SEPTEMBER 2020 MONTHLY CHALLENGE - SHELLFISH

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Joined Jul 13, 2012
Damn it's the 21st already where did the month go?? o_O

Anyway I had two ears of local sweet corn I bought Saturday. Today was one of those FUBAR Mondays and I didn't feel like steamed corn as a side. I had seen this recipe a while ago and filed it in the bin as we say. It calls for scallops, but at $13/lb for 10-20s I opted for wild caught Shrimp out of the freezer.

SEARED SHRIMP IN CORN CREAM. I cut the kernels off the cobs then milked the cobs. There was half of a macintosh apple handy so I peeled and diced it and added it to the corn along with some (real) bacon bits and some butter to a pan and cooked that down before adding chicken stock and cooked till the corn was done. Meanwhile I peeled, dried then oiled the shrimp and seasoned with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. I also tasted one of my Fresno peppers from the garden and it was sweet and fruity so I seeded and deveined then sliced thin.

Turns out the blender was in the icebox with fruit shake in it so I put the corn mixture in a deep pan then blitzed it with the stick till it was smooth then passed it through a fine sieve. Here you can see the fiber and the "cream".


I put the cream in a pan to heat through then adjusted for seasoning. Mean while a dry cast iron skillet was starting to smoke so I seared the shrimp and peppers on both sides till just cooked (great color BTW just sayin'). I spooned the "corn cream" into bowls and added shrimp, a clipping of garden basil and the sauteed Fresno slivers. I have to say this really tasted like Summer.
 
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40
24
Joined Jul 15, 2020
I'm new around here and just a simple home cook, but this is my very humble submission:

"Macaroni and Cheese" from Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook: Mac N Cheese.jpg
Butter-Poached Nova Scotia Lobster with Creamy Lobster Broth, Mascarpone-Enriched Orzo, and a Parmesan Crisp

I did everything from scratch precisely as set out in the book, no shortcuts. I killed live lobsters with acidulated hot water and broke them down while still hot and the meat raw. I cleaned the bodies and cut them up to make the lobster broth, then filtered same through a coarse and then fine, chinois. After which, I enriched the broth with heavy cream.

I made beurre manie and poached the tail and l claw meat therein, using a deep fry thermometer to keep the emulsion at 180 degrees.

I parboiled the orzo and then combined it with the lobster broth, marscarpone cheese, and fresh chopped chives from our garden.

I made a parmesan tuile using a non-stick pan and garnished the plates.
 
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Welcome to ChefTalk. That’s a beautiful meal. I can only imagine how good it smelled and tasted.
Thanks so much for the kind welcome! It was a very delicious dish. As you can see in the background, the number one gourmand in our house was quite enticed by the smell. 😄
 
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
That reminds me of when I lived on the lower east side in Manhattan. We used to get fresh blue crabs in Chinatown and I'd let them chase the cat around the studio.
 
2,757
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
OK ... Here we go ... My submission ...
"Shrimp w/ Romesco Sauce"

I made this today. It's served up two(2) different ways (same sauce w/ 2 different sized shrimp).




"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
 
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4,488
963
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Ah, the joy of cooking. Plan was a scampi piccata. Remember that several pound box of frozen 6/8 prawns I picked up at a local Asian grocery?

The Players

20200918_102838.jpg

Defrosted half a dozen.

20200918_114915.jpg

Supporting cast included shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, pasta and not shown capers, lemon and anchovies.

The Process

First off, prawns sauteed in some olive oil for a minute or two per side.

20200918_104538.jpg

Set aside on a plate to cool, and then I turned off the heat and added sliced garlic, red pepper flakes and a splash more olive oil to the skillet, let it steep while waiting.

After some time at the computer the prawns were cool enough to handle. Time to extract the tails from the shells.

20200918_114123.jpg

See that little pile of mush at the bottom of the plate? Does that look like a shrimp tail to you? The texture was very unpleasant, the taste didn't gag me. Checked another, same issue. All into a baggie in the freezer awaiting garbage day.

The Product

20200918_122237.jpg

So no scampi piccata. I cooked the fettuccine anyway, put the heat back on that skillet full of oil and garlic, didn't bother with capers, lemon, wine, anchovies. Drained the pasta, tossed it in the shrimp infused oil, topped with a little grated parm and ate what was actually a tasty plate of food. So not a total loss.

My first thought was that I overcooked the prawns, should have dunked them in an ice bath as I pulled them out of the hot skillet. Then I got to thinking that the texture of overcooked shrimp is not what I was pulling out of those shells. I defrosted another one, pulled the tail off and the meat felt really strange and mushy. It was not my cooking technique at fault here. It seems obvious that the box of prawns has been through a few freeze/thaw cycles long before it got to my kitchen.

Drat. The flavor wasn't off, so I'm planning to just make a stock out of the rest of them, forget about harvesting any useful meat. Oh well.

Some days you're the dog, some days you're the hydrant.

mjb.
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Up next, a more successful tale [tail].

The Players

Lobster souffle.

20200923_085356.jpg

Obviously you need lobster, about a 6 -7 ounce tail.

20200923_073536.jpg

For the souffle and the side, gruyere, parm reggie, eggs, shallot, fresh tarragon, and asparagus. Also some cream, late to the photo shoot.

The Process

First off butter some ramekins, dust with grated parm, they go into the fridge. Next lobster tail into some boiling salted water for a few minutes, just looking for that change in shell color, don't want to overcook as it will get baked a bit

20200923_090854.jpg

It goes into an ice bath while I prep the rest. Grate the cheeses, separate the eggs. Pull the lobster meat out of the shell, cut into little chunks. A couple tablespoons of butter go over medium heat, when starting to brown add some flour, keep stirring to make a roux. Off the heat, whisk the egg yolks, pour them in. Add the lobster meat, grated gruyere fold it all together.

20200923_094236.jpg

Egg whites.

20200923_094654.jpg

Fold in the egg whites, beaten to soft peaks. I believe that egg beater was given to my wife's grandmother by her grandmother. It seems that old, and works flawlessly. Great tool.

The souffle batter spooned into the ramekins, into the oven. Saute the asparagus in some butter and a bit of finely chopped tarragon.

20200923_102311.jpg

More butter melted into that skillet after asparagus removed, minced shallots softened up. Tarragon chopped, splash of white wine added.

20200923_102933.jpg

Cream added, back to a boil to reduce. Finished with a splash of lemon juice.

Souffles out of oven.

20200923_102455.jpg

The Product

THIS was a most excellent dinner.

20200923_103605.jpg

Picking nits here, the sauce could have used a touch more lemon, and perhaps some extra tarragon to garnish. And of course the souffle deflated between the time it was pulled out of the oven and the time it went into my mouth, but it did not harm the flavor at all. Unlike the scampi piccata disaster, this made my taste buds sing.

mjb.
 
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Very nice dish there teamfat. ... Very pretty too.

Is that your own original recipe or did you get it from somewhere?
 
4,488
963
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Very nice dish there teamfat. ... Very pretty too.

Is that your own original recipe or did you get it from somewhere?

Basically it is a cheese souffle with lobster meat stirred in. And a few bits of tarragon. I looked at some recipes on line, decided not to follow any of them. One had you make a souffle, no lobster in it. The lobster and a sauce americaine were added to the plate after the souffle was put in the middle. But I wanted the lobster inside the souffle, so that's the way I did it.

Hoping to get one more dish done before the end of the month, crab or mussels, most likely.

mjb.
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
After all these beautiful dishes, a bit of a boring one from me. Tasty though.
Very limited in pics as I think I foundca way to post them, but it's a lot of extra steps.
I decided on a Thai/Chinese noodle soup and soaked a couple of differentbtypes of mushrooms.
Then I opened one of my homemade ciders, had another one and after that the cooking process deteriorated somewhat ;)
Put water on the boil, added sliced onion and namprik pao (shellfish addition 1, as it contains dried shrimp). Added the soaked and sliced mushrooms and the soaking liquid. Finally added tomatoes, noodles and oystersauce (shellfish adfition 2, since it says oyster extract on the label).
And now for the moment supreme: can I post my picture?
Apparently not right now, so going to try in a seperate thread
 
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
It was a pretty busy day so I wanted to relax and make something simple. I pealed a lb. of 16-20 shrimp and made a fumet with the shells, some saved shells from the freezer, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, Szechuan peppercorns and a slice of lemon. It simmered about 1/2 hr. or so. I strained that into a pan, added fresh parsley and poached the shrimp. Meanwhile I had end of the season corn steaming and some really good 'tater tots baking in the oven. Sadly no pic of the dish, but here is one of the fumet. This is so tasty after poaching the shrimp I'm freezing the rest for a future gumbo.

 
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4,488
963
Joined Nov 5, 2007
So back at the start of this challenge I mentioned how a local watering hole, known for Cajun style food, often offered mussels in a spicy broth. Finally getting around to trying my hand at it.

I got a pound of black P E I mussels at the Whole Foods market up the street. Also got a half dozen oysters, they were delicious.

20200929_055423.jpg

A nice snack before getting into it.

The Players

First off, of course, the mussels, about a pound.

20200929_050644.jpg

And if its a Cajun dish, you need to start with the trinity.

20200929_051117.jpg

Okay, no celery, thought there was some n the veggie drawer in the fridge. Oh well, I'll carry on. And of course Cajun implies spicy.

20200929_053829.jpg

From top center going clockwise: garlic powder, hot Hungarian paprika, smoked Spanish paprika, some WAY hot homegrown cayenne powder, black pepper, dried onion flakes and a bit of dried thyme.

The Procedure

Mussels were soaked in a bowl of cold tap water for a while as I prepped the other stuff. Diced the onion, cut into the red bell pepper.

20200929_063109.jpg

No, I am not putting that into my food. From 2 out of 3 trinity ingredients to 1. Sigh.

Continuing on, some olive oil in a large, high sided skillet, medium low heat. Add in the diced onion, give it a few minutes to soften. Add the garlic, a few good stirs, maybe 30 - 40 seconds, then the spice mix.

20200929_064916.jpg

Wish you could smell that! Dump in about a cup of white wine, my current favorite is sauvignon blanc from Monkey Bay in New Zealand. Bring it to a boil, let it reduce a few minutes, the mussels go in.

20200929_065031.jpg

A little steam on the lens, perhaps?

Pan covered, some bread slices smeared with garlic butter go into the toaster oven.

The Product

Oh baby, that what I had in mind.

20200929_065923.jpg

Too many mussels, can't see the broth! But it is there. I needed to toast a few more bread slices before I finished this. Mussels juicy and tender, the broth had a very nice heat level, rich and flavorful. Unlike the scampi piccata, but like the lobster souffle, this was a success. Better, spicier than the version I used to get in the Before Days at the Bayou. My tummy is happy.

mjb.
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
So the lobster souffle with the tarragon cream sauce brought to mind bearnaise sauce, which brought ti mind one of my favorite dinners.

The Players

20200930_015825.jpg

A prime beef filet about 12 ounces, and some snow crab legs.

20200930_054621.jpg

Missing from the picture is the white wine and wine vinegar, as well as asparagus. I used fresh green asparagus, though some recipes for Oscar call for white. Green is what I had on hand.

The Process

That hunk of meat was 2 inches thick, which could be hard to cook properly just on the stove top, so I opted for sous vide, 90 minutes at 124F. Plenty of time to make the sauce and prep the crab.

20200930_060406.jpg

The crab did its best to make sure I didn't get the nice, clean, photogenic leg segments I was hoping for. Oh well.

20200930_055636.jpg

Meanwhile the sliced shallot, tarragon and black peppercorns were boiled in the wine and vinegar for a while, until about two tablespoons were left. A stick and a half of unsalted butter went over low heat to melt.

I don't have any pictures of the Bearnaise sauce in progress. What I did was put the strained liquid in a cup, added two egg yolks and gave it a good stir with my stick blender. Keeping the blender going I drizzled in the melted butter. It didn't make a thick, creamy sauce as I expected, maybe should have stuck with the traditional hand whisked double boiler method. Oh well.

Oulled the beef out of sous vide, patted it dry.

20200930_065845.jpg

Getting a nice bit of color on it. Asparagus quickly sauteed in butter on the other burner, plate assembled.

The Product

Oh baby, that's what I'm talking about!

20200930_070206.jpg

Picture is badly focused, but that little slab of beef with the asparagus and crab drenched in that bearnaise way effin tasty!

mjb.
 
40
24
Joined Jul 15, 2020
So the lobster souffle with the tarragon cream sauce brought to mind bearnaise sauce, which brought ti mind one of my favorite dinners.

The Players

View attachment 68808

A prime beef filet about 12 ounces, and some snow crab legs.

View attachment 68809

Missing from the picture is the white wine and wine vinegar, as well as asparagus. I used fresh green asparagus, though some recipes for Oscar call for white. Green is what I had on hand.

The Process

That hunk of meat was 2 inches thick, which could be hard to cook properly just on the stove top, so I opted for sous vide, 90 minutes at 124F. Plenty of time to make the sauce and prep the crab.

View attachment 68810

The crab did its best to make sure I didn't get the nice, clean, photogenic leg segments I was hoping for. Oh well.

View attachment 68811

Meanwhile the sliced shallot, tarragon and black peppercorns were boiled in the wine and vinegar for a while, until about two tablespoons were left. A stick and a half of unsalted butter went over low heat to melt.

I don't have any pictures of the Bearnaise sauce in progress. What I did was put the strained liquid in a cup, added two egg yolks and gave it a good stir with my stick blender. Keeping the blender going I drizzled in the melted butter. It didn't make a thick, creamy sauce as I expected, maybe should have stuck with the traditional hand whisked double boiler method. Oh well.

Oulled the beef out of sous vide, patted it dry.

View attachment 68812

Getting a nice bit of color on it. Asparagus quickly sauteed in butter on the other burner, plate assembled.

The Product

Oh baby, that's what I'm talking about!

View attachment 68813

Picture is badly focused, but that little slab of beef with the asparagus and crab drenched in that bearnaise way effin tasty!

mjb.

Surf and Turf with Bernaise sauce is a favourite of mine. It is what I usually make for my wife and I on New Year's Eve. Here are a couple pictures from years past:
FB_IMG_1601580915059.jpg FB_IMG_1601580655925.jpg
Just simple, no frills, good food!

*EDIT: This is not an entry, just a little discussion of Surf and Turf.
 
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nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
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Some great entries I am sorry I have not participated work has been kicking my butt a little. I don't remember the rules am I supposed to select a winner?
 

phatch

Moderator
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Yes, you are. And the winner then starts and judges the next challenge
 

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