Monday, August 24, 2009

Home cookin'...North Carolina Style

What's the best thing about travelling? The monuments? Not so much. The beach? It's up there in the rankings. The hospitality? It's got to be mighty fine to make an impression. My favorite? Tough guess, it's the food!
So, on to the fish tales.
We went fishing with the boys one day and came back with about 15 Spanish Mackerel. They were smallish, but had good amounts of meat. We had a ball fishing. We were on a fast boat with just the four of us and the Cap'n. When we came back to the dock I discussed favorite ways of preparing the fish with one of the guys who worked there.Telling me about his favorite recipe almost brought a tear to this guys' eye. He said, "Take some Texas Pete and put it in a pint of buttermilk. Add some salt and pepper. Let the filets soak in there for about ten minutes, then dredge them in fish fry. Let 'em drip for a second or two so you don't foul up your coating."
Put 2-3" of oil in a high-walled skillet and heat it until it's shimmering. Carefully put the filets in and let them cook until they're golden brown. I served them on buns with red onion, tomatoes, and some excellent spicy tartar sauce I got from Harris Teeter.
FYI, we also grilled some, but these were pretty tasty fried.

Did I mention that we started off with some head-on shrimp? Just boil those puppies on a little water and Old Bay for 3-4 minutes. Let 'em cool down enough to peel.

It also happened to be my wife's birthday while we were on vacation, so I whipped up one of her favorite dishes, Lobster Carnage. You've seen the video of me killing innocent lobsters, and if you look through past posts you'll see the recipe. Anthony Bourdain calls it Blanquette de Homard. Above you see the carefully peeled pearl onions cooking in some buttered water.The other three types of onions that go into the dish....And the finished product. Awesome.

When in the as the Southern folks do. BBQ some chicken. I used generous amounts of Dr. Smelly's No. 1 Rub. It makes your meat taste good. I've taken to braising the chicken. Rub it, brown it, throw it in a tightly covered or wrapped pan, add some wine, and cook over indirect heat for about an hour. Take it off the heat and let it cool in the pan, then crisp it up just before serving. The meat will be falling off the bone.

The fist night we were down my father picked up some trigger fish. Normally I wouldn't eat animals that I've kept as pets at one point or another, but these looked good. I did a little salt/pepper/sage/rosemary/thyme/white wine and wrapped them up in foil. 10 minutes on the grill and the meat was almost falling off the bone, but still firm enough to stay whole. Always fun cooking fish on the grill.
Well, thank you for reading folks. If you're interested in purchasing any of Doc Smelly's No. 1 Rub (Makes your meat taste good!) or Smelly Salts ( Malden Salt, smoked slowly and with love right here in my smoker) let me know.
I've got a bunch of restaurant stuff to post, so please stay tuned.
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