Island Shrimp Yumminess!

Lately we have been having AMAZING weather in San Diego. In the middle of the day, you couldn’t tell the difference between January and August right now, while there are places across the country freezing.

Sorry everyone.  You’ll be able to gloat when we are all out here parched, since if we don’t get any rain soon, we are probably outta luck for the year.  Not good.

In the meantime though, all this summer weather in January has us feeling like we are in the tropics and I got the taste for some island yumminess.

The Husband and I LOVE Hawaiian food. We even had it at our wedding, (and by the way would recommend Nelson at Da Kines  for anyone looking for some AWESOME and affordable catering by an awesome guy).  Our house has lots of Hawaiian décor, we day dream of Lahaina and we watch Hawaii Life whenever we get a chance. We dream of moving to Hawaii after med school, buying a cool house with a bunch of garden space, chickens, horses, surfing, and hog hunting whenever I get the fancy. A girl can dream, right?

So tonight, when I went to go make dinner, I had an idea in my head. A yummy idea. We aren’t ready to move to Hawaii, yet,  but I could bring the islands to San Diego (rough life, I know) and use the ingredients that are standard in my pantry that I hope will someday be growing in my backyard.

What I came up with was what I have lovingly decided to call Island Shrimp.

I will warn you, it does have rum in it. A small amount that is cooked at high heat and largely cooked out. I bought a bottle of rum several months ago to make the bread pudding we ate at Ohana at Disney World (again more Hawaiian, even in Florida). If that makes you uncomfortable, I totally understand and I have included a link to a chart of alcohol subs for cooking. The alcohol is little and cooked at a decently high heat . It also makes me think of an old family story of my great-uncles and aunts getting together and one of them asking if Uncle Roy would like another high-ball. Uncle Roy said no, I think I will just have another piece of Pearl’s rum cake instead.

This is not that kind of recipe. 

So here it is…

Island Shrimp.

3 VERY ripe bananas. The mushy kind you don’t really want to just peel and eat anymore.

1 lb shrimp

A little less than 1/3 cup of rum (If you don’t feel comfortable using the rum, here is a chart that offers substitutes, though I can’t vouch for it’s effect on the taste or consistency in recipe)

½ cup of shredded coconut

1 TB of Ginger

A good squeeze of honey 

A bit of brown sugar (I basically just dipped my fingers in, pinched with all 5 finger tips and there you go).

Garlic Powder

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Pepper

 

  1. Sauté the shrimp in some olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt till pink. Set aside in a bowl and use the same pan to make the sauce.
  2. Take your 3 bananas and peel them and then put in the pan and sear starting to mash them up. I use my tongs to do this and it works great and mashes easier as it cooks.
  3. Add in rum or substitute after searing the bananas. Have it on a Med-High heat. Proceed to mash while adding in coconut, ginger, honey, brown sugar and garlic powder (to taste).
  4. Continue to cook and mash, keeping things moving around fairly steadily so it doesn’t burn. You are going to cook this sauce for about 10 minutes on the med-high heat.  Then turn the heat off, while leaving it on same burner, cover, and let sit for 5 or so minutes to let it set up. You want to make sure that alcohol burns off as much as possible cause we are just looking for taste. Unless you’re not. Then hey, I won’t judge. Just stay home after you cook, deal?
  5. I served it on a bed of jasmine rice that I cooked with some coconut and ginger to really pull all the flavors together.
  6. Put rice, then sauce, then shrimp, then top with some chopped macadamia nuts and a little pepper.
  7. Try to share.

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I don’t want to brag, but this one is out. of. the. park.

We accompanied it with a glass of POG (passion fruit, orange and guava juice) and an episode of Hawaii Five-O.

Book me, Danno. This is too good to be legal. 

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Hangry.

Hangry (hang-gree)

1. When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.

It’s true. I get hangry.

I am hypoglycemic, so when my blood sugar starts to dip, I nose dive. The Husband can attest.  I start off getting a little ditzy and have trouble focusing. I sometimes will break into sweats, feel short of breath and get very anxious. The sooner I get food, the better.

Another thing happens sometimes. I get hangry. I can get unhappy, unpleaseable… just not very much fun. It sneaks up on you too, you think you are ok, and then it descends into chaos… well chaos may be dramatic. Maybe I should eat more now.

Tonight, I was moderately hungry when the pot roast that wouldn’t fit in the crockpot got done in the oven. I was more than moderately displeased with how it turned out. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t very good. I am looking forward to the day when I don’t have to buy the cheapest cut of meat on the day it expires.

I couldn’t eat the meal, it just didn’t taste good to me. I then went from moderately hungry, to desperately hungry. I started looking through the pantry, freezer, pinterest, the whole nine yards. Nothing. This leads to growing Hanger. Nothing looks good, sounds good, will be enough to probably to fill the void that is my blood sugar.

I finally gave up and ate a bowl of cereal. It was not enough. Ugh. The Husband then suggested I make a bunuelo, or basically a tortilla with butter and cinnamon and sugar. Basically, HE wanted one, and was hoping in my decreased state of hanger, I would be willing to make him one while filling my own desires… smarty pants.

Instead, I took it a step further. Apple Burrito.

It did not disappoint. Hanger cured.

Try one for yourself….

1 granny smith apple, diced

1 tortilla

Butter

Cinnamon and Sugar

1. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet.

2. Add apples, and add cinnamon and sugar to taste. Cook till apples cook through. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In same pan, put tortilla in. Cook about 20 seconds and flip. Put butter on upward facing side of tortilla, and sprinkle more cinnamon on butter.

4. Remove from heat, and put apples on buttered and cinnamon side. Roll up like a burrito and enjoy. Yum.

Can’t be hangry with something so sweet and delicious.

A Chicken Velvet Hug

Happy New Year everyone! 2014 is just scary to hear in some ways. The Y2K scare was 14 years ago. How crazy is that?!

I don’t know about you, but we, specifically our stomachs, are still recovering from the holidays. We were really good this year too. We didn’t start the Christmas gluttony till Christmas Eve. We hosted my whole family, and I made cinnamon rolls, apple pie, sweet potato pie, prime rib, a turkey, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, cornbread stuffing (completely from scratch), sugar cookies… a lot. By the end of it, we had a ton of leftovers, and ate prime rib for 5 days straight.

I don’t need to have prime rib again for a while.

By Sunday night, our stomachs were eager for something not so rich. Something to put in our stomachs and tell them it was all going to be alright. Our stomachs needed a hug.

There is only one food that truly can give your stomach the hug it needs: Chicken Soup. 

Soup is among my favorite foods. I love the stuff. The Husband? Not so much. He thinks it’s an appetizer, and that it isn’t enough to be a meal. Boys. 

I say this to pretense that the soups I make now are often a little creamier than perhaps some would like. If its a thicker soup, I’ve convinced him that it’s a meal. This led to my rendition of Chicken Velvet Soup. Not only do our stomachs get a hug, they get a soft warm blanket as well. Full service here. Honestly, I don’t think anything with velvet in the name should be anything less than creamy and thick. 

So, without further ado, here is my take of Chicken Velvet Soup

Ingredients:

1/2 c. Butter (because most great things have butter)

1.5-2 c. Flour 

4 cloves of Garlic, minced

2 c Half and Half

1 pint Chicken Broth

2 c Shredded Chicken

Cayenne Pepper

Salt

 

1. Melt the butter in the saucepan. When it is melted, add in garlic and saute for a few minutes, till you get the good garlicky smell smell. 

2. Slowly add flour to butter, stirring to combine it well. The amount of flour you use is going to depend on how thick you want the soup to be. More flour = thicker soup. Start with less, and then build up as desired. 

 3. Add Half and Half, and Broth, stirring continuously. I sometimes use homemade broth, sometimes just store-bought. If you want to add a little more flour to thicken it up, now is the time. Just make sure you are stirring well. 

4. Add your cooked chicken. I like to buy whole chickens when they are on sale, when you can get a whole chicken under 5 bucks. Then stick it in the oven for a couple hours, then shred the whole bird and put in baggies and put in the freezer, usually then having a enough four main dishes. When I do this, the whole soup takes me about 15 minutes to cook. When I am really ambitious, I make the bones into broth and freeze it too. Waste not, want not. 

5. Let cook through, stirring occasionally. Add cayenne pepper and salt to taste. I like everything spicy. The Husband, not so much. I put in a pinch or two of cayenne, and then keep the Tapatio sauce nearby to add the heat that I love. Marriage is about compromise. 

At the end, you should have a finished product that looks like this:

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Now grab the crackers, and prepare to help your stomach get out of the fetal position in the corner with a light but satisfying hug meal. 

Enjoy!