or chilled overnight.

Buttermilk Shortcake
4 cups unbleached ap flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
12 ounces butter, cold, cut up
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 each eggs, for egg wash
4 tablespoons heavy cream, for egg wash
Additional 2 tbls sugar for dusting
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400
In mixer at slow setting with paddle attachment - mix all dry ingredients for two minutes
Cut butter into small pieces.
Turn mixer to medium setting and add the butter in pieces very quickly so that you are done in one minute. Turn off machine.
Add the butter milk, Turn the machine to low again and run for 45 seconds, just enough to incorporate.
Remove loose dough to a LIGHTLY floured board. Fold together any wet spots gently---don't over work.
Roll out onto a lightly greased cookie pan about 1 inch thick.
Flip it over and roll out again to 3/4 inch thick.
Use a knife or pizza cutter top score into squares or triangles. They needn't be perfect.
Mix the eggs and cream.
Brush the top with the egg-cream mix.
Dust with the remaining sugar
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden.

To serve, portion the  shortcake and then slice each piece across midway to make a bottom and top.
Put each bottom in a soup or pasta bowl.
Ladle on a general 4 oz portion of strawberries with plenty of juice so the juice pools in the bowl and it soaks the bottom. Top the berries with a copious amount of whipped cream. Place the top pastry on it  jaunty style and dust with powdered sugar if that appeals to you.

Pan BBQ Shrimp, 420 Style



Green BBQ Shrimp
So I heard you have stumbled upon a bunch of  clarified your green butter. Good for you....
Now you can have some fun with it.

This recipe is a play on my famous Cajun Peppered Shrimp that I have been serving in my restaurants on and off for  the last 25 years.  
It's so quick and simple and yet so perfect, you’re going it make it regularly.
The shrimp shell’s flavor works with the cannabis essence to create a super nutty experience

Serves 2 for dinner
3 Plus 2 tbls green butter
12-16  medium large wild gulf shrimp, or Alaskan spot prawns shell on
(don’t let me catch you buying cheap farmed tiger shrimp!)
kosher salt
2 tbls coarsely ground black pepper
2 clove garlic minced
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
pinch cayenne to your liking
¼ cup of chopped scallions, about 4
1/8 cup chopped parsley
juice of two lemons and slice up the remaining rinds, sliced into strips
¼ cup white wine
3 oz bottled clam juice or chicken broth
splash of hot sauce
plenty of baguette or cooked white rice to soak up the sauce

It is crucial to cook these shrimp with the shells on.
If you are squeamish, you can devein the shrimp while leaving the shells on by cutting up the back of each shrimp with a scissors and carefully removing the poop vein.
Use a heavy skillet large enough to hold all the shrimp in one layer.
Melt the first three tablespoons of butter in the pan. Turn the heat to high.
Add the shrimp and sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow the shrimp to cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds and then turn them over. Add a pinch more salt and cook for 30 more seconds. They should be pink but a bit raw inside.
Remove the shrimp t a plate to rest. They’ll be finished in the sauce.
Add the garlic, pepper, rosemary and cayenne to the pan and get that garlic golden.
 Now add the lemon juice, wine and broth. Stir in the garlic and let I come to a boil.
Swirl the pan and add the shrimp back to the pan with scallions, parsley, sliced lemon and remaining two tablespoons of green butter. Swirl the pan til the butter is melted.
Serve in bowls with plenty of napkins.