Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thai Spiced Barbecue Shrimp

Cook Time: 6 Minutes Ready In: 1 Hour 6 Minutes
Yields: 8 servings
"This is the best recipe ever for barbecue shrimp, very tasty with a little kick! You will never try another marinade again for shrimp."
3 tablespoons fresh lemon
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons curry paste
1 pound medium shrimp -
peeled and deveined
1. In a shallow dish or resealable bag, mix together the lemon juice, soy sauce, mustard, garlic, brown sugar and curry paste. Add shrimp, and seal or cover. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. Preheat a grill for high heat. When the grill is hot, lightly oil the grate. Thread the shrimp onto skewers, or place in a grill basket for easy handling. Transfer the marinade to a saucepan, and boil for a few minutes.
3. Grill shrimp for 3 minutes per side, or until opaque. Baste occasionally with the marinade.

Som Tam (Spicy Carrot Salad)

1 T Raw unsalted peanuts
1/4 c Fresh lime juice
2 T Nam pla (fish sauce)
1 t Light brown sugar
1 lg Clove garlic, peeled
2 Bird or other fresh hot
-chiles, seeded and finely
1 t Dried shrimp powder (opt)
2 Ripe plum tomatoes, seeded
-and chopped
4 c Grated carrots
1 Head leaf lettuce, washed
-dried & torn into approx
-2″ pieces
1/2 sm Head green cabbage, cut into
-thin wedges

Heat a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add peanuts and dry roast, stirring constantly, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet, cool slightly and chop.
Combine lime juice, nam pla and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Place the peanuts in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. With the processor blade spinning, add garlic, chiles and dried shrimp powder, if using. Add the lime-juice mixture and process until smooth.
Transfer the dressing to a bowl; add tomatoes and a handful of the carrots. Use a large flat spoon to press and mash the tomatoes and carrots into the dressing. Gradually add the remaining carrots until the salad is fully blended. (The salad can be prepared ahead to this point and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.) Line a platter with lettuce, place cabbage wedges around the edge, mound the carrot salad in the center and serve.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tempeh- solved.

Have you tried Tempeh? We have. It's usually in the "special" refrigerator section with the tofu and numerous attempts at meat substitution. It looks interesting, more body than tofu, and more conventional than Seitan (about which we'll have much to say soon). So of course, we tried it. What is it? Well the answer, like the answer to most questions, can be found on the Wikipedia. But for us, the bigger questions has always been, what to do with it.
The problem: Tempeh is much more dense than Tofu, and so seems perfect for grilling/frying. The problem is that it is so dense that it will reject any type of marinade or grilling sauce that comes its way. You end up with a cooked piece of bare Tempeh, which can be OK, but somehow, you feel like you must be missing soething. After all, it's in the supermarket, people must be able to do something with it, right.
The answer to this less than earth-shattering mystery comes from our new bible, the Veganomicon. Simple. Bring a put of water to a boil. Cut the Tempeh in half lengthwise (to give two squares) and then cut each square on the diagonal to creat a total of four triangles. Boil the triangles for 10 minutes. They'll puff up slightly, and be ready to absorb whatever marinade you have or prefer (we make a soy-based smokey marinade from the Veganomicon, but you'll have to buy it to get that one (and you should definitely buy it). Try it with regular barbecue sauce and grill the Tempeh squares (brown them good). It will finally make sense, tasty, with lots of body, and a nice "protein course" to match with other tasty sides.

Easy. Boil it for 10 minutes first!