Saturday, January 1, 2011

Seafood Pesto Sandwich with Crispy Shallots

I don't do sappy. I don't do years-in-review (unless they're hilarious, like this one). I also don't do resolutions. I just kind of do what I want. And I wanted to start this year off right--with a delicious dinner followed by a delicious dessert. So yesterday I did just that. And it comes with a story. 

I planned this most wonderful sandwich Thursday night, starting the biga for my asiago ciabatta before I went to bed. My brain conjured up a sandwich of roasted garlic, fresh dungeness crab, succulent shrimp, lots of pesto, and crispy shallots. I was so excited with the prospect that I forgot to decide on a side dish. Whatever. So here I am last night getting ready to cook some shrimp and fry some shallots, when my brother tells me he's going to pick up his friend, who I have previously referred to as The Chef. The Chef is a 6-foot-plus Korean dude who dyes his hair funky colors and is in possession of his very own medical marijuana card. I told my brother to tell him that I didn't have enough to feed him, but he could go after whatever was in the fridge. You see where this is going?

So The Chef and my brother arrive--both with cups of frozen yogurt, and The Chef with three Jack in the Box tacos and some sort of burger. I proceed to make dinner as The Chef douses his tacos in ketchup. After eating, he goes outside to take care of "business"--I should have locked him out there--and then I convince him and my brother to take the dog out while I clean up. Anyway, an hour and a dog walk later, he's in the kitchen looking for something to munch on. I happen to mention that I had planned to make Nutella crepes when my friend showed up, and he jumps on it. Bad idea.

Instead of waiting like a "normal" person, he commandeered the Nutella and smothered gobs of it on leftover asiago ciabatta. I even offered him plain bread!

It didn't end there, either. He spent a good hour sitting 3 feet in front of our very large television watching Avatar while commenting on the quality of our TV. And then I fed him a Nutella and banana crepe and ushered his ass out of my house before he ate the rest of the jar. I had a crepe too, and it was as good as you think it was.

By the way, The Chef, cause he's a real chef, will be the mastermind behind my attempt to cook pork shoulder number two next week. It apparently involves coconut milk.

Seafood Pesto Sandwich with Crispy Shallots
1 sandwich

3 Tbsp. pesto
4 large shrimp, cleaned
2 oz. lump crab meat*
1 small shallot, sliced
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
vegetable/canola oil
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

*Use fresh if possible.

To Prepare Seafood:

Start with clean, tailless raw shrimp. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Heat saute pan on medium with a little olive oil. Cook until both sides are pink, flipping halfway through. Set aside.

Add crab to pan. Crab should be cooked, so heat until just warm, being careful not to overcook or break up crab chunks.

Gently mix shrimp and crab in with warmed pesto. Set aside.

To Prepare Shallots:

Slice shallots thinly and dredge in flour. Heat about 1/4 inch vegetable or canola oil in pan until it sizzles. Add in dredged shallots. Cook shallots until they've browned, no darker than a lunch bag. Remove from oil to a paper towel to let drain. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.

To Assemble Sandwich:

Slice bread in half and spread with roasted garlic. Stack with crab, then shrimp, cutting shrimp in half lengthwise if necessary. Sprinkle with shallots, a little pepper & devour.


Hester aka The Chefdoc said...

That was quite a funny evening although, I'm sure it wasn't really the case at that particular moment. The sandwich, though, is super-duper top-notch! Everything looks delish :-)

Chef Dennis said...

it sounds like you had quite an adventurous night! Your sandwich certainly takes center stage, it does look spectacular!! Hope you have a very happy new year!

JodieMo said...

Alright, this sandwich looks divine. Simple and delicious. The stoner certainly would not have appreciated it enough. Quick thinking on the nutella to fend him off. Nothing sends a stoner into a frenzy like nutella.
Great post!

Lizzy said...

Oh, my! What a fabulous sandwich!!! Love your story, showed much restraint!

Tiffany said...

LOL, that was cute! We've all had a guest like that at some point....your sandwich sounds delightful, anything with crispy shallots works for me!

Carolyn said...

I'm just glad the Chef didn't commandeer your sandwich! That puppy is not for sharing. Yum!

A Thought For Food said...

So not kosher... Love it! To not being sappy!!!

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle said...

Holy Yum! Although I love Denver; posts like this make me nostalgic for living on a coast; any coast, where buying provisions like this would keep me from making my mortgage payment. Why do I have to love all things lobster, crab and shrimpish? Why?


Yeah I would have booted him the moment he grabbed the Nutella! ;)

Awesome sandwich, Happy 2011!

Lentil Breakdown said...

He's a real chef and puts ketchup on his tacos? Where does he work? I'll be sure to avoid! Loved your story. Of course Nutella is the #1 stoner food. said...

some chef! comandeering the Nutella like that! Taking care of "business" and coming back with the munchies! Ha ha! Your sandwich looks DEEEEVINE and I am not one for seafood as we live in the middle of the USA.... no fresh seafood here. I do love it when I am close to the ocean though. BTW - great photo! Thanks for stopping by the old blog.... haven't heard from you since the project food blog.

Monet said...

You are so refreshing. Not only do you always bring me good food...but you make me laugh in the process. I loved hearing about your experience with the Chef. Thank you for sharing your story and this AMAZING sandwich with me. I hope you have a happy Tuesday!

Baking Barrister said...

@Lentil Breakdown: he used to work at a very well known restaurant. I'm not sure exactly where he's at right now. But they were Jack in the Box tacos, so maybe he gets a little leeway?

@Barb & Megan -- damn middle of the country killing the seafood! I never ate seafood when I lived in the Midwest either--it scared me (and saddened me)

Kim said...

Looks damn delicious. :) Very curious about how The Chef will be involving coconut milk in your pork next week.


Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

The chef needs to be a recurring character on your blog... except any more encounters and he may eat what's left in your kitchen.

PS: That first picture is awesome. Watch out FG and TS! Is it using your new lights?

Kita said...

Your seafood pesto looks like it turned out well even though it may have been delayed by a nutella thief and James Camreon movies. I am excited to hear what the coconut milk does for the pork though. :D

Magic of Spice said...

That is too funny...Your seafood sandwich is making me so hungry, love everything here :)

Blog is the New Black said...

Hi! I'm ashamed to say I've been following you on Twitter for quite some time and thought I was following your page but it turns out I wasn't. I am now and can't wait to see more. I love the little blurb above the comment box- so funny! :)

A Little Yumminess said...

ketchup and tacos? that sounds suspect! :)
this sandwich, however i am CRAVING big time

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

wow that sandwhich looks gorgeous!!! i am so in love with it already. thanks for sharing this.

Elizabeth said...

Oh my...I could really go for some fresh baked ciabatta and delicious pesto smothered seafood right now.

If this cold doesn't kill me, my sheer jealousness over all the good food out right now surely will. I have no ambition to cook when ill. Ugh.

Thank you for making me drool this morning though!

Oh and you sound like such a lovely host, feeding your guest whatever "munchies" he wanted...LOL. You are a better person than I!

stephchows said...

That sandwich makes me want to skip out on work and hit up the grocery store! I think I would have kicked Chef out way sooner than you...

Kim - Liv Life said...

I laughed out loud at the Nutella part! While I just discovered this wonderful stuff, not on that bread.. lol!
Love the sandwich, and great pic.
On another note... we made your endive spears for Christmas and I still have people talking about them! Thanks!

Trish said...

Your brother and the chef sound like real characters. This sandwich is making me really crave lump crab meat. I never think about putting seafood on a sandwich and I don't know makes total sense. Lovin' the crispy shallots.

Jamie said...

OMG I hope he didn't get one of these fabulous seafood sandwiches cause not only doesn't he deserve it but in that state he would have neither appreciated it or remembered it. This sandwich, though, would have been the perfect way to forget that evening! Looks amazing! Can I have one when I visit?

Shelby said...

I could so eat this sandwich, it looks absolutely yummy! I wouldn't have been willing to shared either...and a nutella on asiago?? Hmm. I will take the crepe!

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