Category: gluten free

Spicy Citrus Seafood Cocktail With NC wild-caught shrimp

Spicy Citrus NC Seafood Cocktail

Spicy Citrus NC Seafood Cocktail

Published in Carolina Country Magazine July 2020

Who has time or desire to do much cooking during the lazy hazy hot days of North Carolina summer?  Not me! Y’all, this seafood cocktail is light… so full of flavor with just a hint of fresh citrus, and only a little bit of fuss when it comes to cook’n. Loaded with a bounty of fresh seafood from our coast, you can enjoy this for a late morning brunch… for lunch… or right out of a jar in your porch swing watching the sun set!  

This is one of those recipes where specifics and exactness isn’t important — you know, throw cook’n!  Use all of one seafood or whatever combo you like. Go with your favorite vegetables and what’s in season.  Add veggies you like to my recipe… as The Frugal Gourmet Chef Jeff Smith would say…

“Omit and substitute! That’s how recipes should be written. Please don’t ever get so hung up on published recipes that you forget that you can omit and substitute.”

And in keeping with my North Carolina company ingredients, I chose North Carolina’s Bruce Julian’s Blood Mary Mix to finish out my recipe!  Just round up what you need and throw together some of my seafood cocktail… soon!  You’ll be so glad you did… and so will your company.

And while you’re at it, be sure to make some of my Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter too.  Followed up with a little dish of my No-Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream.

Come on over, and hang out with us in my fun facebook community too, where you will find this and lots of other goodies.

Spicy Citrus North Carolina Seafood Cocktail

Light and spicy... with just the right hint of fresh citrus, the seafood cocktail features all sorts of North Carolina goodness!

Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Fun Food!, Main Course, Snack, Supper
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Gluten Free, Mexican, North Carolina Goodies, Seafood, Southern, Summer Food, Tailgating
Keyword: bloody mary mix, bruce julian, crab, got to be nc, grilled salad, romaine, southwestern, north carolina shrimp, lobster, mexican seafood cocktail, north carolina seafood, seafood cocktail, spicy
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
Spicy Sauce
  • 2 quarts favorite Bloody Mary mix* or V8
  • 1 bunch radishes, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • zest of 1 lemon, lime, orange and juice of ½ each, Cut the remaining halves into wedges for guests to squeeze into their cocktails
  • cracked black pepper
Seafood Mixture
  • 2 pounds wild-caught North Carolina shrimp, peeled, cooked and cooled
  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • 6 small lobster tails
  • 2 firm avocados, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Garnishes
  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat
  • cilantro
Instructions
  1. Combine and chill the spicy sauce ingredients.

  2. A few minutes before serving, add about four pounds of cooked shellfish of your choice (or use our suggestions above) and gently stir in the avocados and cilantro.

  3. Sprinkle with crabmeat and more cilantro.

Recipe Notes

*I used NC’s Bruce Julian Bloody Mary Mix.

 

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Pull out your cast iron skillet for this one to get a nice little “crunch” on the patties. Making sausage to suit your own taste is really easy to do, and making a big batch at the time is too since you can freeze and take out a few patties as needed. You can make this recipe with ground pork, but we love the moistness from using ground chicken. And if you like maple sausage, make some with a hint of syrup drizzled in also. This makes a great “breakfast for supper!”

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Many of us have made traditional “fire and ice” pickles using store-bought dill pickles. Our twist is a fast way to use those summer peppers that seem to come from every which way all at once … no processing, just refrigerate, eat and share. This recipe doesn’t require exact amounts, so you can make brine and use any amount of peppers (or other vegetables) you have.

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Cheesy gluten and carb free bagels… with a kick of cayenne and a dusting of crispy everything bagel dust!

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Arnold Palmers are a refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day. The lemon and tea pairs so well, I created a version for these deelish wings. Tailgate friendly, too!

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Vibrant citrus fruits are plentiful in the dead of winter, and this is a great salad to brighten the dreariest of days. Don’t worry about exact measurements for salad ingredients. Use as much or as little as suits your fancy.

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Sometimes you win… sometimes you lose! This time, I have a winner~ with Aunt Nellie’s!

Aunt Nellie’s Bacon & Rosemary Roasted Pears n’Onions… kissed with Cinnamon Honey ~ Aunt Nellie’s 2018 State Fair Cooking Contest ~ 3rd Place Sides/Salads Winner


I love entering cooking contests.  There’s rarely a win with so much great competition out there, but it’s fun coming up with ideas and getting in my kitchen to make what’s in my head come to life. But… every now and then, I end up with a winner, like my Aunt Nellie’s Bacon & Rosemary Roasted Pears n’Onions… kissed with Cinnamon Honey  

Aunt Nellie’s 2018 State Fair Contest Winners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few months back, friend Lisa Prince, who knows my passion for both entering and judging cooking contests, sent me a note about Aunt Nellie’s “State Fair” Cooking Contest.  In case you don’t know, Aunt Nellie’s is a 90 year old company born in Wisconsin.  Their products now include six varieties of glass-packed beets, onions, three bean salad, and red cabbage.  Turns out, Aunt Nellie Jones (yep, there really was an Aunt Nellie) was a Home Economist like me… at the University of Wisconsin! And I didn’t realize until recently their first product was peas. 

The contest had 5 categories, and I spent a ton of time (not to mention money) creating, testing, styling and photographing a recipe for each category.  Of course, I surely was hoping for something more, (don’t we all?!?), but grateful for my 3rd place win in the “Sides and Salads” category.  The prize was $25 and a box full of Aunt Nellie’s products.  And I was very pleased with how this and all my recipes turned out. So maybe I will find other contests where I can tweak them and enter somewhere else since my entries are now the property of Aunt Nellie’s.  That is the downside of most contests. Their fine print in rules usually states that entries become the property of the company where you entered… they can publish, use, and even change the name of it!  

BUT… for those of you that don’t know but may be interested, recipes cannot be copyrighted. Processes to make a recipe can be, as are head notes/descriptives, but the recipe itself… nope. Anybody can take anybody else’s recipe and call it their own! But there is usually a way I can make revisions to a recipe to turn it into something else.  And like others, I sometimes get inspiration for a new recipe from another I run across. My goal is to always create something that hasn’t yet been done 1 or 100 ways. That can be challenging, but most ideas in my crazy head are unique.
I don’t know I will do that (revamp) with my Aunt Nellie’s entries… but I did come up with a few mighty fine recipes and it would be a shame not to share some day!

The Aunt Nellie’s categories were…
Appetizers, Salads/Sides, Soups, Main Dishes and Desserts/Sweets. 

So… one of these days, if I tweak my other entries, I’ll share those too.  And since most contests prohibit entries that have been previously published, I’ll refrain from sharing them now in case I tweak to enter somewhere else.  For now, I will enjoy this win as I’m sure there were hundreds, if not more, entries in the contest, and to be one of 15 is an accomplishment I’m tickled to enjoy!  I “beet” out a many a fine cook for this honor and am excited to share with you… be sure not to miss my recipe down below.

I do hope you will pick up some Aunt Nellie’s Onions and make this really easy recipe and if you do, come over to my facebook community and tell me all about it!

Aunt Nellie’s Bacon & Rosemary Roasted Pears n’Onions… kissed with Cinnamon Honey
We all love tasty speedy side dishes and this one can be thrown together in the time it takes to preheat your oven. This rustic sweet and savory combo is perfect alongside roasted meats. Roast a pork tenderloin at the same time for a complete supper. Or, turn it into a warm wilted salad by drizzling in a bit of balsamic vinegar when done and while hot, tossing with a big bowl of fresh spinach. No matter how you serve it, it’s sure to please… especially when BACON is involved! 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roasted pears and onions, bacon, aunt nellie's
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 8 sliced bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 pears, unpeeled-cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 large red onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1 15-ounce jar Aunt Nellie's Holland-Style Onions, drained
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crumbled with fingers
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Scatter pieces of bacon on large roasting pan and place in oven while preheating.  
  2. Prepare pears and red onion and place into large mixing bowl. Stir in drained onions and rosemary.
  3. Once oven has heated and bacon fat has started rendering, remove and pour bacon and drippings over pear mixture. Toss to coat well. Spread out onto hot pan and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until onions and pears are caramelized and bacon is cooked. 
  4. Combine honey and cinnamon.

  5. Once this roasted goodness is removed from the oven, drizzle with the cinnamon honey. Scatter with toasted pine nuts and blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Another Serving Suggestion: 

For a rustic salad, while warm, toss the pear and onion mixture into a big bowl of fresh spinach to “wilt,” drizzle with the cinnamon honey and some great balsamic vinegar.  Scatter with the pine nuts and blue cheese. Also great alongside roasted chicken, turkey, pork or grilled steaks!