Oil bubbled for frying, oven warmed for roasting, and ingredients lay waiting to be chopped, grated and minced as we gathered for Culinary Experimentation Club this week.
Don set up a Do-I-Yourself Margarita Bar, then proceeded to go ahead and make them for us anyways. Mmm, mmm, lovely and strong, they fortified us beautifully as we cooked then washed the mountain of dishes we made.
Darren started things off with a bowl full of salty tortilla chips for dipping in his wonderfully savory Roasted Pepper Salsa.
Jason made the best Beer-Battered Shrimp I’ve ever had in my life. I think dusting the shrimp with paprika and chili powder before battering is what took them over the top.
I whipped up a hodge-podge marinade of sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and Hoisin sauce to coat a pile of green beans Mums gave me from her garden. Then I roasted them for 40 minutes until they were soft with caramelized tips. Roasted Sesame Ginger Green Beans just became my new favorite veggie dish.
Jenny toiled over the stove to make this beautiful White and Wild Rice Pilaf studded with red bell peppers and baby prawns.
Robin and Cameron arrived frazzled and out of breath yet somehow managed to create this positively scrumptious Broccoli Cucumber Salad with Spiced Prawns in no time at all.
I have the photo of dessert at the end of our meal but, truth be told, we devoured most of these brownies before our meal even started. They’re that good. A few weeks back I won a box of King Arthur Gluten-Free Brownie Mix and finally got around to making them. I followed the directions exactly save for using walnut oil instead of vegetable oil. Oh. My. I confess I was skeptical, but every doubt was obliterated with one bit of these moist, chewy and oh so chocolatey brownies. I’ll choose these babies over regular brownies any day of the week. Well done King Arthur!!
What is your favorite food from your home area?
I’m so excited to have my article on Road-Tripping through Germany featured at The Travel Belles today!! Please click here for gorgeous views of mountains, meadows and a lake of deepest turquoise.
Jenny’s White and Wild Rice Pilaf
(Adapted from All Recipes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups Swanson® Vegetable Broth (regular or Certified Organic)
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup baby prawns
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic and cook until tender. Stir in broth and wild rice. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 25 minutes.
- Stir in white rice and baby prawns. Cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until rice is done. Stir in parsley.
Jason’s Beer Batter Shrimp
(Adapted from www.cookeatshare.com)
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast (the type that does not have to be proofed in water first and can be directly added to the flour)
3 tablespoons warm water
One 12 oz bottle beer at room temperature
1 1/4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 litre vegetable oil, for frying
- Add the instant yeast and sea salt to the flour and stir together. Add the water and beer and whisk together well. The batter should be thin like pancake batter. If the batter appears too thick or two thin you can add a little more flour or water as needed. Don’t worry if there are still a few lumps in the batter, this is not a problem, it is better not to over mix this batter. Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F.
2 dozen fresh, raw, large shrimp, peeled, washed and deveined
½ cup flour
- Toss the shrimp in the lemon juice, Paprika, and Chili Powder then dredge them well in the flour before dipping them into the batter and dropping them into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown turning them over once if necessary.
- Let cool and serve with a fresh lime.
Krista’s Roasted Sesame Ginger Green Beans
2 handfuls fresh green beans, trimmed and washed (if large, cut in pieces)
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
4″ piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Place beans in bowl, set aside.
- In blender add remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth.
- Pour over green beans and toss to coat.
- Spread green beans in baking pan and roast for 20-40 minutes, stirring once, until tender and ends are browned.