Sunday, November 12, 2006

I Find No Solace In Comfort Food

True comfort food, the shrimp boil, recipe from a friend who is pictured dumping the damn shimps. This post is inspired by Thanksgiving and what some call comfort food. To me deep fried Turkey is not traditional but more accepted than a damn shimp boil? The world makes no sense but at least I understand this to be true.

Recipe from a good friend of mine in Alabama...Color illustrations by JW.
Imperative to read recipe 1st and have everything ready beforehand. The trick is more technique than ingredients. Especially since the cook is often just as drunk as the peasants by the time the water first comes to a boil.

All these are approximate:
- large pot 1/2 to no more than 2/3 full of rapidly boiling water, preferably with strainer basket (Sam's Club sells the same stainless steel rig we used last summer in AL for about $70 bucks including propane burner stand, a great deal - and worth it even for only 1 boil)
- Powdered type cajun crab/shrimp boil, e.g. Zatarain's etc., whatever is available, use according to package directions - eyeball it; it usually comes in a plastic bag ( DO NOT USE THE CORNMEAL-BASED FISH FRY MIX - THE PACKAGES LOOKS VERY SIMILAR )
- 1-2 sliced lemons
- 1/4 lb. smoked sausage/person, cut into 2-3 in. lengths
- 1 or 2 small to medium red potatoes/person, whole or halved, unpeeled
- 1 or 2 small whole onions/person, unpeeled
- 1 or 2 ears of corn/person, shucked
- 1/2 lb. shrimp/person, unpeeled
- Coctail dipping sauce: a good bit of ketchup, add some mustard, horseradish, and a dash each of worchestershire, lemon juice and tabasco type sauce; adjust all to taste

Directions: to boiling water add cajun crab/shrimp boil seasoning (stand back, it will boil up on you), sliced lemons, sausage, taters, onions and corn. Return to boil, adjust heat to low boil, let cook for 30 min. Remove stuff from pot and drain. Return heat to high. Spread sausage and vegetables onto a table thickly covered wtih clean newspaper, preferably on somewhat level ground. When pot returns to a rapid boil, add shrimp. When about 1/2 or more of the shrimp float to the top, IMMEDIATELY shut off heat, remove and drain shrimp, and spread on top of the other stuff on the table. Stand back, and chug an entire beer while the peasants attack the table with their bare hands.

I am not a big fan of comfort food. This is comfort food season and I could give a rats ass. Give me your Mexican, Greek, Italian ,Thia,Chi, Jap,Mong...hell give me almost all of your huddled mass's of ethnic food, but spare me the comfort food. Comfort food lacks zing. Comfort food is fat filled, sans the reward of taste. Comfort food does not nor will it ever float my culinary boat. My kingdom for a shrimp boil this Thanksgiving! However I have learned to spice to taste and without shame. Have hot sauce will eat comfort food. Happy Holidays From a man with a poor sense of smell and taste, I lay abandoned, alone in the land of comfort food. God have mercy on my wretched soul...Kind regards JW


At 7:31 PM , Blogger Phats said...

I hate thanksgiving, screw comfort food!

At 8:54 PM , Blogger Mone said...

Comfort food season is all year round, if the soul needs it Josh.

At 4:56 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

phats: You sir are the man!

mone:My soul is full of comfort food, give me some fish tacos!Now this thought brings me comfort.

At 7:47 PM , Blogger ing said...

Potatoes & corn: COMFORT.

I'll eat anything except maybe twinkies and ding dongs and candy bars. The more unfamiliar the cuisine, the better.

And I do love all that turkey and stuffing and everything. I hardly ever eat like that. It makes me feel like I'm the the hospital, and I'm just pretending to be sick. Clean sheets, meals served in bed, flowers and cards and cute medical personnel checking in on me. Heaven.

At 2:18 AM , Blogger ~d said...

I think you are a southerner at heart. And I say that with L♥ve!
as for traditional Turkey Day food: turkey is too dry, I could take or leave abt everything else.
Bring On The Pecan Pie!!

At 4:35 AM , Blogger Mone said...

What I always liked was the cranberry sauce. Maybe I wasn't used to it?

At 5:24 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

ing: P & C are considerd comfort food in some circles, however if you follow the recipe you will find it is has quite a bite, it made me sweat, oh lord it was good.Once a year maybe twice people eat this stuff, I think its comforting thats all we have to endure.

~d: My moms from NC and believe me I have eaten my weight in pee-can pie! I do heart the south,my folks live in NC still, my friends from AL question how southern NC was, I showed them and they are believers.Yes dry turkey, now the sandwichs the next day with mayo and a little spice, thats good eating, add some garlic to the mashed patatoes and they are palatable, cheese grits should be voted on to the menu.

Mone:Cranberry sauce was always to sweet for me, but I have been denied a sweet tooth.

At 6:00 AM , Blogger Zen Wizard said...

Dang, if somebody needs to buy a "partially eaten" turkey, tell them to come over and I will buy them a USDA-inspected Swanson dinner. That is harsh.

Especially because they don't say partially eaten by a WHAT. You might be hockin' up cat hairs by the time football comes on.

If you want to have shrimp boil for Thanksgiving, I say, "Throw down, brother!"

And if you are Canadian, you don't even have to have Thanksgiving on real Thanksgiving, I say. (I am multicultural that way...)

At 9:01 AM , Blogger Toby said...

I'm with Ing, I like all food with very few exceptions. I'm not a sweet eater, although I will eat a piece of pumkin pie on T-Day.

At 9:52 AM , Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I could go for some slightly-used turkey right now.

At 12:50 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

Zen: I have no say on what is served T -Day just dreaming, it aint a perfect world. One may wonder if the first portion caused food poisining and thats why its for sale, a bum turkey, a real lemon.

toby: I just don't like bland food, and most innard based entrees.

intergalac:I think it sold.

At 7:51 AM , Blogger Toby said...

Of course by choice I eat very flavorful foods, but in a pinch I'll eat just about anything.

I draw the line on innards as well. I gave them an unwitting try the night I ate menudo and I know forsure I will never do that again. I do like liver, though I don't eat it much.

At 10:23 AM , Blogger Molly Bloom said...

Can somebody tell me what a 'ding dong' is? I'm not quite sure. Can you eat it?

At 1:56 PM , Blogger Winters said...

Yo, Josh, I hope you're well, man. I'm just going to talk to Molly here...

I've never eaten a ding or a dong, Molly.

I reckon they're both pretty colourful, though. Dang, they're probably luminous.

At 7:02 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

toby: You ate menudo, the poplar youth band from Porto Rico, of Ricky Martin fame? Huh? Liver is innards.

molly: A ding dong is an american taste treat it looks kind of like a hockey puck, it is made entirely of preservatives and has a white cream preservative filler. I have not had one in years, but I can remember the texture and if I never have another I am Ok with that. I think they put one aboard the space probe voyager 3 in the event aliens discovered the craft and snack food they would not immediately that planet earth was in trouble.

winters: Yep, the preservatives have a psychedelic quality.

At 8:37 PM , Blogger matty said...

Commander Josh -- I say a Korean Bar-B-Q is in order for the celebration of the take over of the Native American Land that we call the United States of America!

However, do you mind if I have turkey and dressing with a side of Ambrosia? Ing has promised to make Ambrosia.

Actually, I take no comfort in food. No, food is my enemy. It causes me to gain weight and wrecks other havoc on my body. I prefer music as my comfort.

...This Turkey Day (or the day we celebrate the stealing of a country) I think I shall be gaining comfort from the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Goldfrapp.

Oh, and I happen to know that Ing enjoys a Ding Dong followed by a Twinkie from time to time. Don't believe otherwise.

(sorry, Ing -- but this is Commander Josh!)

At 10:45 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

matt: A a day to celebrate the beginning of genocide. I still want to have a crab boil. and ing maybe we should have an intervention what with her ding dong and twinkie habit.

At 12:02 PM , Blogger Toby said...

Ding Dong ditch was (is?) a popular game played by American male youth of the 60's and 70's.

Ringing some poor schmuck's door bell and running away as fast as we could offered hours and hours of innocent entertainment before we discovered girls and weed.

At 2:13 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

toby: Girls and weed, so cool.

At 9:00 AM , Blogger Friends of McDougal said...

Back before McDougal was banned from New Orleans we used to go down for a crawfish boil every summer. While we were waiting for the cooker to get hot we would get drunk on Dixie and have mudbug races. That was the result of trial and error, by the way. We tried having the race after they were cooked, but they weren't very lively.

I haven't had a Dixie in years. That's a good beer. You can really taste the formadehyde.

At 10:01 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

McDougal: formadehyde is in all premium beers. A funny story about the chef, he is from Miss originally and was down in NewOrleans one weekend with a couple of friends, they were walking down the street when their was a ruckus, a man was thrown out of a bar and landed at my buddys feet. The man was his brother, they did not know they either one was down their, hadnt seen one another in a year or so but they said hey and enjoyed the rest of the evening so the story goes.

At 9:04 AM , Blogger Me said...

We call them low country boils down here.
and that corn is the best with a little old bay on it.

You gotta watch the old ladies, they will pick out and eat all the shrimp.

At 9:18 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

bos: Old Bay is the bomb, I just throw in some rubber shrimp near the edge of the table where the old ladys can reach, works like a charm.

At 10:01 AM , Blogger Molly Bloom said...

Josh - Bunyan just called me a mooly. I think you should tell him off for that.

I think ding dong sounds quite nice if it is full of synthetic white stuff. Leave me one in the comment box please. Stuffed full.

At 10:01 AM , Blogger Molly Bloom said...

Is a ding dong like lemon curd with an outside bit?

Or lemon cheese as we call it in these parts.

At 10:57 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

Molly: Bunyan will rue the day he caled you a mooly! A ding dong is a simulated chocolate wax disk with a vile white cream filling, beware the ding dong.

At 11:37 AM , Blogger robmcj said...

Am I too late to snap up the turkey bargain?

At 12:05 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

robmcj : Nope, not the same one but I have one just like, lemme know.


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