Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chef Troll Throwdown Entry: Shrimp Minorcreole With Stir Fried Green Beans And New Potatoes

Generally, I avoid those internet entangling alliances called "meme's" like the plague, but last week, Chef Troll tossed out a challenge that peaked my interest.

I took the bait, like a spring time Cobia circling a channel marker ...

Above, just a few of the ingredients for my Chef Troll Culinary Throwdown Challenge.
The challenge?
... To put your own spin on a traditional southern dish and post it by today, May 13.

I decided to stick with fresh, simple Florida ingredients, with an eye to keeping it light and healthy.

To that end, my simple entry consists of ...

... fresh green beans from south Florida.
These I stir fried in a little sesame oil on high heat to sear them here and there ... but not too much ... they should still be firm when they come out of the wok.
Traditionally, we southerners would cook these to mush in a pot with a big ol' hunk of bacon or ham hock. While that is delicious, it adds a lot of fat and cholesterol while leaching out a bunch of the nutrients.
Fresh beans really don't need that treatment. The only seasonings these received was a shake of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

They were amazing and vanished as fast as I could cook them.

My main dish is a St. Augustine Minorcan twist on a Gulf of Florida favorite, Shrimp Creole. Traditionally, this dish is often made with canned tomatoes. In addition, it usually has cayenne in it, which adds nice heat, but no real flavor.

For Shrimp Minorcreole, (which I invented in my kitchen about 6 hours ago now), I decided to go completely fresh, skip the cayenne, and toss in some of my homemade datil relish for both flavor and heat ala Minorcan.

In my mini food whacker thingie, I chopped 4 fresh plum tomatoes for my sauce base. I also chopped the good core of two green onions, tossing the grassy outer stems away. One big clove of garlic was minced and a mix of thyme,chili powder, salt, and oregano was assembled before cooking.
It's worth mentioning that this is a recipe for one healthy serving and you would need to expand things a bit for company.
In my case, I was simultaneously cooking a Mexican dinner of tacos and burritos for the kids and myself, while inventing and cooking my Throwdown dish.
Multitasking r me.

The Shrimp Minorcreole dish was for Mrs. FC who was my official taste tester.

In a cast irons skillet already sizzling with EVO, I tossed in the chopped green onions, the garlic, and the freshly chopped tomatoes. About 5 whole grape tomatoes were tossed in for sweetness and visual appeal. After that mix had simmered a few minutes, I stirred in my mix of spices, and a splash of cheap wine.

A little bit of sugar went in to the sauce to balance things out. I like this sugar.

Then I tossed in three of these big spoonfuls of home made datil pepper relish.

You can find the recipe for this datil pepper relish in previous posts at Pure Florida. Just use the search this blog feature at the top of the page.

(Now, while all this was going on, I was also boiling some cubed new potatoes from Hastings, Florida, the potato capital of the universe. More about them later)

After the sauce had simmered and had time to blend, I added the shrimp.

10 large shrimp were added and allowed to just barely cook through. Shrimp should never spend much time on the heat unless you like 'em rubbery.
They go in, get tossed around a few times and get their little decapoda butts off the heat as soon as that color change occurs.

Now ... about those potatoes ...
Long before the shrimp entered the sauce, the new potatoes had been boiling away. By the time the shrimp went into the sauce, the potatoes were cooked, strained, and basking in a little butter, salt, and pepper... 'cause that's all new potatoes need.
They are too tasty to gussy up with any silliness.

In the end, it all came together like this:
Shrimp Minorcreole
Stir Fried Green Beans
Hastings New Potatoes

I was allowed to taste part of one shrimp and then warned away from the plate.

So there you have it ... all from Florida, all fresh, all healthy, all tres, tres, flavorful.

Look upon my works y'all mighty and despair!


Dani said...

YUMMY! You did good FC!

Pablo said...

Your cooking is just too good for measly mere mortal mouths. We wouldn't appreciate it if you spoon fed it to us.

Florida Beach Basics said...

FC - this is a beautiful post! marge

Sandcastle Momma said...

It looks like great minds think alike. This really looks good and I like the idea of using the datil relish. I'm going to give this a try soon.

Bill said...

Nice FC,
If I could get anyone in my house besides me to eat shrimp, I would give it a try. I have some nice green beans coming out of my garden almost daily. Hastings is on the schedule, today being Wednesday I will be going to Johnnies for lunch and hit the "County Line" for some veggies. Keep up the good work.


TROLL Y2K said...

Wow. Excellent entry with a lot of SMART (not gimmicky) twists. I'm nominating you for the "respect your ingredients" award and the "heat versus flavor" award.

Thanks for playing and I hope the SCA (southern culinary authority) gives you a high score!

Thunder Dave said...

Looks mighty tasty!

Dani said...

If you have any extra seeds left of the datils could you send me some for my garden?

moi said...

Love that you added the healthful veggie. This looks delicious. I also love the pics of your well-seasoned wok and cast iron pan. You obviously know your way around a kitchen!

Sharon said...


roger said...

mmmmmmmmmm food. looks and sounds (as i read aloud) yummy. is that wok from southern china?

the only datils i have now are dried. one of these days i'll soak some to see if the can be used in cooking. or maybe fry the dried ones to begin some tasty dish.

kathy a. said...


Aunty Belle said...

OH boy....I knew it! This is an inspired entry to CTCT (Chef Troll's Culinary Throwdown).

The fresh and The Florida--that does it. No wonder Mrs FC ain't much into sharin'.


Floridacracker said...

Thanks, and this year I will be saving a lot more peppers for seed as the requests are rolling in. Presently I am low on seeds, but my baby datils tell me they will help us out!

Thanks. Spoonfeeding is not an option!

Glad you liked it!

Sand Castle,
We were on the sameish wavelength!

Not eat shrimp? How can that be?

Thanks Chef! I have to admit this was fun.

Cried out for a cold beer to go along with it!

Welcome to Pure Florida! Thanks, I love cast iron. To think I once valued teflon pans!

Only thing that could have made it better would be Mayport shrimp rather than frozen!

yes, southern china and the sugar is from the southern part of maui!

Kathy A,
You betcha!

Hey thanks so much for the support! I think this recipe is a keeper.

ImagineMel said...

next time, I'm comin' with the kid.

Deb said...

Once again I'm getting drool all over the keyboard from an FC food post. Brilliant. :)

Heff said...

Yet ANOTHER entry involving Shrimp ! Incredible !!

SophieMae said...

DAWG! That deserves a platinum medal! We'll now all sing HAIL to the CHEF! Yummmmmm -OOOOOOO!!!

I thought about doing something new with my shrimp/saffron rice dish, but didn't get to the fish market this week.

TROLL Y2K said...

You won both your sub-categories and you're currently tied for "best dish". Reader votes will decide. congrats!

Kudos on the Ozymandias quote too!
Just noticed that.

Floridacracker said...

And you are always welcome!

Thanks! Simple fare, but no disappointed taste buds here.

Welcome to Pure Florida! Well, it's hard to argue with shrimp!

Heck, we are still interested ifn you get the time!

Well, I wondered if anyone was gonna catch that little bit of culture. Thanks! I'm just proud to be in the runnin.

Heff said...

Yes, it is. I'll be back !

tsiya said...

"For Shrimp Minorcreole, (which I invented in my kitchen about 6 hours ago now]",

Ah, an old traditional St. Augustine recipe! History renewed!

Floridacracker said...

As will I.

I really did.
Also invented the internet.

FiveHawgs4me said...

I'm new to "Pure Florida" and have noticed a bunch of requests for datil peppers, seed, and plants. I have been growing datils from my home in Middleburg, FL for about 2 years now as a hobby.

I have 60 or so fully mature plants from the best, old heirloom strains (with the purple streaks). I expect multiple pounds of peppers by the time the season is over. I had my first "mini-harvest" yesterday to increase later yields and got over 50. All are at least thumb-sized without the stem/caps.

I hope I don't overstep the bounds of posting here, but if anyone wants peppers please let me know and we'll work something out. I will have more than I need and would be glad to sell, or trade, the peppers, seeds, or any of the sauces I make.

Floridacracker said...

Welcome to Pure Florida!
That's fine, no problem. Maybe you can help folks out, because I'm in short supply just at the moment.

FiveHawgs4me said...

Thanks for the welcome. My email address is FiveHawgs4me at aol(dot)com. If anyone is interested in buying or bartering for datils, seeds, or sauces, leave me an email. I'd be glad to help out. Thanks. Y'all have a good weekend.

chickory said...

wait. no. is that maui sugar? no florida raw crystals? dear God, man! i voted for you anyway - simple pure good flarda food. go!

Floridacracker said...

No prob!

I know, what was I thinking going to Polynesia for sugar! WELCOME to Pure Florida and thanks for the vote!!