Earlier this year, I became a member of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance. There have been some cool events since I joined, potlucks and fundraisers and that sort of thing, but due to the usual craziness in my life I haven't had a chance to participate in any of those yet (or meet any other the other members). The one thing I have been able to do so far is submit a couple of recipes for a community cookbook, and now I have also been able to test a recipe for the cookbook. I was given Creole-Style Barbecue Shrimp, which had been submitted by the talent behind the blog Notes from Maggie's Farm.
I essentially had to force myself to stop eating it; it was so freaking good. Not only that, it was incredibly easy to prepare. The hardest part was finding shrimp with heads still on. Central Market only had them for about $27 per pound, which uh, wasn't gonna cut it. Quality Seafood was a no go (surprisingly). I finally got a tip from another blogger (Christy of Epicuriousities.com) that Sprouts had them (on sale, even). I wanted to stick as closely to the recipe as possible, and I was glad I did. As the recipe explains, the fat from the heads provides additional flavor to the broth (and they are not a problem to pop off). Considering how flavorful the broth was, I would not want to tamper with a good thing. I think the one thing I would do differently next time is to add another head of garlic, because spreading the cloves on the baguette slices and piling on the shrimp and spooning broth over the whole thing was just heavenly.
I'd already had a pretty protein-filled weekend, and was missing my veggies, so I decided to make a side using some of the sweet potato greens I'd gotten from the PEAs farm. I'd been craving some creamed greens, but had actually never made any before, so I found a recipe online to use as a starting point and adapted it to add in a few of my favorite ingredients... like bacon, garlic, and peppers. Home run. This one's going in the favorites category. It was also very easy to prepare, and for any vegetarians out there, you could omit the bacon and use butter instead.
Creamed Sweet Potato Greens with Bacon
Adapted from Homegrown.org
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 3/4 C chopped onion
- 1–2 serrano or other hot pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T flour
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 6 C sweet potato greens, chopped (any other type of greens of your choice can be substituted)
- 1 C cream
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and brown the bacon, stirring frequently. Once browned transfer to a bowl using tongs. Don't toss the bacon grease!
- Add the onion, pepper, and garlic to the pan and sauté until the onion has softened and is beginning to turn translucent. Add the flour and stir until absorbed.
- Add the lemon juice and stir well, then add the sweet potato greens and sauté until they've wilted, stirring frequently.
- Add the cream and the salt and pepper, and cook about 3 minutes or until it has thickened.
- Transfer the whole shabang to a pretty serving bowl and top with the bacon.