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Recipes for Realtors: In the po’boy fashion

If there were a po’boy season this would be in season, but since there isn’t, this mouth-watering combination could be in fashion all year round, wherever you live.

Start with my deep-fried breaded oysters, mussels and my Asbach Uralt garlic cognac cream shrimp piled high on a grilled French bun. Drizzle with my remoulade sauce, made by adding my homemade Italian salad dressing and my tomato salsa and a couple of mash-able golden oven-roasted garlic cloves and a little minced jalapeño peppers (from a refrigerated jar) to my homemade mayonnaise.

Sprinkle with just a little cayenne and a few flakes of east coast hand-cultured Atlantic Ocean Amagansett finishing sea salt and a grind of pink peppercorns. Top with my caramelized onions on top of my fried green tomatoes.

Position the top half of the grilled french bun and use a strong pick to keep in place a couple of your frozen compound butter coins: perhaps use the lobster compound butter coins and/or the jerk coins. Or choose your hot chili jalapeño compound butter coins. Flambé the frozen topper compound butter coins using your kitchen handheld flamer, but don’t melt completely (hint: you can use your handheld barbecue starter flamer).

Want to fly over the moon? Serve with a couple of my marinated or breaded deep-fried Celebrity goat cheese pucks on the side and a mound of stovetop pan-wilted plain fresh spinach (well-drained) topped with a herbed compound butter coin from your frozen collection, and maybe add a poached egg and my homemade hollandaise sauce sprinkled with sweet paprika or cayenne. Let the hot egg yolk weep over the mounded wilted spinach just when ready to eat.

Now this is a giant plate for a late weekend breakfast, brunch or a special patio supper.

ALTERNATE: No french bread buns? This is delicious served between two thick slices of my homemade date bread french toast. You might have homemade round date bread in your freezer.

I’m thinking a South African Obikwa Shiraz as a palate cleanser would keep the taste buds clear to enjoy each and every bite and the variety of flavours.

You might enjoy a Canadian created drink, a “Caesar,” sometimes called a Bloody Caesar (quite different than an American Bloody Mary), served in a celery salt-rimmed tall glass over ice, with a leafy celery stick as a stir stick. Easy on the ice. As the ice melts it waters down the drink.

This grouping sounds complicated but it isn’t. You just need to be organized. But it helps if you have some basic cooking skills. Some items can be made ahead of time, or you will have on hand or in your freezer or pantry.

Start by preparing your mayonnaise (a staple that should already always be in your fridge; in a sterilized glass jar it keeps for months; keep the cover on it while you work). On serving day make the remoulade first and refrigerate, and the hollandaise (keep it warm).

The day before, pluck the oysters and mussels from their shells (or buy already shucked), cover and refrigerate overnight in plastic wrap. Pat dry and let come to room temperature, ready to deep fry in 350 F Mazola Corn Oil (don’t refrigerate your oil; store in your pantry or a cool dark place). The corn oil adds a distinctive flavour, enhancing the natural flavours.

Get your equipment ready completely the day ahead. Double check your frozen compound butter supply. Check your herbs and spices supply. And let your eggs come to room temperature overnight or at least a couple of hours before poaching.

Refrigerate your spinach wrapped in a clean tea towel. Don’t wash your spinach until it’s time to serve. The rinsing water on the leaves is for cooking/wilting the spinach. But you could chop off any woody stems ahead of time.

Prepare your coarse fresh breadcrumbs for your pan-fried breaded green tomato slices. Choose ready to eat but firm green tomatoes and slice them ahead of time, quite thick, covered on a plate using plastic wrap, refrigerated. Do not salt. Salting will cause the tomatoes to express their liquid.

Spritz your mussels and oysters (now at room temperature) with Noilly Prat just before coating in breadcrumbs, only when ready to deep fry. They deep fry in just seconds.

Make your shrimp in garlic cream sauce and your caramelized onions a day ahead. Make plenty extra so you can plan another meal around these amazing recipes.

Cut your to-be-grilled french bread buns ahead of time and wrap in plastic or slice your french toast date bread thick pieces and wrap overnight, ready for egg dipping.

Line up all your pots and pans and utensils the night before. Tidy up your kitchen so you can have everything you need at your fingertips.

Set your table ahead of time, again choosing all the plates, glasses and cutlery and fold the napkins. Always stand glasses upside down, and NEVER touch the rims with your fingers. Not ever; likewise coffee or teacups, or even ordinary everyday water glasses. That should be rule No. 1 in restaurant service and at home.

At its finest, don’t rush this meal whatever time of day you choose to indulge. Allow plenty of time between bites and enjoy it all. Comfort food at its finest.

If per chance you operate a bed and breakfast, or you have overnight guests, you could prepare things individually and serve in chafing dishes (cover always at a tilt) buffet style and let people build their own po’boy. You might make a sample plate to show the order of all the delicious things mounded high.

Salivating yet?

Note: Instead of hollandaise, prepare my savoury seasoned Sabayon and fold in stiff whipped egg whites. Or you might choose to use the egg whites like an unsweetened meringue and pop the po’boy under the broiler for just seconds or flambé. Serve immediately.

Carrot faux bacon strips and other crisped vegetables adult treats

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use fresh crisp medium large carrots. Snip off both ends. Scrape the skins off; wash but don’t peel off the skins. Scraping with a sharp knife takes off less vitamins. Using a sharp potato peeler or a mandolin, prepare the carrots by cutting into paper thin strips.

Using my special maple syrup sauce, marinate the carrot strips for about a half hour, covered, in a glass dish. Using tongs, remove the marinated carrot strips to a cake rack placed on a baking sheet to let excess sauce drip off. Sprinkle the marinated carrot strips with sweet paprika and salt. Spritz with Noilly Prat.

Again using tongs, place the carrot strips on the parchment-lined baking sheet, not touching one another or overlapping. Put the sheet on the bottom oven rack. Reduce the heat to 350 F. Close the oven door and don’t open it for eight minutes. Then once again using tongs, turn the faux bacon carrot strips and continue baking for another two minutes. Don’t turn your back on the oven. You don’t want burned candied carrots.

In the meantime, marinate paper-thin layers of peeled fresh crisp kohlrabi and thin layers of jicama in my maple syrup sauce. Repeat the draining procedure and load another large baking sheet. Repeat the baking process.

A terrific combination of crispy paper-thin vegetables that everyone will love. You can also use sweet potatoes, parsnips, hard squash, even beet slices. All marinated and oven-crisped. You can spritz all of them with Noilly or Elderflower or even Asbach Uralt cognac. The alcohol evaporates, just leaving behind the base flavours of the herbs and spices.

You maybe can’t imagine the wonderful flavours. These crisped veggies have loads of uses. Mix the veggies selection and maybe fill a cheese Tuille nest basket and top with the faux bacon carrot strips, twisted. You might like to sprinkle the veggie basket nest with unsweetened dedicated toasted coconut just when ready to serve. Otherwise scatter mixed fresh chopped parsley, oregano tiny petals from your pot, rosemary bits, or even dried fried sage from your pantry jar. You could mince fresh celery leaves, kohlrabi leaves or even minced fresh baby spinach leaves.

This is a nice accompaniment with breaded veggie-stuffed pockets in large boneless skinless stuffed chicken breast, filled with chopped mixed-colour bell peppers and a little onion. Hint: Along with seasoning the stuffing, sprinkle just a pinch of sugar. Do not overcook the chicken. Sauté in sizzling butter, turning only once. Gently brown the breading, then cover at a tilt to let steam escape. The prep-time is longer than the cook-time. Melt in your mouth delicious.

© Spirits in My Kitchen:  Lady Ralston – Canadian Cooking with Bouquets and Aromas – Good Food made Better with Spirits