Now that we’re getting more comfortable with the No Six Diet restrictions, we are also getting a little more adventurous with adapting recipes. J bought some leeks for another recipe we scrapped and we weren’t entirely sure what to do with them. Luckily, my mom was visiting and suggested a chicken and leeks dish that she’s made several times. It turned out perfectly!
I couldn’t get enough of this dish! I wished there was more!
p.s. Summer 2016 update: Our toddler likes this dish! If we’re making it to eat with her, we use a little more chicken broth and a little less wine.
Oysters are amazingly delicious, but not easy to get in to. It can be intimidating to open an oyster, particularly after seeing the professionals use special chain-mail oyster-shucking glove and knife. After our jaunt to New Orleans in March, we decided not to be intimidated by oyster opening anymore. Plus, we really wanted to recreate the chargrilled oyster recipe from Acme Oyster house.
What you’ll need: An oven mitt, a flat-head screwdriver and a pairing knife serve as a low-cost alternative to the traditional tools.
Scrape the oyster from the top shell. Then lift the top completely off. Take the pairing knife and release the oyster from the bottom shell. Now, you’re ready to move on to the recipe.
For the Chargrilled oysters we adapted this recipe from Food.com to mimic the dish we had at Acme Oyster house.
12 fresh shucked oysters, on the half shell (we found these whole at Lucky’s in our town)
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, pureed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 ounce white wine
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
Place in a baking dish (we used a pie pan) filled with ice cream salt (to keep the oysters steady) with the meat up. Melt half the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add your lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, green onions and all herbs and seasonings. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, and then stir in the wine. Keep stirring and remove from heat as soon as the green onions wilt. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rest of the butter and stir until completely incorporated. Heat grill to 350 degrees and place oysters without the sauce on grill.
When the oyster liquor starts to bubble, spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce on top of each, then top with 1 tablespoon of Romano cheese. Let the cheese melt. When oysters begin to slightly brown at the edges, remove from grill and place on a heat proof plate or tray. Top each oyster with an additional tablespoon of the butter sauce and serve immediately with slices of French bread for dipping. Garnish with minced Parsley. Serve while still sizzling with Lemon wedges and fresh bread.
Note: It stormed the day we made this and there was no way we were going to grill, so we just made use of the broiler on high in our oven. It worked perfectly. Just make sure to keep an eye on the dish while it is under the broiler, you can go from perfect to burnt pretty quickly.
The only thing missing was the family-style tables and neon signs.
The hardest part of returning to the mainland from Hawai’i is leaving behind the ocean, the views and the food. Luckily, a few of our favorite dishes aren’t that difficult to recreate. Giovanni’s Shrimp truck is legendary. It’s in all the Oahu guide books and is worth the amazingly scenic drive. The menu is simple: shrimp scampi, spicy shrimp and lemon butter shrimp. We started our recreation with the easier scampi. With the help of Google, we found this YouTube video, which gave us the ingredients and a few tips.
Extra large shrimp, deveined, shell on
1 head (10 cloves) garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1 tablespoon for spicier tastes)
1/2 stick clarified butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup white wine (dry)
2 tablespoons regular butter
Pat the shrimp dry. In a gallon zip top bag, mix the flour, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp and coat each piece of shrimp with the mixture. Heat saute pan over medium-high heat (any higher and the garlic will burn). Add clarified butter and garlic. Stir for 1 minute, then add all of the shrimp. Saute 3 minutes on each side. After 3 minutes on the second side, add the wine and 2 tablespoons butter. Saute, turning shrimp occasionally, until it reaches a caramel brown color.
We had way more shrimp than would fit in one pan! The next time we make this, I will be using the wok, as that would probably keep the garlic from burning. As we had about three pounds of shrimp total, we ended up using the entire bottle of wine. We’ll also probably take the shells off instead of leaving them on as we really like the coating. All in all, it was very close to the deliciousness that is Giovanni’s. Now if only it came with a side of the ocean…