Every Fourth of July I head back home for a community chicken fry, and plenty of good food in between. We started off with some Reubens using Peppridge Farm Pumpernickel and Jewish Rye bread, deli sliced corned beef and swiss cheese, and saurkraut.
Butter your bread like Paula Dean is grading your ass.
Stick it on a griddle to toast the bread and melt the cheese.
Topper offer with the kraut. Jews and Krauts coming together in bread and cabbage form. Just beautiful.
Crack open a jar of homemade pickles if you got em. Klausen if you don't. Done in ten minutes...cheap and delicious! Suck it Subway.
I brought about 4 pounds of shrimp home with me. We wanted to have a little shrimp fest so we chose a few varieties; classic cocktail, scampi, and grilled. A light summer pasta with some fresh veggies from the garden was the side.
Cocktail shrimp is super easy and the fresh cocktail sauce is what it's all about. Boil the shrimp in water until they are pink. You can add some seasoning to the water...Old Bay or Seafood Magic etc. Take them out and put them on ice.
For the sauce you just need a couple of cups of ketchup.
Mix in a couple of tablespoon of horseradish...it's potent stuff so start with a little and add to taste.
Squeeze half a lemon, and a few drops of tabasco and mix that crap together. Chill it with the shrimp in the fridge. Not much of a mess and it's super tasty.
For the grilled shrimp, leave the peels on and butterfly cut those sea roaches real good like. Then mix em in a bowl with olive oil and minced garlic.
Once they're on the grill, you can sprinkle with seasoning... Seafood Magic is great for this too.
You really want the chunks of minced garlic to stay on these shrimp and roast with them. These grilled shrimp were the belle of the ball.
Grill until pink. And done son.
The last batch of shrimps are headed to Scampi town. Population...two pounds.
Chop up some green onion and garlic.
Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. The oil will keep the butter from browning and burning. Add the garlic.
In go the shrimps. After a couple of minutes, pour in a half cup of white wine and the green onion. Turn once and take up when they are pink.
It's hard to beat a light summer pasta with fresh veggies and basil. It's a favorite of all those who stuff their faces with it...and it goes with a shrimp feast like peanut butter goes with jelly.
You'll want a thin pasta...capellini is a good choice.
Get a large pot of water boiling and drop several medium to large tomatoes in for a couple of minutes. Remove them to an ice bath.
This will make them easy to peel. Remove the skins, chop them and dump them in a bowl with a hefty sprinkling of garlic salt.
Chop some of your favorite summer vegetables like zucchini, squash, bell pepper etc.
Drizzle with olive oil and put them shits on the grill. You can season with salt and pepper or a steak/chicken seasoning.
You can buy fresh basil at the local grocery during the summer. Or just grow your own. It isn't hard. You just need a small pot, soil, sunshine, water and love.
Either way chop some of that up and add it to the tomatoes.
Boil your capellini in water with some salt and olive oil. Then transfer to a large sautee pan.
Add a little more olive oil to the pasta, pour in the tomatoes and basil, and add some parmesan cheese. Freshly grated off a hunk of cheese is immensely better than buying the packaged stuff that is already grated.
Topper offer with any of the veggies from the grill or serve them on the side. You got yourself a shrimp and pasta feast that all ocean roaches would respect you for.
Good friends and fam make it all the better.
The right kind of double fisting.
But what would be a celebration of America without a good ol fashioned hamburger.
We were making potato salad as a side for the community Chicken Fry later that day....a good idea for the leftover skins goes something like this:
Bake the potatoes until they are mostly cooked through. You don't want a soft center like a normal baked potato...you want them fairly solid so that they can be diced for your potato salad.
Slice them in half then gut them.
Fry a good amount of bacon...maybe a pound...take some of it up before it is done and let some get crispy like bacon bits for tater skin toppers. Take the leftover potato shells and fry them in the bacon grease.
Fry each side for about 4-5 minutes or until crispy. Top with a little salt, cheese, bacon, sour cream and chives.
Get your burgers on the grill. Seasoned salt and pepper should do the trick.
Chop some jalapeno peppers long-wise and take out the seeds. Stuff with a little cream cheese, then close them up and wrap with the undercooked bacon.
Skewer em and put em on the grill with the burgers.
I've already posted recipes for fried chicken on this blog so no more recipes! Just pictures of sweet sweet chickens.
Did you know that burying your face in a bowl of raw chicken for twenty seconds a day can strengthen your immune system?
This chicken is all dressed up...it thinks it's fancy!
Master chicken friers.
In a chicken coma.
All the sides.
All the folks.
All the tea.
Plates of perfection.
And then you get up the next morning and wash the whole gluttonous trip down with this:
Fried eggs, sausage, bacon and sweet potato hash. God Bless America!