WOW, its been an eternity it seems! I knew that I haven’t been posting for quite a while, but I never realised just how long that “while” was. My last post dates from the 14th of May!!!
Its not that we’ve been food-less since, its more like its been an unusually tough few months. What a year 2016 turned out to be: a bad fall, broken bones, surgery, and a long, very long, recovery….. And today? thankfully the last of it. The 31st of December, and not a moment too soon!
I am thankful, and grateful, for the lessons that this year has brought, but happy and relieved to say goodbye all the same. Thanks but no thanks, it is quite enough! I welcome 2017 with arms wide open and look forward to cheer and joy, to friends and fun, laughter, drinks of course, and tons of good food.
Today, to celebrate, I decided to make Sol’s shrimps.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve made this dish, so it may not turn out “exact”, but its the right day for it. Having Sol in the kitchen with me today is just what I need, and OMG this dish smacks of my big brother so much, that every time I make it, I could swear that he is right here with me, sipping at his scotch and watching me with an amused look on his face!
Sol was 8 years my senior and has been a loving constant in my life ever since I can remember! up until he decided to up and go that is, coming up to nearly six years now.
Sol was my protector, my mentor, my friend, and my biggest fan club. We have always been close, and have managed to remain in close contact throughout the many countries that we each lived in. Never the same one, except for our growing up years!
Our favourite place to hang-out was often in the kitchen, with a drink, concocting a dish of some kind, and always thinking up ways to improve on its prior version.
I miss him terribly… I suspect that I always will…
Sol’s big passion was seafood of any kind! Fish, shell fish, cooked, or raw… anything from the sea had a special place in his heart.
This prawn recipe was one of his favourites…
Cleaning the shrimps:
Frozen shrimps are fine since they’re always readily available, but I will have to ask that you get shrimps with their heads on! A lot of the flavour is in the head, and even if you end up not eating it, it definitely imparts extra flavour to the sauce. It also helps preserve the shrimps in a fairly decent shape, by preventing them from shrinking too much.
8 jumbo shrimps
a 2cms piece of fresh ginger
a knob of butter
a bit of olive oil
cognac (?? I just do it by eye!)
1/3 cup light cream
You can not prepare this dish ahead of time, it has to be a last minute affair. It is super quick so never really a problem. The only time consuming part is cleaning the shrimps. Sol was the one to teach me how to clean them with scissors. It is quick and easy, just follow the pictures. You can do the cleaning ahead of time, and store the shrimps in the fridge ready to use. No more than a few hours ahead of time.
So, lets start …
grate the ginger and the garlic
melt the butter
mix ginger, garlic, and paprika in it
use half the butter mixture and cook shrimps on medium high heat
turn them over and add the other half of the butter mixture
keep cooking on medium high heat while making sure to shake the pan to cook evenly
add enough cognac to deglaze the pan and get all the nice bits
keep shaking the pan
you may need to add some more cognac if you think the shrimps need a bit more cooking (just use your own judgement!)
add the cream and adjust salt to taste
that’s it, remove from heat!
arrange the shrimps in your serving dish, pour the sauce around, cut some nice fresh crisp bread for moping up the sauce, and place around the dish
P.S. You can also serve this as a main dish if you wish. It goes beautifully with Basmati rice to soak up the sauce, and sauteed spinach on the side. Personally I tend to lean towards the appetizer form of whatever can be turned into appetizers! I just love the one central dish, many forks, many friends, and many drinks!