The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It

October 1, 2012, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Food I Make, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: , , , , ,

You know what makes an awesome friend?


Know what makes a super awesome-great-fantastic friend? Fresh oysters.

Really fresh oysters are not a part of our diet unless we are on vacation in the gulf.  Oysters around here in landlocked Tennessee are not terrible if you go to the right places, but the right places are few and far between.  We often settle for questionable oysters from the deli of our Kroger if we are making them at home.  They’re not bad, but they’re not much to write a blog about.

I, however, got lucky recently, and got to enjoy some very fresh oysters right in my own kitchen.  To make a long story long, my friend Emilee has family somewhere around the coast.  Once or twice a year, Emilee’s aunt and uncle make a trip to see these cousins, and they always bring back fresh oysters.  They call in their order the day before they leave and pick up the super fresh oysters on the way back to Tennessee.   They always bring a quart back for Emilee’s dad as well as for themselves. Well, when they went for a visit recently, Emilee’s dad asked for an extra quart for me.

Not only do I claim his daughter as a great friend of mine, but now he too is my friend for life.

So, I got to cook oysters in my own kitchen that just a day or two before were in the water. That, my friends, is fun.

We tried a few raw on crackers, and then I cooked a few too.  For half of my quart, I mixed half a cup of shredded Parmesan with half a stick of softened butter.  Then, I layered the oysters in a glass casserole dish and dabbed the butter and parm on top.  I broiled them for five minutes.

They were delicious, but if I could do it again, I would broil them without the cheese and butter first.  Then, I would top them off with the butter and parm once they started to get a good curl along the side.  Even though I would change the way I made them, they were still wonderful.

For the other half, I coated them in plain flour and fried them in shallow oil for around three minutes.  I then sprinkled them with salt.

They were fantastic.  Not to brag, but they were just as good as any I have had at the gulf.  They were simple and perfect.

Emilee’s dad said that when the trip is made again, he will ask again for a quart of fresh oysters for me.  I can not wait.  What a lucky girl I am.


Super Bowl Recipe #4-Fried Stuff

Mmmm…fried things. Every Super Bowl needs something so bad for you it hurts.

I made these this week. I battered my mushrooms in flour and milk then let them set. Meanwhile, I dredged my almond-stuffed olives and pickles in flour, an egg and water mixture, and then panko. I fried them all in batches for about four minutes each. I salted them when they were done.

The pickles were my favorite. They were crunchy and sour. I liked the olives too. Well, the mushrooms were also my favorite. Like picking a favorite child, I just can’t decide.

Fear not fried food. It was really easy and fast to make these delicious snacks.


Feeling Brave: Homemade Calamari
December 12, 2011, 6:47 pm
Filed under: Food I Make | Tags: , , , ,

Believe it or not, we found frozen squid at our grocery store in our little town.  I would be willing to bet that very few other people in our town even noticed or would know what to do with such a thing.

That’s good for us, since it means more yummy squid for those who know what calamari is.  Delish.

My husband surprised me with a bag and a request for homemade calamari.  The man isn’t afraid of much.

One Sunday night, when all was calm and quiet (or calm and quiet enough), we made our assembly line for frying stuff and tried it out. We had our three bowls-the trifecta for well-fried food-and got to it.

We started with flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and Old Bay. The next bowl was two eggs with a little water. Finally, we coated our calamari in Panko bread crumbs.

After a time of rest in the refrig, our coated calamari was ready to fry. We used pure vegetable oil and fried in batches for about five minutes each. We salted them and ate them right up.

They turned out to be crisp and delicious. I couldn’t believe it!

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