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Everything posted by shellfishfiend

  1. Oh my. What an understatement. Anyway. Back to topic. eGullet member Marcelle Bienvenu coauthored a book on this subject, "Stir the Pot". (how do I add one of those flamingo colored tags here?) Since I don't see that anyone else has addressed the crawfish question, I'll answer. They are freshwater crustaceans closely related to and resembling lobsters. And $6.99 a pound for boiled then frozen whole crawfish is a ludicrous price, IMO, though that's probably what the market bears in a vast area that doesn't have a local source. I just ordered some live from crawfish last week from Louisiana that was overnighted for $3.40 (American) a pound including shipping. So Peter, how'd your culinary interests and talents develop? And kudos to you for feeding your kids what you eat. ← Bavila, Thanks for getting the crawfish question. A folk tale I suppose, but, the story is often told that when the Acadians were forced out of Canada, they began their long trip to Louisiana. Their friends, lobsters, decided to follow them south. By the end of the long trip, the lobsters had lost so much weight that they were now crawfish.
  2. shellfishfiend

    Shrimp heads

    I just made shrimp stock today! I was makign a red curry shrimp and used the shells (alas, no heads) fro the stock. If I had heads, it would have been even better. The shells will keep well in the freezer and don't take up much room.
  3. note the Nova Scotia jumbo squid: ribbit, ribbit: Good heavens. The prices on the shrimp and crawfish blew me away. I know the crawfish isn't local, but are there no local shrimp as well? Around here, the crawfish, cooked, are $1.29-2.99 per lb and that size of cooked shrimp would run maybe $6-7 per lb. At those prices, it is no wonder you went with the monkfish.
  4. I can't tell you why it worked but I believe you. A few years ago I worked in teh gold shop of a country club in Arkansas. Durign the summer, we woudl have major problems from biting gnats 9I don't knwo the reall name, that is what the golfers called them). They weren't mosquitoes and Off didn't work. What did work was golfers rubbing dryer sheets all over their clothes before they went out to play. We went through several boxes of dryer sheets, but heard fewer complaints from the golfers.
  5. Maybe that foil it is wrapped in is gold leaf. Ya' think? Today's Kroger sales ad had Florida sweet corn at 44 cents an ear and butter for $2.29 a lb. Dean and Deluca both must be rolling in the money.
  6. I request plastic instead of paper unless I will only end up with one bag of groceries. I have to unload the car by myself and would have to make 20 trips if I had paper. I do try to get multiple uses from the plastic bags. I use them to clean out the cats litter box, I take them when I walk the dog, line the small trash cans with them and always slide packages of meat that I am thawing into them before placing in the frig (this has saved me many messes). I think paper is great for specific tasks and I always save paper bags when I get them. Nothing is better for draining fried food. When I am in a grocery store where I have to do my own bagging, I don't really steal bags, i just tend to double bag more things.
  7. 1) Find end of string. 2) Grasp firmly. 3) Give gentle tug (to avoid rope burn). If nothing happens, 50/50 chance, try other end of string. Bag still sealed? Proceed to step 4. 4) Find utility scissors and cut just under the string seal. This procedure is based on years of opening (or trying to) kitty litter, birdseed, and, last but not least, charcoal, though the last Kingsford I bought had an "Easy Tear" paper strip instead of the string, not that it worked all that much better, tore off 1/3 of the way accross, see step 4. You are not alone. ← So true and so funny. After cursing every bag of dogfood I brougth home that was sewn shut with the threads of frustration, I now just grab the scissors and say screw the thread! Peace at last
  8. Thank you so much for the suggestions everyone. Now I have alot to choose from.
  9. Thanks for the suggestion. I will check it out. Please keep them coming.
  10. I love cold pizza for breakfast. Growing up, my mother often favored savory foods for breakfast and would fix us bagel sandwiches with tomatoes, turkey, cream cheese and lots of black pepper. Except for weekends, we usaully ate cold cereal for breakfast and I always loved it. I did love the times we would have breakfast for supper. Osmetimes it was biscuits and gravy, or sos, or eggs, sausage and bacon. Today, I don't usually eat breakfast, but when I do, I either want cold cereal or something light and savory. I have eaten salad before (yes, for breakfast).
  11. Our next-door neighbors are moving to Nashville at the end of May. He will be a resident at Vanderbilt. I would like to give them a gift certificate for a restaurant in Nashville, but I have never been to the city. They have a 3 month old baby, so I am not interested in high end dining. They are not very fond of ethnic food, but would try something like tapas. They like steakhouses, pizza places, great bbq, seafood and down-home cooking. They are not big drinkers, maybe a glass of wine or beer with the meal, so I think I want a place where they could get a nice meal for $20-$30 a person. The house they bought is near Vanderbilt, so something in that general area would be great. Suggestions are welcome. Thank you.
  12. Another vote for Penzey's. I find that their customer service is great and they often put a freebie in with my order. I love their Florida Seasoned Pepper and I don't usually like blends.
  13. I am so glad you started this thread. I have wonderful fish memories. When I was a little girl, my Daddy would take me and my sister fishing during the spring and summer. He always seemed to know about a new pond, river, bayou, etc. We would see snakes and get eaten alive by mosquitoes and have a great time. Once, he heard about this place where they had lot of commercial catfish ponds. They also had a few ponds they just stocked with a motley assortment of fish and the public could fish those ponds. For some reason, we did not have our regular worms that day, but instead were using frozen, baby shrimp. Well, we started fishing and in no time we were catching huge catfish hand over fist and having a great time. Suddenly, one of the owners ran up to us and told us we were at one of the catfish ponds instead of the open-to-the -public pond. That explained our catch. We released what we had hauled in and moved over to the correct pond, but didn't catch nearly as many fish. My mother says the first time she ever saw her father with a fishing pole in his hands (meaning not working in the store or on the farm), he was walking back from his pond across the road with my and my sister. Rods in one hand and my hand in the other. It really touched my mother and now that he is gone, she always gettign teary eyed when she tells this story. My Grandfather was always happy to take us fishing. We would go out in his little two-man boat and we would catch bream, bass, the occsasional catfish. I don't remember cleaning fish with my father (we may have thrown them back), but you always cleaned what you caught with my grandfather. His two sisters, my great-aunts, would also take us fishing on my granfathers pond. They said if it was big enough to have two eyes, it was big enough to keep. When it came time to clean our catch, my grandfather would set us up at the doghouse. He had a flat-roofed dohouse and he would gut the fish and take off the heads and my sister and I would take tablespoons and scrape off scales. My gramdmother was an excellent fish fryer. Everytime the whole family got together, she woudl fry up a huge mess of catfish, hushpuppies and french fries. My mother and her siblings would fight over the tails. We would eat until we almost burst. Those are some of my fish "tails."
  14. The shrimp buster is actually something different from a po-boy. Before frying the shrimp, they butterfly them and then pound them flat. They become patties, more or less. You end up with a sandwich of shrimp patties with little tails sticking out. For the life of me, I can't remember what kind of bread is used. Can somebody help me out on this one? It's been a few years since I was up in Shreveport. ← IIRC, you can order a shrimp buster, or you can order a shrimp buster po'boy. We have never ordered the po'boy, so I can't speak to that. The shrimp buster comes with what seems to be half a soft po'boy loaf, split long ways like for a sandwich, buttered and grilled. It also looks like it has been pressed to flatten it out. Some people re-form everything to be like a sandwich, and some eat it in its individual components.
  15. I think the directions below will get you to the nearest Southern Maid Donut location. TAPrice got you the correct address for Herby K's. I would recommend mapquesting directions for it and going when there is still a little light outside. It can be hard to find, but is worth it. We were there last week and it was as great as ever. Everybody but me ordered the shrimp buster. I ordered my shrimp boiled (and they were great.) Don't forget to request Herby K sauce. My husband thinks the tartar sauce there is the best ever. Driving Directions * - Show Directions by Shortest Distance Turn Directions Miles/Kilometers 1 Start out going SOUTHEAST on FINANCIAL PLZ toward CENTRE DR. 0.28 MI / 0.45 KM 2 FINANCIAL PLZ becomes BUNCOMBE RD. 0.56 MI / 0.9 KM 3 Turn LEFT onto LA-511 E/W 70TH ST. 0.12 MI / 0.19 KM 4 Merge onto LA-3132 E. 2.54 MI / 4.09 KM 5 Take the WALKER RD exit, EXIT 3. 0.15 MI / 0.25 KM 6 Merge onto WALKER RD. 1.56 MI / 2.52 KM 7 Turn LEFT onto LA-525/COLQUITT RD. 0.27 MI / 0.44 KM 8 Turn LEFT onto MANSFIELD RD/US-171 N. 0.13 MI / 0.21 KM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total Route Distance: 5.61 MI / 9.03 KM
  16. I love this idea. Kinda like a handroll, without having to roll it. I will be trying that soon.
  17. My sacred cow is a pie (no, not a cow pie). For years, I have made pecan pie exactly following the recipe off the back of the Karo Syrup. It comes out exactly right every time. Now that I live in a house with two pecan trees, and currently have several gallon bags of pecan halves in my freezer, I will be making many of these Karo pies and feel no need to vary from the recipe. Success is a sure thing, and how often do you get that?
  18. Now in week three of the experiment and the rum/vodka in the jars with the split beans is much darker than the jars with the chopped beans. Next week, at the four week mark, I plan on taking a smell to see if the vanilla aroma is present.
  19. We will have to try the bread pudding at Don's Seafood hut next time. The music was terrific. We actually caught the tail-end of a band's set in a neraby lounge the night before. The lead singer had a voice that should have made him famous. We love zydeco and felt like the live music on the trip was a bonus. At home, we almost always make a combo roux/okra gumbo. However, we don't turn up our nose at any good gumbo-and the stuff on this trip was top notch. Be sure and let us know about your trip in June.
  20. I haven't heard of a new sou-food restaurant, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I will keep my ears open. One of my favorite places for casual food and atmosphere is Herby-K's. They are famous for their shrimp buster sandwich and they have a to die for gumbo. It is a small place, but one of our favorites. There is a fairly new Thai place on Youree Drive that we like: Mary's Thai Kitchen. We don't know alot about Thai food, but we think what they serve tastes great and the prices are outrageously low.
  21. I am bumping this up as I just returned from a weekend in the Lafayette/New Iberia area. We had a great time and ate way too much incredible food (which was the entire purpose of the trip.) Friday, we stopped in Opelousas for a late lunch. We wanted to avoid all chain and fast food restaurants. We pulled off the interstate and just started looking for a place in the downtown area. We ended up at The Palace Cafe . It is an old family-owned place across from the courthouse. I looks much the same now as it did during the 50s. The owners are there each day manning the cash register. There are picures of each generation of owners behind the counter. I am pretty sure we were the only people there from out of town. We got the sweet potatoes, the shrimp etoufee and a shrimp cocktail. We were eating light as it was already 3 p.m. The food wasn't anything to blow you away, but it was good and very inexpensive. The stop was worth it for the atmosphere of the place alone. After we arrived in New Iberia and checked into our hotel, which was the Comfort Suites and should be avoided at all costs, we consulted the pages I had printed out from this thread for supper ideas. We decided to drive into Lafayette for supper at Don's Seafood Hut . It is not part of the regional Don's Seafood chain (of which there is a location in Shreveport, where we live.) Sorry for the poor picture quality. I am still learnign how to use my camera. Also, I have yet to work up the gumption to take shots inside resturnats. So, no food pics. It was only 7 p.m., but the place was packed. We had a very pleasant 15 minute wait outside. Once seated, I was struck by what a fun atmosphere this place had. Eveyone was having fun and talking and laughing. It was not a quiet place, but one that was filled with groups of people really enjoying their evening. We started off with a dozen raw oysters and the fried alligator. The oysters were huge-I mean really fat and juicy and enormous. Each one was a bite of salty goodness. I thought their size must be an anomoly, but I woudl soon learn that this is the norm in these parts during this time of year. The alligator was fried perfectly and very good. My husband ordered five pounds of boiled crawfish for his meal and I ordered the boiled peel and eat shrimp. The crawfish were nice and big and juicy. They could have been a little spicier for our taste, but they all disappeared. My shrimp were terrific. The were boiled with potatoes, onions and bell peppers that had soaked up all the spicy goodness. We cleaned our plates. The next mornign, we skipped breakfast, as neither of use are big breakfast eaters and we were still a little full from the night before. I had read on this thread about the three oyster houses in Abbeville and wanted to go. The guys at the Tourist Information Cneter in New Iberia (who were very helpful and extremely friendly) told us one of the three, Black's, had recently closed for good. They also gave us a tip on where to eat supper that night and hear some good cajun music. So, off we went to Abbeville, just down Hwy. 14, to eat oysters. The first place we came to was Shuck's. We decided to find Dupuy's Oyster House first and then come back to Shuck's. Dupuy's is about 3/4 mile up the road from Shuck's. It is just off the main square and right next door to the now closed Blacks. It was still before noon, so Dupuy's was just starting to get busy. Since we planned on going to Shuck's as soon as we left Dupuy's, we din't order too much. We had a dozen raw oysters and a bowl of seafood gumbo. These oysters were even bigger than the ones at Don's. They were absolutly fabulous. I was in heaven. The gumbo was a deep brown color and full of seafood. There was no okra, but the roux had been cooked just right so that it still kind of coated the spoon. The service was some of the friendliest I have ever experienced. The prices were great and they had some lunch specials that looked very inventive. By the time we got to Shuck's, the parking lot had really filled up. It is an open and bright place inside. Lots of families inside. I ordered a Corona when I sat down, but then noticed glass bottle Cokes on several of the tables and changed my order. I love glass bottle Cokes. We got the fried oyster dinner and a half dozen raw oysters and the peel and eat shrimp appetizer. The fried oysters where good, fresh out of the grease and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The boiled shrimp were a bit of a suprise. When they came out, they were covered in a red butter suace. They seemed more like BBQ shrimp, not what I was hoping for. My husband liked them though. What ever disappointment I felt over the shrimp went away when I tasted the oysters. I expected them to taste just like the ones I had just eaten at Dupuy's. They looked the same-big and plump. However, they had this amazing briny sweetness to them, much like oysters from the nothern United States. They were the best oysters of the whole trip. I asked the waitress why their's tated different from Dupuy's and she said it was because they have their own oyster beds. These were knock your socks off oysters. The shuckers are in a glass walled room in the back, so you can watch them do their thing. For supper that evening, we decided to take the advice of the guys at the tourist center and try Landry's Steak and Seafood of New Iberia. The family that owns this local place is distantly related to the Landry's who own the chains, but they are in no way connected. They have a weekend seafood buffet, but we decided to order from the menu. My husband ordered crawfish bisque for his appetizer. They don't serve raw oysters, so I couldn't get my thrid fix of the day. The bisque was out of this world incredible. I thought my husband was goign to lift out of his chair he was so happy with it. We both ordered more boiled crawfish and I also ordered boiled shrimp. These shrimp came out looking just I expected them to and were spiced really well. They were spicy , but not too salty, just like I like them. The crawfish was spicier than what we had at Don's. Somehow, we both managed to eat everything and my husband, trooper that he is, manged to eat a pice of bread pudding. It was a great meal. It was laid-back and casual, with no rush and a roll of paper towels on the table. There is live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The band that night was great. However, if you want to be able to converse with your fellow diners, ask to be seated in the main dining room. Sorry, no picture of Landry's. We were too full to remember to take one. The only other food related thing we did was stop by Maurice on the way home Sunday to stock up at Herbert's Specialty Meats. We now have a freezer full of stuffed chickens, boudin and alligator sausage. The trip was wonderful and we might make it a yearly affair.
  22. Today is day 14 of the vanilla experiment. Today I will agaitate for the second time. The two jars with the beans left whole but slit down the side are much darker in color than the two jars with the chopped up beans. Also, the vodka batch appears to be ever so slightly darker than the rum batch. Will take new photos soon and post them.
  23. I don't recall any specifc "deer' jokes, but we are both smart asses, so I'm sure there was plenty of joking going on. The "dear" has become more of a smart ass with each passing year of marriage.
  24. I met my (now) husband when I walked into the kitchen of the house I rented with two other girls and he was standing there frying deer steak. We were all poor college students and a couple of times a month, my roomates and I would beg stuff from our parents' freezers and cook for as large a crowd as we could feed. My husband was the roomate of one of my roomate's friends from high school and had tagged along for the food. When I saw him, I decided I would make the purple hull peas and mashed potatoes for the meal. The potatoes were out of a can and the potatoes were the instant kind. We have come a long way in the 12 years since then. No more canned peas or powdered potatoes. I usually fry the deer steak now, but he still likes to cook and I still love his cooking.
  25. shellfishfiend

    Dinner! 2007

    Made shrimp curry the other night. I used a red curry paste and made my own shrimp stock from the shells. I think it gave it an extra touch of shrimpiness. The potatoes soaked up all the terrific spicy flavor and were almost as good as the shrimp.
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