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Archive for the ‘Shrimp’ Category

When very little else last night was coming together with minimal effort, at least dinner was–this soup took ten minutes, and the hardest thing about it was cooking the brown rice I served alongside it.  Quick as a flash!

Which, of course, makes me think of The Flash.

In my ignorance of such important details, I’d always assumed The Flash’s superpower was his ability to intimidate and disgust by getting naked really quickly. 

Whatever, the name’s really ambiguous, all right?  

APPARENTLY, The Flash is actually more about doing important things super speedily.  Here I would just like to interject that under the right circumstances, getting naked to intimidate and disgust could be considered an important activity.

Look, I’m not saying The Flash went around flashing people to get his jollies.  I’m just saying he could have, if he’d wanted to.  And his wanting to is not that far-fetched a concept.  I mean, what if The Evil Doctor Whatshisface, turned psychotic by his disfiguring childhood accident while doing…whatever…, decided to hold the Mayor Blahington III of Somewheresville hostage, and if people didn’t turn over X natural resource, which was the only missing component to Doctor Whatshisface’s new mind-control thingy that runs on insert obscure crystal here, Doctor Whatshisface would kill the Mayor Blahington III, who’d been the only man capable of cleaning up the effed up streets of Somewheresville when they’d been overrun by violent gangsters and warlords who it turns out–GASP!–were actually henchmen of Doctor Whatshisface, and OMG, this comic just got soooo deep!?  The Flash could’ve probably zoomed in on Doctor Whathisface’s ass and been all, Hey, check this out, and Doctor Whatshisface would’ve been all, Lol, The Flash, you think you’re so cool, well not even you can save–OH SWEET GOD IN HEAVEN PUT THAT AWAY!!–and he’d be so intimidated and disgusted that The Flash would have time to zip up his little pleather suit and make off with Mayor Blahington III.

So about that recipe! 

Thai Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp

Go Get:
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I had the frozen, ready to go kind on hand…YES!)
1 can coconut milk
3 cups fish stock or chicken broth
2 Tablespoons red curry paste (The Boy and I like it hot, but you might want to start with 1 and work up from there if you’re not sure)
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup carrot slices
1 cup snow pea pods or green bean segments
healthy handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Go Do:
Cook your rice or whatever you’re serving alongside, as the soup will come together quickly.  Put stock, ginger, and lime juice into a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add the coconut milk, oyster sauce, fish sauce, curry paste, and vegetables.  Cook, covered, until vegetables are crisp-tender (keep an eye on this–it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes).  Throw in the shrimp and continue to simmer until the shrimp is just cooked through, around 3 to 4 minutes.  Toss in the cilantro.  No joke, you’re done.  Taste it to make sure the heat level is up your alley, and then ladle it up, serve alongside a healthy scoop of rice, and ponder the power of nakedness.

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You know, for a while I was really thinking that this panko stuff might have been all hype.  The culinary community has seen its share of hit-and-run fad foods…you know what I’m talking about.  If it’s not gnocchi showing up on every Spotted Pig-wannabe-gastropub’s menu (uh, like, two years too late), it’s a rash of clone-ish New York frozen yogurt shops reproducing faster than you can say Afro-Latino-Asian fusion.  Not that there’s anything wrong with gnocchi or frozen yogurt (and definitely not with The Spotted Pig); it’s just that after you’ve eaten your eightieth chipotle-soaked, creme fraiche topped cliche, you pretty much never wanna see the stuff again.

While I can’t say that panko isn’t next in line to be forgotten as quickly as it was hyped up, I am a genuine fan of its uncommon crunch and extreme versatility.  Fo’ sho’, misfits.

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with panko, think Japanese breadcrumbs.  According to the good people at Ian’s Natural Foods…

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“panko” means child of bread; it’s lighter and crisper than your typical breadcrumbs, and it absorbs less fat, too.  You may have unwittingly tried them at a Japanese restaurant, as many roll their tempura in panko before frying.

A random visit to another food blog, The Missing Ingredient, reminded me that I’d been meaning to try panko at home.  The author of this blog adapted a Food and Wine recipe to make Panko-Crusted Chicken with Mustard Sauce.  Because I’m a bit over chicken this week, and wasn’t in a mustard state of mind, I used the recipe as inspiration to do my own thing.  I ended up dipping the shrimp (peeled, but with the tails on), into a thin wasabi-soy mixture that I devised, rolling it in the panko, and then baking it for 15 minutes.

This satisfies my innate, lifelong urge to peel things, dip them into wasabi-soy mixtures, roll them in panko, and then bake them for 15 minutes.  AND the shrimp don’t scream as piteously as a boyfriend which is HELLO LIKE A MAJOR BENEFIT.

Tah-dah-easy as anything, no frying involved.

Having officially popped my panko cherry, my thoughts now, naturally, turn to my next high.  Will i top a casserole with it?  Roll lightly-oiled chunks of vegetables in it before roasting?  Sprinkle it on a salad?  Sprinkle it on a baby?   How about you, gentle misfit readers?  Any other uses for my bag of panko?  I’ll put my money where my mouth is: the person who comments on this post by Sunday, November 30, with the best original recipe idea using panko crumbs will win a free bag!

Panko Wasabi Crusted Shrimp
Makes 2 servings, 1 if he’s not fast enough

Go Get:
1/2 lb. shrimp, deveined and rinsed, tails left on
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 Tablespoon wasabi paste (I prepare mine fresh from powder for the highest potency)
1 Teaspoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups panko crumbs

Go Do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, tamari, wasabi paste, rice vinegar, olive oil, and enough pepper to taste. Toss the shrimp with the sauce and set it aside for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors soak in.

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Pour a third of the panko into a shallow bowl (to avoid waste, continue to replenish your panko in small amounts). Pick each shrimp up out of the sauce by its tail and drag it through the panko, using your fingers to pat as many crumbs onto it as possible. Gently lay it on the cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining shrimp.

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Put the shrimp into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the tails turn bright pink and the crumbs develop a golden color. If desired, whisk some tamari or soy sauce with some dried ginger for dipping.

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