Apparently, it’s my job to post the first not-quite-so-awesome dish of the project. And that’s too bad, because it’s from one of my favorite minor cookbooks, Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine. Mister Husband found it a little over a year ago, and I’ve never made anything from it that was less than completely delicious. (The dumpling recipes are my favorites.) It undoubtedly would have been more awesome if I’d made it in the summer with a truly fresh tomato. It wasn’t bad, but the shrimp tasted oddly like … cucumber. I know it’s not the shrimps fault, because I bought three pounds of them and have been using them in other dishes.
All that said, this is a super-easy dish to make, and also easy to make over two days in little snatches of time. I thawed, boiled, and shucked the shrimp last night (adding the shells to my collection of frozen crustacean parts that are earmarked for stock). Today, I made the marinade, stirred everything up, and put it back in the fridge to meditate for 20 minutes. And that was that. Too bad most of it is back in the fridge. The current theory is that it would be improved with sesame seeds, which we don’t have.
I also made two other new recipes this weekend that I won’t go on about at length here. (The original bloggers both always do such a great job with words and images that you should really read over there.) For breakfast today, I made Smitten Kitchen’s Ricotta Muffins, with a few tweaks. I’m not fond of the taste of fennel, so I substituted pumpkin pie spice for it and maple yogurt for the plain yogurt. They came out pretty well, and we decided the general concept bears further investigation.
Last night, I made Pasta with Bacon and Broccoli from Pork, Knife & Spoon. This I made pretty much as directed, only adding a couple cloves of garlic. It was good enough, but came out rather dry. If I make it again, I’ll cook the leeks and onions in butter or olive oil instead, making sure there’s enough to lightly slick the pasta. I’ll probably also add red pepper flakes and if I have prosciutto on hand, I’ll substitute it for bacon. It was quick and very easy; good for weekday lunches or school night dinners along with a salad.
Anyway, here’s Susanna Foo’s Cold Beer Shrimp:
1 12-ounce bottle beer, any type (I used Hefeweizen)
1 pound large shrimp (I used small, because that’s what was on sale in bulk)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (I used Sriracha)
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced (I used part of a can of diced tomatoes, because it’s January and it’s what I had. I diced ‘em finer in the mezzaluna.)
1 teaspoon peeled, grated gingerroot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, mint, and chives
Coarse or kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Bring the beer to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the shrimp, stir, and cook for 2 minutes, or until they just turn pink. Remove from the heat and let the shrimp cool in the beer, stirring or turning often; they will continue to cook in the hot liquid.
Once they are cool, remove the shrimp from the beer, using a slotted spoon. Peel and devein the shrimp; return them to the beer and stir for 1 minute to remove any remaining grit.
Transfer the shrimp to a bowl. (The beer can be strained and added to shrimp or fish stock.) The shrimp can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the soy sauce, lime juice, Tabasco, tomato, and gingerroot. Cook over high heat, stirring, for 2 minutes, to heat through. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Spoon the cooled sauce over the shrimp and toss to combine. Add the cilantro, mint, or chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.