Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Rosie Makes Fried Shrimp And Stir Fried Vegetables.

Today I had a hankering for a shrimp and vegetable stir fry.  I always have shrimp in the freezer and I had lots of vegetables on hand, so all I needed to do was a bit of prep work.
This meal came together in no time.
And it was really good.

First, I got my vegetables prepped.   My vegetables on hand were broccoli, asparagus, celery, onion, and red and orange peppers.  Use what you have.  A can of baby corn would work nicely here.  Also carrots - slice them on the diagonal.  Snow peas would be good too.  Sliced bok choy.  Sliced mushrooms.  Sliced radishes.  Whatever works for you.
Cut the broccoli into small florets.  Slice the asparagus spears into thirds.  Slice the onion and peppers into strips.  

Get the sauce ready:   In a measuring cup, I combined a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with about 3/4 cup of beef stock and 1/4 cup soy sauce.  Stir to dissolve the cornstarch.  I also had some leftover pineapple/orange dipping sauce from the coconut fried shrimp I made last week - about 1/4 cup - so I’m using that as well.  In case you missed the coconut fried shrimp and dipping sauce, HERE IT IS.
In case you're too lazy to click on the link and get the recipe for the dipping sauce, I guess I'll just have to include it here:
Dipping sauce for coconut fried shrimp:
1 small can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple
1 TB horseradish
1 TB Gray Poupon Dijon mustard
1 TB soy sauce
2 TB orange marmalade
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat, stirring, to a simmer.  Remove from heat.
This is your basic starting point for sauce.  Taste test and adjust ingredients as you like.  You might like a bit more horseradish, for example.  Or more of the other ingredients.  Experiment.
Rosie Note:  When I say Gray Poupon Dijon mustard, I mean the real thing.  Do NOT substitute with the Food Lion brand.  For most items, I will substitute the generic brand, but not for this.  (Also not for chocolate chips.  Use Nestles or Ghirardelli.)  

Now for the shrimp:   I wanted fried shrimp so I set up a 3-part work station for the process.   I set out 3 containers.  (Save those Chinese take-out containers with the lids.  They come in quite handy.)  #1 container has a mixture of flour, pinch kosher salt, and a sprinkling of onion powder.  #2 has 2 beaten eggs.  #3 has a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and crumbled saltine crackers.  Dredge the shrimp through the flour, then the eggs, letting the excess drip off, and finally the panko/cracker mix.  Set on a plate and refrigerate while the oil comes up to temperature.  I used about 2 dozen large shrimp.

To fry:  Pour about 1 1/2 inches peanut oil into a large heavy fry pot.  My pot is about 5 inches deep with an 8 inch diameter.  Heat oil to 375°.  Carefully drop in 5 or 6 shrimp, one at a time, into the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown, about  60-75 seconds.  Remove and drain on rack.  Let oil come back to temperature before frying the next batch.  

Now stir fry the vegetables:   Heat a large skillet with maybe 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in it.  High heat.  About 375° - 400°.  Add in the broccoli first, using a wooden spatula or, if you’re adept at this sort of thing, take the skillet and do that motion with it where you go down and out away from you and then pull the away side back and up, flipping the vegetables.  Yep.  Takes some practice, but it’s all in the wrist.  After about a minute flipping, add in the rest of the vegetables and continue with the flipping for another minute.  Using a wooden spatula, scrape out a space in the center of the skillet and pour in the cornstarch/stock/soy mixture and stir for a few seconds until thickened.  Then I stirred in my pineapple/orange mixture.  Remove from heat.  
Rosie Note:  Always take the vegetables off the heat BEFORE you think they're ready.  You want them crunchy and bright, retaining their color.  Remember there is residual heat in the pan that's still cooking the vegetables.
To serve:  Place shrimp on a bed of rice (enriched with buttah!) and add the vegetables with sauce.


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