Archive for January, 2010

So says Miles, and I agree with him.

The smell was so bad, and so lingering, that one of my clients from my side job returned a product because it smelled like fish. Oh, yes.

It is Maine Shrimp season here, and I bought 10lbs the other day at $1 a pound. You might think that’s pretty good, but it’s really on the expensive side. I have seen them down to .60 or even .40 a pound. But that’s not the point. The point is that I “processed” them by removing all the heads to get them ready for my freezer. Ten pounds is a lot, and they were horny little bastards. Horny as in “with horns”, that is.

Then I decided that it would be a great idea to make shrimp stock just like I made chicken stock the other day (more on chicken stock in another post–vastly more successful, I assure you). So I put the heads in my slow cooker with some parsley, carrot, onion…and I don’t remember what else. Doesn’t matter, because I’m never doing it again.

By the time I was finished pulling heads off, the slow cooker was almost overflowing with heads. I put the top on, set it on low for 10 hours, and went to bed.

When I awoke in the morning the smell upstairs wasn’t so bad. I went downstairs, and it was much much stronger. So strong that my husband, who leaves hours earlier than I do, took the time to call me from work and say those words: You are never allowed to make shrimp stock in the house again.

And I won’t.


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Husband approved.

Miles is extremely, extremely picky about pulled pork. He’s actually picky about meat in general, which is why I spent so much time trimming the fat off of this the other day:

That is a pork picnic thingy. A shoulder, I think. In any case, it turned into 6 pounds of goodness that we’ve been eating for the last several days now.

Here’s the link to the recipe for Hoisin Pulled Pork with Peanut Cabbage Slaw.

The slaw came out so pretty.

We wrapped up the pork and the slaw in our new favorite tortillas (we used to make them, but these are pretty darn good–I’ll add the link if I can find them online) with some cheese.

What a huge success. Miles really, really liked it…a keeper! Last night we had it for the fifth or sixth time, with rice and beans and some wilted spinach.

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Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Well, not really. My husband and I were living in transition while waiting to close on our new house, and now that we have closed, we’ve been busy moving in and organizing.

So it has been almost a month since I posted last. Yet, the vegetables have just kept coming.

I tried my friend Meredith’s Creamed Leeks recipe, which she said was the hit of Thanksgiving at her house. I had a good number of leeks hanging around from the past two shares.   I trimmed them all up and washed them.

Then I sauteed them with lots of butter and put them in a baking dish.

Then I added more fat in the form of heavy cream and butter and breadcrumbs.

Looks pretty tasty, eh?

It wasn’t.

I think I used too much of the leeks–too much of the greener parts. Plus, Meredith is a much better cook than I.

Here’s the recipe.  Give it a try if you like leeks and cream and butter and breadcrumbs. Maybe yours will turn out better.

Creamed Leeks

Put a spin on creamed onions this holiday by using an ingredient from the same family instead. Not only do these leeks bake into something extraordinary, they get you out of the time-consuming task of peeling all those tiny pearl onions.
November 2006
  • 3 1/2 lb leeks, root ends trimmed
  • 2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from a country loaf, crusts discarded)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Special equipment:

    a 1 1/2-qt gratin or other shallow baking dish (10 by 8 inches)
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Cut each leek into an 8-inch length, measuring from root end, and halve lengthwise, then cut crosswise into roughly 1 1/2-inch pieces. (You should have about 8 cups.) Wash leek pieces in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out and transfer to another bowl. Repeat with clean water, then drain leeks well.
  • Cook bread crumbs with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Cut out a round from parchment or wax paper to fit just inside a 12-inch heavy skillet.
  • Cook leeks with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, leeks covered directly with parchment, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 12 minutes.
  • Discard parchment and transfer leeks with a slotted spoon to gratin dish. Pour cream slowly over leeks, then scatter bread crumbs on top. Bake until cream is bubbling and slightly thickened and crumbs are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Cooks’ notes:

  • Bread crumbs can be cooked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Scatter bread crumbs over leeks just before baking.
  • Leeks can be cooked and assembled in dish with cream (but not sprinkled with crumbs and baked) 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered.

Recipe by Paul Grimes, from Gourmet

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