OK. I just had to take a quick breather from Thanksgiving and the joy of all the children and their animals coming back home. I had to catch up first on all my blog "binging" and "purging" from our trip then I got to spend an entire day in the kitchen - I prefer to think of it as performance art - from 8 in the morning to about 8 at night, doing my magic, maneuvering around 4 dogs and a cat, while everybody else is doing something else and only stops by long enough to ask me, "Is it ready yet?" (Is it on the damn table? It's friggin' ready when you see it on the table.) And when it finally is ready, it's anticlimactic. They descend like vultures on a carcass in the Congo then disappear and disperse as quickly as they came and I get to clean everything up, all the while furiously giving thanks. And no, I don't have an attitude. I will be posting the highlights of Thanksgiving - namely Julia Child's Gateau des Crepes - but that's later. For now, I'm posting about what we've been craving for the past two months while on our little vacay and the first things we treated ourselves to when we got home.
First, the Hawthorne puppies.
Junior chillin'. Dixie hangin'. Shrimp. I missed shrimp. The few times I had shrimp on our trip it was the tiny farm-raised rubbery tasteless shrimp. I wanted the real thing.
Right before you think the shrimp is ready take it out. If you leave it in longer you'll overcook it. That's usually in about a minute - right before the water comes back to a boil. We also cook them with the shells on. Take scissors and cut down the back of the shrimp shell and pull out the vein first. This makes them much easier to peel later.
Ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. I like my sauce with plenty of horseradish. And I don't mix it homogeneously. I like little pockets of flavors. Excellent. The next thing we've been craving is a proper oyster. I had a bunch of oysters on our trip and the Pacific oyster doesn't hold a candle to the East Coast oyster. Ours are smaller, saltier, sweeter and just plain taste better. We did have some good fried oysters - especially the ones at Uncle Bubba's, but I've been craving grilled oysters. (Uncle Bubba's had excellent grilled oysters too.)
And I made the toppings: about 4 TB hot paprika about 1 TB sugar maybe a teaspoon each of onion powder and granulated garlic (not garlic salt) about 3-4 TB Parmesan cheese, grated And Parmesan does not come out of a green canister. I generally don't measure this when I make it so you can adjust to your own tastes.