Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shrimp Etouffee on Fried Catfish

Shrimp Etouffee

6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds shrimp
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and whisk in flour to combine well. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until roux is a peanut butter color.

Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and cook until vegetables are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, salt, red pepper, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add shrimp, lemon juice, green onions, and parsley and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining butter and stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

This is normally served over white rice, but in my case I served it over fried catfish. I used Zartarain's fish fry breading, which is super easy. I have a candy / fry thermometer, so I make sure the oil is at 350 before dropping in the fish. I fried them for about 10 minutes or until they were golden yummy as they look in the photo. This tasted SOOO good, but the etouffee probably needed more roux to be thicker. I'll leave it to you to add 2 tbsp of butter and flour at the beginning.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Who Says You Can't Go Home

Brian and his wife Jen flew in to Milwaukee late Wednesday night. They brought with them their children, Anna Rose and Matthew. My younger brother Robbie was going to drive to Milwaukee for dinner, so I decided to take the day off for a day trip up to Wisconsin. My mom and dad wanted to take the kids to a pumpkin farm in the afternoon, so I tried to time my trip early so I could come along.

The Amtrak train is by far the most comfortable way to Milwaukee. I boarded the train with 2 minutes to spare on account of my penchant for procrastination. Since I don't like staring out the window for an hour and a half (I've done this many times before) I brought my laptop and had a wireless internet card courtesy of my employer that kept me "busy" on the train. I arrived in Milwaukee right around noon and my dad, Brian, and young Matthew were already there to pick me up.

When we got to the house, my parents' dog Zeus gave me a very doggy greeting. He's a great dog, very friendly and loyal. He loves to play but listens to you when you tell him to stop, usually. Jen had just put Anna Rose to bed, so we went out for a walk through the park behind the house. I took a few pictures of the fall colors and then we went to the pumpkin farm.

Basse Farms sells pumpkins, apples, and other things. I took some pictures of the family around the farm and we bought a few apple pies for dessert. The corn maze and other attractions were not operating because of the weekday. After we returned home, I went for a walk through the park to photograph the sunset against the fall colors. I managed to get a couple good shots, but it was getting cold... I could see my breath!

We ate linguini with clam sauce for dinner. I'll need to get the recipe for this because Isabelle saw the photos and began demanding I learn how to cook it. We had dinner and played Wii for a while before I had to leave for the bus stop. The bus ended up being an hour late, so I sat outside for a while freezing! I ended up back in Chicago at 12:30am and slept a little later than usual before going in to work on Friday morning.

- Andy


Fly, originally uploaded by zuctronic.

I got this closeup of a fly on an indian corn husk at Basse's Farm in Germantown, WI.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blue Junkhenge

Blue Junkhenge, originally uploaded by zuctronic.

On Sunday I walked to Montrose Beach. There weren't many people and the sand is all packed down. I walked across the beach and picked up some junk and staged this photo. Then went to the peninsula and walked back home through the park.