Fish Friday: Shrimp time!

With summer comes wild-caught North Carolina shrimp season, and since shrimp is by far the most popular seafood, I know y’all have been looking forward to it.

Many people don’t realize that fish and shellfish have seasons, just like fruits and vegetables do. Certain kinds are more prevalent at certain times of year, and I offer a guide to seafood seasonality in “Carolina Catch: Cooking North Carolina Fish and Shellfish from Mountains to Coast.” If you familiarize yourself with seasonality, you’ll get the best-tasting, freshest fish and shellfish, and maybe save a little money, because at the height of a season, prices may come down.

Great local shrimp don’t need much fuss and bother, I say. On a hot day, cooked shrimp tossed on a newspaper-covered table to peel and eat is perfect. Here’s how I boil shrimp: pour a beer into a large pot (and open one for myself), add water to cover the shrimp, toss in three or four slices of lemon, maybe a garlic clove, and generous shakes of a seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay). When the combination comes to a boil, add the shrimp and cook just three or four minutes, until they turn bright pink and give off their shrimpy perfume.

To learn more – and get more recipes – take a look at the book. And the Moose is on the loose! Visit Events at debbiemoose.com to find a signing or cooking class I’m doing near you!

Fish Friday: Cool summer appetizer

No heating up the kitchen to make this spread from “Carolina Catch,” which is great for summer parties.

Smoked Trout Cheese Spread

from “Carolina Catch: Cooking North Carolina Fish and Shellfish from Mountains to Coast” by Debbie Moose copyright 2018

Makes 10 to 12 servings

16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

3/4 cup coarsely chopped smoked trout

1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion

Black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons capers

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Put the cream cheese, mayonnaise and smoked trout in the bowl of a food processor. Process until combined. Add the red onions, pepper and capers, and pulse a few times until they are just mixed in.

Scrape the mixture into a container and sprinkle with the parsley. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. The spread can be made up to 2 days ahead. Serve with crackers.

To learn more – and get more recipes – take a look at the book. And the Moose is on the loose! Visit Events at debbiemoose.com to find a signing or cooking class I’m doing near you!

Cool eggs

The cool smoothness of deviled eggs….like jumping into a swimming pool on a hot day for your mouth. But you don’t get that chlorine smell.

Barely halfway through the summer, now, and I am done with the heat. Since it’s not done with me, I believe it’s time for some Greek Eggs from my cookbook “Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy” (Harvard Common Press).

Greek Eggs

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, cut in half and yolks mashed in a bowl

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

6 large Kalamata or ripe olives, pitted and chopped (about 1/4 cup)

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Salt and black pepper to taste

Lemon slivers, olive slices or fresh oregano sprigs for garnish

1. Combine the thoroughly mashed yolks wtih the feta, olives and mayonnaise. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.

2. Fill the whites evenly with the mixture and garnish each egg half with a lemon sliver, olive slice or sprig of oregano.

Makes 12

Food news roundup

Three chefs agreed on only one thing about cooking steaks in an article in The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.). Find out what that was here as they discuss beefy things in honor of Father’s Day, which is this Sunday. Father’s Day seems to bring out the Fred Flintstone in food publications. The article is in the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, too. There, Kathleen Purvis reveals her hatred of summer – finally, someone had the guts to do it. It’s here.

A – dare we say it? – gastropub opens in Durham, and the Independent Weekly (Durham, N.C.) has the info here. Every time I hear that word, I think of a very old food show from Britain in which the host referred to food fans as “gastronauts.” No doubt the precursor of “foodie.”

I make jams and jellies because they taste better, and my friends and I have a good time in the kitchen doing it. GreenEats looks at DIY food from a self-sufficiency point of view, with reviews of books on the matter.

A plethora of ideas for summer entertaining can be found in Savor NC magazine, and they all look good. Ideas for using blueberries, too. Read more here.

A light and easy summer version of chicken pot pie is in the Charleston Post and Courier. Watch the how-to video here.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist John Kessler takes a road trip to Alabama. Find out what he ate on the way here.

JanNorris writes about an interesting event that’s going to happen in Palm Beach, Fla. The Palm Beach County Food Swap is designed for home cooks to swap goods. Read more here.