Christine was out of town, it was time to cook instead of playing music, and I sent out a Seafood Sunday suggestion to all the kids, receiving a couple “too busy” and “already have plans” texts. Sam, however was free and excited.
While he ran for wine, I went to Central Market (an incredible Austin institution, we’re so lucky) for 2 live lobsters, a pile of mussels, 8 jumbo shrimp and some local sweet corn. I knew I had white wine, chorizo, shallots, chicken broth and fresh herbs at the house. I started a little olive oil and shallots in a pan, browned some chorizo and added white wine and chicken broth. I’d never heard of chorizo till I moved to Texas in 1991. A couple hispanic musician friends were reminiscing about the smell of chorizo wafting into their bedrooms as small children. It’s a spicy sausage that crumbles into the pan. The smell is amazing. If I do it again, though, I think I’ll cook the chorizo in its own pan and add later like a garnish. Ah (he argues with himself) but the spices from the sausage REALLY flavored the broth nicely.
So, now we have a couple Tito’s under our belt and it’s time to quickly toss some peeled and deveined shrimp into the wine and chorizo broth. It only take about 2 minutes, really, it’s fast….when they turn white and pillowy, take ’em out fast and slip them into an ice water bath. Of course, while this is happening we’ve been squirting our favorite condiments into a small bowl; ketchup, dijon, horseradish, siracha, Marie Sharp’s that we discovered in Belize, tabasco, worcestershire….you get where I’m going. Seafood Sunday is on, and we’ve got chorizo infused shrimp cocktail to dip in our spicy sauce. ‘Scuse me while I remember…….
We weren’t frying any seafood (this time), but Sam and I love a little bite of crispy, so we supplemented our cooking time with some waffle fries (sweet potato and regular). We weren’t ambitious enough to try this from scratch, but the frozen variety, when cooked correctly, are quite tasty. I’ve learned to cook sweet corn by starting with a cold pot of water. I find that by the time I remember to check on it it’s been cooking quite nicely and I can just turn the burner off and let them wait. Sam wisely rolled them in butter, salt and pepper. I’m not sure if we remembered that night, but cajun pepper powder is always a nice touch.
A dozen or more black mussels were inserted into the spicy broth and covered. A big pot of salted water was boiling and it was time to wake up the lobsters for their final jacuzzi. I’ve been at picnics in Bar Harbor where lobsters were plunged and served like hot dogs, but I’ve only been hands on a couple of times. The lovely creatures had been on ice for a couple hours, so they simply endured their fate. I was proud. We steamed them, although the claws were at the bottom of the pot and probably boiling more than steaming.
Okay. When something goes under the fire here at the MoonHouse we holler “shit in the broiler” and this was just a little steamier. The mussels popped open and we turned off the heat. We let the lobsters go 10 minutes and then started peeking. A dependable magazine suggests that the lobster tail should reach a temperature of 175 degrees, and ours was approaching 180. Move, Gage men, get those bugs into an ice water bath. After some pounding and cutting of lobster shell it was time to eat.
With a garnish of fresh chives we had beautiful plates in front of us, a nice glass of red wine, and enjoyed it all with a rental of the latest Die Hard movie. Vive la seafood! Ciao for now. CG