I'm a big fan of Matt and Ted Lee, aka The Lee Bros. Here are a few photos I took during their recent visit to Tampa. You can read more about it in this week's Table Scraps column on tbo.com.
The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen cookbook was recently released, and Matt and Ted were on hand to demonstrate some of the recipes in it and sign copies.
Did I mention how excited I was to finally get to meet them?
Shrimp and Grits
Henry's Cheese Spread
3/4 pound medium (26 to 30) count wild-caught U.S. shell-on shrimp
1 small bay leaf
1 dash of cayenne or paprika
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces smoked pork sausage, Cajun adouille, or kielbasa, minced
1 cup minced celery, leaves reserved for garnish
1 ear sweet corn
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 ounces fresh U.S blue crab meat, picked clean of shell fragments
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells in a small saucepan. Chop each shrimp crosswise into 3 or 4 pieces and reserve. To the saucepan with the shrimp shells add 2 cups water, the bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the paprika, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Simmer on medium-low until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Strain the broth and discard the shells.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the sausage, and gently cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage has visibly shrunk, about 5 minutes. Tip the pan and with a slotted spoon, transfer all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sausage to a small bowl, and reserve for garnish.
Add the onion and the celery and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan, and cook over low heat until soft and translucent but not browning, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the kernels from the corn cob. You should have about 2/3 cup. Scrape the cob with the back of a spoon and add the juice to the pan along with the corn kernels. Cook for 4 minutes, then turn the heat to medium and add 1 1/2 cups shrimp broth, 1 1/2 cups water, and the white wine, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the soup to taste with salt.
Let the soup cool for about 10 minutes, and then process the soup carefully, in batches if necessary, in a food processor until mostly smooth (some corn kernels may remain recognizable) 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to the saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the crab and shrimp, and simmer until the shrimp are firm and just cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the cream, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve immediately, ladling the soup into serving bowls. Make sure to include some crab and shrimp in each bowl, and garnish with a pinch or two of reserved sausage bits and some torn celery leaves.