Sunday, February 17, 2019

Rosie Makes Her Beer-Battered Coconut Fried Shrimp.

I love fried shrimp and one of my favorite fried shrimp preparations is coconut fried shrimp.
I like to serve the shrimp with my special orange dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
2 TB orange marmalade
2 TB brown sugar
1 TB cider vinegar
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB orange blossom honey
Heat all ingredients to a simmer in a small sauce pan, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Use your biggest and best shrimp for this dish.

Peel, detract, and butterfly your shrimp, leaving the tails on.
(Yes, I call it detracting.  It's not deveining because that's not a vein running down the back of the shrimp.  It's the digestive tract.  Remove it.)

Every time I make fried shrimp, I make up the batter as I go along.
" 'til it looks right."
I like the slight beer flavor in this particular batter and I like the lightness which the beaten egg white adds.

For the batter:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup beer
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
Combine first five ingredients. Gently fold in egg white.

Dip shrimp in batter to coat.

Dredge battered shrimp through a mixture of equal parts coconut, panko, and cracker crumbs (crushed Ritz and saltines) shaking off any excess.
Or you can just toss the shrimp and coating in a container.

Heat peanut oil in a heavy, deep pan.  350° - 375°.
Drop shrimp, one by one, into the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the pan.  Frying too many at one time lowers the temperature of the oil and you get greasy shrimp - not crisp.
Fry 60- 75 seconds.  Do NOT overcook your shrimp!
You want a nice golden color.

Remove shrimp to rack and let drain.

Serve fried shrimp with dipping sauce and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
Tender, juicy, sweet shrimp.

Most excellent shrimp!


Friday, February 15, 2019

Shrimp For Lunch. With A Barbecue Sauce.

I love shrimp.
And I always have frozen shrimp on hand.
So today, I'm grabbing a pound of that shrimp,
lightly breading and frying it,
then serving it on a bed of rice 
with a nice homemade barbecue sauce.
Frying shrimp, if it's done correctly,
really brings out the shrimp flavor.
And my barbecue sauce
is light enough to perfectly complement the shrimp.

For the breading:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients.
Add shrimp and toss to coat evenly and lightly.

For the BBQ sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
2 TB brown sugar
2 TB cider vinegar
2 TB Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Mr. Stubbs hickory smoke
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to simmer.

In a large skillet, add a film of peanut oil
and heat to 350°-375°.
Add shrimp and cook about 1 minute.
Shrimp should be a light golden color.

Drain on paper towels.

In a medium skillet, pour in a tablespoon or so of peanut oil 
and heat over medium high.

Add in a handful each of chopped celery and onion.
Cook for one minute, then add in shrimp.

Serve on a bed of rice. 
Pour a little barbecue sauce over shrimp.
Sprinkle on some fresh parsley.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Valentine's Sweets.

For Valentine’s Day, one can never go wrong with chocolate.   I have a decadent dessert for you that gives you a double dose of chocolate – intense bittersweet chocolate mousse in a chocolate filigreed cup.  It’s always a plus when your serving container is edible.

For the chocolate cups:
Ice molds
8 oz. premium bittersweet chocolate (I prefer Ghirardelli.)
1 TB Crisco

To make the chocolate cups, you first need a mold to pipe the chocolate onto.  The easiest way I’ve found is to use ice for the molds.  Simply fill a muffin tin tray with water and freeze.

Melt together chocolate and Crisco in microwave.  Nuke for one minute, then 30 seconds at a time, stirring until melted.  Whenever you melt chocolate, be sure to use a perfectly dry bowl. Any amount of water will make your chocolate “seize,” or clump up and get grainy.  The addition of the shortening ensures a smoother product with a more manageable consistency.  Butter or margarine cannot be substituted for the shortening because both contain water.
Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag with a small piping tip or you can use a plastic bag with tiny snip in the corner for piping. Invert the ice “muffins” onto a work surface and, using a quick back and forth motion, pipe the chocolate over the ice, side to side and up and down, turning the ice, to make a chocolate cup.  Let chocolate set and then gently lift the chocolate off the ice.  While you’re at it, pipe some chocolate hearts as well.  Refrigerate.
For any leftover chocolate, grab some strawberries or pretzels and deliciously dip away!  Refrigerate.

For the chocolate mousse:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped  (Ghirardelli.)
¼ cup strong coffee
3 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch kosher salt
2 eggs, separated
1 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup cream
1 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate with coffee and 3 TB sugar in a double boiler.  Add in vanilla and a pink of kosher salt and stir until smooth.

In another bowl, beat yolks until light colored.
Rosie Note:  Whenever you have eggs to beat, whether yolks or whites, you’ll get a better volume if your eggs are at room temperature.

 Beat in a little of the chocolate mixture to temper the yolks, then stir yolk mixture back into the chocolate mixture until well combined. 

Beat whites until stiff peaks form.  Beat in a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Take about 1/3 of the egg whites and stir into chocolate mixture until smooth.  Gently fold in the rest of the whites.

Beat cream until soft peaks form, then add the tablespoon of sugar and the teaspoon of vanilla.

Rosie Note:  Whenever beating cream, it helps to have the both bowl and beaters chilled.  It gives you more beat for your buck. 

Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to assemble, spoon mousse into chocolate cups.  Garnish with sliced strawberries or piped chocolate hearts, if desired.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Rosie Is In Knots. Bread Knots, That Is.

A little Hawthornelet asked me could I make garlic knots.
Of course!
So I did.
Here's my recipe:

Rosie's Garlic Parmesan Knots
3/4 cup water
1 package yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 TB oil
about 2 cups bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt

Pour water into a medium bowl and sprinkle yeast over surface, then sugar over yeast.  Let it sit until yeast "proofs."  That means the yeast "proves" it's alive by eating the sugar (Yeast is hungry!) and getting bubbly and foamy from producing carbon dioxide and alcohol.

When the yeast is poofy (That's the official culinary term - poofy.), start forking in the flour and salt.  Add in the flour gradually and form the dough into a ball.  Go easy when adding the second cup.  You probably won't need all the flour - just enough to form a soft, pliable ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead away for about 5 minutes.   It's simple:  if dough is too wet, sprinkle in more flour;  if dough is too stiff and dry, dampen your hands and keep working it.   Oil a bowl then place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat.  Cover and let rise until doubled.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and roll into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle.  Cut into quarters, then each quarter into 4 1 x 5 inch lengths.  Let rest about 10-15 minutes, then take each strip and tie into a knot.  Place on oiled baking sheet.  Cover and let rise.

In a small saucepan, melt 3 TB unsalted butter with 2 minced garlic cloves.
Brush each knot with the butter and garlic mixture.
If you happen to have some nice "finishing" salts, sprinkle a bit over each knot.  I used Hawaiian Alaea Red Sea Salt and Murray River Gourmet Pink Salt Flakes.
Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese and oregano over knots.

Bake in a 350° oven for about 16-18 minutes, turning halfway through.  They should be a light golden brown.

Serve with a nice marinara sauce.

For the marinara sauce:
1 TB oil
1-2 TB chopped bell pepper
1-2 TB chopped onion
1 small can tomato paste
garlic clove, minced
2 tsp sugar, to taste
1-2 TB oregano, to taste
pinch or so kosher salt, to taste

In a small sauce pan, heat the oil, then add pepper and onion.  Sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then scrape the tomato paste into the pan.  Wash the can out with water 3 times and add to the pan.  Whisk until smooth.  Set heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally.  Add in the garlic, sugar, oregano, and salt.  Cook about 30 minutes.  Taste test!  Adjust seasonings accordingly.

That's the way I fix my dipping sauce, which I also use on pizzas.
Mr. Hawthorne makes his a bit differently.  He doesn't use the chopped pepper and onion and minced garlic.  He uses granulated garlic and onion powder.  Maybe a teaspoon of each.

Just experiment and make a good, flavorful sauce.

For the step-by-steps:
Proof the yeast.  This is "poofy."

Add in the flour.

Add the oil...

...and the salt.

Fork the ingredients...

... and work it into a nice, soft ball.

Place in oiled bowl, cover, and put in warm place.

Let rise until doubled or more.

Place dough on lightly floured work surface.

Roll dough into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle.

Cut into quarters.

Cut quarters into quarters.
Let rest for a bit.

Then twist tie.

Place ties on lightly oiled baking sheet.

And let rise.

Brush with melted butter and garlic mixture.

Sprinkle with a "finishing" salt.
What is a finishing salt, you ask?  Finishing salts are all-natural, un-refined salts, unlike table and kosher salts which go through a refining process, removing distinct natural minerals which contribute to their unique characters.   Salt, like wine, is a product of its environment.  Where and how the salt is harvested will affect its taste, color, and texture.  Finishing salts retain their individual tastes.  As such, they don't go into your food.  They go onto it.  Finishing salts are an enhancement - they add character, voice, and texture - a subtle kick, if you will. 
This is Hawaiian Red Alaea salt.

This is Australian Murray River salt.

Next, give the knots some Parmesan and oregano love.

And bake.

Light golden.