Lowcountry Food: Going Wild with Local Catch
By Pat Branning | Whenever I ask local chefs what makes their food so delicious, most are quick to defer credit to the hard work and passion of our local fishermen. Wild caught shrimp flourish in the nutrient rich marshlands in and around Lady’s Island, St. Helena and other sea islands just off our coast. Nothing compares to their taste – once you experience it, you’ll never buy foreign shrimp again.
Southern Shrimp Curry
Here’s a savory entrée that’s great to prepare when you need to have dinner ready ahead of time. This may be made up to a day ahead.
4 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
½ cup Granny Smith apple, chopped fine
½ cup celery, chopped fine
1 ½ cups shrimp stock
2 tablespoons curry powder
3 pounds shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 pint half and half
Saute apple, onion and celery in butter. Once the vegetables are wilted, add stock. Let simmer until apple and celery are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in curry powder. Add the half and half. Cook gently until cream is reduced to sauce consistency. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, bring mixture to a simmer and add shrimp.
Serve with small bowls of grated coconut, chutney and chopped almonds. Serve over Jasmine Rice. Yields: 8 servings
(Substitute light coconut milk for the water when cooking this rice for a fabulous creamy light dish.)
I start all chowders, soups and seafood stews with this delicious stock. It makes all the difference.
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
2 cups sweet onions
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup vermouth
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
12 springs thyme
Use a large stockpot. Heat the olive oil and add the shrimp shells . Sweat until they become bright pink. Add the vegetables and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and 1 ½ quarts water, vermouth, tomato paste, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour. Strain. Yields 1 quart of stock.
Pat Branning is the local author of the best selling book, “Shrimp, Collards and Grits,” recipes, stories, art and history from the creeks and gardens of the Lowcountry. For more information, or to purchase her book, visit http://PatBranning.com Also, Pat’s new book will be out in November 2013, titled ‘Magnolias, Porches and Sweet Tea.