Frozen Can Be Fine

September 13th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

HG believes it is food snobbism to decry all frozen food. Lots of very good chefs agree with HG that frozen peas are far superior to the fresh peas available in supermarkets (and that includes Whole Foods). HG likes to toss a package into a pot of simmering ravioli or tortellini. (WF carries excellent frozen varieties). Add some grated parmesan and some grinds of black pepper (can also beat an egg into it) and you’ve got true comfort food for a chilly evening. Frozen peas are also good in a risotto or mixed with fettucini, butter, parmesan and prosciutto. WF’s frozen okra are splendid in Bhindi Masala, the lush Indian okra stew. Frozen spinach makes a nice bed for BSK’s pan steamed sole fillets with fried garlic chips. HG always has a bag of WF’s frozen shrimp in the freezer. HG likes the raw, cleaned, shell on variety. They defrost quickly under cold running water. HG dries them and does a quick stir fry in olive oil, sliced garlic and smoked Spanish paprika. Simple and absolutely delicious. They are a staple at Madrid bars. Customers sip sherry, eat the shrimp and spit the shells on the floor. And, that’s why knowing Spanish women don’t wear open toe shoes when bar hopping.



April 13th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

In St. Petersburg, Florida for annual visit with BSK’s very frail 95-year-old Mom (the brave lady hangs on and seems to enjoy seeing her family). BSK had the good idea of renting a 3-bedroom, 2-bath condo facing the Gulf of Mexico. SJ and family motored down from frozen Brooklyn for some much needed warm Florida sun; white, powdery sand beaches and sea swimming. HG/BSK arrived on a Saturday, did some necessary shopping for essentials, basked in the hot sun (temps in the high 80’s), swam in the warm sea, loosened muscles in a hot tub, showered and drank cold white wine on the sea facing terrace. Sunset over the Gulf was a dramatic blaze of color. Appetites well honed, HG/BSK were off to Leverock’s Restaurant for some traditional Gulf Coast seafood. Started off with some Gulf oysters (bland when compared to the briny Northeastern variety but tasty when enhanced by horseradish, lemon and hot sauce). Very good grilled Grouper with cole slaw and sweet potato fries. Shared a dessert of Key Lime pie. Went back to the restaurant on Sunday night after late afternoon arrival of SJ family. Easter Sunday crowd had demolished all of the oysters but the group managed to dine lavishly on fried shrimp, steamed snow crab, grilled Grouper, fried onion rings and a giant helping of shrimp and bacon over cheese grits. Shrimp in local St. Pete restaurants come from shrimp fleets (many manned by Vietnamese emigres) operating out of New Orleans and Galveston. These shrimp are fresh, juicy and much better than the frozen, tasteless variety served in Northern states. Happy mouthfuls.


Newfie Shrimp

July 8th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

HG has never been in Newfoundland but HG has much love for this chilly land. To begin with, one of HG’s best life companions was a very big, black, highly intelligent Newfoundland dog named Bobo. The big boy would often accompany HG to Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants in Denver, creating anxiety on the part of the waitstaff. And while many visitors have regaled HG with tales of Newfoundland’s physical beauty and the rollicking Irish charm of its residents, what really impresses HG is the quality of the sea creatures procured from its shores: Wondrous cod, hake, haddock and halibut are all fished off the Newfoundland coast. But, until recently, HG was unaware of the tiny, succulent fresh water shrimp from Newfoundland. HG discovered them at the By the Bay Fish Mart in St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island. They have since become a staple. HG mixes them with mayonnaise, chopped onion, celery and herbs for an estimable salad. However, HG likes them best the Venetian way. A bit of finely chopped garlic. Good olive oil. Chopped parsley. With a glass of chilled white wine it is the perfect way to begin a summer meal.


Fast Sea Treats

March 25th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

First, pour a glass of icy white wine. Sip. Finely chop some garlic and parsley. Heat your pan to high. Give it a glug of olive oil. Toss in the garlic, parsley and a bunch of shell- on shrimp. Dust liberally with piquant Spanish paprika. Saute quickly at a high temperature. You’ve got a spicy dish prepared in minutes. Another HG seafood trick that he picked up in Rhode Island. Cut up calamari into rings and tentacles. Dust lightly with Zatarain’s Fish Fry. Saute in some olive oil. Give it a hit of red pepper flakes. At last moment add some Mazzetta Mini Hot Pepper Rings (or any other vinegary peppers you like). Do not overcook — Bad for squid! Keep it on heat until peppers are slightly warmed. Sip some more icy wine. Be happy.

Southern Comfort (The Food, Not That Sweet Alcohol Crap).

March 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

HG spent some early formative years in the Deep South and has never lost his taste for comforting, spicy, nutritionally incorrect southern cooking. The foundation for many great dishes is stone ground grits. You can cook grits in milk or stock (depending on whether you’re using them for breakfast or dinner). You can stir in cheese or gently sauteed garlic. An unbeatable comfort breakfast is grits topped with poached eggs and bacon.

HG first tasted shrimp and grits (with Tasso ham) at the late Soul Kitchen in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. The shrimp had been cooked in a dark, spicy New Orleans roux and then poured over buttery, creamy grits. Yowzah, Yowzah, boys and girls, mighty fine eating. Hit Google for a load of shrimp and grits recipes and choose one heavy on spice. HG also likes fried catfish with grits (for an HG recipe Click Here) Add some collard greens (or garlicky sauteed spinach) to your plate. Dot the grits and spinach with a bit of butter. Pass the Tabasco or Frank’s Hot Sauce. Let the good times roll.

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