Legend of the Drunken Shrimp
If you’ve found your way here, hopefully you know what this is all about. David and I are going to do some things and write about them. You can read about the categories to see what those things are and you can read Why 5×2? to learn a little bit about why we are doing this. Tonight we are talking about cooking
I got a little burnt out on blogging and cooking last year so when it came time to pick the meal for the first cooking blog I volunteered David to cook something at his house. He seemed OK with that and offered the idea to make Drunken Shrimp, which David described as shrimp marinated in gin served over Japanese rice. He had me at “marinated in Gin.”
The morning of our dinner arrived and I called David to see if I had promised to do anything at all for this meal. He assured me that I hadn’t. I thought I should offer to do something and David said I could bring an appetizer if I really wanted to. My first thought was to cook something out of my favorite cookbook, Damn Good Food. I could make the cabbage salad. It’s flavored with sesame oil and soy sauce which I thought would go nicely with the shrimp. The cabbage salad reminds me of the lettuce wraps I’ve had at P.F Chang’s and after I remembered I didn’t have to cook everything from the same cook book I decided to make the lettuce wraps instead of the salad. They didn’t turn out exactly like the P.F Chang wraps, but they were pretty easy to make and they traveled very well. Once we started cooking the real meal, it was easy to warm up the filling that I had prepared earlier in the afternoon. We tried to entice the kids to try the lettuce wraps, but I knew they would really be for the adults. The four of us stood around in the Kitchen eating the wraps as we watched David prepare the shrimp. I think when we envisioned the cooking portion of the blog, we pictured cooking things together, but David was very comfortable with this recipe and I was more than happy to just watch. First, he blanched some very colorful peas and carrots and started the rice. At some point he moved the vegetables to another pot and started sauteing the gin-soaked shrimp.
Along with the lettuce wraps, I brought some beer over for the meal and, in keeping with the Asian motif, I grabbed a six-pack of Asahi Super Dry, which is a very crisp, mellow beer that I thought went pretty well with both the lettuce wraps and the shrimp.
How can I describe the shrimp? My first thought was that David did not skimp for this meal. You can see from the pictures that there is a large mound of shrimp being cooked up. I don’t think we came close to finishing them, but if I had been smarter I would have skipped eating my second lettuce wrap. Once David declared the meal ready, I dished up a huge portion for myself with lots of rice, vegetables and as much shrimp as I thought was polite to pile on. My last year of cooking was spent gloriously adding cream and butter to create rich heavy meals. By contrast the Drunken Shrimp was delicious and lite. I can’t speak for actual calories, but it was lightly sweet without being too rich or heavy. I went back for seconds because I had to add more shrimp to balance things out. I must have taken too much rice the first time around (that is the story I am going with). Thirds seemed piggish so I stayed at the table and talked.
Before too long we broke out the cake that was leftover from the previous night’s book club (which both our wives attended). And then, even later, I think there was some Scotch. I predict it is going to be another delicious year.