That seemed like a simple enough request to please a broke college kid. So here we go.
I mostly over-steamed these Shrimp Hacao, which I got from a local market. They tasted fine, sure, but they were a mess. The ginger dipping sauce was delicious; I probably would have been better just throwing everything together in a bowl and eating it like a stew. Oh well, it tasted fine.
JOE'S CRAB SHACK GREAT BALLS OF FIRE
"That's how you know a restaurant chain has jumped the shark," he said. "They start making frozen foods."
I had two reactions to this.
First, what the hell is my dad doing using the phrase "jumped the shark"? How do you know when a phrase itself jumps the shark? When tax lawyers in their 60s start using it in everyday conversation.
Second, he's got a good point. What restaurant chains make decent frozen products? Sure, I just wrote last month how much I love CPK's frozen Jamaican Jerk pizza, but that's the exception. Most of their frozen pizzas taste like blander versions of their restaurant pies, which already have a terrible crust. TGIFriday's appetizers are pretty mediocre. PF Chang's frozen foods admittedly taste very similar to their restaurant dishes, but that's just because their restaurant dishes all tasted like frozen, microwaved crap. (They are probably my least favorite restaurant chain; I would rather eat at Applebee's.)
So I ignored Joe's Crab Shack's frozen foods for a long time. I'd only eaten at a Joe's once, in Sacramento, where the food was spectacularly average and the server didn't seem to care if we lived or died. In my memory she actually said to us "I don't care if you live or die," but I admit this probably isn't accurate.
But then one day a few weeks ago I noticed these "Great Balls of Fire" for half price at the supermarket a mile away, and I decided to try them. I baked them in the oven for ten minutes. It turns out they are delicious. The jalapenos mixed in with the with shrimp and crab provide a really nice heat, the seafood is good and the gooey cheese is fun to eat.
They are a little overpriced (eight bucks for a package, although remember these are New York prices) but I still watch out for when they are on sale and pick up a couple of boxes every time.
BUFFALO POPCORN SHRIMP
JOE'S CRAB SHACK SWEET CHILI SHRIMP
Since the Great Balls of Fire were so good, I decided to try the Sweet Chili Shrimp as well. And they were delicious, but I have to let you in on a little secret: they tasted exactly the same as the Trader Joe's Firecracker Shrimp I wrote about the other day. It wouldn't surprise me if it's the same items. But the Joe's Crab Shack version costs more.
But, like I wrote, they were delicious, so if you don't have a TJ's near you and you can get these, I would give them a try.
BARBECUE SHRIMP WITH CORN RELISHthat appetizer that Elizabeth's dad ate over the summer at Red Brick Tavern? Barbecue sauce and shrimp, a combination I'm not sure I've had before. But it was really good, tied together with a sweet corn salsa. I thought it would be pretty easy to replicate that one day when I was in need of a snack. I fried up some of the SeaPak shrimp that were left over after I made fried shrimp tacos.
SHRIMP WITH WALNUTS
SHRIMP DUMPLINGS WITH TERIYAKI SAUCE
They were very good. The sauce was terrible - it was the saltiest soy/teriyaki sauce I have ever tasted. So I mixed it with some water, vinegar and sugar, and it became delicious.
CURRY SAUCE SHRIMP
I hope you all enjoyed this shrimp spectacular. Unless you don't like shrimp, then I guess you probably hated it. But either way, have a good weekend.