Sunday, May 20, 2012

Royal Red Shrimp for #SundaySupper

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I don't know about you, but I am so happy when Farmers Market Season resumes, not just because I've missed all the great produce and artisan products, but because I've missed all of the farmers and vendors! For me, going to market is as much about socializing and catching up with friends, as it is about shopping. In an average week, I usually go to the Whistle Stop Farmers Market on Tuesday nights in downtown Norcross, the Dunwoody Green Market Wednesday mornings before work and the Sandy Springs Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, when my schedule allows.

One of my favorite people at Sandy Springs is Tony King of TK Gourmet. I love his shrimp and grits cakes, his crab cakes, his spinalis steaks - the cap of the ribeye, tender like a filet, but with great ribeye flavor. This week he said he had something really special that he wanted me to try, Royal Red Shrimp. These shrimp aren't like any shrimp you've ever seen before, they have a naturally pink shell and opaque, white flesh. The picture below is the thawed, raw shrimp, as hard as that may be to believe. They are a deepwater shrimp, living at depths of up to 1/2 mile where the Gulf drops off at the Continental Shelf. The bad news is that they have a very limited season, they are only available for a few short weeks, so believe me when I say you want to stock up now!

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He gave me a bag and after browsing the rest of the market, a plan started to form. Because Tony told me the shrimp were incredibly sweet and delicate it seemed only natural to pair them with some picked this morning pea shoots, so after a quick stop at E 48th Street Market for some fresh angel hair pasta, I whipped up some of the best pasta I've ever eaten.

Royal Red Shrimp and Pea Shoot Pasta
1/4 lb fresh angel hair pasta

8 Royal Red Shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
1 tsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c white wine
Juice of half a Meyer lemon

Bunch of fresh pea shoots, washed

salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano (optional)

The Royal Red Shrimp cook much faster than regular shrimp, so you want to have all of your mise en place done before you start cooking. First cook pasta in salted water, drain then hold to the side. When pasta is nearly al dente, melt butter in a medium skillet and add garlic, being careful not to let it brown. Once pasta is drained, add shrimp to the skillet and cook for just a minute on each side, it really goes fast, so don't take your eyes off it. When shrimp are done, add white wine and lemon juice to pan to de-glaze, immediately remove from heat and toss in pea shoots and pasta. Season to taste and serve with a nice glass of white wine.

Serves 1

If you don't have any Red Shrimp, but are looking for something great to make for #SundaySupper, please check out what my friend Rashmi from the Primlani Kitchen has whipped up!

Shrimp

If you live in the Atlanta area, Tony can deliver some of these Royal Red beauties to your home, office, or even your boat on Lake Lanier! Give him a call at 678-777-6081.

Disclaimer: Tony did give these to me to try, but in the words of my mother, who I gave a taste, "They have so much flavor and are so sweet, they taste like shrimp used to taste". In my opinion, these are the best shrimp I've ever eaten and I would love to know if you agree, so if you get some, please comment and let me know.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oceans 6 at the Optimist #AFWF

This weekend brings the 2nd Annual Atlanta Food and Wine Festival to our fair city. I was fortunate enough to win a weekend pass to attend last year and had a lot of fun, especially at the cocktail classes, but no such luck this year. In addition to all of the different classes and seminars, the tasting tent and Connoisseur Lounge for the high rollers, there are also a series of dinners hosted at some of Atlanta's best restaurants featuring the Chefs who are in town to participate in the festival.

Of all of the dinners offered, I have to say, the one that most catches my eye is the Oceans 6 dinner at The Optimist. First, because of the incredibly talented Chefs involved and second, for the chance to have a preview of The Optimist. I love being one of the first people to check out a new restaurant! I've been following their construction progress and it looks like it's going to be a gorgeous space.

Because I love you guys, I have something no one else has, a sneak peek at the menu for this fantastic dinner! It may change a little as they will be using the freshest seafood, caught that day and you never know what the boats are going to bring in, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what you are going to enjoy.
 
Amuse - Wood roasted jonah crab, toast, butter and chile
1st - Mike Lata, Figcrudo of mackerel, wahoo or rudderfish and or oyster.  

2nd - Norman Van Aken, Norman's - Key West Shrimp and Corn Flan with Coconut Milk, Citrus and Saffron

3rd - Dean Max, 3030 Ocean - Sebastian Inlet Clams BLT, with smoked bacon, grilled red romaine, Calabrian pepper meets Florida Tomato jus, and Basil bubbles

4th - Brandon McGlamery, Luma on Park - sea urchin casarecce and duck sausage with stinging nettle or ramp pesto

5th - Bryan Caswell, Reef - Roasted fish, possibly Almaco Jack or Cobia, Pork Belly, Radishes & Sweet Onions, Pickled Loquat 

Dessert - Ford Fry, The Optimist "Key lime pie" filled brioche doughnut, coconut ice cream

All that will be paired with amazing wines selected by Master Sommelier Kathy Morgan.

If you want in on this epic dinner, there are still a few tickets left, you can get yours here.