Search This Blog

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fool For Chives

It's supposed to snow tonight.  Really?  I just started my herbs from seed.  They're tucked away in their plastic greenhouse waiting to sprout.  My chives are giving it up out back.  They've  fooled me into thinking it's spring and tricked me into thinking I'm actually growing stuff.

Lately, every night, I'll go out onto to the deck and snip a few chives to garnish whatever we are having for dinner.  They are the lone warriors right now.
I stopped by The Lexington Seafood Company the other day to prepare for meatless Friday.  Although teased by the gorgeous PEI mussels, blood-red yellowfin tuna, and Blue Point Oysters, I entered the market for shrimp.  Big shrimp.  I certainly found them.
The Lexington Seafood Company had 8-12 count collossal shrimp.  They were huge.  I bought 12 for a few millions dollars along with a 1/2 pound of blue crab meat for much less.

Meatless Friday turned into sweet shrimp meat Friday with baked crab-stuffed shrimp bathed with dueling chive sauces.  It was all about the gigantic shrimp, beautiful crab meat, and my current infatuation with chives.  My chives.

I mixed the crab with Old Bay Seasoning, minced green peppers, minced onions, panko bread crumbs, egg yolk, celery seed, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. After butterflying the shrimp, I wrapped the shrimp meat around dollops of  crab stuffing, sprinkled them with additional panko bread crumbs, and placed them a baking dish.  They looked like huge scorpions readying for battle.

 I'm a lover of sauces.  Baked shrimp of any kind begs for sauce.  If one sauce is good, two is better.  I made a  garlicky lemon butter chive  sauce by simply sauteeing 2 minced garlic cloves in 1 stick of unsalted butter until the garlic was softened, but not browned.  After adding the juices from 2 freshly squeezed lemons, I scattered snipped chives into the sauce and set it aside.
At work, our chef makes a gorgeous chive oil.  Using his method, I blended fresh chives with olive oil until the two emulsified into a vivid verdant chive oil. 

Mise en place.  It was time for wine.

Michael and I cackled in the parlor over several glasses of wine while we shared our weekly battle stories. At some point I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees.  After drizzling olive oil over the stuffed shrimp, I slid them into the oven to bake.  As a resting bed for the shrimp, I made  white rice with tomatoes and scallions. I brought 2 cups of water to a boil, added 1 cup of long grain rice, 1 diced tomato, and 3 sliced scallions.  I covered the pot, reduced it to a simmer, set the timer for 20 minutes, and poured another glass of wine.

When it was time to eat, I pulled the shrimp from the oven and set them aside to rest.  I scooped a heaping spoonful of rice onto one plate and dropped the plate onto the floor. My bad. Glass was everywhere.  I stood still while Michael cleaned the debris from around my bare feet.  Ha.


I scooped the remaining rice onto our new plates,  nestling the stuffed shrimp parcels around the edges.  After pouring the garlic lemon butter chive sauce over the shrimp and rice, I drizzled everything with chive oil along with a sprinkling of fresh chives to finish.

The shrimp were incredibly sweet, moist, and tender.  The sweet meat snapped when sliced and gave way to the green pepper crunch of the velvety crab stuffing.  The dualing sauces battled each other peacefully.  The bright aggressive chive oil cut through the silken chive butter. As they bled together, they worked together, creating a unified third sauce.  Interesting.  Either sauce on its own would have been a one note wonder, but together they were harmonious, perfectly accenting the stuffed shrimp. Acidic. Buttery. Sweet.  Briny. 

Meatless Friday.  Sweet shrimp meat. 
Chive party. 
 "...walking on broken glass"

No comments: