Soul food of the South may help healing

Today's recipe has a function. Not only is it a delicious way to eat shrimp and crab, but it also has a healing message. This is a very popular dish in the Gulf areas that have been ravaged by Katrina.

Karen and I thought that all of us could prepare this recipe and say a prayer or have a good thought for those families that have been so devastated by this natural disaster.

We are all donating to various charitable organizations to funnel help into these affected areas. By doing as Karen and I have suggested above, collectively, the power of prayer and good thoughts is very healing. This will help bring back the spirit of the South.

1/2 cups lima beans, cooked

3 bay leaves

1 T. kosher salt

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup yellow onion, chopped 3/8 to 1/2 inch

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped 1/8 inch

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped 3/8 to 1/2 inch

1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped 3/8 to 1/2 inch

1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped 1/8 inch

2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes

4 cups chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds raw shrimp (31 to 40 sized), cleaned and deveined

2 pounds crab meat

Long-grain rice

2 bunches green onions, finely chopped

To cook lima beans, soak overnight covered with cold water and plastic wrap. The next day, drain and rinse the beans. Add 6 cups water, bay leaves and salt. Cook at a slow boil for 45 minutes to an hour, or until beans are tender (not mushy). Drain and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and garlic. Stir vigorously for 2 minutes and then add the onion, celery, all of the peppers, chili pepper flakes and carrots.

Cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring periodically until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add half of the chicken stock and the thyme. Reduce by half.

Lightly flour the cleaned shrimp and add to your pan. Add the remaining chicken stock a quarter cup at a time, stirring gently until the shrimp is done.

This should only take about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the cooked lima beans and crab meat. Bring to a slow boil for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve over steamed rice. Garnish with the green onions. Serves 6.

I recommend a good sauvignon blanc with this dish. One I would suggest you try is Rock Rabbit, Central Coast, 2004. This wine is crisp with citrus overtones, not too grassy and is well-balanced.

Also, an unwooded chardonnay would be quite nice. A good selection would be Mayo from Sonoma. It has great chardonnay varietal characteristics, and is very tropical, clean to the palate with a long finish. The acidity level will help cleanse the palate and hold up to the spiciness of the dish.

Stop and see our friends at Ben's and Aloha and ask about these wines or talk to them about their recommendations.

Again, I want to emphasize what a great community we have here in Carson City. This town has responded to people in need time and time again. Let's put our souls together and help boost the spirit of the South, which is so vital to our American way of life.

As always enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

n Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele's. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City since 1980. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.


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