Sunday, August 15, 2010

Surf and Yard Bird

My wife and I finally got a chance to visit with some old friends today. we planned ahead of time to have a cookout and get some much needed play time for the kids, and some much needed social time for the parents. The rain came in today, and it was steamy outside, but the food made up for any negative feelings from the storm. It was a surf and turf, and yard-bird kind of party with some apple chicken sausage thrown in and Val's AMAZING corn and black bean salsa.
[as an aside: I avoid corn products except in the case of it being served as actual CORN. I grew up in the mid west, and there will never be a time when i give up corn completely -- no matter how bad it fits in with the paleo/primal diet crowd. Where I grew up corn was a vegetable, and served as such. I also thoroughly enjoy bourbon which by definition must be mashed from no less than 51% corn. Sweet corn grown in our garden every summer was a major staple in my house as a kid. HFCS hadn't been widely distributed, and the only sugar we drank was in tea or in Kool-Aid. Corn is fine in appropriate amounts -- as a VEGETABlE.]
The point of this post is to pass along the Chicken and Shrimp recipes that I used for my contribution to the cook out. There was grilled chicken wings and drumsticks tossed in Tiger Sauce. AND!!! Fresh Mayport Shrimp in a Tequila Lime Marinade. I only wish I had a chance to take pictures of the final product. The cameras were trained intently on my daughter and friend's son who were enjoying their third date. If they could type it would be Facebook official.


you will need a grill and some chicken wings and drumsticks. Also about half a stick of butter and 2 small bottles of Tiger Sauce.
Charcoal is best for this, but you can fry or bake the wings as well. It really doesn't matter; I just like to have the crispy grill burned pieces co-mingle with the sweet and spicy of the sauce. The broiler would be completely sufficient.

Grill your chicken, and make sure to sear it well.
I had 8 full wings and 4 drumsticks. I used 1/2 a stick of melted butter and 1 3/4 bottles of Tiger sauce. Add some salt, and you are golden. Toss your cooked Wing/drumsticks in the sauce and get it. I marinated the chicken ahead of time, but it didn't make a difference. None. The flavor is in the eye of the tiger.

Now the Shrimp is a different story. It's too awesome to give a name.

You need 2 pounds of fresh peeled and de-veined shrimp.
3 slices of thick sliced bacon
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped fine (seeds and veins removed)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
Juice of 1 lime
the leftover 1/4 bottle of Tiger Sauce
Salt to taste
and TEQUILA!!!!

The most important things about this concoction are: 1. The shrimp has to be fresh, 2. The bacon should be a good thick cut, and 3. The Tequila must be good. Quervo doesn't cut it, kids. I used Hussong's Reposado, but anything of a decent heritage will work. And seriously, Life is too short to eat shitty bacon.

Combine the Shrimp and all the ingredients except the bacon in a non-reactive bowl and keep chilled. Slice the bacon into small pieces and brown in a pan. De-glaze the pan with the marinade from the shrimp and reduce. Add the shrimp and sauté for 5 minutes or until done. Make sure not to over cook. Over-cooked shellfish is a sin to humanity.

It really seemed more complicated than it was while I was cooking the shrimp. In actuality I was merely prepping the shrimp. I bought it fresh, so i had to pull off the heads, peel, and de-vein everything. I usually just throw the little guys in a pot and boil them. This was the first time I actually made a big to-do over skrimps.
The flavor was unbelievable, though. I will definitely be making this again. The tequila-lime-bacon trifecta was a powerhouse of flavor that made you stop what you are doing and rethink everything you know about food. Ask My wife.

So now I will be finishing the bottle of Hussong's watching the roast of David Hasselhoff.

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