Friday, November 9, 2007

1st Weekly Recipe

This week's recipe took some thinking. Avocados have never been one of my favorite foods, and worse yet it's really hard to find good ones at my local grocery. But I carried on as it is my sworn duty to create a delicious recipe from what you bring me.

Let's see now, the other ingredients were shrimp and mandarin oranges. Luckily, I love these (who doesn't?) so the wheels started turning. Avocados... southwest... shrimp... everywhere... mandarin.. asian.. oranges... yum! It hit me at all once, east meets west in a crazy-spicy-sweet thai style sweet and sour shrimp salad.

From there it only got easier, I already have a basic spicy sweet and sour sauce in Wholesome Sensualities, so I took that and gave it a twist to brighten it up. Now, I could have just used orange juice in the sauce, and left the mandarin oranges alone to mingle with the greens - but that would be boring wouldn't it? Boring is worse than a failed attempt, so I tried.

The result? Fantastic, even if I do say so myself. I like things with a little more heat, so I added another three tablespoons of chili flakes than what the recipe says below (not everyone likes spice). There normally would be a photograph of the dish here, but my camera is on the fritz this week. So without further adue, I give to you Thai Shrimp Salad!

Thai Shrimp

3 Cups Shrimp
1 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Cups Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Sucralose
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 1/2 Cups Mandarin Oranges
2 1/4 Cup Terriyaki Sauce
1 Tbsp Crushed Chili Flakes

In a large wok bring chicken stock and orange juice to a simmer. While it heats, take 1 1/2 cups of mandarin oranges and put them into a food processor; puree until smooth. Immediately add the orange puree and terriyaki sauce to the stock and juice mixture. Allow this to simmer for 5 minutes.

Slowly stir in the seasonings and continue to simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the sauce thickens to a syrup like consistency.

Meanwhile, on a preheated grill, cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes (or until done) then immediately place in an ice water bath. The ice water will stop the cooking so that your shrimp does not get tough later on.

Once the sauce has reduced to a syrup, remove the pot from heat and carefully fold in the shrimp.

Summer Salad

3 Ripe Avocados
3 Cups Baby Spinach
1 Cup Romaine Lettuce
3 Cups Boston Lettuce
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Tomato
1 1/2 Cups Mandarin Oranges

Carefully cut each avocado in half, give it a slight twist and pull the two ends apart. One end will hold the core; to get it out simply give it a whack with your knife, twist, and pull. Once you have it free use a spoon to slide the avocado flesh from the skin and slice it thinly.

In a large bowl toss together all three greens and the sliced avocado. Thinly slice a tomato and toss it in as well. Mix in the mandarin orange segments and finally sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Thai Shrimp Salad

1 Recipe Thai Shrimp (see above)
1 Recipe Summer Salad (see above)

Plate individual servings of the summer salad and dress each one with a few shrimp and three tablespoons of the syrup.

Serves 3

Alongside the weekly posts I'm going to be doing a series of Christmas special recipes. For 12 days I will be posting a different cookie recipe, each one a modified version of a classic (and each one deliciously sugar free). I know, I know, we have tons of time before Christmas. This is just an advanced warning so you can get your recipe books cleared out for 12 great new cookies! "The 12 Cookies of Christmas" will begin on December 13th, which just happens to be my birthday. Happy cooking!


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