It can be hard to pick a favorite seafood dish. I am still trying new foods and trying to expand my “gourmet palate.”

And because I was told to reduce red meat and introduce more fish and seafood, I spent last summer trying to love salmon.

It has been difficult. If it is not fixed just right, I do not like it. Sometimes it is too fishy. I have tried it at various restaurants, and we have tried grilling it at home. I learned that I like it with Hot Bacon dressing, and we have tried several recipes for that. We would use different recipes on salmon grilled at home.

Hot Bacon Dressing

8 slices of bacon

1 ½ cups of white sugar

3 teaspoons of cornstarch

½ teaspoons salt

¼ cup water

½ cup of white vinegar

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt, and slowly pour in water and vinegar, whisking constantly. In a medium skillet, add the crumbled bacon and pour the vinegar mixture over it. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.

Recently, I have given up. I do not know if I can be a “big kid” much longer. And a good cheeseburger is good for the soul every now and then.

On the other hand, I LOVE crab legs and shrimp. When I lived in Meridian, right out of college, there was a huge Chinese buffet that featured seafood every day at lunch. It did not take long for the lunch crowd from The Meridian Star to incorporate that place into our lunch rotation! It was delicious! I had never tried crab legs (I am a little weird about meat that looks too much like the animal it came from, but I do not have an issue with chicken legs or meat in any other form. I know, WEIRD) but once it was out of the shell, dipped in the melted butter…YUM!

And the Shrimp and Grits at The Tracks in Winona are YUM!

Recently, I asked Facebook and Twitter friends to share their favorite seafood dish. Lisa Nalory, Pat Ray and Barbara Middleton all said they love it all! They just love seafood!

I love all seafood and cannot come up with an all-time favorite,” Nancy Latham said. “Lobster is soooo good.”

Jenny Thompson Moore said she likes lobster served with melted butter, crab, shrimp (any way but fried) and crawfish, which is not really seafood.

Donna Stewart said she likes seafood in general, but her favorite is fried shrimp. “I loved going to Shorewood Inn (for seafood) but it is now closed!”

Ruby Thomisee said she likes lightly battered fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, grilled, etoufee, gumbo, etc. “I just love shrimp, but no other seafood,” Thomisee said.

Seafood Gumbo

1 pound fresh lump crabmeat

3 pounds medium-size raw shrimp (with heads)

Pinch of kosher salt

6 tablespoons oil, divided

2 pounds frozen sliced okra, thawed*

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound andouille sausage, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups finely chopped yellow onion

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chopped green onions, divided

1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 (14.5-oz.) can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, liquid reserved

1 pt. oysters (between 2 dozen and 3 dozen)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Hot cooked long-grain rice

Pick crabmeat, removing any bits of shell. Remove shrimp shells and heads. Cover and refrigerate shrimp, and place shells and heads in a large stockpot. Add 8 cups water and a generous pinch of salt, and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 1 hour. Cool 30 minutes; pour stock through a fine wire-mesh strainer, and reserve for use in Step Discard shells and heads. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and add okra. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, and sauté 10 minutes. Set aside okra, and wipe out skillet. Heat another tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté andouille about 8 minutes or until brown. Set aside. Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes or until roux is a medium-to-dark brown. Add yellow onions, celery, and bell pepper, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and 1/2 cup green onions, and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in tomato paste and next 7 ingredients. Stir in tomatoes and 1/3 cup of their liquid; gradually stir in shrimp stock. Add reserved sausage and okra. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in shrimp and remaining green onions, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in crabmeat, oysters, and parsley, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Taste and add salt, if desired. Serve over rice. * Fresh okra may be substituted for frozen.

Sue Boatman, Leigh Bridges Hill and Brandi Bridges Velcek love boiled shrimp.

Ruth McCulloch Odom said she loves crab legs and boiled shrimp.

Leanne Bradley McGarr’s favorite seafood is fried butterfly shrimp and scallops! Jennifer Hunt also said she loved broiled scallops.

Bonnie Corley Locke said she loves fried shrimp, grilled shrimp and crab legs.

“I sat for an hour one time eating crab legs,” Locke said. She also loves seafood gumbo and clam chowder, but she is not a fan of crawfish.

Joan Shepperly said she loves it all, but crab legs are her first pick. Sarah Windham agrees. “I love crab claws and legs!” Windham said.

Bonita Perego loves crab legs with “lots of butter!”

I love it all, but crab legs are my absolute favorite!” said Audrey Hill Hood. “I just wish I had someone to crack the shells and hand me the meat dripping in butter. Slurp!”

Amanda Richardson loves boiled shrimp and baked oysters. “I couldn’t pick just one,” Richardson said.

Ashleigh Tindall Flora loves chargrilled oysters the best, while Shea Harrison loves hardboiled oysters!

Chargrilled Oysters

12 fresh oysters, in the half shell

1 cup butter, melted

1 cup grated parmesan cheese, from the can

14 cup fresh lemon juice

Place oysters, shell side down, on grate over prepared coals, or on gas grill. Pour melted butter on each oyster and sprinkle with cheese.

Grill for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice, and serve.

A few years ago, at a Christmas party in Winona, I had Cream of Crab soup with Swiss cheese melted over the top of the soup cup. It was so rich and delicious.  This is the recipe I have used to try to replicate that delicious dish.

Cream of Crab Soup

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup chopped yellow onion

13 cup flour

4 cups half and half

12 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning

1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour and Old Bay, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, add half and half; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, about five minutes. Add crab meat and cook an additional 1–2 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Do you have a favorite seafood or seafood recipe you would like to share? Email it to me at gwenwoodssisson@yahoo.com.


See this story in the March 30, 2017 edition of The Winona Times at http://winonatimes.com/winona-slideshow-carrollton-slideshow-lifestyles-conservative/enjoying-scrumptious-seafood#sthash.fqGtdooO.dpbs


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