Friday, September 17, 2010

Roasted Shrimp Salad in Puff Pastry.

Being the non-seafood eater that I am, how does this recipe make sense?
The reason is rather simple, pretty understandable, and may have something to do with the fact my mother and grandest of mothers begged me to make it for weeks.
I saw all of you e-scoff at me when I said I'm not a seafood eater. "How can someone who loves food so much rule out an entire category of cuisine?"
Well here's my challenge for you:
Give me a recipe (other than this one) for some sort of seafood dish that has no fishy aroma, displeasing texture or appearance, and a taste other than that of the seafood department of stop and shop. I will try it.
This recipe met my challenge. I did try and thanks to Ina Garten, my novice taste buds approved greatly.

Roasted Shrimp Salad in Puff Pastry

The foolproof way to cook seafood perfectly every time: roast it.
The theory of it makes sense, using consistent temperature and method should provide constantly good results, especially when using an ingredient you're not entirely comfortable with.

You will need:
2 1/2 pounds large shrimp
2 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs old bay seasoning
1 cup good mayonnaise
1 tbs orange zest
2 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbs good white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced dill
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tbs diced red onion
Puff Pastry shells
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place the peeled and deveined shrimp in an even layer on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 7 minutes until they're pink and firm. Let them cool until they're able to be handled.
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, orange zest and juice, old bay, vinegar, and extra pepper. Toss in the shrimp gently, fold in the dill, capers and red onion.
Place the salad in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before serving.
Bake the pastry according to the package (the beauty of not needing to whip out your own puff pastry).
Fill the shells and garnish with fresh dill.

This recipe has been picky seafood eater- approved.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hello stove, I've returned to you.

Well, perhaps I don't mean my stove, rather the blog that connects my stove and myself to all of you.
Over a month since my last post and throughout that time I have considered, re-considered, troubled, and helped myself with only two constant factors, cooking and enjoying photography through it.
I'm here now, yes with new recipes, new ideas, new attempts, and continued writing. All for you.

Returning recipe number 1.
Spicy Zucchini Fritters

Well first thing's first. Let's talk about what a fritter is exactly.
Essentially, it's a small cake that's made by frying a batter of some sort. Whatever you add into the batter determines what kind of fritter you're making.
They should ideally be crispy on the outside, golden brown and flavorful, with a soft inside.
These certainly deliver on all levels, the add-in of cayenne pepper makes it my favorite fritter yet.
Things you should definitely have on hand:
A frying thermometer
An assembly line consisting of the bowl of batter, cooling racks with paper towels underneath for draining, and a slotted spoon on hand.

You will need:
5 medium sized zucchini, grated with the large holes on a box grater
Around 7 tbs all-purpose flour (more if too wet, less if too dry)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup beer
4-ounces goat cheese
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbs sauteed onions
1/2 a bunch of fresh basil, torn
6 tbs chives, chopped
A good amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon or so of salt on top of the grated zucchini and let it stand in a colander over a bowl for about 20 minutes. Press on the zucchini to get rid of all the extra moisture. Empty the drained zucchini (that should now be relatively dry) into a small bowl and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix in the beer and sauteed onions. Place the zucchini into the batter, along with the basil and chives. Mix in the goat cheese.
Heat a heavy pan with enough vegetable oil to do a shallow fry (about 1 cup) to 350 degrees.
Drop 1/4 cup amounts of the batter into the hot oil, lightly pressing on the fritter to flatten it slightly. Cook until the edges start to brown, and flip continuing to cook for a total of 8 minutes. (4 mins per side)
Work in batches until all of the fritters are made, transferring them to the draining rack.
Allow to slightly cool and devour immediately.
Just for everyones information: this made me hungry writing. This will be part of my dinner tonight.
Let's eat them together?