Category: rice

The second round: chive risotto cakes.

Yeah so I made these quite a while ago, over a year, and it was kind of a disaster. Not that they weren’t tasty; they were. But they fell apart, weren’t crispy enough and were basically flat, sad little soft disks of cheese, rice & panko. They’re an Ina Garten recipe and I’ve never, ever, EVER had any issues with her recipes. However this one was my fault. I fucked it up. Embarrassingly so. And that, my friends, is why I’m doing a second round. I must conquer the chive risotto cake.

the first time, I used the wrong yogurt, which definitely contributed to the mess. Greek yogurt in these is a MUST- it’s so thick it really keeps everything together. DO NOT USE YOGURT THAT ISN’T GREEK BUT CLAIMS TO BE ” EXTRA THICK.” It’s not. Use Greek. Not Icelandic, not American, not French, not Mexican, not Yoplait… GREEK. Also, I did not leave them to chill in the fridge long enough. On top of the “wrong-yogurt” debacle, I also couldn’t control my impatient self and of course, didn’t wait “at least two hours.” I know, I’m groaning too. I’m a fool. But I’m going to redeem myself with this post today. Because these came out so perfect, Ina herself would gasp in delight.

See? Gasp-worthy.

CHIVE RISOTTO CAKES

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 ½ cups grated Italian fontina cheese (5 ounces)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • Good olive oil

Directions:

  1. Bring a large (4-quart) pot of water to a boil over medium-low heat and add ½ tablespoon salt and the Arborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains of rice will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, chives, fontina, 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt, and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, until firm.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  4. Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard (2 ¼-inch) ice-cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and ¾-inch thick. Place 4 to 6 patties in the panko, turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side until the risotto cakes are crisp and nicely browned.
  5. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Continue cooking in batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried. Arrange on a serving platter and serve hot.

As far as the fontina, you can use any pale-colored cheese you like. I used white cheddar both times because I love it. But if you love fontina, then use it. I used chives from my own garden this time, and I can’t tell you that made much of a difference in flavor, although I added more because last time I skimped, so it did have a better chive flavor. And it was certainly convenient to just run outside my back door with a pair of scissors and snip off a bunch, unlike last time when I had to go to the store to buy some. I won’t tell you that the olive oil isn’t important, it is, if you use a shitty one the flavor isn’t going to be as nice. Sometimes cheap olive oil has a weird flavor to it. Stick with a good brand name for frying these. Also, I like to use the Italian flavored panko, but that’s up to you.

Mine stayed in the fridge for about 5 ½ hours this time before I fried them. The difference was amazing. They molded perfectly, stuck together, didn’t fall apart even in the frying pan. They came out exactly right; crispy, crunchy outside and a creamy inside. Yum. That parsley garnish is also from my garden. My parsley is crazy-go-nuts, seriously. It’s like a shrub.

So let’s go over the “DON’TS” of this recipe one more time:

  1. DON’T use any yogurt other than plain Greek yogurt.
  2. DON’T be impatient: let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  3. DON’T use breadcrumbs other than panko.
  4. DON’T use regular rice!!!!! THIS IS A BIG NO-NO. Arborio only!

Like I said last time, these are a great light dinner item and an even better lunch item. Served with a fresh salad? Perfect. Despite the cheese and the yogurt and the eggs, they’re very light tasting. Not overly greasy or heavy, but full of flavor.

“Waiter, there’s fungi in my risotto!”

Before I get started talking about fungus, I wanna say how much I appreciate all my readers and fans. There’s no smooth transition between talking about fungi and my fans, or vice versa, so I won’t even try. I just wanted to tell you all that I really do appreciate you, every single one of you, and I love all the awesome comments and e-mails I get from you. You guys are the best, and because you all give me such rad feedback and keep me going, it makes me doing this site so much more fun. So thank you, seriously. I am not exaggerating when I say you’re all that and a frosted cupcake, for sure.  Speaking of cupcakes, if I could send each and every one of you a cupcake with frosting piled 4 inches high and a big hug, I would. Don’t worry- I’m not losing my edge. I guess since Valentine’s Day is coming I got a little sappy there… but it’s all the truth. Allright, enough, now let’s talk about food.

I’ve said many times before, I LOVE RISOTTO. It’s one of my favorite dishes to make at home. I have about five recipes for it on this website alone. In restaurants, I find myself being very picky and somewhat snobbish about it. I’ve only encountered one risotto that was satisfactory to my taste and expectations on L.I.- at Wall’s Wharf in Bayville, the mushroom risotto. Other than that, it’s always been either too dry, too rubbery, too much like regular rice, or too mushy. So I usually just stick to making it myself and choosing other dishes when dining out.

Okay so, me and mushrooms have a troubled history. I don’t love them. I tolerate them in certain dishes, but I’m not really what you would call a mushroom lover. However, while doing my grocery shopping the other day I thought, “Why don’t I buy these beauteous baby bella mushrooms and do something with them?” I don’t know if I had accidentally ingested acid earlier in the day, or if indeed I’m beginning to *gasp* actually like mushrooms. I’ll go with ‘a’  just to save my reputation.

A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name “mushroom” is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, hence the word mushroom is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) on the underside of the cap, just as do store-bought white mushrooms.

The word “mushroom” can also be used for a wide variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems, and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word.

Forms deviating from the standard morphology usually have more specific names, such as “puffball“, “stinkhorn“, and “morel“, and gilled mushrooms themselves are often called “agarics” in reference to their similarity to Agaricus or their placement in the order Agaricales. By extension, the term “mushroom” can also designate the entire fungus when in culture or the thallus (called a mycelium) of species forming the fruiting bodies called mushrooms, or the species itself.

I’ve always found it odd that mushrooms are even a part of our human diet- considering they’re a fungus. It’s like eating bleu cheese, sorta, because you’re essentially eating mold (bleu cheese is one of my favorite cheeses, by the way). But nevertheless, there they are, in all their glory, with their little caps and stems looking like something out of Alice In Wonderland. And we buy ‘em and stuff them and saute them and put them on pizza and in risotto and some people even use them as the “burger” in a faux-hamburger! Oh, mushrooms, you so crazy. Isn’t it funny that a society that has so many germophobic tendencies, and obsessions with cleanliness and getting rid of dirt and mold and fungus, actually enjoy eating those very things?

So here’s a dee-rish-us recipe from Tyler Florence. I will tell you here that I only used baby bella mushrooms, an 8 oz package, and it was plenty as far as I’m concerned. If you’re a big mushroom fan, do as you like. I also didn’t use truffle oil, just regular olive oil. I didn’t garnish with parsley either. Rebel, rebel.

MUSHROOM RISOTTO

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 pound fresh portobello and crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh Italian parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the chicken broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ½ onion and 1 clove garlic, cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms, herbs and butter. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in truffle oil then add the dried porcini mushrooms which were reconstituted in1 cup of warm chicken broth. Season again with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Saute 1 minute then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Coat a saucepan with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Saute the remaining ½ onion and garlic clove. Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque, 1 minute. This step cooks the starchy coating and prevents the grains from sticking. Stir in wine and cook until it is nearly all evaporated.
  4. Now, with a ladle, add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue to cook and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy. Transfer the mushrooms to the rice mixture. Stir in Parmesan cheese, cook briefly until melted. Top with a drizzle of truffle oil and chopped parsley before serving.

Ch-ch-ch-chive risotto cakes.

EDIT: BEFORE YOU READ THIS POST… know that this post is my first, and my only failed attempt at making these. If you want to see them done correctly, please go to this updated version. If you want to read about my failure, keep reading!

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Okay, this is the first time I’m writing up an entry for an awesome recipe that I failed to execute correctly. Through no fault of it’s own, the chive risotto cakes recipe couldn’t live up to it’s full potential because I am an impatient bitch. Patience is a virtue I do not have. Besides, when you’re hungry, 2+ hours seems like forever. So I cut it a bit short, and they weren’t as firm as they should’ve been, and so they didn’t hold the shape while frying. Woops. You see, dear readers, I am not perfect. I may look it, with my cute hair cut/color, my perfect eyebrows, and my beautiful little swirls of frosting a top my gorgeous little cupcakes. But, alas, I am not perfect. Vain and self-important, yes. Perfect, no.

Sometimes, shit just works out for you. Despite your rebelliousness or substitution of ingredients or your rushed and harried manner… despite all that, your food just glows and sparkles and looks like something out of Martha Stewart Living. Example: my “white” cupcakes that I didn’t use cake flour for, nor did I sift the all-purpose flour I did in fact use.  So yeah, sometimes it works out like that. Other times, even if you do everything right, the Shit Gods just smile on you. Or poop on you. Whatever. This was just one of those times. I do blame myself for not allowing them to set properly. But really, Ina, 2+ hours!? Really!? I have no patience for such things! I’m the person who cuts her hair even shorter when it grows out to the awkward stage, because I have no patience to see it through. You think I can wait 2+ hours… or overnight… for chive risotto cakes of mouthwateringlyness!?

That said, they were delicious. Another A+++ recipe from my homegirl Ina Garten. I used white cheddar instead of fontina because that’s just what I had around, and they were so amazing. If they had only been crunchier. *sigh* I will make them again and give them the proper setting time in the fridge, and they will hold their shape better, and the pictures will come out better. But for now here are my sad little chive risotto cakes that couldn’t hold their shapes.

They don’t look too bad here… except for that one on the left that obviously fell apart.
Further evidence of my impatience.

Ina made them for a lunch with some arugula salad on the side, I had mine for dinner with big fat slices of Italian bread. To each his own I say. You can never have too many carbs!

CHIVE RISOTTO CAKES

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 ½ cups grated Italian fontina cheese (5 ounces)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • Good olive oil

Directions:

  1. Bring a large (4-quart) pot of water to a boil over medium-low heat and add ½ tablespoon salt and the Arborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains of rice will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, chives, fontina, 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt, and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, until firm.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  4. Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard (2 ¼-inch) ice-cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and ¾-inch thick. Place 4 to 6 patties in the panko, turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side until the risotto cakes are crisp and nicely browned.
  5. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Continue cooking in batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried. Arrange on a serving platter and serve hot.

I really do recommend them… they were fabu-licious. But just be sure to give them the right amount of time to set. This is an excellent example of why I love doing this blog: you can learn from my mistake! Anyway, I wouldn’t say they were a FAIL… they tasted delicious and didn’t look that bad either. But they definitely weren’t Food Network worthy. All in all, great recipe. Poor execution on my part. Boo.

I would have used a bit more chive in them though, next time. Next time… I will conquer you, risotto cakes. I will CONQUER you.

You can has really good white rice?

Yes, you can has!

Okay so I think white rice is one of those things people make and don’t really think about. Everyone just follows the usual 2-1 ratio of water/rice and makes it just the way it says on the bag. And usually, unless you’re making it in a rice steamer, it comes out in clumps or is really mushy or too dry and yet people just accept it. And you may feel stupid asking other people about it, thinking “How freakin’ difficult could it be to make rice!?” But yet in reality most people are probably struggling with the same problem, they either just don’t realize it or don’t know how/why. Well- no more!

Thanks to Daisy Martinez, who I’ve been watching on PBS for ages and who is now an official Food Network star… this is the perfect way to make white rice. Its a really easy and hands-off way to make absolutely perfect, fluffy and yet not clumpy and sticky white rice.

Fluffiest, tastiest white rice ever, folks…

BASIC WHITE RICE

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup canola oil*
  • 4 cups long grain white rice
  • Water or broth to cover the rice (about 5 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons salt

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, or a smaller vessel with a heavy bottom, over medium-high heat. Add the rice and salt, stirring to coat the rice with oil. When the rice starts to appear opaque and chalky, add enough cold water to cover the rice by the width of two fingers (about one inch).
  2. Bring to a rapid boil, and boil—without stirring!—until the water level reaches the level of the rice.
  3. Stir the rice once and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.
  4. Stir the rice gently from bottom to top to fluff it up and serve. Perfect rice!

*I actually used sunflower oil which is high in Vitamin E and lower in saturated fats.

As far as storage goes, Daisy says:

I use long grain rice (like Carolina brand). Short grain rice has a different taste and texture; it is chewier. Some people rinse their rice one or more times before cooking it. I never do, and it seems to come out just fine. Storing rice is never an issue in our house; we go through it fast enough that it’s not a problem. If you’re keeping it, make sure it is in a cool place in a tightly covered container, like a large plastic storage container with a tight lid.

You can leave the rice covered in a heavy pot [after cooking] and it will stay hot and in good shape for about an hour.

To reheat rice that’s been refrigerated I prefer the microwave. Put the rice in a bowl, sprinkle a little water over the top, cover the bowl with plastic and cook until hot. You may also reheat rice in a skillet with a tight fitting lid. Add a couple of tablespoons of liquid and cook over very low heat until hot.

By the way- long grain rice has a higher concentration of amylose, meaning its better for diabetics. Amylose is one of the two components of starch, and is basically a polymer of glucose. Short grain is better for sushi or paella because its stickier.

And yeah, we all know brown rice is better for you, but sometimes white rice is just more taste-appropriate for dishes (i.e. jambalaya).

I served it in this particular instance with shrimp, snow pea and carrot stir-fry in a Hawaiian/Terikyaki marinade. But rice is also used in many hispanic/Spanish recipes. Now that you know the secret to amazing white rice, you can use it for anything.

Shrimp Stir-fry.

One of my favorite foods is Asian. I love Chinese food, be it greasy take-out Chinese or fancy sit down Chinese, and I love Japanese stir-fry & Teriyaki. Not too big on Thai or Korean, but I digress. Stir-fry is also the easiest thing to make at home. As long as you have soy sauce, ginger (either powdered, candied or gingerroot that you grate yourself could be used), garlic and some rice and veggies- you have a meal.

Fresh veggies!


The original recipe that I used for this particular meal is for beef stir-fry, but I wanted to use shrimp (which is again one of my favorites), so I amended it a bit (if you decide to use chicken or beef, cook it in the skillet with some oil before you make the veggies, then put it in a bowl and cover it to keep it warm… shrimp cooks really fast so the directions are different). But like I’ve said before, you can use anything: chicken, beef, shrimp or even tofu I suppose. Its totally open to interpretation. You can use any rice you like also. Brown rice, jasmine rice, white rice… whatever! Any vegetables you have can be used, I used carrots, onion and broccoli but you can throw in peas, snap peas, water chestnuts, anything you like. You see how versatile it is? It’s the perfect meal for nights when you have tons of stuff in the house but no clue what to make.

SHRIMP STIR-FRY

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined and preferably tail-off
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium heads broccoli, or one frozen 16 oz. bag broccoli cuts or florets
  • 2 tbsp. grated gingerroot, or 2 tsp. ground ginger

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, cornstarch, dark brown sugar, garlic and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and stir fry for 5 minutes then add carrots and broccoli (cut into florets, or just cuts if using fresh) along with ½ cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp to skillet along with ginger and soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil,  and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Make sure shrimp is opaque and pink, if so, then its  done. Serve hot over rice or noodles.

And there ya go. A quick, filling and delicious meal you can make with everything and the kitchen sink! Those shrimp look amazing, don’t they? Don’t you want to reach into your monitor and grab one? Yeah. I know. If only Willy Wonka’s attempt at sending food through the TV was feasible. Then you could indeed grab some of this yummy stir-fry. But thats okay, I’m sure the Big Mac you’re eating is really good, too.

Yeah, messy plating job in exhibit A, but dude, seriously- this ain’t Bon Appetit.

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And uh, don’t forget to become a fan of Cupcake Rehab on Facebook! What are you waiting for? I said go become a fan!

“Leftover” fried rice.

I love Chinese food, and I’m one of those people who eats a lot of white rice with her main dish, so therefore I order a lot. But you always end up with a buttload of extra white rice that sits in the fridge, and no one eats it, and it gets thrown away. Not anymore!

Sara Moulton had this recipe on her show Sara’s Weeknight Meals last year and I made a mental note to make it. Tonight was one of those nights when it was hot, and I didn’t want to cook anything incredibly involved or complex, and so I made this. I used chicken because I didn’t have shrimp, but according to Sara, “any protein can be used.” I used peas, carrots,  corn, egg, chicken, minced garlic and since I didn’t have sesame oil, I threw some sesame seeds in with regular vegetable oil for the first step. You can throw in broccoli as well if you have it (which I wish I did), and use shrimp or any kind of “meat”, I guess- even strips of steak. I had some soy sauce left over from Chinese takeout as well so I used that, but if you have a bottle of it around then thats fine. Basically you could use anything in this, and it works.

This can be a side dish, without a protein in it, or a meal. Its great to use up any leftovers at the end of the month- leftover chicken, rice, veggies, etc.

FRIED RICE

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups frozen shelled and deveined shrimp, halved (or chicken, or whatever you wish)
  • One 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 3 cups leftover cooked long-grain white rice or Simple Boiled Rice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium. Combine the eggs with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and pour into the skillet. Cook, stirring, until scrambled, about 1 minute. Break into small pieces and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil, the onion, and garlic to the pan; cook, stirring 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and peas; cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the eggs.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly crispy.
  4. Stir together the soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, and sesame oil; add to the rice in the skillet along with the shrimp, peas, and egg. Cook just until the egg is heated through and serve.

Its a really quick easy meal to serve up that makes use of all that stuff in your fridge/freezer and is delicious too.

Shrimp creole, ya’ll!

I never got to go to New Orleans, or ‘Nawlins’ as the natives of Louisiana say. My family did before I was born and they’ve always said how beautiful it was, and how much they loved it. And when Hurricane Katrina happened and those levees broke, I saw the devastation, and aside from the helplessness and sorrow I had for those people, I had the same feeling I had on September 11, 2001: anger. Anger because I hate to see a city filled with such life torn apart like that. And I really wished I’d been able to get there before that, because I knew that it might not ever be restored back to its original beauty. Of course, it was different, because 9-11 was a different kind of tragedy, a man-made one, I’m a native New Yorker,  and I was actually present during its happening so I felt the fear and desperation firsthand, but it arouses the same feeling of “Why?” Such beautiful and unique cities with rich histories, to have such bad luck befall them.

The land of Anne Rice (although I believe now she’s quite the Christian and not into writing about vampires anymore, what a shame), Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, beignets and cafe au lait, jazz and ghosts and voodoo will forever hold a special mystique for me. All that stuff is right up my alley. Me and Jay loved the movie ‘The Skeleton Key’ and I adore that big ol’ plantation house Kate Hudson’s character lived in with the older couple, right on the bayou with that amazing garden. Despite being a bonafide northerner and a big city girl at heart, I could dig living in a house like that. Despite all the hurricane damage, and the issues they’ve had in the past 3 years, I still would love to go to New Orleans, maybe someday I will.

But this blog isn’t about travel or movies or voodoo… its about food. So lets get down to it. I saw Paula Deen, aka one of my favorite people to watch on TV (mainly because she’s downright hilarious, she lights oven mitts on fire and forgets to put the tops on blenders, but also because her recipes are really good), make one-pot shrimp creole last week and I knew I needed to make it. Now, purists will argue that its not “real” shrimp creole, blah blah blah. I’m a New York girl; I like authenticity but you know what?  I’ve got a busy life, I like easy too. And this is easy. I love shrimp, I love hot stuff, and I love easy meals. What is there for me not to like about this?! Besides, Hurricane Hanna was on a path right to us tonight, bringing with her 60mph winds and heavy rain accumulating up to 4″… so whats a better snuggly comfort food than something involving one pot and a lotta food?

Really, how freakin’ good does that look?!


PAULA’S ONE POT SHRIMP CREOLE

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced green bell peppers
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (14-ounces) can tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Green onions, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In fry pan, heat olive oil. Add peppers, onions and celery. Cook until softened.
  2. Add chili powder and saute until caramelized. Remove from heat and pour into crock pot, or large pot. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire, white sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 hours in crock pot, or 20-25 minutes in large pot. Mix cornstarch in cold water.
  3. Add shrimp and cornstarch mixture to tomato mixture and cook for about 3 minutes or until bubbly. Then cook for an additional 2 minutes or until shrimp is opaque.
  4. Serve over white rice, with a pat of butter in between the rice and the creole if desired.
  5. Top with chopped green onions.

Okay so, I didn’t make this in a crock pot. I just used a regular big ass pot…. so it did NOT take 3 hours. It was more like 30-45 minutes. If you have a crock pot handy and want to use it, then go you. Also, it doesn’t tell you how much rice to make, so thats on you, depending on how many people you’re feeding, etc. I omitted the celery because nobody here likes it and I doubt you’d miss it anyway, but if you’ve got it and you like it then by all means. I used one pound of shrimp and it fed three people just fine. If you’d like more shrimp or less, then you can adjust accordingly. I could’ve used a bit more shrimp myself, but I like big portions. I didn’t feel like going out and buying green onions just as a garnish so I didn’t use them either. I actually did a combo of two recipes, the Paula Deen one and one from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. It was mainly the Paula recipe but since I didn’t use a crock pot I lifted some ideas from the other recipe. The recipe I wrote here is the mix of the two recipes I used. If you want the original Paula Deen crock pot recipe, go here.

I really thought this was amazing. It could’ve been a tad hotter for me, but like I’ve mentioned before, I have a thing for all foods that burn your taste buds out and make you run for the water glasses. But this was a hit. I’ve made another Paula Deen shrimp-related recipe and it was also a big hit, so she’s off the shitlist for the lousy red velvet cupcakes I made last year which I explained further in my post about Magnolia’s red velvet cupcakes.

So basically it was delicious and filling and the perfect meal for a night like tonight. Jay’s off seeing his friends in Suffocation play at the Nokia Theatre and I think hes insane because its crazy weather out there… but boys will be boys. I’d much rather be here, eating shrimp creole in my pajamas, not getting windblown and soaked. To each his own!

But he really has no idea what he missed out on. :)