|Cooking on a Sunday is a way to start the week off right.|
We often cook a big dinner on Sundays to start the week off right, and with the weather chilling down, there’s no better time to spend an hour or two in the kitchen crafting a homemade meal. We’ve had a hankering for shellfish lately, so I turned to one of my favorite recipes, one that I’ve cooked many times –– Shrimp Creole.
This is no ordinary shrimp dish. This is one of the first dishes I learned to prepare back in 1997 when I lived in Atlanta (Whew! that was a long time ago), from The New Southern Cookbook, the book that taught me most everything I know about cooking. Well, almost everything. In the past 15 years, I’ve yet to eat a bad plate from this anthology of recipes, which hails from the archives of fine chefs around the country.
|Spoiler: The wine is for drinking and not cooking.|
So, we’ll get to the shrimp, but first things first –– the appetizer.
We began with a grilled calamari salad –– the calamari recipe is also in this cookbook. I know what you’re thinking. And, you’re right. We live in a New York apartment and we do NOT have a grill. But that didn’t stop us from cooking some delicious squid in our broiler. The recipe suggested the good old-fashioned broiler as an alternative, and it worked. So for all those calamari-loving New Yorkers out there, this is proof that you can cook great calamari without a grill!
|I cooked this calamari in the broiler and not the grill, honestly! (If you grill|
it, you’ll need to skewer the squid and cut into rings after cooking.)
Combine squid with olive oil, lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic, and herb of choice, and grill or broil for about 2 minutes. Just a few moments later, we had plump, juicy squid. Once cooled, I tossed the calamari with mesclun salad and vinaigrette and added a little more salt, pepper, and lemon juice. We ate every bite.
|Calamari salad –– delicious!|
Now, on to the main event –– the Shrimp Creole. This recipe is simple enough for even the novice chef. When I first made this in my early cooking days, I had NO idea what I was doing and the dish was still a success. So even if you are not a cook, I encourage you to try it. Thanks to Mike for sous-chefing and chopping everything –– the job I hate!
|Mike does the not-so-fun-part: prep.|
I began with olive oil, then chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery –– also known at the Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking –– and dried thyme or you can use dried herbs of choice. I added garlic and jalapeno, and after simmering for about 10 minutes, I threw in the diced tomatoes. I let that cook down for about another 10 minutes, and then tossed in the shrimp. Just a few minutes and a sprinkle of lemon juice later, I had hot, tasty shrimp creole over white rice.
This dish is a healthy, hearty way to start the week. And, if you make a little extra, you can have the leftovers on Monday. In this case, I suggest heating the rice and Creole, and adding the shrimp in for a few seconds toward the end of your warm-up. Otherwise, the shrimp will get overcooked.
What’s your favorite Sunday supper?