Welcome to my "Florida" blog

Being a third generation Florida native, I'm completely enamored with the diverse beauty of this gorgeous peninsula. For most of the year the weather is divine which makes exploring its unlimited nooks and crannies fun and easy.

Wherever I go I appreciate nature and the world around me. Come along with me as I share the places I visit and perhaps a few other amusements I find interesting along the way.

(FYI: Every post prior to January 1, 2009 was previously published and imported from my garden blog)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Simply Fresh Seafood

With all the visits to the beach lately and all the talk of eating great seafood it is only fair to give you a little glimpse into my kitchen, too.

My mom, my sister and I ate at Star Fish Dockside while visiting the Gulf Beaches and I mentioned here before that I like to buy my fresh seafood there at the market any time I can get by there. We've enjoyed many huge family dinners outdoors at the beach courtesy the marvelous fresh catches from Star Fish. There have been just as many smaller, more intimate dinners with just Mr. Meems and I at home.

On this particular occasion we were blessed to have my sister with us.

Seafood makes the simplest of meals outstanding.

That opinion is probably because I LOVE seafood... well... ONLY if it is fresh.

All photos in this post courtesy of my sister. She actually thought to take them ... thanks, Marmee.

Stone crab legs are oh so, delish and oh so, easy to fix. They are in season until about May 15... so get somewhere and "get you some!"

Stone Crab Legs:
  • Simply boil some water in a large pot (enough to cover the crab legs)
  • After cracking the legs in a few places (this will make it much easier to dig out the meat) with a wooden mallet
  • throw the crab legs in the boiling water and let them heat through. This only takes a minute or two.
  • Walla! Serve with melted butter and/or whatever sauce you like. We like cocktail sauce with crab.

Garlic sauteed shrimp.

I always peel, clean thoroughly, and butterfly each one no matter which way I decide to cook them.

To saute':
  • Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and about a half of stick of butter in a shallow skillet. (I apologize... I rarely cook with a recipe so I am guessing on amounts here... you just need enough to cover the shrimp on one side.)
  • Sear a few cloves of garlic.
  • With heat on approximatley med/hi to hi place each shrimp flat into pan.
  • Watch for a little change of color from clear to solid.
  • As they change color turn each one over and repeat watching for the color change. This is very fast. It only takes a few minutes all together. One of the tricks with cooking shrimp is not to over cook!

The sides with our seafood included Barilla Spaghetti Rigatti noodles cooked 'al dente' tossed with olive oil and a little butter, shredded parmesan cheese mixed in and diced fresh Compari tomatoes topping. Some of us like to mix our shrimp and crab in with the pasta. Some of us eat it all separately. It's ALL GOOD however you choose to eat it.

A freshly made side salad with all your favorite ingredients and fresh bread are always a sure compliment as well.

MMMM-MMMMM Yummy-good!


mjm said...

I am not sure I can find any fresh seafood up here, but I will definitely have to keep your recipes handy. I've never cooked a lot of seafood before so I love a nice easy recipe. Now I just need to find that fresh seafood! :)

Rissalee said...

I don't like seafood one bit, but that didn't seem to matter while reading your post - I was drooling at the deliciousness of your photos! It all looks SO YUMMY...wish I thought it also tasted that way!

N.T. said...

There was nothing fair about that post. Now I have suffer through this craving of fresh seafood and not being able to enjoy your wonderful cooking. I am thinking that is quite UNFAIR. ;)

gigi said...

well, we missed the stone crabs, but we had fresh shrimp cocktail and fried grouper (from the Star Fish store)for our Valentine's Day dinner. MMMMM, good!! i served with baked potatoes, a side salad, and fresh strawberries from Plant City! it is so great living in the state of Florida, especially on our West Coast. we love it!!

Meems said...

By all means keep the recipes for future use... I think you'll have to do some looking for fresh seafood in TN though. Which is the very reason my sister was hankering for some when she was here.

One of these days... maybe you'll actually taste some you like... well, we did get you eating grouper much to our surprise right?

At least you can get to some fresh seafood fairly easily down near the coast... if you really wanted to... it is available. OR you could just go to Angelo's and let them cook up some of their good seafood for you. mmmm-mmmm good.

So glad you liked your grouper and shrimp. I almost always buy grouper there but with the stone crabs I knew it would be too much. Your fresh strawberries sound delish, too.

islandgal246 said...

Meems you have made me hungry for sea food. Our shrimps are imported so they are frozen, Barbados does not have any stone crabs, we have crabs but they are seldom eaten by the locals. In the other islands we eat crabs. Some times I am lucky to get a fisherman with red sea crabs and fresh lobster. YUM YUM

marmee said...

all that food was so good. one of the best parts of my trip was being able to enjoy home cooked meals that are anything but ordinary. so delicious!

Meems said...

Your comment about not having shrimp sort of surprises me. My imagination pictures every island gal to walk over to the crisp clear waters and scoop out all the seafood one could manage and then of course to cook it up right on the beach. Oh and don't forget the tiki lights. :-)

No matter what it is ... if someone else cooks 'for us' somehow it just tastes better. It's pretty hard to mess up good seafood. So glad you were here to help us enjoy it.