(38 F in Pure Florida predawn)
There must be a zillion ways to cook shrimp. Some of you sushi eaters don't even bother to cook it ( insert involuntary shudder here).
I'm a southern boy so I confess, I love them best, rolled in a light dusting of cracker meal and fried fast in hot peanut oil.
Sunday night after my Lower Suwannee Refuge adventure, I was in the mood for shrimp, but not in the mood for lots of prep, so Mrs. FC and I decided to just do a shrimp boil. I didn't even make a salad. We're talking lazy here...
Like most seafood cookery, the secret is to not overcook it. That goal makes seafood the original fast food. Boiling shrimp is so simple ...like boiling water, only with shrimp in it. My method was as follows.
I put the water on to boil and looked for the box of Old Bay seafood boil seasoning that I meant to buy at the grocery store. When I couldn't find it I tossed a couple of bay leaves, a crushed garlic clove, and a couple shakes of Tony Cachere's Cajun Seasoning into the water. Then I waited for the water to boil ... I did NOT watch the pot.
Once the water was rolling, I tossed in the shrimp and set the timer for two minutes.
While they were boiling, I rummaged through the pantry until I found the last jar of datil pepper relish ... a 2003 batch according to Mom's handmade label. Botulism be damned, it may be 3 years old home canning, but we were not about to eat shrimp without some good datil pepper relish. (It was great by the way)
When the timer went off, out came the shrimp, pink and sweetly succulent.
It was a peel and eat fest. When it was over, all that was left were mounds of little empty exoskeletons and half a jar of datil pepper relish.
That was Sunday. Last night was a cast iron pot full of the famous Columbia Restaurant recipe Spanish Bean Soup (garbanzo beans). Years ago, the Columbia used to put their recipes on the back of books of matches which they gave out at the front desk. I don't smoke, but I used to grab a different recipe every time we went.
We timed the soup perfectly with the coldest (35 F) day of the year so far and it was wonderful.
What's your cold weather comfort food?