Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Rosie Makes Shrimp Wontons.


 I made some boiled shrimp the other day and had my fill of it, along with a sinus-clearing cocktail sauce, so I was thinking, "What else can I do with this shrimp?"  As I've said before, Rosie doesn't do "leftovers."  Rosie does "moreovers."  What I do is take food that has served its purpose in one particular capacity and elevate it to a new and higher calling - in other words - "moreovers."  

Here's what I wrote before about "moreovers:"

 Nothing goes to waste in the Hawthorne Household.
And I don't refer to the remnants as leftovers.
Immediately after writing the word "leftovers,"
I knew I needed another word that was more real, more definitive, and positive.
First I thought of the word re-do's.
But that implies it wasn't done right
the first time around
when it certainly was.
Then I considered do-overs.
But, of course, that, too, has a negative connotation.
I've put a lot of thought into this trying to come up with just the right word which describes
the process of what I do in the life chain of the produce and viande I prepare and serve and consume.

And my word is moreovers.

Think about it:
You've already produced and served a wonderful, satisfying, convivial repast.
So, what's next?
MORE is next.
Whenever you say "moreover," you're likely going to top what you previously said,
put an exclamation point there, and/or put it in bold or italics.
So, I have no leftovers.



So, in the life cycle of this particular shrimp, I've already boiled the shrimp with Old Bay seasoning and served it, as I said, with a sinus-clearing cocktail sauce, so now  I'm going with moreover shrimp wontons.

First, I made a dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce for Shrimp Wontons:
1/4 cup cider vinegar 
2 TB honey
1 TB tamari sauce  *see note below
2 TB diced cucumber
1 sliced scallion
1 TB toasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 tsp gochugaru (Korean red chile pepper flakes)
1 1-inch cube ginger, pressed  **see note below
1 TB apricot preserves

Combine all ingredients.  Taste test.  Adjust anything if you like.  Make it yours.

*Rosie Note:  You could use soy sauce instead of tamari.  Basically they're the same thing, both being byproducts of fermented soy beans; however, soy sauce contains wheat and tamari is gluten-free (or has very little wheat).  Tamari generally has a darker color, is thicker, and has a richer flavor than soy sauce and because of its longer fermentation process, tamari has a smoother taste and deeper umami flavor.  Soy sauce tends to be saltier and sharper with a more pronounced bite.

**Rosie Note:   When I buy ginger root, I slice it into small cubes and freeze it.  When I'm ready to use the ginger, I take out a cube and nuke it for about 20 seconds.  You can easily squeeze it now to get ginger juice out of it. (It's difficult if not impossible to produce ginger juice from fresh ginger root.)   I use a garlic press to extract the juice and press out some of the pulp, which I scrape off and use in the sauce.

Next, for the shrimp wonton filling:

Shrimp filling:  (Enough for about 12 wontons.)
1 cup chopped, cooked shrimp (about 12 large shrimp)
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 ginger cube, pressed
1 tsp tamari sauce
1 chopped scallion
Combine all ingredients.

Now, here's a suggestion:  If you wanted to make this more like a Shrimp Rangoon, you could.  Simply mash about 2 -3 tablespoons of softened cream cheese into the mix and proceed.  Just be sure the edges are well-sealed, because cream cheese seeping out while you're frying can make a mess in the oil. 
I decided to go without the cream cheese this time because I wanted full shrimp flavor.
Place a small amount of shrimp filling in center of each wonton sheet.
Do not over-fill.
Instead of water, I use tamari or soy sauce to wet the edges.

Fold over, press, and crimp to seal.

Heat oil in skillet to 350°.
Place filled wontons, one at  a time, in hot oil.
Do not crowd the pan.
Fry both sides until golden brown.  About 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.

Drain on paper towels.

Plate wontons and sprinkle on some sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
Serve with dipping sauce.


Saturday, July 1, 2023

Rosie Makes Pork Tacos.



 Whenever I shop at Food Lion, I'm always looking for bargains, particularly in the meat department.  Recently, I found pork loins for $1.49/lb, so I came home with a couple loins, one to eat now and one to freeze for later.  I'm sorta in a taco mood, so I'm going to cube the meat, sear it, then stew it until it's nice and tender.  After that, it's going into a fried tortilla shell (maybe puffy maybe not) with all the fixin's - salsa, onion, jalapeño, shredded lettuce, garden-fresh cilantro with the raw seeds. My cilantro is going to seed now (coriander) and the raw, green seeds are a treat.  They have an intense cilantro flavor with a citrusy punch.  Gotta grow your own to experience this.

Pork Tacos

 boneless pork loin, about 2 1/2 pounds, trimmed and cubed
4 limes
 1 quart beef stock
1 cup orange juice
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 TB oregano

Trim fat off pork loin.  Cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
Working in batches, sear cubes in hot peanut oil 375° - 400° until brown on all sides.  Remove batch from pan, let oil come back up to temperature, and continue with next batch.
After all pork cubes are seared, lower temperature, return all to pan and pour in beef stock, scraping up the goody bits on the bottom (where the flavor is).  Add in juice of 4 limes and the cup of orange juice.  And I just threw in the whole limes for good measure.  (I had OJ out of the bottle, but you could, of course, use fresh and throw in the squeezed oranges.)
Low simmer. After an hour, toss in the garlic, onion, pepper, and spices.  Continue simmering for another 1/2 hour or so.  Until pork is fork tender. You can't overcook this.  It will only get more tender and the flavors more concentrated.

In a hot skillet over high heat, heat up peanut oil to 400°.  Place flour tortilla in hot oil and fry both sides until golden.  You can make puffy tacos, frying the tortillas in very hot oil and letting them puff up like a balloon, or you can use your tongs, flatten them out, and bend them into a taco shape while frying.  I hang them over the rack in a warm oven to keep their taco shape.

Remove limes and oranges from pot.

Fill taco with pork mixture.
Top with salsa, chopped onion, sliced jalapeños, and chopped cilantro.  I have my own cilantro growing in the garden, and it's going to flower and setting seeds now.  Use those raw green coriander seeds.  Intense cilantro flavor with a citrusy pop.

While the pork was stewing, I made a cornbread in my iron skillet.  Use your favorite cornbread recipe, pour into a hot iron skillet, and let it cook a few minutes on a burner before going into the oven.  Also, I topped my cornbread with sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced jalapeños, a sprinkling of cumin, and grated cheddar cheese before baking.

Here's my boneless pork loin.

Trim off the fat.

Cube it.

Hothothot pan.
Sear all sides.

Work in batches.

Nicely browned.

All cubes
back in pot.
Add beef stock.

 Add lime juice.
Throw in limes.

Orange juice.
Simmer for 90 minutes.
Until super tender.
I served the pork on a fried tortilla shell with a side of cornbread to sop up the juice.

If you like, you could add a can of corn to the pot, maybe even a small can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies, and have yourself a nice soup. 
Most excellent!