Thursday, May 27, 2010

Caving to peer pressure.

OK then, based on numerous requests (gosh that sounds arrogant) I am going to start posting recipes as I use them, tweak them etc.  Lets kick it off with last nights dinner. The idea was my wife's (hi Kerrie) and she did a lot of the work. I just bragged about it.

Cold brown rice noodle salad with baby spinach, avocado, cucumber and poached shrimp.

The start:
I used a modified version of court bouillon from Michael Symon's Cookbook
4 cups of water
4 Tbsp of lime juice
One medium onion roughly chopped
One carrot roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic smashed
2 celery ribs roughly chopped
About a one inch knob of ginger chopped
a handful of fresh cilantro stems and all
Kosher salt maybe 2 Tbsp
Black pepper



Put all the ingredients  into a sauce pot. Bring to boil and them simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain.
I can't resist eating the celery and carrots from the mix, but that's just me.

The resulting liquid is your poaching liquid for the shrimp, though it can be used for any Asian inspired fish dish you want to make. Next time I make it I think I am going to make a gallon or so and freeze some, no reason not to  have this tasty stuff around.

You can use it fresh from the stove, but the trick to poaching is not overheating the liquid so you should be sure it is not too hot (175 degrees is where you want to be)

Your best bet for cooking is an electric frying pan so you can set the temperature and not worry, if you don't have an electric frying pan then use a candy thermometer.

To Poach the shrimp 

Ingredients:
Shell on Shrimp 12 or more

Add about 2 cups of your poaching liquid to your electric fry pan or large frying pan, once the temperature is right add your shrimp. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the part submerged in liquid is nice and pink, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.  Once the shrimp is cooked through remove from the liquid and put it in the fridge to cool.

Why Shell on shrimp? Well when cooking shrimp the shell acts as a tiny little cooking vessel, surrounding the shrimp and allowing it to cook more evenly and it keeps your season closer to the meat without falling off into your cooking liquid.

Cook the Noodles
Ingredients:

Brown rice or Soba noodles
Salt
olive oil

We originally intended to use Soba Noodles for this and you can do the same. We wound up using brown rice noodles and they were delicious.
Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil add your noodles cook until tender and drain ( do I really need this step?) rinse the noodles with cold water to wash of some of the starch and stop the cooking. drizzle a little olive oil on the noodles and toss, then put them in the fridge to cool

Why Soba or brown Rice noodles? Well because they are better for you. Soba noodles ,which might also be called buckwheat noodles, and Brown rice noodles both fall under the umbrella of clean foods
I will never claim to eat a completely clean diet, nor is this something I can say we have been doing for years. It is however the inspiration for the recent daily meal preparation and planning that has been going on.

Make the Salad 

Ingredients:

Your poached shrimp
A knob of fresh ginger 
1/2 Cucumber
1/2 Avocado
2cups baby spinach 
kosher salt
sesame oil
lime juice or fresh limes
 
Peel the shrimp and set aside
Transfer the noodles to a large bowl so you have room to toss. Drizzle with a couple teaspoons of sesame oil and grate on some fresh ginger.  Add several handfuls of chopped or roughly torn baby spinach and a pinch or two of kosher salt and toss it all together.

Chop up the cucumber and avocado and add those, along with the shrimp to the noodle and spinach mix.  Drizzle with a touch more sesame oil and sprinkle with some lime juice.

Serve and enjoy.
If I had some on hand I would have served this with a Dry or Semi dry Gewurztraminer.

PS
I am not a food photographer and all I have is a blackberry camera

1 comment:

Dan said...

I've found that 160'-180' is the right temp for poaching shrimp. Cool enough that you can dip your finger in the water, but hot enough that you don't want to leave it there more than a second.