While it may be 97 degrees, with a heat index of over 100, in South MS I still feel the urge to make a batch of cool-weather chowder. We visited friends in Grand Isle, LA recently for a little R&R, boating, fishing, and crab trappin’. You can catch blue crabs right off of the pier and it’s so much fun. Once you’ve caught a decent number of crabs you boil them in a large pot w/spices and vegetables (similar to a crawfish boil). They are delicious. Our friends were gracious enough to let us bring home the leftover boiled blue crab from our weekend stay. We freshly cracked and ate a few but I ultimately decided to break out the stockpot and add the rest to a delicious soup.
7-10lbs Boiled Blue Crab (approx. 2cups of crab meat)
2 cans Amy’s cream of mushroom
1C heavy cream
1/2C vegetable stock
2Tb corn starch
2Tb avo oil
1C shitake mushrooms diced
1 can unsalted corn, drained
6-8 red potatoes, diced & boiled
1 medium onion, diced
4 Tb minced garlic
1 jalapeño, diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat avo oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute until aromatic and onion is translucent. Add mushrooms and stock. Turn heat up slightly and allow mushrooms to soak up the stock and soften a bit. Add corn, potatoes, jalapeño and stir to combine. Add cream of mushroom, heavy cream and corn starch and stir well. Allow soup to bubble a bit at medium/high heat then return back to medium heat. Taste test along the way. Add crab (or protein of choice) and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve with crackers, crispy bread or my personal favorite, tomato grilled cheese.
The first time I tried a cauliflower fried rice recipe I made the mistake of throwing everything into the same pan during the cooking process. If you own a wok, which is the traditional way of making fried rice, then you could probably make this happen, no problem. But if you don’t. I repeat. If you don’t. Do not attempt to cook everything in one pan. It will end up looking like a hot mess of clumpy, mushy cauliflower oatmeal w/a strange eggy coating that tastes meh AF. Trust me. And while i’m not really a stickler for my food not touching or anything like that I am a stickler for proper texture in a dish. And seasoning…i’m kind of a stickler on that as well.
I’ve played around with cauliflower rice recipes over the last year or so and feel like i’ve finally come up with one that consistently works. Allow yourself to spread out and utilize every bowl, pot and pan in the kitchen for this recipe. Cook your ingredients separately and then combine for best balance and texture. Get creative and messy-up that kitchen! Heck, you may even want to throw a dinner party and impress a few friends with this dish. Its. That. Good. No one will miss the rice and everyone will walk away healthily satiated and singing your praises.
Shrimp Fried No-Rice
1 head of cauliflower
4 Tbsp avocado oil
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 whole carrots, chopped
1 C shredded green cabbage
2 Tbsp Liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Lb Fresh Shrimp (peeled and rinsed)
2 Tbsp Sriracha Oil (substitute Avo or EVOO oil for less spice)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onions stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Add carrots and sauté for 10-15min adding more oil as needed. Add cabbage and stir ingredients until combined. Turn heat to low and cover w/tight lid for approx 10-15min until cabbage and carrots are al dente.
2. Wash and dice cauliflower into 4 quarters. Place diced cauliflower into a food processor and blend until consistency resembles coarse meal. Place your cauli-rice in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Transfer carrot/cabbage medley from large sauté pan to a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Re-use large sauté pan. Heat 1 Tbsp of avocado oil over medium heat and add cauli-rice. Stir until evenly coated with oil and cauli-rice begins to simmer. Add carrot/cabbage medley and stir gently to combine.
5. In a medium sauté pan, heat sriracha oil over medium heat. Add shrimp. Stir to coat the shrimp evenly in oil; turning each piece over after 1-2 minutes for even cooking. Turn heat back to low, remove shrimp from pan and fold into cauli-rice mixture in large sauté pan.
6. Re-use leftover sriracha oil in the medium sauté pan. Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour egg mixture into sauté pan. Allow eggs to bubble from the bottom slightly before moving mixture around. Use a spatula to gently break apart the eggs being careful not to over work them. Eggs should be fluffy and slightly moist. Remove from heat and fold egg gently into cauli-rice mixture to combine.
7. Add sesame oil and liquid aminos. Salt and Pepper to taste. Gently fold ingredients to combine. Turn heat back to medium and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes more.
8. Garnish w/sesame seeds, sriracha sauce and diced scallions. Serve while hot and enjoy.
I purchased my garlic bulbs from seedsaversexchange towards the end of last summer. The bulbs were delivered early fall along with an easy to follow growing guide on prepping, planting, growing and harvesting. I’m really into KIS (keeping it simple) so having a user friendly manual added to the mix was great. Seedsavers is where I purchase most of my seeds throughout the year and i’ve had an almost 100% success rate with planting so far. High five. Check out their site and support their mission to keep heirloom seeds and plants in our gardens and food crops for future generations.
How to plant garlic: gently separate the bulb being careful not to tear or remove the papery outer layer. Plant individual cloves pointy side up 6-8in apart in rows 12in apart. Cover with grass clipping, mixed leaves or straw. I chose dried pine needles and leaves because we had an abundance of both and it worked very well. Make sure to cut the scapes (garlic chives) once they hit about 10in or they will inhibit growth in the bulb. Harvest mid to late Summer. Store in a cool, dry place.
I’ve learned a lot about patience since beginning my organic farming journey 8 months ago and garlic is at the top of my list for requiring patience. Not because it needs extra special attention but because it takes about 8 months to fully develop the bulbs for harvesting. Crazy, right? I’ll be checking on my crop in the next few weeks and showing you (hopefully) an abundance of fully developed garlic bulbs to store for fall/winter use just in time to get the next batch of garlic going for the winter season.
So, have you ever tried to grow your own garlic? Or tasted a garlic chive? If you answered no to one or both of these questions then you’re not alone. I’d never even heard of or tried one until I planted garlic in potting soil bags this past November. Garlic is a very set-it and forget-it kinda bulb which in my opinion is ideal if you’re new to growing. Added bonus? You get a pretty extensive supply of beautiful and tasty green chive-esque toppers that start shooting up through the soil right as the seasons become a little warmer. Even better? The scapes grow in abundance pretty much up until you’re ready to harvest in early/mid Summer. It’s like Mother Natures reward for all of your patience through the chillier months (and for keeping the chickens from scratching away at your pine needle/dead leave covering to reach the bugs). All in all growing garlic is pretty low key and a good place to start if you’re a newly skilled grower.
“What should I do with the chives?”
They’re great added to salads, soups, eggs, stir frys and much more. I tend to add them to most everything. You can dice them up for immediate use, store in the refrigerator for later use (up to 3 days) or even dehydrate them and crush in a blender for use throughout the year (dehydrate at 135 degrees for 8-12hrs; store in an air tight container). The dehydrated powder makes a great onion/garlic combo seasoning you can sprinkle on just about any savory dish. So cool and so good!
“What’s a garlic chive taste like?”
I like to describe it as an onion and a clove of garlic lovingly had a baby. Awe. The initial taste has a little bit of bite akin to horseradish that burns your nose hairs a little then fills your mouth w/familiar aromas of garlic cloves and the onion-y goodness you’ll quickly recognize…but better. Yes! Better than the smell of garlic and onions simmering on your stove in harmony (the foundation to most any good savory recipe; the yin to the yang of the cooking world). It’s spectacular AF. With all that being said, I’ve only played around with sprinkling freshly diced garlic chives on top of things or added them to recipes towards the end of the cooking time. So while this wonderful otherworldly garlic/onion hybrid is very nice it probably doesn’t replace ole faithful; straight up olive oil, garlic and onions sautéing in a pan. Mmm. Nevertheless they’re quite tasty. Go give garlic chives a chance and share your experiences with me here or leave a reply below.