Thursday, June 14, 2007
We celebrated Frank's birthday this last weekend. I usually like to kick off Birthdays with some kind of fun and unusual feast. For example, my last birthday, we celebrated with a champagne tasting and dishes that would compliment the different varieties. It gets to be a little time consuming and pricey, but I like doing something memorable and food events are fun! I usually pick a theme to organize the menu around. This year's birthday theme was "Southern Fare". I posted a while ago that I wanted to have a traditional Maryland-style crab feast, but for the number of guests it would have been astronomical! So a shrimp boil seemed to be the closest thing. The local Asian grocery, 99 Ranch Market, had some gorgeous looking shrimp, with heads attached, for an unbelievable price. Problem solved! I just followed the recipe that Old Bay has on their web site. Except I omitted the potatoes and cooked the corn separately, oh and definitely use the beer! We also had Corn Bread (Didn't make that! Not enough time!), collard greens made with smoked turkey legs instead of ham hocks, boiled corn (as mentioned before), Garden Salad (from the garden of course!), Watermelon and Yummy Cupcakes Red Velvet Cupcakes! To drink I offered hibiscus juice from a 101 cookbooks recipe and optional tequila. We ate outside on the picnic tables Frank and I made a year ago with the food piled in metal trays and just relaxed. I think everyone had a good time!
Fresh shrimp with heads are a must! I know it grosses some people out but sucking the shrimp heads is the best part!
Finished pile of shrimp and sausage. Don't forget the hot sauce!