Saturday, June 7, 2014

Peel-n-Eat Shrimp with Whipped Cauliflower and Greens

The low country boil - a truly epic event that just sings of early summer and lazy afternoons by the lake. I have wonderful memories of sipping sweet tea or lemonade, sitting in the shade anticipation of the meal to come growling in my belly.

Unfortunately, living in NYC, I don't exactly have a large yard in which to boil a giant pot of shrimp, craw fish, potatoes and corn. I'm also lacking the giant red and white table-cloth covered picnic table on which to dump the contents. Instead of missing out on the amazing flavors. I make do. I could do a giant indoor pot of the same, but since I'm still pursuing my goal of shaping up this year, I decided to sub in cauliflower for the potatoes and greens for the corn. This recipe for whipped cauliflower is one of my absolute favorites. I won't try to convince you that it tastes anything like mashed potatoes, but I actually believe it tastes equally as good and is just a fraction of the calories.

It's entirely possible to make your own crab boil seasoning from scratch, and if you have a great recipe, please use it here! However, I firmly believe that there are some things that have been perfected by professionals, and I just don't mess with the best. Old Bay seasoning is one of those things.

Peel-n-Eat Shrimp
Serves 2-4
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, EZ Peel Shell-on if possible
  • 2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c white vinegar
In a saucepan, combine Old Bay, water and white vinegar. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp, stirring gently. Cover and boil for approximately 3-5 minutes until shrimp is pink and curled into an open "C" shape. Drain and serve with the shells on.

Whipped Cauliflower
Serves 2-4
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/3 c reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, cover cauliflower with water. Add garlic salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is very tender and falls apart when pierced with a fork, approximately 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly. (It is extremely important to make sure you drain all of the water out. Otherwise, you end up with a soupy result.) Return cauliflower to saucepan. Add butter and sour cream. Whip with a hand blender until smooth and creamy. (At this point, if the dish is too soupy, you can return the pan to low heat to reduce and thicken). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For Greens
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard or other dark, leafy greens, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Add olive oil and garlic to large saute pan over medium high heat. Once garlic has started to turn translucent but before it browns, add the greens in batches, turning so that each new batch is wilted. Once the greens are wilted. Add the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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