Monday, May 5, 2008

Leaving Charleston on a Tasty Note



On our last night in Charleston, a “back to life, back to reality” mood settled over all of us. We decided to cook at Melissa and Doug’s apartment. I wanted to try Red Snapper, because I saw a whole one at the fish market earlier in the week and thought it was really beautiful. Unfortunately it was $18.99 a pound and it’s not very tempting to splurge right before you have to go home and face the bills you’ve already racked up.

The most affordable seafood at Mount Pleasant Seafood at Boone Hall Farms Market was littlenecks and large shrimp at $5.99 a pound each. We bought 2 dozen littlenecks and a pound of shrimp and improvised a recipe with the rest of the food we had left in our fridge. It was an odd assortment of ingredients that Steve and I bought (separately), but we made it come together for a really good meal.

My husband and my strategies for grocery shopping couldn’t be more different and this never fails to amaze me. When I shop, I plan whole meals and buy all of the ingredients. When Steve shops, he plans for a meal or maybe two (???? – hard to tell from the stuff he brings home), but really his style is to buy what looks good, hits his fancy or is on sale. Might be a guy thing.

When he went on his run to Piggly Wiggly, he bought the necessary stuff for our cookout (see post below), but he also bought asparagus and strawberries, just because they were local and in season and a pineapple because it was only $3.

So we had those things to work with in addition to one onion, garlic, baby red bliss potatoes, an orange pepper, 2 lemons, a half a bottle of capers, a bunch of fresh parsley and some fresh thyme.

Here’s what we came up with: a seafood stew, a side of roasted asparagus and peppers, and a fruit salad of pineapple and strawberries. It was both pretty and delicious. So this recipe is for you, Melissa, in honor of the meal we cooked at your cozy apartment.


Recipe:

Charleston Inspired Clam and Shrimp Stew

Serves 4

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped and crushed to paste with the edge of a chopping knife
2 lemons
1 cup white wine
16 baby red bliss potatoes, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
2 dozen littlenecks
1 pound of large fresh shrimp
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of capers

Sautee the onions and garlic in a splash of olive oil, until crisp/tender. Ream two lemons and add the juice along with the wine and potatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes, covered.

Add the clams and cover again. Watch closely and when about three quarters of the clams have opened (about 10 minutes) add the parsley, thyme and capers and stir. Add the shrimp and cover again for 3 – 5 minutes, just until they are pink.

Divide evenly into to four bowls.

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