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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Fried Shrimp with Lemon + Herb Fries

I've got some yummy recipes for you!!

Last night, we made Fried Shrimp, Lemon + Herb Fries, and Grilled Corn. Yum. Yum. Yum.


I had been eyeing this recipe on Pinterest for the Lemon Fries, and decided that fried Gulf shrimp would be amazing with them.  We also used her idea for putting our meal on newspaper and for making these adorable newspaper fry cones!  Somehow, that was a lot harder than I think it was supposed to be.  It took us several tries each, plus cutting down the paper into smaller pieces and staining our fingers with ink.  Her tip on wax paper on top of the newsprint was a great idea - no ink on the food!  

For the two of us, I used two russet potatoes, skin on, that I sliced into fries.  I followed The Pioneer Woman's recipe, which involves soaking the potatoes plus frying them twice.  This is THE way to cook fries at home.  When they were done, I tossed them in a little of the herb mixture, put them into the cones, and then sprinkled more on top.  Save the rest for your corn. You won't regret it.






For the shrimp, we had some gorgeous peeled and deveined Gulf shrimp hanging out in our freezer from a trip to the beach, so we butterflied those.  Once the fries were finished cooking (and I had tossed them in a few spoonfuls of the Lemon Herb mixture) I lowered the heat on the oil and fried my shrimp.  Since I usually don't measure things, I can't give you an exact on the dredge, but for the wet portion I whisked an egg with some milk.  The dry part was some Panko bread crumbs I had plus a small scoop of flour, a sprinkle of garlic powder and a generous sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.  



I probably should have measured, but I was moving towards hangry. Let's be real.

The shrimp cooked lightning fast; watch carefully and remove when the crust is golden brown and the tails have turned pink.

For the corn:  we husked two ears, rubbed them down with olive oil, salt & pepper, and sprinkled then with paprika.  They were wrapped in foil and grilled on medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, rotating every five minutes. 


I also made a honey mustard for the fries.

For that, (again, no measurements) I mixed mayo, enough dijon mustard to get it to the taste I wanted, and honey for sweetness.  Let this chill while you cook dinner so the flavors have time to be friends.

When it's time to eat, simply spread out a few sheets of newspaper, top with wax paper if you so desire, and dump your feast upon it. Then bask in the utter deliciousness that you are about to enjoy.  The newspaper also makes cleanup a breeze - no plates or utensils to wash!




Look at that yummy char!

The aftermath

Enjoy!



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Sunday, August 2, 2015

French-spiration

Surprise, surprise, we had another French dinner last night!



I'm not sure why I have become so obsessed with French cooking.  It has definitely inspired me to cook better quality meals.  Maybe it's the casual elegance of it.  French food isn't afraid of flavor. You barely need any salt because you develop such beautiful flavors from fresh herbs and slow simmered wine.  Does that mean that it's always healthy or calorie conscious?

No.

And we won't discuss the vast amounts of heavy cream and butter that went into my mashed potatoes last night.  As with all things, everything in moderation.

I think the beauty of it is that French cooking forces you to really cook.  You shake pans over the heat, coaxing out beautiful flavors from vegetables. You know that the burnt looking coating on the bottom of your pan (called the fond) is eventually going to be loosened by the addition of wine to the hot pan, thus giving your dish all the seasoning it needs.  Of course, you are following a recipe at first, so it tells you what to do and how to keep everything under control.  But the more you cook and the more you become at ease in the kitchen, you begin to cook as the French do, au pif, or "by the nose".  You learn to be able to trust in your own instincts, to be able to make adjustments on the fly, and to have confidence that you can produce a meal of restaurant quality.

We had another couple over for dinner, since they had not been a part of my Julia Child themed birthday meal.  We talked blogging, and the difficulties that come with trying to be creative in an uncreative town.  And of course, we ate.  Our entire meal came from David Lebovitz's cookbook "My Paris Kitchen", and it was divine.  I highly recommend this cookbook, both for the amazing recipes and the stories and tips that can be found throughout it.

Our meal included Chicken with Mustard, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with snail butter (the snail butter refers to the large amounts of garlic, not actual snails!), and for dessert - Coffee Creme Brulee!



More sugar next time for a crunchier top



For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you know my feed has slowly become an endless parade of food pictures, and I make no apologies.  I'm finally finding something that I'm really passionate about.  I'm using all of this as a way to decide what's next for my life and what I want to do "when I grow up."  I have big dreams and endless insecurities, but I'm hoping that this will be the year I figure it out.  In the meantime, let's all keep cooking. :)




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