Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cajun Cooking TV & Shrimp Remoulade Salad

I consider cooking an art and I approach it with the same creative zeal that I bring to my paintings. While I enjoy the professionally done cooking videos, I appreciate any online cooking videos that give you a more accurate sense of what preparing the dish in your own kitchen is really like - ones that don't use swap outs. Both my grandmothers were serious home cooks and these home cooking videos remind me of how they would demonstrate what they were making for our next meal. I think that they certainly had an impact on my love of cooking. I'm a fan of Cajun Cooking TV because it is so real. It's like one of your relatives is showing you how to make the dish. How can you not love a cooking video where the guy behind the camera is telling the cook - Beryl - how much crab boil liquid to use? Beryl even looks and sounds like she might be kin - on my maternal grandmother's side. And then there's the cute little Addison wheeling around the kitchen...

Fresh N. C. shrimp is available now and because the season is so short, I'm binging as much as I can. When I make a shrimp recipe, I want the best quality shrimp that I can get. Why bother with that blah Asian farm-raised stuff when you can get fresh N. C. or Gulf shrimp? Hey, frozen Gulf shrimp is fabulous! My view is that when you cook shrimp, the shrimp should be the star of the dish and you want to showcase that flavor in the best way possible. One of my favorite summertime ways to do this is to have a shrimp boil and then top them with a remoulade sauce. There are some great remoulade recipes, plus how to make the dry ingredients for the boil, on Danno's recipes are always fabulous.

This Cajun Cooking TV video shows a variation on the theme. I don't use the crab boil liquid that Beryl uses for the shrimp boil, though. If I don't mix the dry ingredients myself, I use Zatarains Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil in a bag. The sweet pickle relish that you use is a key ingredient in the balance of flavors in this version. I use Mt. Olive, it has more of a homemade quality to it than the other brands do. I also put the shrimp in an ice bath or rinse them in cold water after they come out of the boil so I can make sure that the cooking process is stopped immediately.