Cajun Shrimp Pasta

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Cajun Shrimp Pasta

This recipe was love at first sight. I’m not usually knocked out of my socks so quickly, but even in the briefest glance I knew it was love.

However, once I composed myself and wiped the drool off my chin, I realized that the original chef, Leslie of scrumpdillyicious.blogspot.com, intended this to be an appetizer. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to take this recipe and put it center stage: as an entrée.

Home run.

I’ve made this dish twice in about a week so I think it’s definitely made its way into the weekly dinner rotation. I’ve served the shrimp over both spaghetti and fettuccine; fettuccine was better. I took about a tablespoon of the Cajun spice mix, combined it with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and used that as my Cajun “sauce” for the pasta. It was very tasty. I did find that if you use too much of the spice mix on the pasta it can taste a bit gritty. Though 1 tablespoon is enough to season pasta for 3-4, without being texturally odd.

I am considering trying to turn the Chipotle Mayo into a sauce for the pasta. My main hang up is that I loathe mayonnaise, but I imagine Greek yogurt would make a great substitute. I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

Even so, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Quick. Easy. Delicious. My favorite dinnertime adjectives. I marinated my shrimp for about 45 minutes and they were very flavorful. If you’re busy, you could probably devein your shrimp the night before and allow it to marinade over night. Then dinner the next day should take about 15 minutes. Boil water. Cook Pasta. Sauté shrimp. Fin.

Very, very tasty, I highly recommend.

Dinner Party Update:

After exhuastive Internet searching (really exhaustive, I think I actually burned a few calories) I decided to throw caution to the wind and make a pumpkin spice cake.

Despite how popular pumpkin has become, I was really underwhelmed with the amount of pumpkin spice layer cake recipes I found that didn’t incorporate a cake mix. My opinion is that when baking go big or go home. No cake mixes in this kitchen.

I stumbled across a recipe used by Willow Bird Baking, and I was nearly stunned into silence (nearly). I’m not so ambitious, on this occasion, as to make the cake, with the chai mousse and profiteroles (though I have been DYING to make profiteroles, so perhaps their day in the sun is on it’s way). I will be making the pumpkin cake with a cream cheese frosting. I’m very excited about it. I’m baking tomorrow, though I won’t post until after it’s been tasted (Saturday) so… look out for the results Sunday or Monday.

Should be good fun!

Happy Eating 🙂

Garlic and Ginger Shrimp

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Yum!

Most of my recipes I either learn from a friend or family member or I find them on the Internet. This is one of the few recipes that I came up with myself. It is very flavorful and very easy. The hardest part is deveining the shrimp, which is more tedious than difficult. I actually find it to be somewhat relaxing.

I put this recipe together with a friend for a dinner party. I originally served it with spring rolls as an appetizer, but I like this recipe so much that I think it can stand on its own. I like to cook meals that are inspired by Chinese flavors. I would love to visit China and get a real sense of what authentic Chinese cooking is like. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to do so yet.  It would be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about Chinese flavors, Chinese culture and hopefully help improve my rice making technique too.

I have a good friend from Malaysia and she makes the most wonderful Chinese food. She has shown me how to make rice properly, but mine does not come out nearly as well as hers. I will have to keep practicing. She did give me some really good advice about making fried rice. She said that it is better to use leftover rice for fried rice because it is firmer and drier than rice that has just been prepared. I did not have the foresight to seek her rice making counsel the day before I made my Garlic and Ginger Shrimp and consequently my rice was not as dry as it should have been.

Lesson learned.

As you can tell from the picture, I paired my shrimp with fried rice and some shredded carrots. I stir-fried the carrots at the same time as the shrimp. Next time I think I will steam some vegetables separately and then make a little extra marinade to spoon over them. Shrimp cooks super fast, so I overcooked mine slightly in an effort to soften my carrots a little more. It was still very tasty, but I think I should have taken the shrimp out of the pan a minute sooner than I did.

Happy Eating 🙂

3-4 tbs low sodium soy sauce

1 tbs oyster sauce

1 inch of ginger, finely chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

3-4 scallions finely chopped

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp allspice or Chinese 5-Spice

Optional:

1 chili, finely chopped or

1 tbs chili garlic sauce

½ lbs shrimp, cleaned and deveined

1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1)   In a medium bowl combine all the marinade ingredients together. Taste a tiny bit on your finger. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

2)   Clean and devein the shrimp if necessary. Mix shrimp in the marinade and allow to sit for about a half hour.

3)   Heat olive oil in a wok or frying pan until it starts to sizzle.

4)   Using a spoon, scoop the shrimp out of the marinade and put into the pan.

5)   Stir-fry the shrimp for about 30 seconds before adding the remainder of the marinade.

Serve with rice and vegetables