Follow the culinary adventures and misadventures of the Cooking Agents (Ray and Katie). Watch as we eat/cook our way into adulthood.
… or should I say Shrimp Salad with French Cocktail Sauce. This was by far the easiest recipe. Yes, I am aware that I’ve only done three.
Shopping for this recipe was a breeze. All I needed was Boston lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, grapefruit, armangac (another one of Boulud’s expensive alcohol choices) and shrimp. I’ve decided chefs like expensive alcohol… and at the rate I’m going, I will have a very well stocked personal bar by the time I pass the CPA. Woo, party at my house!
To get back on topic, I made the salad and the cocktail sauce ahead of time. For the salad, I first peeled the grapefruit, taking care not to include any bitter white pith, but not taking enough care not to avoid slicing part of my finger off in the process. Yum. That will teach me not to sharpen my knives on a regular basis. I cut away the remaining pith and supremed the grapefruit. Then I juiced the membrane into a small sauce pan and boiled until the juice thickened to around 2 teaspoons. While that sat aside to cool, I made my very first homemade mayonnaise. I even have a twitching bicep muscle to prove it! Egg yolks, a little big of oil, and a whole lot of elbow grease go a long way. Once the mixture emulsified, I added dijon, ketchup, Worcestershire, Armangac, the grapefruit juice reduction, and salt and pepper to taste.
The salad was very easy and only required some handy dandy chopping of avocado and tomatoes. I assembled catering style by putting the leaves down on the plate. This is something that is a particular pet peeve of mine, because I think it’s a tacky way to make food look “presentable”. I only did it because Boulud instructed me to, and I follow him blindly into battle. Once that was done (gag), I piled up my diced tomatoes in the center of the plate, followed by the avocado and grapefruit surrounding the tomatoes. Easy peezy. To cook the shrimp, I had a gallon of boiling water and threw in a hefty amount of salt, a pinch of cayenne, the grapefruit rinds, a bunch of tarragon, cracked pepper, and the shrimp. After about 2 minutes, the shrimp was just cooked. I took them out and let them cool before placing them on top of my tomato mound.
Ingredients including Armagnac (far right)
Homemade Mayonnaise // Raw Shrimp (deveined and shelled)
Salt, Cracked Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Tarragon, Grapefruit Rind
Shrimp Salad with Avocado, Grapefruit, and Boston Lettuce
Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
I’m sure shrimp is photogenic, I just had a hard time making my shrimp photogenic. The taste? The best shrimp cocktail I’ve ever had. Typically, I have the normal crowd around to eat my culinary experiments. Today, no one was around to stop me from eating about half a pound of shrimp myself. Holy cannoli! Not only is this blog endeavor making me poor and fingerless, it’s also going to make me fat. AHH.
The next recipe coming down the pipe is Crayfish Salad with French Cocktail Sauce. This recipe stuck out to me the day I picked up Cafe Boulud Cookbook almost 5 weeks ago. I read through the recipe and thought, this is it. This is why we’re going to make our blog. It’s easy and really representative of a somewhat “fancy” dish that a home cook can really make, thus Boulud delivering on his promise of French American recipes for the home cook.
5 weeks later, I’ve almost forgotten this. This whole week I’ve been thinking, where in the world will I get crayfish? I think about it before bed, in the shower, during my 4 hour CPA class. I live in the northeast, which at the moment is under the never ending blizzard siege. I only need 3 lbs and it seems like the minimum is 10 lbs on most web vendors. I love you Daniel, but I can’t afford to keep up with you and your crazy live crayfish requests. I plan to be out of commission for the last three weeks of February. Maybe I should just go balls to the wall and fly myself to New Orleans to get some live crayfish myself. Joking.
I’m expecting a huge snow storm on Friday, so I have to make a game time decision tomorrow at the market — shrimp or lobster? The crayfish cartoon above looks kind of like a lobster and from the countless late night web research hours I’ve put in, crayfish sounds like it’s closer to a lobster texture than to shrimp. Ah. Decisions, decisions! You’ll have to come back this weekend and find out which I bought. It’ll be a surprise to you and me both.