WASHINGTON — It’s a Gulf Christmas at the White House – at least when it comes to food.
White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford weighed in on yummy Gulf seafood on her blog today as the country celebrates Gulf shrimp, oysters, crawfish and other seafood in a national restaurant promotion “America’s Night Out for Gulf Seafood” – which apparently extends to the nation’s premier house.
“Gulf seafood has a special place in my heart – and not just because it’s truly some of the best seafood in the world,” said Comerford.
“Since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, consumption of Gulf seafood has dropped, which is why we at the White House are so happy to play our part in reminding Americans that Gulf seafood is not only safe – but delicious.”
The White House is serving Gulf shrimp and Florida stone crabs at the many holiday parties the president and first lady will host, starting tonight for the volunteers who decorated 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for Christmas.
“I’m excited to use the power of food once again to honor not only the Gulf, but some very special guests,” said Comerford.
She stressed the safety of the seafood in her blog.
“In September, I traveled to Louisiana to learn about the work done to ensure the safety of the region’s seafood,” said Comerford. “Since day one, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been working with other Federal agencies and state officials to closely monitor seafood in the Gulf and ensure that the seafood that makes it to your grocery store or restaurant is safe to eat.
Comerford said that the White House Mess, typically used by the staff, as well as the first family, features Gulf seafood on the menu, including seafood gumbo, oyster po-boy, stacked eggplant with shrimp and lump crab cream sauce and duck camp beignets.
And she included her recipe for Gulf shrimp cocktail:
Gulf Shrimp Cocktail (Serves 6)
For the shrimp:
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup kosher salt
1 lemon halved
2 lbs large shrimp in the shell
For the Cocktail Sauce:
½ cup chili sauce
3 tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp hot sauce
Add the vinegar, salt and a halved lemon into a large pot of boiling water. Add the shrimp, and cook for about three minutes, or until the shells turn pink. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl of iced water. When the shrimp are cool enough, peel the shells and devein. Keep refrigerated until service. For the cocktail sauce, combine all the remaining ingredients and set aside.