Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cooking Well

Cooking well means…
You will never go hungry.
You might be labeled a "foodie".
The kitchen is your studio and food is your medium.
You'll always find the way to a man's (or woman's) heart.
You can see beauty in a potato.
Going to market is your idea of fun.
You share a connection with the earth and the seasons.
Your mantra is a dish is only as good as the ingredients you put into it.
You have a weakness for sharp cutlery.
And maybe fine cookware too.
You understand salt.
You revere the egg.
And can transform it in countless ways.
Your friends will always accept your dinner invitations.
But they might be afraid to invite you over for dinner. No matter how appreciative you may be.
You taste as you cook.
And clean as you go.
You have a strong opinion about certain cooking shows. (You know what I mean.)
It might be hard to get into your skinny jeans.
You can find inspiration in a recipe.
But you don't have to follow it.
Someone else should volunteer to do the dishes.
You use all your senses.
You pay attention to the details.
And you follow your instincts.
You can stand the heat.
You transform necessity into pleasure.
You have a sensual side.
You know the finer things in life.
You season with love.
Sharing is in your nature.
You bring people together.
You and your loved ones will always be nourished and comforted, body and soul.

Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Habanero Sauce
Printable Recipe

½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 habaneros
2 cloves garlic, grated
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 large egg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds jumbo shrimp (16/20 count), peeled and deveined
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil, for frying

Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, habaneros, and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and slightly syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce. Let cool to room temperature.

Whisk together the egg and 2 tablespoons of water in a large, shallow dish. Mix together the panko, coconut, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in another large, shallow dish. Season the shrimp generously with salt and pepper. Dip each shrimp into the flour to coat and shake off any excess, then into the egg wash, and then into the panko mixture to coat, patting so that it adheres. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a baking tray and let rest for about 15 minutes.

Add enough oil to a large, heavy pot to come to a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil to 375°F. Add half of the shrimp and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Using a skimmer, remove to a paper towel-lined baking tray and immediately season to taste with salt. Fry the remaining shrimp in the same manner. Arrange the shrimp on individual plates and serve immediately with the habanero sauce.

Serves 4. When frying, be sure to use a pot that's large enough to accommodate the displacement of the oil from the shrimp and also the bubbling of the oil.


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