Tag Archives: Shrimp

Garlic: An Edible Biography “T minus 12”

Garlic Card

The above picture is from a greeting card I picked up in London. (The card can be personalized which is why it says “Name,” but you get the gist.)

As George Orwell once wrote of his countrymen: ”England and the English as a rule, they will refuse even to sample a foreign dish, they regard such things as garlic and olive oil with disgust, life is unlivable to them unless they have tea and puddings.” British vacationers who visited Spain in the 1950s and 1960s would take over the kitchens of their hotels in order to make traditional British foods like Shepherd’s Pie because they were so appalled with the local food in which everything was, horror of horrors, swimming in garlic.

Today, tapas restaurants are popular in London and this simple shrimp recipe, from the book, is one of my favorites. Serve it with crusty bread to soap up the “swimming in garlic” juices.

Gambas al Ajillo

Makes 4 appetizer serving or 2 main course servings

4 oz olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup cognac
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Increase the heat to high and immediately add the shrimp, cognac, lemon juice, and paprika. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the shrimp turn pink and the edges curl, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Serve the shrimp on heated appetizer plates topped with the pan juices spooned over the shrimp and sprinkled with parsley.

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Happy Batman Day!

Batman vs. Dracula

WHAM! THWACK! POW! It’s been 75 years since The Caped Crusader started saving Gotham City from the Joker, the Penguin, and … Dracula? In the 2005 straight-to-video animated movie, The Batman vs. Dracula, Bruce Wayne invites Dr. Alucard to a party. He shows him one of Wayne Industries’ latest advances, the SL-5 which collects and stores solar energy as true sunlight. Alucard grimaces as garlic shrimp hors d’oeuvres are served but scarfs down steak tartare.

When Wayne and Alucard meet as their alter-egos, Batman and Dracula, Batman saves Vicky Vale from being turned into a vampire with garlic bombs and just as Dracula realizes that Batman is Bruce Wayne, Batman turns on the SL-5 filling the bat cave with sunlight. He quips, “and you are dust” as the sunlight causes Dracula to disintegrate.

Here’s a recipe for garlic shrimp from my upcoming book, Garlic: An Edible Biography. (The awesome recipe was developed by Mary Deir Donovan.)

If you want a Garlic Bomb, got to Jake’s Sandwich Board in Philadelphia where they serve a Philly Steak Sandwich topped with garlic spread, sautéed garlic, provolone cheese, and crunchy, deep-friend garlic cloves. (If you want to try your own, I also included Mary’s recipe for Beer-Battered Deep-Fried Garlic Cloves which can be served on their own as an appetizer accompanied with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping, or as a garnish in salads, soups, or stews.

Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
Makes 4 appetizer serving or 2 main course servings

4 oz olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup cognac
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Increase the heat to high and immediately add the shrimp, cognac, lemon juice, and paprika. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the shrimp turn pink and the edges curl, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Serve the shrimp on heated appetizer plates topped with the pan juices spooned over the shrimp and sprinkled with parsley.

Beer-Battered Deep-Fried Garlic Cloves
Serve these crispy, nutty garlic cloves on their own as an appetizer accompanied with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping, or use them as a garnish in salads, soups, or stews.

Makes 1 pound

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beer, room temperature
1 lb garlic cloves, peeled

1. To make the batter: Whisk the flour, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Add the beer and whisk until smooth. The batter can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance. Place in a container, cover tightly, and keep in the refrigerator. Stir to recombine before using the batter to coat the garlic.

2. Preheat a deep-fryer to 350 degrees or heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep, heavy-gauge pot over medium heat. Use a deep-fry thermometer to check the temperature; another temperature check is to add a 1 inch cube of bread to the oil. It should brown within 30 seconds when the oil is at 350°F.

3. Add about one-fourth of the garlic cloves to the batter and stir to coat them evenly. Lift the garlic out of the batter with a spider or a fork, allowing the excess batter to drain back into the bowl. Lower into the hot oil. Cook until the batter is puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Lift the fried garlic out of the oil and drain briefly on paper towel. Keep warm while frying the remaining garlic.

4. Serve the garlic at once.

Craving Garlic Shrimp

lasooni-jhingaThe only tie-in today is that it’s rainy and miserable out and I feeling like making Indian food for dinner. This dish is from Rajasthan. Lasooni means garlic-flavored; Jhinga means shrimp, and Kadai means wok. Your Indian words of the day! The recipe below (and the picture above) are both from Porte des Indes (Gateway to India) in London.

Lasooni Jhinga
(Stir-fried Garlic Shrimp)
16 large shrimp
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. turmeric
1/2 t. chili powder
2 T. oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green chili, julienned
1 red chili, julienned
7 T. Kadai sauce (recipe below)
1 scallion, julienned
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt, to taste

Rub the shrimp with salt, turmeric and chili powder and set aside for at least 30 minutes. When ready to prepare, heat the oil in the pan, add garlic. The second you smell the garlic, add the chilies and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the shrimp and sear for one minute. Then add the Kadhai sauce followed by the scallion. Stir fry over high heat for one minute. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve hot.

Kadai Sauce
1/3 c. ghee (clarified butter) or corn oil
1 T. garlic, finely chopped
1 T. coriander seeds, coarsely pounded
8 red chillies, coarsely pounded in a mortar
2 red onions, finely chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger root
3 green chiles
1 lb. fresh ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
2 t. salt
1 t. ground garam masala
1 1/2 t. dried fenugreek leaves
1 t. sugar (optional)

To make the sauce, heat the ghee in a pan, add the garlic and let it color. Stir, then add the coriander seeds and red chilies. When they release their aromas, add the onions and cook until they start turning a light golden yelow color. Stir in the ginger, green chilies and tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low and cook until all the excess moisture has evaporated and the fat starts to separate out. Add the salt, garam masala, and fenugreek leaves and stir. Taste and add some sugar if needed.

Black Pepper Tofu and Shrimp

Image

In preparation for the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, I tried to cook up everything in my freezer.  While my town was blissfully spared any damage, I now have a lot of this Black Pepper Tofu. Fortunately, it’s insanely good.  I adapted this recipe very loosely from Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi.  (And by very loosely, I mean replace 11 tablespoons of butter with one and a splash of olive oil; cut number of scallions from twelve to one, and cut five tablespoons of black pepper to three.)  I like spicy food and this was plenty spicy for me.  If you want the original recipe, you can find on The Guardian and Epicurious.

Black Pepper Tofu
(Adaped from Yotam Ottolenghi)

1 lb. firm tofu, cut into 1×1 inch cubes
Vegetable oil for frying
Cornstarch to dust the tofu
1 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 t. chile flakes
3 garlic cloves, grated
3 T. chopped fresh ginger
3 T. Indonesian sweet soy sauce (kecap manis, recipe below)
3 T.  dark soy sauce
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T. coarsely crushed black peppercorns (use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder)
1 scallion, cut into 1 1/4-inch segments

Serves 4

Start with the tofu. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 1/4 inch up the sides and heat. Toss them in some cornstarch and shake off the excess, then add to the hot oil.  Fry, turning them over, until they are golden all over and have a thin crust. Once they are cooked, transfer them onto paper towels.  (You can do this several hours ahead and refrigerate until ready to use).

Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, then put in butter and olive and heat. Add the shallot, chiles, garlic and ginger. Sauté on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the ingredients are soft.

Add the soy sauces and shrimp.  When shrimp are pink, add the crushed black pepper and tofu and heat until tofu is warm, about one minute.  Stir in the scallions.  Serve hot over steamed rice.

Kecap Manis
(Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce)

1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce

Combine brown sugar and soy sauce in a small pan.  Boil the sauce over low to medium flame until thickens resembling maple syrup.  If the mixture starts to boil vigorously and looks like it is going to boil over, remove the pot from the flame until the boiling has calm down and continue to boil over low heat.  As the mixture cools down, it will further thicken.

The photo above is from Lottie + Doof

Happy 50th Birthday Tommy Lee!

Once when I was in London, I was reading reviews outside an Indian restaurant. There was a testimonial from Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee who said it was favorite Indian restaurant. For some reason, this convinced me. I went in and had one of the most mediocre Indian meals ever. Tommy Lee’s talents are well-known (and well-documented). His taste in food is not.

So in honor of Tommy Lee Bass’s 50th, here’s a delicious prawn curry. If you don’t have fresh curry leaves, you can use dried. Consider enjoying this with a cold Löwenbräu. (The band’s favorite beer inspired Vince Neil to add the two umlauts to the band’s name).

GARLIC PRAWN CURRY
1 lb. prawns (shrimp)
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 shallots, finely sliced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. chile powder
1/4 t. turmeric
15 curry leaves
2 T. oil

Saute shallots in oil until translucent. Add garlic, chili powder and turmeric. Cook until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook until they have released all of their liquid. Add shrimp. Add salt to taste. Take off heat and stir in curry leaves. Let sit for ten minutes to infuse. Serve over rice.

NOTE: Curry leaves have no relation to curry powder. I wouldn’t recommend this dish without them. They can be purchased here.

3rd Annual Cleveland Garlic Festival (and Brazilian Garlic-Parsley Shrimp)

This past weekend’s garlic escape was a visit to my hometown of Cleveland for its 3rd annual Garlic Festival. I touried the festival and tasting different garlics (including John Perkins’ great Russian Red which was brought to the US from the mountains of Slovenia just after WWII. I also bought an order of Sergio Abramof’s fantastic Garlic-Parsley Shrimp. (I actually bought one one each day of the festival). A few weeks ago, Cleveland lost a restaurant great when the Brazilian-born chef passed away suddenly.

As one of chefs from Sergio’s restaurant Saravá (just steps from the festival on Shaker Square) was preparing the shrimp, I asked for the recipe. Alas, I was told it was proprietary so this is my guesstimate of the recipe (based on the powers of observation). The menu claims that these are “Just like on the beach in Rio!” RIP Sergio. You will be missed.

Garlic-Parsley Shrimp
(Inspired by Sergio Abramof’s restaurant Saravá)

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper-seasoned flour
2 T. oil
3-6 cloves minced garlic
1/3 c. parsley, finely chopped
4 t. butter

Coat shrimp with seasoned flour. Heat oil. Add half of the garlic. When it gives off an aroma, add the shrimp. Let cook for 2-3 minutes without stirring. Turn, and cook until shrimp are pink in the center. While cooking, add the rest of the garlic, and butter and parsley. Add more salt and black pepper to taste. Serve warm over Brazilian-style rice. (Recipe below).

Brazilian Garlic Rice
2 c. long-grain white rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. vegetable oil
1 t. salt
4 c. hot water

Place the rice in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water; set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook just until you can smell the garlic. Add the rice and salt and cook and stir until the rice begins to brown. Pour hot water over rice mixture and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover the saucepan, and allow to simmer until the water has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

Garlic Man

Happy 100th Birthday Julia Child!


The late, great Julia Child was born 100 years ago today in Pasadena, California. While working in the Secret Intelligence division of the Office of Strategic Services (the predecessor of the CIA), she met and subsequently married Paul Child. After the war, Child joined the US Foreign Service and was posted to Paris. Hallelujah! This opened the door for Julia’s revelatory meal in Rouen (oysters, sole meunière, and fine wine) which she said was “an opening up of the soul and spirit for me.” That meal inspired he to enroll at Le cordon Bleu cooking school which led to nothing less than a culinary revolution in the US.

On her television program, The French Chef, Child would repeatedly assure her viewers that they should no longer avoid garlic as something “suspiciously foreign, probably subversive, and certainly very lower-class.” From her homey kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she started nothing less than a culinary revolution, rescuing garlic from its one-time confinement in old ethnic and urban communities and unleashing it on my mother’s and other’s 1960s suburban kitchens. When I was growing up, my mother wore a blue and white striped apron with a red pocket that said, “Thank you, Julia Child.” I couldn’t agree more!

Here are three of Child’s best garlic-infused recipes. Bon Appetit!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

30 cloves of garlic
4 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c boiling milk
1/4 t. salt
Pinch of white pepper

Drop garlic into boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and peel. Melt butter in small heavy-bottom saucepan and cook garlic slowly in butter, covered, for about 20 minutes until soft but not browned. Add flour and stir over low heat for 2 minute. Off heat stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Return to heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring. Press through a sieve or puree in a food processor. Set aside.

2-1/2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 T. softened butter
Salt
White pepper
2-4 T. whipping cream
4 T. minced parsley

Boil or microwave potatoes until soft then drain and put through a potato ricer or food mill. Return to pan and stir over low heat for a few minutes to evaporate some of the excess moisture. As soon as the puree begins to form a film on the bottom of the pan remove from heat and beat in the butter 1 T. at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat in the garlic sauce and enough cream to reach the desired consistency. Beat in the minced parsley and serve.

Herb, Lemon, and Garlic Roast Chicken with Watercress

2 lemons, halved, juiced and halves reserved
4 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
6 cloves garlic, crushed, unpeeled
salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed
4-5 lb whole chicken
1 onion, sliced
1 T, olive oil
1/2 c. chicken stock or broth
2 T. walnut or hazelnut oil
2 bunch watercress, stemmed, washed and dried

In a large mixing bowl, add the lemons and juice, thyme, rosemary, garlic, black pepper, and salt. Whisk together and add the chicken to the bowl. Turn the chicken to coat on all sides. Fill the cavity with the contents on the bowl, and tie the legs together with a piece of string.

Choose a heavy-duty 9 x 13-inch metal or flame-proof glass baking dish, and add the onions to the bottom. Place the chicken in the baking dish, and pour over the rest of the liquid. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, and season generously with salt, and place in a preheated 400 degrees F. oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until an internal temp of 165 degrees F.

Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil again while you make the sauce. Add the chicken stock to the baking dish and scrap the bottom of the pan to deglaze any of the caramelized juices. Strain the liquid into a bowl, add the walnut or hazelnut oil and whisk to combine. Pour any juices that have collected on the plate under the chicken. Taste for salt and fresh ground black pepper, and adjust.

To serve, toss the watercress in a large bowl with half the hot sauce to wilt it very slightly. Divide the greens on plates. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and top the watercress. Spooning over the remaining sauce.

Shrimp in Lemon and Garlic

30 shrimp
5 T. olive oil
1 or 2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon peel, minced
soy sauce
parsley, minced
fresh dill
salt and pepper

Sauté 30 “large medium” peeled and de-veined raw shrimp in 3 tablespoons olive oil with 1 or 2 large cloves of garlic and the minced zest of half a lemon.

When the shrimp have curled, in 2 minutes or so, and feel springy, remove from heat and toss with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, drops of soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

Toss again, with 2 tablespoons of fine fresh olive oil and a sprinkling of minced parsley and fresh dill.

NOTE: The JC100 logo is from Gourmet. I couldn’t find out who designed it (or I would have given them proper credit) but it’s perfect.