I don’t like shrimp. On my palate, the little decapod crustaceans have a kind of funky, skunky taste that just doesn’t sit well. But, to be absolutely correct, I must say that I didn’t like shrimp. I didn’t like them until I tasted wild Georgia shrimp on Jekyll Island.
Jekyll is one of the southernmost, and one of the smallest, of Georgia’s Atlantic Coast islands. Not as well known as St. Simons, Hilton Head, Kiawah, or other South Atlantic resort islands, Jekyll’s impact on our nation’s history far exceeds its comparative size or repute. Over Thanksgiving in 1910, in a room in the Jekyll Island Club, Rhode Island Senator Nelson Aldrich brought together representatives of banks holding at least one-sixth of the world’s wealth and planned the establishment of our Federal Reserve System.
But, I didn’t go to Jekyll for the history; rather, I went for the food, particularly wild Georgia shrimp. Wild shrimp, as opposed to farmed or aquaculture shrimp, live in Georgia’s clean coastal Atlantic Ocean waters, are caught by local shrimp fisherman, and landed at a Georgia state certified facility. The natural food source for wild Georgia shrimp comes from the nutrients found in coastal marshes and estuaries that line the southern Atlantic coast.
Coming next: Second course, Southern Style Comfort Food
Courtesy of Georgia Wild shrimp, www.georgiashrimp.org
2 strips smoked bacon, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 Andouille or smoked sausage, thinly sliced
1 pound Wild Georgia Shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (15 ounce) canned chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, Tabasco® to taste
In a large, heavy pot, sauté the bacon and sausage over medium heat until they begin to color. Remove and reserve. In the same fat, quickly sauté the shrimp just until they turn opaque. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove and reserve.
Add onion and green pepper. Cook vegetables until soft and begin to brown. Gradually add flour while stirring. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until a medium brown roux (the color of peanut butter) is formed-about 30 minutes. Add garlic, stir to mix, and add the rest of the ingredients, breaking the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. Add a little chicken broth or hot water if too thick. Add reserved bacon, sausage and shrimp, and simmer for one or two minutes to heat through. Serve over rice.
Reed Hellman is a freelance writer living in Alberton, Maryland. For more of his signature culinary escapades, read his articles in Recreation News, in print or online. Visit his Recipe for Adventure Website at www.reedhellmanwordsmith.com. You can find more recipes in The Recipe Box on his Website.
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