Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shrimp Toasts (Page 101)

RECIPE #1111

  • Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
  • Fellow Chefs: Matty and Brian
  • Dining Companions: Emilee and Sam
  • Recipe Rating: C+

I chose this recipe because it was an accompaniment to a soup I wanted to make. I started by combining shrimp, fresh ginger, sesame oil, sherry, and egg white in a food processor to form a not-terribly-attractive raw shrimp paste. We then stirred in diced jicama, cilantro, scallions, salt, and pepper. My special gentleman spread the shrimp paste on slices of bread, then sprinkled them with sesame seeds. He and Brian then deep-fried the bread slices until the shrimp paste was browned. They cut the bread slices in half and we ate them with some soup. These shrimp toasts were not super tasty. My biggest complaint was that they were tremendously oily. We checked the temperature of the oil before each batch, and although the oil was hot enough, the slices of bread still absorbed more oil than I would have liked. They were crispy, as they should have been, but they also had a not-so-appealing greasiness to them. Beyond that, I just didn't think the flavor was all that special. They didn't taste strongly of shrimp. In fact, several people commented that the shrimp was virtually undetectable. The most dominant flavor was that of the sesame seeds. Generally speaking I love deep-fried foods, but this recipe was a let down.

The recipe is here.

This has been a week full of celebration! On Monday Brian defended his PhD thesis at Stanford. I went to his defense in the morning. His talk was great, although there were a few things I didn't understand -- experimental physics is not my specialty! In the evening Emilee threw him a party! It was a lot of fun -- his whole family was there, along with Emilee's family and many of their friends. We drank beer, ate Middle Eastern food, and had a good time.

Friday was my friend Chris' birthday, so my special gentleman and I had him over for a birthday dinner on Thursday evening. It was a birthday dinner from The Book (of course!) and I made seafood (of course!), but as such meals go it was very successful. Well... almost. The entree, salad, and side dish were all tasty, but the dessert... not so much. I am done with the Cakes section of The Book, so making a birthday cake wasn't an option. So instead I made a birthday Snow Eggs on Pistachio Custard. Not so traditional, and unfortunately, not so tasty. We still had a fun time though, cooking dinner, eating, and watching the Olympics.

This weekend I am taking it easy, enjoying a few more days in California before I head back to the Midwest on Monday!

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