Monday, June 30, 2008


Pilgrimages are typically once-in-a-lifetime events. If one is lucky he or
she might get to make two or three pilgrimages over the course of their

People from all over the world take religious pilgrimages to Israel, Mecca,
the Vatican, or Nepal. Golfers live to go to where it all began- St. Andrews
in Scotland. Others would take out a second mortgage just to attend one of
the earlier rounds of The Masters in Augusta.

Football fanatics take pilgrimages to their shrine, The National Football
League Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Baseball groupies journey to
Cooperstown, New York to view stats and memorabilia on every major league
stand-out since the formation of the league (except Pete Rose).

I stopped playing football when I graduated high school. Baseball bores me.
I don't play golf, and I have no interest in going to Nepal. I eat.

For me, eating is a sport and at times it can be a religious experience. I
take pilgrimages to individual out-of-the-way restaurants and to great
restaurant cities. I love food. I eat for a living. It is what I do.

Over the past several years I have covered a lot of foodie ground between
the two coasts. From Per Se and Aureole in New York to The French Laundry
and Gary Danko in California. I take several culinary pilgrimages into New
Orleans each month, and I have hole-in-the-wall diners tucked away in every
small town in the South.

But there is one elusive destination that I have wanted to visit
for the last three years. It's not a white-tablecloth institution, a
legendary neighborhood joint, or a longstanding out-of-the-way café. It's
not even a restaurant. It is a smokehouse.

Allan Benton has been curing hams, bacon, and prosciutto in Madisonville, Tenn. for 33 years.
Madisonville is located a few miles off of I-75 between Chattanooga and
Knoxville and I will be driving through that area tomorrow. Benton has promised to give me a tour of his facility and I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.

I am convinced that when God invented bacon, he wanted it to taste like Benton's. Allan Benton smokes meats using methods passed down from generations of Smoky Mountain smokers. His process takes over six weeks, that compared to 24 hours in large commercial plants.

I wrote about Benton's bacon a few years ago, and I still receive emails and talk to people at book signings or speeches who have become raving fans of Benton's bacon. 

The product sells itself. Actually, it sells too well. Benton has done such a great job smoking and curing meats, he has all of the business he can stand. He is playing a constant game of catch-up. If you place an order today it will be weeks before it arrives. Gourmet food retailer, Williams-Sonoma, with stores all over the country, tried to add Benton's products to their lineup, but Benton told them, "thanks, but no thanks." It's truly Chuck Williams' loss.

You can have Cooperstown, and St. Andrews. Give me a real smokehouse in Tennessee. Tomorrow, I'll make the pilgrimage and get the grand tour.  

Next week: Details from the tour of Benton's Smokey Mountain Country Hams

Note: Save the emails and the phone calls, here's the info: Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams: 423-442-5003 .

Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon

1 cup apple juice
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 Tbl brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

2 whole pork tenderloins, cleaned and trimmed
8-10 slices thin cut bacon

Combine the apple juice, vinegar, bay leaf, brown sugar, cinnamon, pepper
and salt in a small sauce pot and heat just long enough to melt the sugar.
Allow to cool.

Place the tenderloins in a zip lock bag and pour the cooled marinade over
the pork. Close the bag and marinate the pork 2-3 hours, turning several
times to ensure that all surfaces are covered.

Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry. Starting at one end of the
tenderloin, firmly wrap the bacon around the meat in a spiral direction,
making sure to cover all surface areas of the pork.

Prepare the grill. Sear the pork for 8 minutes over medium-direct heat,
turning it one-quarter turn every 2-3 minutes. Continue cooking with medium
indirect heat until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees,
approximately 15-20 minutes.
Remove the pork from the grill and let rest 5 minutes. Slice the pork on a
slight angle into one-inch thick slices and serve with Blackberry Chutney

Blackberry Chutney

1 cup shallot, chopped fine
1 cup onion, medium dice
1 Tbl unsalted butter
2 cups Blackberries
1 /4  cup sugar
1 /2 cup blackberry preserves
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tbl cracked black pepper
1 Tbl ginger, minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 /2 tsp creole seasoning

In a 1 1 /2-quart heavy-duty saucepan, cook shallot and onion in butter over
moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in
remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until
berries burst and chutney is thickened, approximately 20 minutes. Strain
through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.

Cool to room temperature.

Note: Chutney can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered

Yield: 2 cups

Monday, June 23, 2008

Shrimp Season 2008

Mississippi’s shrimp season is open.

I was eating oatmeal in my breakfast room watching WLOX’s morning show when the opening-day announcement was made. The television station cut to their on-location camera covering the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and there was one shrimp boat on the water. One boat.

I can remember sitting in the same spot 10 years ago, watching that station’s coverage of the opening day of shrimp season. There were hundreds of boats in the water. As the sun rose near Ocean Springs, boats were criss-crossing the Gulf, lines out, nets down, dragging the Gulf for the single most popular seafood offering in the world.

The history of Mississippi shrimping is rich and storied. Fourth generation Biloxi fishing families, Croatian immigrants and Vietnamese refugees have shouldered the load for us. Shrimping has always been a family business. In 1900 Biloxi was labeled “The Seafood Capital of the World.” Today we have one shrimp boat making news on opening day.

With 2,000-gallon fuel tanks, $4 per gallon gas, and processor’s pricing challenges caught in the middle, we are headed into uncharted waters. The Mississippi Gulf Coast was built on the scarred and calloused fingers of its oyster shuckers and shrimp pickers, and on the backs of its shrimp boat captains. They all seem to be going the way of the buggy whip and moving inland.

Hurricane Katrina wiped out many of the local shrimpers and it seems that Middle East oil prices are working on the rest. We have lost more than 50% of our working shrimp boats since Katrina. Something has to be done, but I’m afraid that I don’t know the answer. I’m not sure if anyone does.

Shrimp is the number one seafood in America. Oysters are more controversial, complex, and complicated, and crabmeat is more delicate and formal, but shrimp are universal. Local shrimpers might be one of the most underappreciated working groups in the country.

Last May a photographer and I travelled to Biloxi to photograph the shrimp fleet. The boats were all docked. At the time gas was $3 per gallon. A few were selling shrimp off of the back of their boats, but most boats seemed abandoned.

A Vietnamese woman in a straw hat and her two daughters were icing down shrimp on the back of their boat. The woman seemed to be in her late 50s, her daughters in their mid 20s. The mother was unloading ice from her pickup truck, loading it into yellow plastic laundry baskets, and then filling large ice chests on the boat. She was lifting amounts that I would’ve had trouble handling. I offered to help, but she didn’t speak English, her daughters said, “No thank you.”

For the 30-45 minutes we spent shooting in and around the dock, the woman was steadily shoveling ice and loading ice chests. She never stopped. She never looked up, and she never once complained, or even hinted at an expression that demonstrated complaint.

The daughters were smiling and joking with each other. Their mother’s face was focused and determined on the task at hand. Here was a woman who had probably dealt with untold controversy before she came to this country, and was steadily enduring life’s daily blows with her family in today’s local seafood industry. The look in her eyes was pure determination and focus— a mother’s mission to endure.

At the time, I talked to my photographer friend about the woman’s work ethic and focus. It was remarkable.

A year has past. As I sit here today, I wonder if the woman and her family will survive today’s economic challenges and the untold trials that lay ahead. If I were a betting man, my money would be on her. I’ve seen the look in her eyes.

What will become of the independent, family shrimper? I wish I had the answer.

Old Bay Grilled Shrimp with Creole Beurre Rouge

When grilling shrimp, either skewer them or use a grill screen so they don’t fall through the grates.

36 Large shrimp, peeled and deviened
1/2 cup No-Stick Grilling Marinade for Shrimp (recipe in New South Grilling)
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbl black pepper, freshly ground
1 Recipe Creole Buerre Rouge (recipe below)

Using a pastry brush, coat the shrimp evenly with the marinade. Allow shrimp to marinate for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the shrimp with the old bay seasoning and black pepper.

Prepare the grill. Place a grill screen on top of the grill and preheat. Place the shrimp on the grate over direct high heat and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning once.
Place the cooked shrimp on a bed of dirty rice and top with the Creole beurre rouge

6 servings

Dirty Rice

1 Tbl bacon fat (or canola oil)
2 oz ground beef
2 oz ground pork
1 /2 cup diced onion
1 /4 cup diced celery
1 /4 cup diced bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 bay leaves
1 Tbl poultry seasoning
1 tsp dry mustard
1 cup rice
2 cups pork stock, hot

Heat the bacon fat in a 1-quart sauce pot over high heat. Add the ground beef and pork and brown. Stir in the vegetables and garlic and continue to cook 5-6 minutes. Stir in the seasoning and rice and cook until the rice is thoroughly heated. Stir in the pork stock and reduce heat to low. Cover the sauce pot and cook 18 minutes.

Yield: 3 cups

Creole Buerre Rouge

1 Tbl Olive Oil2 Tbl Green Pepper, small dice 1 /4 cup Yellow Onion, small dice 1 Tbl Garlic, minced 1 /4 cup Celery, small dice 2 tsp Creole Seasoning 1 1/2 cup Tomatoes, medium dice
1 cup White Wine1 cups Chicken Stock
2 Tbl White Vinegar1 Bay Leaf 1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbl Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 cup Unsalted Butter, cubed and kept cold until needed

In a medium sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté peppers, onion, garlic, celery, and Creole seasoning for five minutes. Add tomatoes and cook five minutes longer. Add wine and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, vinegar, bay leaf and oregano and simmer 15-20 minutes, until the sauce turns into a thick paste.

Lower the heat, and using a wire whisk, begin incorporating the butter cubes, 2-3 at a time. Stir constantly to prevent the sauce from separating. Once all butter is added, stir in the black pepper and remove from the heat.

Store in a warm place (120 degrees) until needed.

Yield 6-8 servings


Monday, June 16, 2008

What A Wonderful World

What a difference a few years make.

When my daughter was born— 11 years ago— my wife and I never slowed down. We ate in the same restaurants, visited the same hotels, and flew the same airlines. Other than getting to move to the front of the line when flying Southwest, our travel plans were never altered.

Our daughter was the perfect restaurant customer. At 6-months old she ate a meal at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. She never made a peep. She was neat, well-mannered, and polite, never dropping a morsel. The floor around her was as clean as her cheeks. She was the perfect restaurant customer.

My wife and I spent countless hours patting ourselves on the back in those days. We had obviously mastered this whole parenting thing. While dining in restaurants, we would watch other children running around the dining room, screaming, throwing food, and being all-around bad restaurant patrons. We would turn to our daughter and think to ourselves: If only those parents could talk to us, we would tell them how it’s done. Look at our child. See how well behaved she is. We are masters of parenting. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if someday soon someone asks us to write the definitive guide to parenting, and what a breeze that would be.

And then our son was born and we learned that we had nothing to do with the good nature and refinement of our daughter. It had been the luck of the draw. The second time we shuffled the deck, we drew a joker.

My son was not a good restaurant customer. Actually, we only went out to dinner a few times in his early years. We had suddenly become the parents with the rowdy child terrorizing the dining room. We would see other parents— parents with only one well-behaved child— looking at us the way we used to look at other people. We knew the look. It said: You poor, poor people. If only you would talk to us. We could give you all of our parenting secrets.

I wanted to tell them where they could put their secrets, but I was too busy trying to stop my son from swinging on the light fixtures. He had good intentions. He was not mean, or rude, or hurtful, just full of energy and volume.

Fast forward six years. My daughter is 11-years old, my son is seven. The two of them, and their mother took me to Commander’s Palace for Father’s Day brunch. It was a great experience. Other than jumping up once to swat a fly on the window sill with his napkin, my son was perfectly behaved. My daughter, who is 11 going on 40, was her usual well-mannered self. I thought: We have finally arrived.

Two tables over, in the middle of the room, was a young couple with a baby. The baby was loud. He was just being a baby. The parents were obviously embarrassed. The father was looking around the room, giving the universal sign of helplessness— the shrug of the shoulders and a humiliated grin.

Midway through the third course, my eyes met the eyes of the screaming baby’s father. He gave me a look that said: I’m sorry. I knew the look. I had lived with that look for several years. I shrugged and mouthed the words, “It’s O.K.” I don’t think he believed me, but I know that he’ll get through it. Things will get better. There are brighter days ahead.

I then turned my attention back to my family. My son was dipping his spoon into his bread pudding soufflé; my daughter was tasting her mother’s coffee. The jazz band had drowned out the screaming six-month old with a wandering three-piece version of a Louis Armstrong classic.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow.
They’ll learn more than I’ll ever know.
And I say to myself, what a wonderful world.

It truly is.

Grilled Bananas Foster

6 ripe bananas
1/3 cup + 2 Tbl unsalted butter, divided
1 cup + 2 Tbl brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup dark rum
vanilla bean custard ice cream

Peel the bananas and cut in half lengthwise. Melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter.
Brush the bananas with the melted butter and sprinkle them with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.

Prepare the grill. Cook bananas over direct high heat 3-4 minutes, turning once. Remove bananas from the grill and hold. The bananas should be just warm. Do not overcook.

Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Do not let the butter brown. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Do not let this mixture get too dark.

Add rum and gently move the pan around to warm the rum, causing it to flame (Use a lighter if you are cooking on an electric stove). Continue cooking until the flame dies out. Add the grilled bananas to the hot rum mixture, and cook 2-3 minutes more.

To serve, place a large scoop of vanilla ice cream onto 6 serving dishes. Place two banana halves over the ice cream and drizzle with some of the sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Meat Parade

For years I have been hearing about Brazilian steakhouses.

I have received several emails and had many discussions with numerous friends and acquaintances about the merits of restaurants that parades protein around the dining room on large metal sticks. “They’re great,” my friends say. “They come to your table with huge skewers of meat, carve it, and fill your plate. It’s a blast.”

My gym trainer goes all of the time. He’s been singing the praises of the all-one-can-eat meat extravaganza for months, but he weighs 300 pounds and could eat an entire baby calf for breakfast.

People wearing puffy pants carving meat tableside always seemed gimmicky to me. In my experience, restaurants that resort to gimmickry are lacking in other areas. Nevertheless, I added it to my to-do list and planned to visit a Brazilian steakhouse, soon.

Last week, my family and I were on the Gulf Coast, so I decided to try the much-lauded, Carnaval de Brasil, at the Imperial Palace casino in Biloxi.

The restaurant is located at the entrance just across from the hotel’s front desk. It is decorated in a tastefully festive manner and the main centerpiece of the room is an impressive salad bar.

People who know me know that I hate salad bars. The salad bar at the Carnaval de Brasil is not your everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill salad bar. It offered couscous, roasted asparagus, marinated and grilled portobello mushrooms, several upscale soups, and many other not-so-typical salad options.

Once seated, we were given the general run-down by our server. We were told that the small round cards at our place settings were the key to the game. When the card was flipped to green, the gauchos would come by our table and offer their skewered meat selections. Once we turned the card to red, we would be left alone.

We finished our salads, turned our cards over to green, and the meat onslaught began. Within seconds a skewer-wielding gaucho approached our table with a large sirloin steak seasoned with garlic and sea salt. He carved a small slice, let it dangle from the loin, and gave me a pleasant smile. I looked at him puzzled and wondered how the dangling meat was going to get from the skewered loin to my plate. He looked back, said nothing, and smiled. I looked back, puzzled.

He said, “Does that look good sir?”
I said, “That looks fine,” and still wondered how the meat was going to make it to my plate.

He looked at me, I looked back at him. After several more awkward seconds he nodded towards my bread and butter plate and said, “The tongs, sir.”

“Oh.” I said, and grabbed the small pair of tongs and used them to hold the dangling piece of sirloin while he cut the remaining sliver. “I’ve got it now,” I said.

Every Gaucho in the room must have heard that last statement because within seconds we were attacked on all sides by men brandishing large skewers of meat. One came with chicken wrapped in bacon, another with filet mignon wrapped in bacon. As I tried to take a bite of my sirloin another showed up with a pork loin, and then another with a turkey breast, and then Brazilian sausage, and then some other type of sausage. It was an all-out meat assault— an Atkins dieters paradise.

My plate was filling up quickly as our server stopped by and reminded us about flipping the card over. In all of the excitement we had forgotten about the card, and within five flank-filled minutes we had run out of room on our plates. We flipped our cards to red and settled in to the pace of the place.

During our break from the action, another server dropped by with a large bowl of garlic-mashed potatoes, greens, and fried plantains. Once we caught our breath, we flipped our cards back to green. Within seconds we received roasted leg of lamb and grilled pineapple. The Gauchos kept coming, this time with skewered fish, turkey, and dry-rubbed ribs.

My seven-year old son looked up from his plate and said, “How do Brazilians eat all of this?”

The food was good. The lamb and skewered pineapple were excellent and highlights of the meal. I am not a fan of meats wrapped in bacon, so I only nibbled at those.

The service was the best I have witnessed on the coast, post-Katrina. We arrived just as the restaurant opened for dinner and it was not crowded. I don’t know if that factored into our experience, but the servers were knowledgeable, hospitable, and overly prompt nonetheless.

The Carnaval de Brasil is fun. I will certainly return, though next time I’ll skip lunch.

Key Lime Grilled Shrimp with Pecan-Spiked Rice

For this recipe you need the zest and juice from Key Limes. Use the fine-cut side of a cheese grater to remove the zest from the limes before juicing them.

36 Large Shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/4 cup No-Stick Grilling Marinade for Seafood (found in New South Grilling)
2 Tbl Honey
1 tsp Key Lime Zest
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground.

Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and add the marinade, honey and lime zest. Marinate for one hour before grilling. Place a grill screen over direct-high heat. Once the grill screen is preheated, sprinkle the shrimp with the salt and pepper and grill for 6-8 minutes, turning once while cooking.

Key Lime Beurre Blanc

2/3 cup White Wine
1 Tbl White Vinegar
1/3 cup Fresh Key Lime Juice
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
1 tspl garlic, minced
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 pound unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, then chilled
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 tsp Key Lime Zest
1 Tbl Fresh Chives, chopped

In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce wine, vinegar, lime juice, shallots, and garlic. When almost all liquid has evaporated, add cream. Reduce cream by half. Reduce heat slightly and incorporate the butter adding a few pieces at a time. Stir constantly using a wire whisk until butter is completely melted. Remove from heat. Strain the sauce and add the lime zest and salt. Hold in a warm place until needed. Stir in the fresh chopped chives just before serving.

Pecan Spiked Rice

2 Tbl Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Yellow Onion, small dice
1/4 cup Shallot, minced
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 Bay Leaf
1 cup White Rice
2 cups Chicken Broth, hot
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 cup Pecan Pieces, chopped and toasted

Melt butter over medium heat in a 1 1/2 quart sauce pot. Add onion, shallot, salt, and bay leaf and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent browning. Add the rice and continue to cook until the grains of rice are thoroughly heated. Stir in the chicken broth and black pepper and bring the broth to a simmer. Lower the heat and cover the rice Cook 18-20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Stir in toasted pecans.

To serve, place the rice on serving dishes. Top the rice with 6 shrimp and ladle the sauce over the shrimp.

Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Mexican Cuisine

Mexican is my favorite ethnic cuisine.

I have vacillated through the years. As a kid, I was into Italian (if you can call spaghetti, lasagna, and pepperoni pizza Italian— and actually, you can’t). In college I was fond of Chinese food, which seemed very exotic at the time. I still like Chinese, but it’s hard to find a good Chinese restaurant in the area. Most have grown into nothing more than homogenized, all-you-can-eat buffet food troughs serving the same canned sauces as the next guy. They pale in comparison to the real thing.

When I started cooking professionally, I dove headfirst into the Larousse Gastronomique and French cooking became my cuisine of choice. French cooking begat Creole cooking and when I opened a New Orleans-themed restaurant in 1990, I was all about Creole. I had been eating the Creole dishes served in New Orleans since childhood so that cuisine was not a stretch.

When the rest of the country was tuning into Southwestern and Tex-Mex in the early 1990s, I was too. I still love the flavors of the American Southwest.

Several years ago I discovered Nobu restaurant in New York and fell quickly in love with Japanese cuisine. Local Japanese restaurants, unlike their Chinese cousins, haven’t become homogenized. There are several top-notch Japanese restaurants in my hometown and throughout the South. Other than the same canned squid salad, and the same canned seaweed salad, the items offered and preparations used are very different.

Through it all, I always go back to Mexican. Granted, it’s often hard to find Mexican restaurants that stand out from the crowd. They, too, can be like Chinese buffets in that recipes rarely vary from restaurant to restaurant. It seems that there is a lot of movement of employees, managers, and cooks between various Mexican-themed restaurants. Often the recipes are similar in many restaurants in a market.

But when one finds their favorite— the Mexican restaurant that stands above all others— it can be a beautiful thing.

Two years ago I found a small Mexican restaurant located in the back of a Mexican convenience store. It is great. The menu is written in Spanish, all of the employees and customers speak Spanish, and the owners don’t seem the least bit concerned about serving any non-Spanish speaking Americans. I love that. It’s the real deal.

My secret Mexican restaurant makes guacamole tableside using a mortar and pestle, just as it should be done. There are several exotic meats offered in their tacos. And there’s no sign of the typical Americanized Mexican menu staples anywhere.

I eat at this restaurant with a few select friends who have asked me not to mention the name or location for fear that the tiny four-table, six-stool restaurant might become too crowded. I’ll say this, if you want real Mexican food, go where the Hispanic migrant workers shop for products sent from home.

I was in Chicago recently and ate two of my five available meals at Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill. For those who love Mexican food, Frontera Grill is the American Mecca. Bayless knows more about Mexican food, Mexican ingredients, and Mexican culinary customs than 99% of the chefs in Mexico. He is truly a student of the cuisine.

I sent one of my chefs at the Purple Parrot Café on a Viking Life field trip with Bayless a few years ago and she came back a changed woman. Bayless has always struck me as more of a chemist or historian, but make no mistake, this man is functioning on a higher level than anyone in the country when it comes to Mexican cuisine.

Some restaurants don’t live up to their advance billing. I yearned to eat at Coyote Café in Santa Fe for 15 years before I ever dined there. It was a disappointment. Frontera Grill, on the other hand, surpassed my expectations. It stands to this day as the restaurant that has served me the best tortilla soup I have ever tasted. Local mortar-and-pestle convenience-store properties included, the Frontera Grill serves the best guacamole I’ve ever eaten. At a recent Frontera Grill brunch, I drank the best orange juice I have ever tasted using Mexican oranges with a slight red tint that had been flown in from northern Mexico. Frontera’s ceviche was also outstanding.

I only travel to Chicago once a year, but my secret local Mexican joint in the back of the convenience store will be just fine until I return. Find it if you can.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Fresh Fruit Pico di Gallo and Jalapeño and Roasted Garlic Crème Fraiche

For best results and ease of preparation, use a grill screen when cooking the shrimp.

1/3 cup no-stick grilling marinade for shrimp (found in New South Grilling)
1/3 cup pineapple juice
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
54 large shrimp, large (21-25 count), peeled and deveined

18 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups green leaf lettuce, shredded
1 1/2 cups red cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 cups green cabbage, shredded

Prepare grill for direct high heat cooking.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the shrimp marinade and pineapple juice. Place shrimp in the bowl and toss with the marinade, coating well. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Combine the salt, cumin, coriander and chili powder and sprinkle on shrimp.

Prepare the grill. Place the grill screen on the grill and allow to get hot. Spread shrimp evenly over the screen and cook 6-8 minutes, turning once.

Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil in groups of three. Warm the foil packages on the grill 4-5 minutes, turning once.

Combine the shredded lettuce and cabbages.

To serve, give each person a package of tortillas. Place 3 shrimp in each tortilla and fill
with shredded cabbage mixture. Add salsa and roasted-garlic crème fraiche to taste.

Fresh Fruit Pico di Gallo

1 cup tomatoes, small diced
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbl. cilantro, chopped
2 tsp fresh jalapenos, seeds removed and minced
1/2 cup pineapple, small dice
1 kiwi, peeled, small dice
1/2 cup fresh peach, peeled, small dice
1/2 cup orange segments
1/2 cup lime segments
1/2 tsp Salt

Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Jalapeño and Roasted Garlic Crème Fraiche

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbl Canned Jalapeños, chopped fine
1/4 cup Roasted Garlic Puree
1/2 tsp salt

Combine heavy whipping cream and lemon juice in an airtight container and put it in a warm place 6-8 hours. (It should reach 85-95 degrees). Remove the cover and stir well. Refrigerate overnight.
After the crème fraiche has set, stir in the sour cream, peppers, roasted garlic and salt. Store refrigerated until ready to serve.

6 servings