Thursday, April 3, 2008

Seafood Po' Boy - 4/2/08

I like to go to the store without a food plan sometimes and just see what inspires me. That is where these ideas came from.

Shrimp Po' Boy & Spaghetti Squash

One of the local seafood specials was fresh bay scallops and there were also some nice peeled and deveined shrimp. I always choose the peeled and deveined shrimp because there's no reason to have to peel and devein your own shrimp. I decided to make a seafood po' boy. I grabbed some fresh tomatoes and dill for the seafood along with some small French baguettes (the size of a sandwich). Staring at me in the face from the seafood counter were some spaghetti squash, so I grabbed one of those too.

A po' boy is pretty much a seafood sandwich. Most are flavored with Cajun spices as they come from Southern areas like Louisiana (think Emeril, but less pork fat and Oreos). The seafood is also mostly fried and held together with a mayonnaise-based sauce. Since I was not in the mood to gorge on some ridiculous amount of calories, I made this as a saute. I heated up some butter in a pan and added some garlic. I added the shrimp and let them cook a bit before adding in the scallops. I only let the seafood cook for a minute or so until it was opaque (unless you like the feel of eating erasers, then you can cook it longer). While it was cooking, I added some lemon juice and chives. Then I added the chopped tomatoes to let them heat up while the seafood finished cooking. Right before adding the seafood to the bread, I added the chopped dill. You can also season this mixture with some Old Bay seasoning, tartar sauce, or any other sea-foody sauce.

Spaghetti squash is a delicious, versatile vegetable. It gets its name from the fact that the flesh comes out as strings that resemble spaghetti. To prepare it, you must first cut it in half. This is not an easy feat, so be prepared for a struggle, especially if you do not have a big knife. Scoop out the seeds from the very center. Place each half flat-side down in a microwave- or oven-safe dish. Fill the bottom of the pan with some water and cover it with some parchment paper. You can either microwave if for about 25 minutes or bake it in the oven. It's done when the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. Allow the squash to cool slightly before shredding the flesh with a fork into a bowl. Now is the time when you can flavor the squash with whatever you want. I made this batch Italian-style by adding some parsley, oregano, Romano cheese, salt, and pepper. The squash has very few calories, so it is a good substitute for spaghetti in almost any dish. My mom has even mentioned making desserts with it. If you want to keep it simple, just use some spray butter (Parkay's is the best), salt and pepper on it.

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