San Francisco Shrimp

San Francisco Shrimp

We’ve been on a shrimp kick again. Only this time, we’re eating more than just the sriracha shrimp. J bookmarked this recipe on a wonderful recipe finding site, Big Oven. So far almost every thing we’ve made from the site has been delicious. While at first glance this dish may seem time and labor intensive, it isn’t. The key to making it a weeknight meal is to have the ingredients ready to go.

Ingredients:
2 pounds jumbo shrimp shelled
5 stalks scallions finely chopped (more works too!)
8 cloves garlic, minced
5 slices ginger root finely chopped (we grated it, it was easier)
2-3 pods dried red chile peppers crushed (in a pinch you can use red pepper flakes)
Sauce
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp cooking sherry (this is a bit salty in my opinion, we usually use regular sherry)
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt (if using cooking sherry, omit this!)
4 tablespoons cooking oil (you might need more or less depending on the oil you use. We found with sesame oil, it absorbs fast, but tastes the best!)
cornstarch about 2/3 of a cup should be enough

Directions:
Put the cornstarch in a zip top gallon sized bag. Dry the shrimp with paper towels and put into the cornstarch bag. Shake. Pour about an inch of cooking oil in the bottom of a wok. Deep fry shrimp in batches until pink and slightly golden. Remove shrimp to a separate plate covered in paper towels. Ladle a bit of oil from the wok to a non-stick skillet. Heat and add scallions, garlic, ginger, and chile pepper mix in the oil until fragrant, about one minute. Pour sauce ingredients into the skillet, stir until bubbly. Return shrimp into the skillet, mix well. Serve over a bed of rice.

My Opinion:
This dish is perfect for a hot summer night. It’s delicious and sweet and spicy and a touch sour. We’ve added a diced onion into the scallion mixture and it was wonderful. We’ve added broccoli into the sauce and it was fantastic. This might just be in my top five favorite meals. So good!

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Yellow Shrimp Curry


While this originally started out to be Bombay Shrimp, I accidentally purchased the wrong type of tamarind paste so the dish ended up more like a curry. The end result was quite delicious and I was disappointed there wasn’t enough for seconds!

Ingredients:
1 pound raw shrimp, medium (we used 26-31 size)
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon fresh, crushed ginger
4 tablespoons tamarind paste  (we accidentally used tamarind cooking concentrate, which is not paste)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (cayenne)
1/4 teaspoon salt  (to taste)
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
3 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
1/2 cup Coconut milk
2 medium Jalapenos, chopped (ours were disappointingly mild)
1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped

Directions:
Peel the shrimp and place in a large bowl. Add ginger, garlic, and tamarind paste, turmeric powder, chile powder and salt to the shrimp. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add garlic cloves and stir until brown.  Add shrimp and stir for 2 minutes, so that the shrimp begins to brown and curl. Add coconut milk, cilantro and jalapenos.

Turn the heat off when the gravy begins to simmer. Serve with steamed Basmati rice.

My opinion:
As I said before, I wish there were left overs. We will definitely be making this again. With the mild jalapenos, the dish could have used a bit more spice.

Carbonara


We’ve put off trying this recipe for a while because it seemed complicated. That couldn’t be further from the truth! It was really very easy, though a bit temperamental. The original post cites Rachel Ray as the original creator as published in Woman’s Day magazine.

Ingredients:
1 box spaghetti (about a pound)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 lb pancetta, roughly chopped (we ended up using about 3 ounces because that’s what came in the package)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine (we used a pinot grigio)
3 large egg yolks
freshly grated Romano cheese (optional, but J swears it’s better with the cheese. Parmesan works too in a pinch)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (you’ll want to use more pepper than salt!)

Directions:
Boil the pasta according to the package directions in salted water. (You will need to reserve at least a cup of the pasta water for use later in the recipe!) While the pasta is boiling, heat a large skillet over medium heat (you;ll be adding the pasta to the skillet). Add the olive oil and pancetta to the warmed skillet. Brown  the pancetta for about two minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for up to three more minutes (remove or turn down the heat if the pancetta starts to burn). Add the wine and deglaze the pan. In a separate  bowl, beat the egg yolks and add 1/2 cup of the pasta water. According to the original recipe, adding the pasta water to the yolks tempers them so they don’t scramble. If you haven’t already drained the pasta, do so now. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss to coat the pasta. Don’t cook the egg! Remove from heat. Add cheese, pepper and salt. Continue tossing the pasta until the egg mixture thickens and the pasta absorbs most of it. Serve immediately with extra cheese.

My opinion:
Salty and creamy, this is the perfect dinner for a fall evening. If you find the dish too salty, cut back on the added salt at the end. When reheating, make sure to use a little olive oil or reheat by covering the bottom of a pan with chicken stock or broth and adding the pasta. Otherwise, it dries out.

Chinese Pepper Steak

Our culinary tour through Asia continues with this dish. Easy enough for a weeknight meal, there was more than enough left for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:
1 lb Flank steak diagonally cut (we used flat iron steak because the local grocery was out of flank)
For the marinade:
1/4 cup Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dry sherry
1 teaspoon Sugar
2 teaspoon Cornstarch
1/4 cup Water
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons Ginger root peeled, grated (we used a little more)
2 Scallions chopped
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 large Onion, cut into squares
2 Green peppers, cut into squares (we used a red one we had on hand and needed to eat)

Directions:
Marinate steak for at least 15 minutes, longer is better.  Add oil to hot wok. Stir  fry garlic, ginger and scallions for 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon to reserve the marinade, remove half of the meat and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Remove and set aside. Repeat with remaining steak. In the same wok, add oil and stir fry the onion and green peppers for 2 minutes.  Push vegetables to sides of wok.  Add marinade to center of wok and stir until thickened and bubbly. Blend in  vegetables, add steak and heat thoroughly (about 5 minutes).

My opinion:
The right blend of savory and sweet, this dish is lovely with a side of jasmine rice.

Modified from this recipe on Big Oven.

Beef Stroganov


While this isn’t my most favorite dish, it is one of J’s most favorite dishes and he’s been searching for a good recipe for a while. He found this one from Big Oven ending the search. Extremely filling and comforting, with a few tweaks this is hands down the best Beef Stroganov recipe. Originally fearful of the nutmeg addition, it added a flavor depth that made the whole dish.

Ingredients:
2 Boneless Sirloin Steaks, sliced thinly
1/2 cup flour
1 medium onion, sliced thinly (we used a mandolin)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon Seasoning salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup sherry
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup of sour cream
egg noodles
Fresh parsley chopped

Directions:
Heat olive oil in pan. Coat sliced meat in flour and cook until brown. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Add paprika, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer until meat is tender, approximately an hour. Add mushrooms and sherry and simmer about 10 more minutes. Turn off stove and fold in sour cream. Let dish reheat gently and spoon over egg noodles. Garnish with fresh parsley.

My opinion:
I usually find  Beef Stroganov to be too heavy, too filling and too much everything. This dish isn’t too much of anything. It’s flavorful without being overwhelming.