Friday, September 2, 2011

Hello DC Sex Blogger, I'd Like to Thank You for You're Time; You Work a 4 Hour Week for a Livin' Just to Send it Out on the Web

Labor Day Food!

Don't you love America - we celebrate working by taking a day off!

And as for those lyrics; get it - it's a spoof on that Alabama song 40 Hour Week; you're supposed to laugh at that!  :)  Actually 4 hours a week might be a generous estimate of productivity on my part!

I am always fascinated by the fact that poor/working class folk's food has become haute cuisine.  Take cajun and creole.  You throw leftover sausage, vegetables, and creek bugs (that is basically what crawdads are) into a pot with rice and season with some stock you boiled off some leftover chicken bones along with some garlic, black/red/white pepper and you have a cheap meal.  Dessert?  How about we carmelize some sugar and pour over some crumbled up 3 day old bread with some raisens and a splash of rum and call it Bread Pudding - YUM!  It is what the poor Acadians (Cajuns) could afford.  Now add some tomatoes and you get Creole.  But again, poor-folk food.

But you get a guy in a tall white hat with a fancy name and screaming BAM!  And all of a sudden it's high class.

Now don't get me wrong, in my life I have become a fine connousseur of what I call poor-folk food.  These include Cajun, Creole, Carolina Low Country, BBQ, hot dogs, pizza, etc.

So if the bad economy has got you down and you don't think you have the time or the money to cook a great meal here are some ideas for some great poor folk food that would make Emeril proud!  Or Giada, I actually like her a lot better - I wonder why?

So to celebrate the workin' folks out there - here is some cheap food anybody can make.

Our menu:
Carolina She Crab Soup
Frogmore Stew or Horseradish Cheese Grits w/roasted peppers & onions
Kale Ceviche
Baked Apples w/Honey Butter Sauce

She Crab Soup
*  In a large soup pot melt 2 sticks of sweet butter over medium heat.  Add 2 small carrots, 1 stalk of celery, and one onion (finely chopped).  Cook about 5 minutes
*  Add half cup of sherry, stir until reduced
*  Stir in 1/2 cup of flour slowly to make smooth roux - do not allow roux to color or burn, allow to thicken to loose paste.
*  Slowly add 3 quarts of heavy cream to roux whisking gently into roux as poured.  Allow this to thicken.
*  Add 2 tbs worchester sauce, 2 tbs hot sauce, 3 tbs fresh chopped parsley, 3 tbs fresh chopped thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1/2# crab roe, 1/2# blue crab meat, 1tbs honey, salt and pepper to taste
*  Note:  The crab roe gives the She Crab soup it's distinct pink color!

Frogmore Stew
*  In a large stock pot bring 8 cups of water, 3 tbs Old Bay, dash of hot sauce, 1 stick of unsalted butter to a boil.
*  Once water boiling add 1.5#'s of red potatoes (cleaned/not peeled) and allow to boil for 15 minutes.
*  Reduce heat to medium and add 2# cubed smoked Kielbasa, 6 ears of corn, 2#'s shell on fresh shrimp (20 count).  Bring mixture to boil
*  Once shrimp are pink, remove mixture from heat, strain, pour out onto a table and dig in!

Horseradish Cheese Grits
*  Bring 3 cups of whole milk, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to boil in sauce pan.
*  Once boiling slowly pour in 3/4 cup stone-ground grits whisking vigorously.  Reduce heat and continue stirring (every few minutes) until thickened (about 30 minutes - add water or more grits as needed).
*  Heat broiler to high.  Place 2 cleaned and halved peppers under broiled and cook until blackened; once cooked set aside to cool.
*  Once cool run peppers under hot water and remove blackened skin; cut remaining pepper into julienne strips.
*  In skillet heat 1 tbs olive oil and add 1/2 red onion and pinch of salt and pepper (add small amount of bacon or sausage if desired).  Stir until onion is soft.
*  Stir in 3/4 cups of aged white chedder into grits until melted; next fold in the onion mixture and peppers into grits and add 2 tbs horseradish.
*  Serve grilled shrimp over grits if desired.

Kale Ceviche
*  Rinse 4 bunches of fresh kale and tear into bite sized pieces, removing tough stems.
*  Place kale and 1/2 medium onion (finely chopped) in salad bowl.
*  Pour juice from 2 lemons over leaves and toss until coated.
*  Add 1/4 tsp of cayenne, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.  Toss again and refrigerate overnight.
*  The acidity of the dressing will cook the kale.

Baked Apples w/Honey Butter Sauce
*  Pre-heat oven to 350; melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter in saute pan.
*  Wash, peel, core, and slice (halves) 4 granny smith apples; add apples to saute pan briefly to coat in butter.
*  Remove pan from heat and arrange apples in a single layer on pan (rounded side up).
*  Sprinkle apples with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and drizzle 1/2 of brandy over apples; cover pan with foil and bake until tender (about 30 minutes).
*  In medium sauce pan melt 1/2 cup honey, 3 tbs butter, juice from 1/2 lemon, and 1.2 tsp cinnamon.
*  Once honey/butter mixture melted add apple peels and saute until peels are softened.  Add a pinch of salt and deglaze from the baked apples.
*  Once peels are soft strain mixture into another sauce pan pressing firmly with ladle to extract all juice and leaving solids.
*  Bring remaining sauce to simmer; whisk in another 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of whipping cream, and a dash of brandy.
*  Serve sauce over apples with a side of fresh whipped cream or ice cream

You know in high school I was jealous of all those rock and roll guys that the girls always swooned over.  But in my 40's I now realize that a great cook is the new rock star for all those 30/40 something HOTTIES out there!  :)


Kat said...

Don't we get a nicely assembled shopping list for this menu, Ryan?

And you are absolutely right, a great cook is the new rock star for the 30/40 set as long as he can create some heat in the bedroom, too (and the back porch, and the living room, and....). ;-)

Nice post. Thanks!

msmarie said...

I've been reading (and thoroughly enjoying) your blog for some time now - but you've lured me out into the light to comment about these wonderful recipes!!!! I'm going to try the frog thing this weekend :) Marie

France said...

Mmmm recipes. I'd love a hands-on cooking class!! Enjoy the weekend :)

Luna Moon said...

Interesting. I've ordered Frogmore Stew while vacationing in South Carolina...but they call it Low Country Boil. Thanks for posting the recipe, I'll have to give it a try one of these days!