Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Night Dinner With Marion And The Hawthornes.

Mr. Hawthorne loves his fried oysters so Tuesday afternoon, he started shucking. And shucking. And shucking. And this post is about last Tuesday's dinner. When Marion was with us.
Here's a little peak at things to come: fried oysters hush puppies coleslaw tartar sauce cocktail sauce Rosie's Remoulade Sauce
Ingredients for Rosie's Remoulade Sauce: 1 cup mayonnaise 1 stalk celery, chopped 1/2 onion, chopped 4 small - medium cloves garlic 2 TB coarse ground mustard 1 TB white vinegar 1 tsp capers 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp cayenne 1/2 tsp coriander
Add all ingredients together in a processor.
And process. Whoot! I bought a new blender. It's a Blue Ninja and I like it much better than my Magic Bullet or my Cuisinart mini-processor. I wanted something bigger than the Magic Bullet and mini-Cuisinart, but smaller than a regular blender. To even get to my "regular" blender, I have to get the stool, stand precariously atop it, reach in the cabinets over the fridge, battling vertigo being 4 1/2 inches above my safety zone, take out the regular sized Cuisinart barring access to said blender and set it on the counter, then take out the big mixer - base, beaters, and bowl, put that out on the counter, then get the blender glass container in the very back and put that on the counter. Then I have to find the button to push on the mixing base to take the thingamajig that handles the mixer part of this contraption and turn it around, so it will accept the blender part. >>>>It's a lot of work.<<<<< Whine. Best features of the Blue Ninja: 1) Medium sized container. Larger than Magic Bullet and Mini-processor. Smaller than regular blender. 2) There were two sizes of blending containers: a pitcher capacity of 48 ounces and a bowl capacity of 16 ounces. 3) Each size container has its own blade assembly. 4) There are four blades on each shaft. Two at the bottom. Two at the top. With the Bullet, I have to shake it vigorously or turn it upside down to get everything incorporated. The four blade design of the Blue Ninja does this for you.
Just pulse.
Here's an important point when you're cooking: Don't take my word or recipe for it. Taste as you go along. If, for example, in this Remoulade Sauce, you think it needs something, add a tad, taste it, and adjust. When you have the flavor the way you want, refrigerate remoulade. Next up, hush puppies.
Hush Puppy Ingredients 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal 1/4 cup flour 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp sugar 1 TB baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda cayenne freshly ground black peper freshly ground salt 1 egg, beaten and combined with enough buttermilk to make1 cup 1 TB Crisco, melted 1 green onion, finely chopped 1 TB minced jalapenos 7 TB fine corn meal (masa de maiz) (Mr. Hawthorne used 7 TB. I would've used 3 TB.) 1 tsp onion powder Sift all dry ingredients together. Stir in beaten egg combined with buttermilk, the Crisco, the onion, the jalapeno, and the onion powder. At this point, Mr. Hawthorne checked the consistency of my batter and wanted me to add in some fine corn meal. I did so, 1 TB at a time, until he OK'd the final result. (I thought it was too much.) Fry. About 2 minutes, until golden brown. Do not over brown, as hush puppies will turn bitter. Drain.
Here are the dry ingredients, ready for sifting.
Sifted dry ingredients, egg with buttermilk, melted Crisco, canned jalapenos, minced green onion.
Add in egg and buttermilk to dry ingredients.
Crisco in.
Mix together.
And Mr. Hawthorne wanted me to add in 1 tsp of onion powder.
I put on my thinking glasses and made blog notes for this meal.
I've been watching 30 Minute Meals lately and I wanted to recreate the "Rachael Carry" for Marion with the ingredients for my cocktail sauce. I know I'm no Rachael Ray, but I think I deftly performed this maneuver. With practice, in no time I'll be able to stack stuff up to the ceiling, everything tottering precariously. I will start with items in my refrigerator, then pile on items from my counter tops, and finally gather jars and cans from my pantry, and basically look like a damn fool. For my cocktail sauce, I pulled out some cocktail sauce from the other day, ketchup, horseradish, Lea & Perrins, and Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce for a hint of smoke and a little je ne sais quoi. Amounts? Probably 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup horseradish (Remember I like it hot.), 2-3 TB Lea and Perrins, and 1-2 TB Sweet Baby Ray's. If you're uncomfortable with these amounts, learn to layer your flavors. Start with the plain ketchup. Add horseradish a tablespoon at a time, mixing and tasting, and adjusting, until you get the sauce the way you like it. Same with the Lea & Perrins. Mix, taste, adjust. Same with the Sweet Baby Ray's. Mix, taste, adjust. Juice of 1/2 lemon would be just fine here.
Mr. Hawthorne came over and checked my hush puppy batter. He was not pleased with the consistency, so he had me add in fine corn meal (AKA masa de maiz), 1 TB at a time until he got a proper batter. Turned out to be 7 TB. I would've gone with less. OK. Half.
Apparently, Mr. Hawthorne has been watching SemiHo with Sandra Lea. What a handy little tip with the zip lock bag!
Extrude, Mr. Hawthorne! Extrude!
Pretty little hush puppies.
Check out all the oysters Mr. Hawthorne shucked. And Rosie didn't lift a finger.
For a lightly battered oyster, Mr. Hawthorne lets them bathe for a while in their own liqueur. For his batter: 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup semolina flour 1/2 cup fine corn meal (Harina de Maiz) 2 TB Old Bay Seasoning Get your oil to temperature, 350 - 375, preferably in a heavy pan. Drain oysters. Dredge quickly through batter. Don't let the oysters sit in the batter mixture. Dredge, shake excess, and fry. Do NOT crowd the pan. They should be ready in about 45 seconds. If not, then your oil wasn't hot enough to begin with, or you crowded the pan, lowering the temperature of the oil. Remove oysters, give a shake, and drain.
While Mr. Hawthorne was frying batches of oysters, I plated the hush puppies, with Rosie's Remoulade, Cocktail Sauce, Tartar Sauce. For a quick and easy tartar sauce that's much better than anything you could buy, try this: mayo minced dill pickle sweet relish How much of each, you ask? I'd start with a cup of mayo and maybe 2 TB each of the pickles. Then I might even go rogue (Sorry. News is on and I just heard a blurb about Sarah Palin.). I might throw caution to the wind and add in some Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce and some lemon juice. You ask me how much again? Try a tablespoon of each. Remember to taste and adjust. You might want to start with 1 cup of mayo and then add the rest of the ingredients by half. Taste and see how you like it. If you want more, then add it a teaspoon at a time. This is what cooking is about. Make a base. Layer flavors. Taste. Adjust. Tweek. Simple.
From top left, clockwise, Mr. H.'s fried oysters, Rosie's Remoulade, Rosie's cocktail sauce, Mr. H's tartar sauce, extruded hush puppies, and cole slaw.
Lemon slice. Oysters. Hush puppies. Coleslaw. Tartar sauce. Cocktail sauce. Rosie's Remoulade.
Now this is a feast. Look at the mess. That's how you can tell it's a feast.
Rosie has been practicing the Rache's Karry. Going back to the fridge. Damn. I just haven't gotten it yet.


Kathy said...

The extruded hush puppies look a little like turd puppies. But I'll bet they tasted gud!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Turd puppies. How sweet!

I prefer dingleberries.