May 10th is ‘National Shrimp Day’. Shrimp are absolutely one of my favorite seafood in any form or style. Below are a few recipes for you to try – one or all. Enjoy preparing them and then enjoy eating them.
Grilled Shrimp – marinated in Garlic, Basil, Lemon Juice and Olive Oil. These shrimp are delicious as an appetizer, main dish or in a salad. Good for any time, not just National Shrimp Day.
Coconut Fried Shrimp – great for a Backyard Luau or any Summer/Spring Meal. Served with an Orange-Lime Sauce.
Shrimp Fritters – a delicious and different way to eat Shrimp. For those of us who love Shrimp and who Fritters, this is the perfect dish. Shrimp Fritters can be served as an appetizer with Cocktail Sauce or as a main dish with a salad and or vegetable.
Just about one year ago, I blogged about our Food Odyssey on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai. This year we spent our tropical vacation on Maui and did eat some very good food so I am going to talk about it here and display some photographs. Maybe even give some recipes. Hope you will enjoy this tropical respite.
Since we live on the west coast of the United States during the Daylight Savings time we are 3 hours ahead of Hawaiian time or Pacific Standard Time. Our plane left Los Angeles at approximately 8:30 PDT and arrived in Maui at 10:30. Even though we had eaten at the Airport and had some snacks on board, my husband was still up for breakfast. We stopped at the Azeka Plaza and ate our Sunday Brunch at Amigos Mexican Restaurant. Ev had the Banana/Macadamia Nut Pancakes (definitely Hawaiian style) and I had the Shrimp Ceviche. Ceviche is very similar to the Hawaiian Poke (a marinated fish dish) so I really was right in keeping with the tropical food theme. The pancakes huge which made me glad that I didn’t order them because I would only have been able to eat about half. The Avocado Shrimp Ceviche was perfect for me.
After eating we went to our Condo Complex and checked in. Fortunately, even though we were early our unit was ready for us. We had a fantastic garden and ocean view with palm trees waving and two fountains operating. After unpacking and resting a while, we went out to pick up some food essentials for our stay here. Before shopping, we decided to eat dinner and ended up in a small place called King’s Chinese Barbecue. We had delicious Roasted Duck and Vegetable Chow Mein. The seating was outdoors and was right across the street from the beach, so again we had the ocean view and the palm trees waving, even though there were cars driving down the street in front of us.
We purchased Blueberry Muffins, Hawaiian Vanilla/Macadamia Nut Coffee, Half & Half, Turbinado Sugar (grown and processed on Maui) and a few other things such as juice and soft drinks.
The next day after a Breakfast of Cornflakes and Coffee we went to the Kealia Ponds which have been designated as a bird refuge. One of our major hobbies is ‘birding’ and when in the tropics (or any vacation for that matter) we try and see as many birds as possible. The last time were here, the ponds were half dry, but this time they were quite full. As a result, we saw many more birds this time than we did last time. After our birding venture we drove up to a Tropical Plantation that we like to visit when we are here. One of the reasons we decided to go this day (Monday) because my list of Farmer’s Markets said that they had one on Monday. Wrong, when we got there the sign said Tuesday. No loss though, because we did get to see more birds as there are plenty of ponds in this venue as well as beautiful tropical plantings. They also had a store where we could purchase tropical food items. One of the things which I bought was a bag of Pineapple/Coconut Caramel Corn – this was very yummy!
On the way back from the Tropical Plantation we stopped at an ‘Open-Air Market’ on Kihei Road and purchased some fresh Tropical Fruit which included Papaya, Maui Gold Pineapple, Apple Bananas, Baby Jicama and a lime which was almost pink in the middle. Our next stop this morning was the Market again where we purchased ready-made sandwiches (one thing we noticed this visit is that all the Markets and ABC Stores and Whalers Stores have a very nice Deli Counter and you can get almost anything for any meal. Competition I’m sure the restaurants don’t like) In addition to the sandwiches we purchased Cornflakes which managed to last us most of the 11 days that we were there.
For dinner we went to the Five Palms Restaurant which was just down the street from our Condo. Not only was the food delicious but the view was fantastic. In addition to the foregoing they also have a very good ‘Happy Hour’ that lasts from 3PM until 7PM. We got there about 5 PM and since it was so busy and the patio was full we were seated inside and had great comfortable seating and a great view.
We ordered California Roll, Coconut Fried Shrimp and Chicken/Lettuce Wraps along with Beverages. Not necessarily Hawaiian Food except for the Shrimp but nonetheless very good.
The next day for Breakfast we each had a half of a Papaya filled with cubed Pineapple and sliced Bananas sprinkled with a little Turbinado Sugar and sweet Lime Juice as well as Hawaiian Coffee.
To make the Fruity Breakfast simply slice a ‘ripe’ Papaya in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (a delicious Salad Dressing – popular in Hawaii can be made from the seeds), squeeze a little lime on the fruit and then fill with fruit of your choice such as sliced Bananas and Pineapples or whatever your preference is.
Check back for more on our Maui Food Adventures.
MY CULINARY DIARY
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Today was a Culinary Half-Marathon. Since we were almost out of bread, I decided to make some Country White Bread. I once got a T-Shirt at one conference or another that had the White Lily Flour Logo on it. I had never actually ever used White Lily because it does come from back East and I have never seen it for sale on the West Coast until about 4 weeks ago when I was browsing through Surfas, a great Restaurant Supply Store in Culver City. There and behold was White Lily Flour! Not being able to resist it I purchased a 5lb. bag of their All-Purpose Flour and their Bread Flour. Today, I decided to try out the Bread Flour in my Bread. It really turned out quite scrumptious.
I made the Dough using the Dough Blade in my Food Processor and then put it in a 2 gallon plastic bag. Before I bagged the Dough I covered it in a thin layer of Olive Oil. This adds flavor and keeps the dough from drying out. I did not use a recipe for the Bread but here are the ingredients I used:
4 cups Bread Flour
1 Tbsp. Dry Active Yeast
1 Tbsp. Malt Powder (Sugar or Honey may be used instead)
1 ½ tsp. Salt (2 tsps. Would have been better)
2 Tbsps. Olive Oil
1 ½ cup Water
If you make this Dough in your Food Processor, use cold water as the heat from the motor of the processor heats up the dough. You do not want the dough to get so hot as to kill the yeast.
You can also make the Dough by hand or in a standing electric mixer.
While the Dough was rising, I took a trip to the market(s) to purchase some other ingredients. My first stop was Sprouts to purchase Shrimp and look for Rennet Tablets and Citric Acid. Monti made Mozzarella Cheese and has inspired to try it too. Looks very simple and fresh Mozzarella is really good. I purchased the Shrimp, 2 boxes of Strawberries which were on sale for a very good price. I found the Citric Acid but not the Rennet. I did find Vanilla Powder though. Vanilla Powder is a good substitute for liquid Vanilla Extract when you do not want to add any more moisture to a baked product, especially ones like Churros or anything fried.
The next stop was Whole Foods to look for the Rennet, but all they had were very expensive Mozzarella making Kits. I did find some nice Mango Bath Salts though which are good for a very relaxing bath.
The next stop was Ralphs where they had Eggs on sale for 88 cents a dozen. (Limit 2 doz.) Since I use a lot of Eggs for baking this was a good deal.
On to home and the rest of my afternoon cooking and baking. Once I put away the groceries, I put the Baking Stone in the bottom of my lower oven and turned the oven on to 500 degrees to heat up the stone. (It takes at least 30 minutes to heat the stone, but 1 hour is even better) Since it was a warm day, I knew that the Bread would rise up fast, once it was shaped. The next thing I did was to put some Cornmeal on my Pizza Peel (which I use to slip the bread onto the stone with) and shape the Bread. I flattened the Dough to get out the Carbon Dioxide build up. You always want to raise your dough at least 2 times, even three to get a great loaf of bread.
Next I shaped it into a rectangle and folded over the top third. After flattening that as much as I could, I then folded over the bottom third and then flattened it again. The loaf was the lifted onto the peel. Realizing that the seam was up and should have been down, I turned over the loaf. That is why when you look at the photos that there is cornmeal on top of the bread as well as the bottom. This actually give some additional texture, taste and crunch to the crust. The top of the loaf was slashed with a Baker’s Blade (Lame); this allows for expansion and better baking.
I covered the loaf with a clean dish towel and then went on to my other tasks of making Strawberry Parfait and Angel Food Cake. The Strawberry Parfait was made with fresh Strawberries and Heavy Cream which was to be whipped. I did not want the Cream to break down, so I measured out 2 teaspoons of Gelatin (Gelatin comes in 1 oz. Packages or 1 lb. Containers) The one ounce package has 2 ½ tsps. In it. I also measured 2 cups of Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream) and poured 2 Tbsps. into a small bowl and then sprinkled the Gelatin over the cold cream. Once the Gelatin softened I placed it in the Microwave to dissolve it. Stir it thoroughly to be sure that all the granules are dissolved. I then poured the Gelatin mixture into the remainder of the Cream and covered it and refrigerated it to be sure it was cold enough to whip without turning into butter.
Next I placed the Strawberries in a Colander and rinsed them with Cold Water. I set them aside to drain.
Next I made my Angel Food Cake. Before starting this though, I made sure the oven rack was at the bottom and that the upper racks were well out of the way. Next I turned the oven to 375 degrees. To make Angel Food Cake, use a tube pan and DO NOT GREASE IT!
I used the White Lily All-Purpose Flour for the Cake which normally calls for Cake Flour. Since the White Lily All-Purpose Flour is lighter than most commercial brands of All-Purpose Flour (you actually have to add 2 Tablespoons to every cup of White Lily Flour to have it equal 1 cup of regular All-Purpose Flour) The White Lily Flour was almost the weight of the Cake Flour.
The reason I decided to make an Angel Food Cake was because I had a large collection of Egg Whites that I had saved from recipes that only called for Yolks. I could have made a larger Angel Food Cake than I did, but two people can only eat so many sweets!
The recipe I used called for:
1 cup Egg Whites (approximately 12)
1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
¼ tsp. Salt
1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar (divided in half)
1 cup Cake Flour
1 tsp. Vanilla
For the complete recipe see: angel-food-cake/
Once the cake is done remove from the oven and turn upside down until completely cool. Run a spatula around the sides of the pan and If your tube pan is a 2 part pan, remove the sides and then run the spatula under the bottom part of the cake. Turn over onto a serving platter.
Angel Food Cake makes a great base for Strawberries and Whipped Cream or for the Strawberry Parfait that I made next.
For the Strawberry Parfait I used:
1 Pint Strawberries
1 Pint Whipping Cream
2 tsps. Gelatin (I think 1 would probably have been enough)
For the complete recipe and directions see: strawberry-parfait/
Once the Parfait was done I began preparations for dinner which was Oriechetti (Ear-shape Pasta – the name actually means little ears); there were a few wagon wheels thrown in the the Oriechetti as I wanted to use up the small amount I had) with fresh Tomato and Herb Sauce and sautéed Shrimp. I shelled and deveined the Shrimp and rinsed them with cold water and then blotted them dry with a paper towel. I add some minced Basil mixed with some Himalayan Sea Salt, Olive Oil and Saffron. (The Saffron gives color and is a browning agent – Paprika or Turmeric can be used instead although the Turmeric will add its own flavor) You can also add some Lemon Juice to this mixture, but this time I added Marsala Wine.
The bread was put in the oven before the Cake was put in. As I said it was a very warm day and the loaf rose up quickly. The bread also finished baking before the Cake. When it was done I removed it with my peel and placed it on a rack to cool. Ev couldn’t stand it (the aroma of freshly baked bread is so good!) and he had to have a slice with Butter of course!
Next I washed the Tomatoes (no need to dry) and removed the cores. Next I diced them and minced some fresh Oregano Leaves.
I also minced some Chives but kept them separate as they were to be used for a garnish. Usually I grill the Shrimp (grilling adds flavor and gives more color to the Shrimp) but since I already had several pots and pans on the stove, I decided to sauté them instead in the pan that I was using for the Sauce. Once the Shrimp were sautéed I removed them to a dish and covered them until the sauce was done.
To make the sauce, add a small amount of Olive Oil to the pan and add some diced Onions. Sauté until the Onions start to soften and then add the Tomatoes along with the fresh herbs and 1 tsp. of Sea Salt and some freshly ground Pepper to taste. Cook until the tomatoes are reduced and a sauce start to form. If desired, you can add a little Marsala to the Sauce but be sure to cook it down somewhat.
While I making the Sauce I cooked the Pasta in plenty of boiling salted water. Once it was done, I poured it into a Colander and shook out all the excess water. Once the Sauce was done I put the drained Pasta on top and surrounded it with the Sautéed Shrimp.
In addition to the Shrimp and Pasta we had the freshly baked Bread and some sautéed Spinach to go along with it. All in all it was a delicious meal followed by Angel Food Cake and Strawberry Parfait.
NATIONAL SHRIMP DAY
May 10th, 2012
May 10th is National Shrimp Day – yeah! Shrimp are one of my favorite foods. I love them almost any way they are cooked. What is a shrimp? Shrimp are shellfish that live in salt and fresh water and range in size from that of an insect to about 12 inches long. The larger shrimp mostly come from warmer waters and the smaller variety from colder waters.
Shrimp are also referred to as Prawns – usually in the larger size. The name will vary from country to country. In Britain, shrimp is usually used to refer to the smaller size and prawns to the larger size. In the US, shrimp is the term most frequently used. In France, Crevette is the name frequently given to shrimp.
Shrimp can be prepared in any number of given ways. They may be boiled or broiled, grilled or steamed, curried or fried. Shrimp are used in salads, cocktails, sandwiches, tacos, sauces and chowders. No matter which way they are cooked, they are usually good.
Since Shrimp cook up very quickly, one has to be careful not to overcook them as they will become tough. The rule of thumb is usually about 3 minutes or in the case of boiling, when they turn pink. Of course, size has a lot to do with it, with the smaller shrimp cooking up more quickly than the larger ones.
As a general rule, the larger the shrimp, the better they taste. The very small shrimp, often referred to as Bay Shrimp are good in salads or tacos. The medium to large shrimp are great for cocktails. For frying or grilling the larger shrimp are best. The really large shrimp or prawns are good for grilling and or in sauces. For a quick and easy Grilled Shrimp Recipe see: recipes/dinner/grilled-shrimp/
Shrimp can be purchased green (raw) or cooked and shelled. Shrimp contain a vein that runs down their backs which should be removed before being consumed. The cooked variety almost always has had the vein removed. Some of the green ones will also have had the vein removed, but you need to check them to be sure.
Listed below are some of the ways in which you can use Shrimp for your meals:
Shrimp Cocktails – Place in a pot large enough to hold the shrimp plus water to cover – add a bay leaf and half a lemon. Cover (the lid should be offset to avoid boiling over) and place over high heat. As soon as the water comes to a boil, shut off the heat – once the Shrimp turn pink immediately pour into a colander to drain and cover with ice to stop the cooking process. Blot dry with paper towels and serve with your favorite cocktail sauce or seafood-cocktail-sauce/
Salads – cook in the same way as for cocktails – use in your favorite salad or with other shellfish.
Grilled – devein the Shrimp but leave the shells on – to do this, slit the back of the shrimp with a small pair of kitchen shears or a paring knife. When you slit them, cut them about ¾ of the way through or Butterfly them. Wash out the vein under cold running water. Pat the shrimp dry and place in a large shallow dish such as a pie plate. (Either glass or ceramic – not metal as it will react with the marinade) Blend together crushed garlic, lemon juice or white wine, minced basil, a pinch of saffron or paprika and some olive oil. Pour over the shrimp and allow to marinate for 20 minutes but no longer than 30! Too long a marinating time will make the shrimp become mealy. Good tasting shrimp should have a firm texture but not mealy or tough. Heat a stove top grill over high heat (or use your BBQ). Cook the shrimp, turning frequently for 3-5 minutes or until the meat is no longer translucent. I usually cook them on each side for about a minute or until the shrimp turns pink then turn them cut side down to cook the inside for another minute. Serve immediately with Cocktail Sauce or Rémoulade or BBQ Sauce.
Fried – Shell and devein the shrimp; pat dry and then coat with a light tempura batter – fry in hot oil (350 – 360 degrees) until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet. Serve with Cocktail Sauce or Wasabi Mayonnaise.
Curries – the type of Curry depends on the country it is from. Numerous recipes can be found in cookbooks or on the internet. Two of the countries that use curries are India and Thailand. The ingredients and flavors of the curries will vary from country to country and even fro household to household.
You really don’t need an excuse to eat Shrimp, but National Shrimp Day is certainly a good reason to.
Be careful when you purchase your shrimp. If you want wild caught, but sure that the package label says so, or if you purchase them loose at your market’s seafood counter, read the tag first to be sure where you shrimp are coming from. Most all shrimp are sold in the frozen state. If the shrimp in your market look thawed, be sure to ask how long they have been thawed for. It is better to purchase frozen ones and just thaw them out yourself under cold running water. This can usually be done in minutes.
Whichever way you prepare or eat your shrimp enjoy!
Thursday was Day Five and it was another early rising day. Again we had breakfast on the go and that consisted of hard-cooked eggs, banana bread and apple bananas. We drove to Koke’e, a natural area located in the upland area of northwestern Kauai, along with Waimea Canyon and Nä Pali Coast State Parks. Our purpose was to view the native birds that inhabit this area. This time we did the easy trails and did get to see quite a few different birds. When we were here in 1996, we actually did the trail in the Alaka’i Swamp. By the time we finished our clothes were covered in Kauai’s red dirt mud and actually had to hose off in the park before we got into our car. It was quite an experience though and am glad we got to do it.
The birds that we say this time were: Hawaiian Amakihi, which is a greenish bird with a long curved beak, the Kauai Elepaio, which is a small bird with a long tail. Its head is a reddish brown and it has a small beak designed for foraging for insects. We also saw the Akeke’e, which is a greenish-yellow bird with a black mask around the eye (especially prominent in the male) and a bluish bill. We saw an Anianianu; a honey-creeper with distinct yellow coloring. This bird unfortunately has been prey to malaria brought in by mosquitoes and its numbers are dwindling. The birds can now only be seen in the higher elevations where there are fewer instances of mosquitoes. The last native bird we saw this day was the Hawaiian Iiwi, whose bright red feathers, pink curved bill, and black wings and tail distinguish it from the rest of Hawaii’s forest birds.
Other than native birds there were a few introduced species such as Erkel’s Francolin, Jungle Fowl and the Red Crested Cardinal. We also had many Red Crested Cardinals visiting us at our condo. The Jungle Fowl are chickens who roam freely around the island. The Jungle Fowl have become so symbolic of Kauai that you can even purchase a red dirt t-shirt with a picture of a jungle fowl on it.
This has been enough about birds now, when I’m really supposed to be talking about food. But the birds did lead us to our lunch today and that was at the Shrimp Station in Waimea. We did get there a little early and had to wait for them to open up. The Shrimp Station is more of a stand than a restaurant and all seating is outdoors. Since their kitchen is open to view, we just sat and watched them set up for the day. This is mainly a lunch and early dinner place as the hours are from 11 AM – 5 PM daily. Ev had a craving for Coconut Fried Shrimp and that is what he had along with fries. My cravings went towards the sweet chili garlic shrimp and that was served with white rice of potatoes. The portion of the sweet chili garlic shrimp was more than ample and even though it was sweet chili there was still a kick to it that the rice helped to buffer. A salad would have been good with this dish as well as some bread. Fortunately we did have cold drinks.
Again, the afternoon was spent on the beach and just relaxing and enjoying the tropical weather. For dinner, I made hamburgers which I ended up calling Tropic Burgers and will probably feature in one of my classes. I had purchased the ingredients the day before and that included ground sirloin, buns, and we had lettuce and tomatoes from the farmers market along with cheese from Big Save. The items I did forget to purchase were mustard, mayo and ketchup so I became innovative and used our Papaya Seed Dressing as our only condiment. They turned out very good.
Here is how I made the burgers; sautéed sliced red onions in butter until they were soft and just starting to caramelize. Toasted the buns in the toaster and then cooked the burgers with salt and pepper and some garlic powder. Put cheese on them after they were turned and started to cook on the second side. The dressing went on the buns and the burger on one side and the onions on top of the meat, and then the tomato and lettuce. This really turned out to be an excellent burger. Along with the burgers we opened the bottle of wine that came with the condo. All in all, it was a very good dinner.
After dinner, we drove around the corner to the beach and checked out Brennecke’s Beach Broiler for a future meal. The downstairs portion of Brennecke’s makes fresh sandwiches for breakfast and lunch and even dinner, if you are so inclined, and they also sell chips, sodas and other various sundry items. Later on we went back to the condo and sat on the balcony and enjoyed the sunset.