Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring-like Weekend With Family and Food....What Could Be Better?

This was a wonderful weekend and I just don't know what could have made it any better!  The weather was in the 80's and the daffodils are in full bloom.  I just had to bring a little bit of that heaven into my classroom today!  Brooke and Brice came in from Charleston and mama was in the kitchen cooking up lots of meals!  I don't know why I feel like I've got to feed my family the whole time they are home....I guess it's just a mother the fact that I have no one to cook for during the week with hubby traveling, so when they are all home, I'm in the kitchen.  Friday night we had a favorite family recipe.  It's actually a recipe from The Wreck of the Salty Dog Cafe in Hilton Head Island, SC.  It's one of those one pot meals that goes a long way and is delicious with every mouthful...and if you love shrimp and're gonna love this recipe.  My advice on this recipe is this . . . chop everything first and then start cookin'!

Salty Dog's Shrimp Purloo

8 slices bacon, diced  (now any recipe that starts off with 8 slices of bacon has got to be good!)
1 lb. med to large shrimp
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup wild rice
1 cup onion diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb. smoked beef sausage or kielbasa - sliced in about 1/2" - 1" rounds
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste and a few dashes of hot sauce if you like (I usually let everyone just add their own hot sauce to their plate because I don't like hot stuff!!  The cayenne pepper adds enough kick for me!)

Before you begin your sauce go ahead and cook your 2 cups combined white and wild rice as you normally would.  I use a rice steamer which makes it perfect everytime!!  Now for the sauce....

First, cook bacon in pot until crisp.  Remove bacon but leave drippings.  Add onion and cook 1 minute.  Then add garlic and cook another minute.  Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine.  Next add tomato paste, worchestershire sauce, and sugar and simmer on low heat (covered).  You may want to adjust your flavors to your liking.  This is the sauce.  Now that you've made the sauce, it's time to make the purloo.  (I don't spell purloo like they do in this recipe...I don't know which is correct but I spell it perlo!)

In a large pan saute 1 lb shrimp in 2 tablespoons butter until they are all pink.  Remove from pan and add sausage.  Saute sausage until it is a little brown (it's already done you just want to heat and brown it a little).  Add the shrimp back into the large pan, add cooked rice, sauce and fried bacon.  Stir well and season with salt/pepper and cayenne pepper.  (I usually don't use quite a 1/4 tsp cayenne because I'm not one for hot food so season as you like)

I served oven roasted asparagus and garlic toast with the perlo and it was delicious.

Sunday's dinner was another favorite and again, there is a lot of chopping and prep but once that's done, the rest is easy as pie.  For some reason Boeuf Bourguignon has always sounded like the hardest thing in the world to make but actually it's not!  I think because it's French and has that long name it sounds daunting.  There are lots of ingredients in this recipe but like I said earlier, if you prep everything ahead of time, cooking it up is not difficult at all.  This is Ina Garten's recipe out of her Barefoot in Paris cookbook.  She is my all time favorite cook/personality on the FoodTV network.  She makes cooking seem so effortless and really it is.  I'll have to do a whole post on Ina because she is wonderful!

Boeuf Bourguignon

1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 oz. bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck cut into 1 inch cubes
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup cognac or good brandy (I do leave this out because I never buy brandy or cognac)
1 bottle dry red wine (I use Pinot Noir)
2 - 2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen small pearl onions (1 use about 1/2 lb)
1 pound mushrooms - sliced thickly

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven.  Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon when browned.  Dry beef cubes and salt and pepper well.  In batches in a single layer sear the beef in the hot bacon drippings 3-5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.  Remove seared meat to the plate with the cooked bacon.  Set aside.

Toss the carrots, onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper into the fat in the pan and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes stiring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the cognac (if you are using it) and ignite with a match to burn of fthe alcohol.  Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with any juices.  Add the wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat.  Add the tomato paste and thyme.  Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, and place in the oven for about 1/1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.  Remove from oven and place on top of the stove.

Combine 2 tablespoons of the butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew.  Add the frozen onions.  In a medium pan, saute the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, and then add to the stew.  Bring the stew to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.  Season to taste.

Take a large loaf of country bread or bagget and cut on the diagonal.  Toast in the oven.  Once you remove it from the oven rub each slice of bread on one side with a raw garlic clove.  For each serving spoon the stew over a slice of bread.

Now you have two new recipes to try on your family this week!  I bet you will find they are so easy to prepare and your family will love you for it!   Bon appetit!



  1. Those daffodils make me happy! Mine aren't blooming yet, but yours are gorgeous!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these recipes! They sound delicious! I am so excited to try them! My husband gets in from out of town tomorrow, so one of these will be a perfect dinner to make for him!

  3. Fun weekend with your daughter, aren't kids great!
    I love making Boeuf Bourguignon too. I've done Julia and Ina's, I think I like Ina's maybe a little better, but I like Julia's pearl onion preparation better.
    Your Salty Dog's Shrimp Purloo recipe sounds great, I know my hubby would love it! Thanks for sharing.
    I'm looking forward to your blog on Ina, she is one my favorites too.