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Posts Tagged ‘summer dinner’

68 Days of Gourmet: Day 61

Gourmet named this recipe Spicy Boiled Crabs, Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn and Garlic. I put a Southern spin on it by subbing sausage for the crabs and calling it by its true name, Lowcountry Boil. I think the crabs would have been a fun addition but not in the realm of  possibility for tonight’s dinner.

Lowcountry Boil is a simple, one-pot dinner full of deliciousness. We served it at our rehearsal dinner when we got married in Charleston and requested it for our joint birthday party last year. It’s a great party/entertaining dish but also fun and easy for any night! You can easily scale the amount of ingredients to the number of people you’ll be serving. It’s also easy to control the spice level. If you love spicy foods, feel free to be a little heavy-handed with the seasonings. You cook this in such a big pot that the spices are really diluted.

It’s also relatively healthy and filling. We usually sub chicken or turkey smoked sausage. My favorite way to serve Lowcountry Boil is on a big platter so everyone can pick and choose what they want. And really hot homemade cocktail sauce (the more horseradish, the better!) on the side.

If you’ve never experienced Lowcountry Boil it is a must try this Spring/Summer. Perfect for your next get together – casual, a little messy and fun! I can just picture serving this outdoors with rolls of paper towels and sweet tea in mason jars – what can I say? I was definitely born and raised in the South!

One Year Ago: Easy Spanakopita

Lowcountry Boil
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, June 1996)

Ingredients:

2 (3-ounce) packets Zatarain’s crab boil or 5 tablespoons Old Bay  seasoning (or more – adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon cayenne (or more adjust to taste)
1/2 cup table salt (might want to reduce to around 1/4 cup)
3 lemons, quartered
2 onions, halved
1 1/2 pounds small potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter)
2 whole heads of garlic (not separated into cloves)
6 ears of corn, shucked and halved
24 ounces smoked sausage (2 packages), cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste, for sprinkling over  boiled seafood
3 pounds large shrimp (about 30, preferably with heads)

Directions:

In a very large stock pot or kettle (7- to 8-gallons) bring 5 gallons water to a boil.

Add Zatarain’s crab boil or 5 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, cayenne, salt, lemons and onions to boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic and boil for about 10 minutes. Add corn and sausage and cook for about 5-10 more minutes, until corn and potatoes are tender.

Add shrimp and cook until they turn bright pink, about 2-3 minutes, careful not to overcook. Drain pot and transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning and serve with cocktail sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 59 (final stretch!!!)

These Chile Crusted Tuna Tacos felt like a great choice for a warm spring night. They were a light and refreshing dinner paired with sangria and Black Bean and Quinoa Salad. Tuna is one of our favorite fish choices and I was eager to try it in fish tacos instead of our usual Asian preparations (like this and this).

Although the recipe required preparation of several different elements, it still felt relatively simple to prepare. I was able to take my time with each of the steps and enjoy dicing, simmering and sautéing. The end result was a tasty twist on fish tacos – sweet, spicy, crunchy. Yum!

I was disappointed that I was not able to use the jicama that the recipe called for. It was mushy and moldy at the store. :( I ended up making a game-time decision to sub purple cabbage for some crunch. It worked but next time I would definitely do the jicama.

If you’re a fish taco lover or looking for a warm weather spin on tacos, these are a great option!

One Year Ago: Tropical Carrot Cake

Chile Crusted Tuna Tacos
(Recipe source Gourmet, August 2003)

Ingredients:

FOR THE SAUCE
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotles in adobo (including sauce)
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

FOR THE TUNA
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 lb (1 1/2-inch-thick) sushi-grade tuna steak
2 tablespoons olive oil

TO FINISH
4 (9- to 10-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup matchstick (1/8-inch-thick) pieces of jicama (from 1 small jicama, peeled) (I subbed shredded cabbage)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (omitted – Brandon will not eat cilantro!!!)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 firm-ripe California avocado
1 cup loosely packed arugula, coarse stems discarded

Bring orange juice, chipotles and vinegar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a generous 1/3 cup, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Toss jicama with cilantro, lime juice, remaining tablespoon oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

While sauce cools, prepare charcoal or gas grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderately high.

Alternatively, you can sear tuna in a skillet over medium-high heat if you need to cook indoors.

While grill heats, stir together coriander, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and kosher salt in a shallow bowl. Brush tuna on all sides with olive oil and coat evenly with spice mixture.

Grill tuna on lightly oiled rack, uncovered, turning once, until seared on outside but still rare in center, about 2-3 minutes per side. Let tuna stand 10 minutes.

While tuna stands, heat tortillas on grill, turning over once, until warm, about 1 minute, and keep warm, wrapped in foil. Halve, pit and peel avocado and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Alternatively, sear tuna in pan for 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat and heat tortillas in microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Put a tortilla on each of 4 plates. Divide arugula, jicama mixture and avocado among tortillas, arranging evenly down center of each. Slice tuna 1/4 inch thick and divide among tacos. Drizzle orange chipotle sauce evenly over tuna and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

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