I am terrible with recipes. More specifically, I don’t generally use them. I add a dash of this and a pinch of that and voila – dinner is served! Though this does not stop me from buying beautiful cookbooks that gather dust on the shelf in my kitchen. Then, at the precise moment when my creativity is spent, and I cannot fathom something spectacular to make for dinner, something I haven’t done a million times, I remember, “Hey, there’s that whole shelf full of lovely books, filled with gorgeous pictures, saying ‘Pick ME!'”
Last week, at one of the aforementioned creative lows, I hit the books, and what I discovered was so absolutely delicious that, of course, I took a picture of it, with the thought of it being right here, under this little red roof. However, as I am also prone to do when actually using a recipe, I didn’t follow it exactly, tweaking it a little to suit me and the hubster. So what follows is an adaptation of a recipe from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. What appealed to me, not just the fact that I wanted to cook shrimp, was the description states that this is “guaranteed to have your family moaning with gratitude.” I don’t know about you, but who doesn’t want that? The best part? It’s true, Gregory and I both sung its praises with “MMMmmm” and “This is so good!” and “I love it!” Hopefully you will, too.
Plumped and Spicy Ginger Caramel Shrimp
1/3 cup kosher or sea salt (not iodized)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup medium hot chile powder (the amount is not in error)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups warm water (or cold if your shrimp is already thawed)
1 pound large frozen shrimp (out of their shells, tails are a-okay)
4 large cloves garlic
1 4-inch piece fresh ginger
4 tablespoons mild oil
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 teaspoons sugar
In a large glass or stainless bowl, combine the salt, sugar, chile powder, and cayenne in the warm water. Add the shrimp, and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the garlic and ginger. Drain the shrimp and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large, straight sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic-ginger mixture, the pepper, and a dash of salt. Cook for a minute before adding the sugar. Continue stirring without allowing the pieces to brown.
Add the shrimp and stir until they are turning pink and firm. We served ours over brown rice, and they were just delicious. Also in the picture, oven roasted corn and an adaptation of my most popular recipe: Crazy Crispy Kale. These are actually collard greens, as they were out of kale that day – still ever so delicious. Never be afraid to try something different, I say.