Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thai-Style Tomato and Shrimp Salad (Page 160)

RECIPE #942

  • Date: Friday, January 30, 2009 -- 6pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-

I have been trying to get through some of the shrimp recipes in The Book lately, and this one was part of that effort. I started by cooking some shrimp in boiling salted water and then letting them cool. My special gentleman stirred together chopped lime, minced lemongrass, lime juice, finely chopped red bell pepper, sliced scallions, minced serrano chiles, fish sauce, sugar, and salt to form the dressing for this salad. In this dressing we tossed the shrimp with wedges of tomato, and pieces of cucumber, and topped the salad with basil and cilantro. There was nothing really objectionable about this salad, but it was somehow very bland. Reading the list of ingredients it seemed like it had the potential to have big flavor, but once it was all tossed together it was rather boring. Tomatoes and cucmbers are both very watery, and they seemed to water down the flavors in the dressing. The dressing didn't have enough kick to liven them up. The recipe claimed to be Thai-inspired, but it was hard to pick up on that while eating it. It wasn't bad -- all the ingredients were tasty enough -- but it just didn't come together like I had hoped it would. Basically, it was boring.

Here is the recipe.

Mysteriously, I woke up this morning exhausted, despite having slept for more than seven hours. At work a few hours later one of my colleagues commented that I seemed very out of sorts. Indeed I was feeling out of sorts. And tired. Very, very, tired. When I got home from work this evening, the quail we were having for dinner needed to marinade for an hour before I could cook them. I prepared the marinade, stuck them in the fridge, then decided I couldn't even think about finishing dinner without a nap. I feel asleep on the living room floor. When I woke up it occured to me that maybe I was so tired because I was hungry. I take a lot of pleasure from eating, and my eating philosophy has long been that I eat whatever I want, but only when I am actually hungry. Under normal circumstances, this works great for me. But when I am nervous or stressed (as I have been a bit lately) I often don't feel very hungry. So I don't eat much. Today, for instance, I had an energy bar for breakfast, a bowl of cereal in my office for lunch, and a handful of pretzels in the afternoon. Then it was 7pm, my quail were marintating, and I was asleep on the floor, exhausted. When I woke up from my nap it occured to me that eating something substantial might help. I finished preparing the quail and made a salad and a big pot of rice. I ate a large dinner, and miraculously, I started to feel better! Now, a few hours later, I feel totally like myself again -- not tired at all. I also feel like an idiot -- of course I have been exhausted the last few days. I haven't been eating nearly enough! Whoops!

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