I was thinking about my Mom the other day.
She would always tell me at the dinner table, “Stop playing with your food!” Little did she know that I would take that talent into a virtual career.
If you have read my food columns, I know that tens of you have, I have a somewhat skewered take on food and the Epicurean world we live in. Some may even call me unstable. This came to light several years ago when one day at work in a restaurant kitchen I was faced with the task of cleaning and peeling 60 pounds of shrimp for an event we were catering. The shrimp came in at a 31-40 count, which translated into a least 1800 and something of the little buggers.
Standing at the sink with the water running, I became bored soon. Sensing a lull in the kitchen, I decided it was time to act, and act fast. It was time to gather around my co-workers and treat them to my famed Shrimp Puppet Show. I looked down into the giant colander and sent out a casting call for shrimps that seemed suitable for my production. With the deftness of a Broadway producer, I brought them to life for the entertainment of anyone around who needed a break. My shrimps talked, they danced and they interacted with each other. I call my skit “The Shrimp & Dale Show”. If you try this at home, be creative. “The Ren & Shrimpy Show” is another good one.
One of my favorite skits involved the star, Shrimp & Dale or Ren & Shrimpy getting into all kinds of trouble at the Prawn Shop. In another funny take, I placed an empty shrimp shell on my index finger and he suddenly became Darth Vader in a Shrimp Wars Episode V show. If you talk into an empty glass and breath heavily, “Shrimp and Dale, I am your father!” This brings your characters to life and it’s almost as if you are right there in the movie theater. I had one poor bus girl and another waitress laughing so hard they had iced-tea coming out of their noses.
If you have a paperweight on your desk with a miniature golfer on it, take the little golf club out of it and stick it in a shrimp. Instantly you have golf shrimp.
Here a two of my favorite shrimp recipes, one traditional one not so traditional. If what you have just read about my antics in the kitchen, then of course, buy your shrimp already peeled and deveined.
As for me, I love shrimp, love to eat ‘em and I love to play with them.
1 Lb. Shrimp, Shelled and Deveined
1 Small Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
1 Tsp. Ginger
2 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1 Cup Fish Stock
1 12 Oz. Can Rotel Tomatoes, Drained
4 Oz. Roasted Peanuts
2 Oz. Shredded Coconut
1 Cup Freshly Chopped Cilantro
Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Sauté shrimp, onion, garlic and ginger in sesame oil for 5 minutes.
Add fish stock and tomatoes and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Chop the peanuts in a food in a food processor and add the peanuts and coconut to the soup. Whisk well and season. Serve in bowls topped with cilantro.
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
¾ Cup Butter
1 Lb. Extra Large Shrimp, Peeled & Deveined
3 Large Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tbs. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 Tbs. Freshly Chopped Parsley
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet. Add shrimp, garlic and lemon juice and sauté, stirring constantly, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over noodles.