Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A recipe, and a blog revolution.

As I've finally given up on the idea of sleeping "normally" for at least the next eighteen years, perhaps I can return to my happy state of blogging.  Perhaps this blog is on the brink of having a growth spurt.  Or a remodel?  Whereas I once focused solely on Harper and all but completely skipped over Cooper, now we expect a little dash of this and a heaping spoonful of that.  Oh, this could really be fun for me!  (It is truly the little things for me these days!)

The following recipe is out of Fresh: Healthy Cooking and Living from Lake Austin Spa Resort.  The moment I stole borrowed this cookbook from my mother, I tabbed at least 30 recipes that I intended to photocopy; when I saw how many pages were tabbed, I decided the cookbook ought to make its permanent home with me.  My Pad Thai recipe hails from this delightful book as well.

New Orleans-style Barbecue Shrimp

You will need:
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp dried leaf oregano
1/2 tsp salt
16 oz medium to garlic shrimp, shells on
 2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C minced onion
2 TBSP flour
1/4 C beer at room temperature
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 C seafood stock or clam juice
4 TBSP light butter, cut into four pieces
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
French bread for dipping

Now get to work:
Mix the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, white pepper, thyme, oregano and salt in a bowl; set aside.  Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium high heat.  Add the shrimp and saute just until the shrimp begin to turn pink.  Add the spice mixture, garlic and onion.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.  Whisk the flour, beer, Worcestershire and stock in a bowl.  Pour into the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Reduce the heat and add the butter, 1 piece at a time.  Shake the skillet gently just until the butter melts.  Divide the shrimp and sauce among 4 wide-bottom soup bowls.  Garnish with parsley and serve with bread for dunking.

A few minor admissions:
Since my husband and I are addicted to love, er, spice, I doubled the cayenne to 1/2 tsp.  The dish came out spicy enough to omit our obligatory splash of Sriracha, but not hot enough to hurt.  Perfect.

Also, as a SAHM of two little bits, I never know how long they will allow me to work in the kitchen before one begins screaming and the other scatters upwards of one million toys over every inch of the house.  In other words, I have to work fast and in stages.  To increase the likelihood that I would complete this recipe without completely blowing it, I prepped with a handful of small bowls.  One for the spice mixture, one for the garlic and onion, a third for the stock, Worcestershire and beer, and a tiny one containing the flour.  Whisk the flour into the liquid right before you heat up your pan, so you'll be locked and loaded when it's time to go live.

What else, what else?  Oh, I had chicken broth in my cupboard, and I subbed that for the seafood stock.  Gotta make due with what you have on hand when a trip to the grocery store with two ankle-biters in tow is out of the question.  Use whatever beer you fancy - I went with Real Ale Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, and I sure didn't mind drinking the remaining 14 ounces of it later that evening.  Cilantro pinch hit for parsley last night, too.  Forgo the garnish if you have neither available.  Lastly, I paired this with one of those time-saving microwave in 90-seconds bags of rice and beans (Santa Fe medley, if you must know) from my dear Uncle Ben rather than splurging the calories and carbs on the French bread.  Honestly, I would have splurged on the bread if I could trust myself to not devour entire said loaf before the cooking session even began.  Alas, I could not, and I did not.


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