Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Menu ideas and recipes for oysters, shrimp, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, challah, roast beef and carrots

Menu ideas and recipes for oysters, shrimp, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, challah, roast beef and carrots

Thanksgiving feasting

Since Jim and I were on our own for Thanksgiving, we enjoyed a different kind of feast. I started by slurping down North Carolina oysters on the half shell—the perfect snack while making a few sides and our appetizer, shrimp cocktail.

Wow oh wow, I love my new approach to shrimp cocktail. I poached NC shrimp in a strained court bouillon, keeping the broth under 170°F, per this recipe, then chilled the shrimp, in sandwich bags, in an ice bath. Cocktail sauce (heavy on the horseradish) on the side. I saved the court bouillon and enjoyed warm mugs of it as a pre-dinner snack for several days.

I made cranberry ginger chutney to serve alongside Jim’s slow-and-low grilled venison roast (swoon!) because it’s not Thanksgiving without cranberries. My adapted version includes jalapeño and tons more ginger.

On the side, roasted Brussels sprouts with red onion, bacon, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, and mashed potatoes.

Menu ideas and recipes for oysters, shrimp, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, challah, roast beef and carrots

Court bouillon with shrimp shells/heads

Steamed oysters

Later in the weekend, I steamed the rest of the oysters—a mix of Sea Cups and Core Sounders—for both of us and served them with brown butter mixed with hot sauce and lemon juice. The leftover brown butter sauce made an encore appearance on baked sheepshead fillets—now, that’s a tasty fish.

French toast

Sunday morning, I tried a new French challah toast recipe, oh my, it was scrumdiddlyumptious.

Menu ideas and recipes for oysters, shrimp, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, challah, roast beef and carrots

Roast beast

The weekend feasting continued with a roast beef dinner—my second time following this recipe, it’s a keeper. I completely forgot about drying the beef out ahead of time in the refrigerator, but I couldn’t tell the difference. I like adding garlic powder to the rub. On the side, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and roasted carrots with garlic powder, ancho chile powder and cinnamon.

See you next week!


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