Tag Archives: tomato paste

Les Carlos Shrimp & Crawfish Dip

This is another holiday dish that I will definitely be putting into the year-round rotation.

sweetenedandcondensed.com

I first had this dip at a Christmas party 8 years ago, and I searched for the recipe for 5 years before someone pointed out to me that it had been right under my nose – namely in Heart & Soul – the whole time.

While this does take a little while to prep and cook, it is totally worth your time. And not just because it is delicious, but also because each step of the cooking process leaves the house smelling better than the last. Butter, creole seasoning, fresh herbs and seafood? I’m on board.

Two words of caution: Make sure to thaw and rinse your seafood well to get rid of any unnecessary fishiness, and make sure you use 2 teaspoons of creole seasoning and not 2 tablespoons at each of the saute steps. Not that anyone has ever ruined 2 pounds of perfectly good seafood by doing that, but I’d like to prevent it if at all possible…

1 lb crawfish tails
1 lb shrimp, raw and roughly chopped
1.5 sticks of butter (.75 cups)
6 tsp creole seasoning
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tbsp fresh basil (3 dried)
3 tbsp fresh thyme (1.5 dried)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
hot sauce

  1. Melt half a stick of butter in a large skillet. Add 2 tsp creole seasoning. Add crawfish and saute for 5 minutes. Pour crawfish and butter into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt half a stick of butter in a the skillet, add 2 tsp creole seasoning, and saute shrimp in butter for 3 minutes. Add shrimp to bowl with crawfish.
  3. Melt the rest of the butter in the skillet with 2 tsp creole seasoning. Add onion, green and red peppers, celery, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.
  4. Add fresh herbs, tomato paste and flour to veggie mixture in the skillet and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
  5. Process half of crawfish/shrimp mixture in blender (do not puree).
  6. Add crawfish/shrimp mixture (both processed and not-processed halves) to skillet and mix thoroughly.
  7. Stir in green onions and add hot sauce to taste.
  8. Serve with Thin Garlic Crostinis and get out of the way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Cajun food, Christmas, Dips, Seafood, Special Occasion

Tom Yum Soup & Shrimp Stock

I was cleaning up the ole WordPress today and ran across this dusty draft in my backlog. How it is possible to forget such a yummy recipe – especially one that involves not one but two types of soup – is beyond me. Let’s remedy that, shall we?

templeofthai.com

This is 2-for-1 in that it is The Chef’s recipe for both Shrimp Stock and Tom Yum Soup. Usually, if you don’t have the time or patience to make your stock, you can buy it; but the ingredient list on this sucker makes me think you should go traditional or go home.

And I’d wager that the flavor will be well worth it. Tom Yum is spicy, brothy Asian goodness, and the longer it simmers and permeates your house, the better it will be when you finally slurp it down.

Shrimp Stock:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
shells from 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp (shrimp reserved)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
stems of 1 lb shiitake shrooms
2 lemongrass stalks, rough chopped
3 inch piece of ginger, rough chopped
2 celery stalks, rough chopped
1 onion, rough chopped
2 tsp of tomato paste
1/2 cup rice wine (mirin)
enough water to cover

  1. Add oil to stock pot. Add shrimp shells and cook them until pink.
  2. Add the rice wine.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover.  Simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain.

Tom Yum Soup:
1 tbsp peanut oil
1.5 lbs shrimp
2 tsp sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped*
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped*
3 Thai chilies*
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch slices
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
8 cups shrimp stock
2 cups cilantro, no stems
1 lime, cut into quarters for garnish
cilantro for garnish

  1. Heat large pot over medium heat. Add peanut oil. Then add garlic, chiles, ginger, lemongrass, onions, celery, sesame oil, and chili powder.  Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp, mushrooms, and stock. Cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add fish sauce and cilantro.
  4. *Remove lemongrass, ginger, and Thai chilies.
  5. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs. Add soy sauce if you need salt.

The Chef warns that you will definitely have leftover stock, so freeze it for next time, and your Tom will be Yum in no time.

1 Comment

Filed under Asian food, Main Course, Soups

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Good news nummies – not only is it Friday, but my delusions of fall have finally become reality! It’s cool and crisp and it reminds me of my Uncle Stewart’s tailgate: Hot Damn and brown-sugar-hand-stirred-some-other-long-string-of-words-I-can’t remember BBQ sauce (recipe still pending release) will make you forget that you’re about to watch the Tigers get trounced. Again.

Anyway, another thing fall reminds me of is short ribs. Luckily, Morg passed this recipe along to me last week. And she didn’t even wait until she finished eating it to send it over, so it must be cray-mazing. (I watched a lot of Project Runway last night, so I’m talking like a cranky, mid-30s drama queen. Please forgive.)

From Morg:
“This recipe calls for a tagine (which we randomly have) but I hadn’t ‘seasoned’ the tagine (a three hour process) so I just used my dutch oven, which every chef needs. I’m obsessed with mine. I digress. This is a great meal for a Sunday or a holiday because it requires some hours on the stove, but it’s so worth it. And it leaves a nice smell floating through the house all day long. I served this over homemade mashed potatoes (recipe linked to from the Williams-Sonoma recipe for the ribs). Very simple. And I used the KitchenAid mixer instead of mashing by hand.”

One look through the ingredient list, and I was sold. I might suggest using one of The Chef’s variations of mashed potatoes, but I could be biased, so whatever blows your skirt up. Either way, an all-day simmering situation makes my mouth water. And it makes me want to say – like an Akin at a tailgate – HOT DAMN HELL YES.

3 tbsp olive oil
3 3/4 lb. bone-in beef short ribs (6 to 8 pieces)
salt & pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 celery stalk, 1/4-inch dice
2 carrots, 1/4-inch dice
3/4 cup shallot, fine dice
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 tsp Aleppo chili, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup beef broth
3/4 cup red wine
1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  1. Soak a tagine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the tagine on a diffuser over medium-high heat and warm 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
  2. Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Dredge the ribs in the flour until evenly coated, shaking off the excess. Add half of the ribs to the tagine and sear until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total; transfer to a plate. Repeat with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and the remaining ribs.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and warm the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the celery, carrots and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the Aleppo chili, bay leaf, thyme, broth, wine, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Return the ribs to the tagine.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, turning the ribs occasionally, until the meat is tender, 4.5 to 5 hours.
  5. Garnish the ribs with the parsley and serve immediately with mashed potatoes. Serves 4.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beef, Comfort food, Meat

Benihana Salad Dressing

Another much-appreciated recipe from the Hutchison cookbook. I haven’t been able to make this yet due to the seeming impossibility of finding soybean oil, but I’m betting The Pet Store will be just the place to score it. Now if someone could just find me their mustard and ginger sauce recipes, my 12-year-old Benihana dreams would be realized.

1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup soybean oil
4 tbsp chopped onion
4 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp powdered ginger

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Cover and refrigerate. This recipe is best made 2 days in advance.

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Asian food, Restaurant Recipes, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces

Shrimp Stock

I have a confession to make: I don’t make stock. I have once or twice, but it’s not a habit, and I definitely don’t make it as much as someone who eats soup for 2 out of every 3 meals should.

That stops now. I don’t generally make New Years’ Resolutions or give up anything for Lent (because I know I’ll inevitably fail at both – what’s that saying… You can’t fail if you don’t try? That’s right kids, adopt that one early.), but I’m gonna do it right the next time. And you should too because this stuff is magical when added to Barrett’s Shrimp ‘n Grits.

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 cups of uncooked shrimp shells (which means you can use the peeled shrimp for some other nummy goodness such as Peg’s Destin Shrimp)
2 small onions, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
2 celery stalk,s chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
4 thyme sprigs
6 cups of cold water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
splash of white wine

  1. Heat oil in medium stockpot over medium high heat.  Add shrimp, onions, carrots and celery. Cook until the shrimp shells are bright pink, about 15 minutes.
  2. Once the shells are cooked add the tomato paste.  Add water, bay leaf, peppercorns, and thyme sprigs.  Bring almost to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain in to a container. Let cool.  This recipe makes 3 cups, which seems like a lot, but you can freeze it up to 6 months.

4 Comments

Filed under Seafood, Soups

Braised Short Ribs

This November was the month of the short rib. We used them to celebrate 5 different birthdays, and everyone gave these rave reviews. Despite the fact that you can find short ribs in all the high-falutin’ restaurants, I was surprised to learn they are actually not that expensive.

While this recipe takes a little time, it’s not nearly as complex as it  looks. Plus it has that fancy-pants quality that makes your guests jealous of your culinary prowess, and I think we all know that’s why you have people over for dinner in the first place.

6 pounds of bone in short ribs
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 celery stalks, pureed
1 carrot, pureed
1 yellow onion, pureed
1/2 cup tomato paste
5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
1 quart beef stock
2 cups red wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

  1. The day before you cook the short ribs , season them with salt and pepper and refrigerate. You can also puree the veggies ahead of time. Pureeing is what gives you a nice, thick sauce, so don’t skip it.
  2. The day you plan to eat the short ribs you will need to start the cooking process 5 hours ahead of time. Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add half of the ribs and brown on all sides.  Transfer ribs to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the ribs, adding more oil if you need to.
  4. Add celery, carrot, and onion to the pan along with a good pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat until softened.
  5. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
  6. Add stock, wine, and vinegar and bring to a boil.  Return the short ribs to the pan, cover, and braise in the oven for 1 hour.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees and cook for 4 hours.Remove the ribs to a large bowl. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
  8. While the sauce reduces, skim the excess fat off. Serve ribs with sauce on top.

The Chef likes to serve these over linguine, horseradish mashed potatoes, or cheddar grits and likes to garnish the plates with freshly grated horseradish. Zesty.

Leave a comment

Filed under Main Course, Meat, Southern food, Special Occasion