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New Junior League of Tampa cookbook offers delicious shellfish recipes

Seafood is often the star of holiday gatherings, and for those of us in the Tampa Bay area, that makes a lot of sense. After all, we are surrounded by water teeming with fish and shellfish.

The Junior League of Tampa's new cookbook, Capture the Coast, includes several seafood recipes that will enhance your Christmas feasts or even a New Year's Eve wingding. Capture the Coast, which is $21.95, is the fourth in a series of cookbooks from the Junior League that focuses on entertaining. The others are The Life of the Party, EveryDay Feasts and Savor the Seasons. The new book is at many bay area big-box bookstores, and they all can be ordered online at or by calling (813) 254-1734.

Although we're publishing appetizer recipes with this story, the book includes cocktails, salads, main dishes and desserts. Florida and bay area favorites, including Greek, Spanish and Cuban dishes, are highlighted. Strawberries and key lime juice are prominent ingredients.

Consider starting your Christmas Eve dinner with Shrimp Cocktail With Two Sauces, one an herb-laced remoulade and the other a roasted garlic cocktail. Fresh parsley, basil, oregano and dill combine with capers, garlic and onion to flavor the mayonnaise-based remoulade. Roasted and mashed garlic enhances the usual horseradish-spiked cocktail sauce. There are directions for roasting the garlic, too, which can be done while you are baking something else in the oven.

Layered Shrimp Dip is perfectly totable for the neighborhood holiday potluck. Cooked medium-sized shrimp are roughly chopped and scattered over a savory cream cheese and sour cream mixture. A shredded Mexican cheese blend plus chili sauce provides the punch here.

Key lime juice and capers add tang to homemade Spicy Mustard Sauce for Stone Crab Claws. The tough claws with the tender, sweet meat are on many tables at Christmas, and if you're serving them cold, mustard sauce is the best accompaniment. If you serve them warm, melt butter for dipping. (Call your fish market to check availability. The recent cold snap has slowed the catch.)

Seafood, Florida and the holidays — the perfect combination.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at or (727) 821-3161.


Shrimp Cocktail With Two Sauces

Remoulade sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped

1 tablespoon minced red onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon horseradish or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Roasted garlic cocktail sauce:

11/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons horseradish

2 tablespoons chopped or mashed roasted garlic (see note)

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Steamed shrimp:

1 teaspoons adobo seasoning or garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 bay leaf

3 to 5 pounds large Gulf of Mexico shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the remoulade sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well or process in a food processor or blender for a smoother texture. The sauce can be prepared 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Stir before serving.

For the cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. The garlic can be roasted 1 to 2 days in advance. The sauce may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the shrimp, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Bring 3 cups of water, the adobo seasoning, salt, pepper and bay leaf to boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Place the shrimp in a steamer basket over the boiling liquid and cover tightly. Steam until the shrimp turn pink. Submerge the shrimp in the ice bath to stop the cooking process; drain. Multiple batches of the shrimp may be steamed over the same liquid. Replenish the water for steaming and for the ice water bath as needed. Serve immediately or chill, covered, for several hours before serving.

Serves 12 to 20.

Note: To roast garlic, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the excess papery skin from one head of garlic and cut 1/2 inch off the top. Place garlic head in foil and drizzle with about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Twist foil closed and roast for 20 to 25 minutes. Each head will yield about 2 tablespoons roasted garlic.

Source: Capture the Coast by the Junior League of Tampa ($21.95)


Spicy Mustard Sauce for Stone Crab Claws

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon key lime juice

1/2 teaspoon minced capers

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, cream, key lime juice and capers in a bowl and mix well. Chill, covered, until serving time.

Makes enough to accompany 5 pounds of crab claws.

Source: Capture the Coast by the Junior League of Tampa ($21.95)



Shrimp Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend

3 tablespoons chili sauce

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

10 black olives, chopped (optional)

20 to 30 cooked medium-sized shrimp, each cut into 4 pieces

3 green onions, chopped

Beat the cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl until smooth. Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic and 1/2 cup of the cheese and mix well. Spread in a 1-quart serving dish. Layer the chili sauce, remaining 1/2 cup cheese, bell pepper and olives over cream cheese mixture. Top with shrimp. Garnish with the green onions. Serve with corn chips or pita chips.

Serves 8 to 10.

Source: Capture the Coast by the Junior League of Tampa ($21.95)

New Junior League of Tampa cookbook offers delicious shellfish recipes 12/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:30am]
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