I'm still here! My blog hasn't died a long slow death! I just got really, really, really lazy after going on vacay...check out some pics I tweeted (and some I didn't) while I was away! And now all I do is shout!!!
Backcountry Picnic Spot
Jazz Aspen Pre-Steely Dan performance
Premiere Picnic Table
View of downtown Aspen and Ajax Mountain from my hike
With fall approaching, I am ready to get back into the swing of things and cook like the wind! Fortunately I came across a cookbook, Ying's Best One-Dish Meals, that held a promise of good eats. I uncovered it when I had the good fortune to pack years and years and years of office crap to move to a new (smaller!) office space. It sucks to pack your own stuff for your own move, but let me tell you, it sucks a million times more to pack the accumulated works of other people! Who you've never even met! Now that I think about it, I've had to move at nearly every job I've ever had. Coincidence? Bad timing? Or maybe I just linger too long at these jobs...Hmmm. So between purging old magazines and outdated files, and taking home nonsense that had piled up in my office/closet/annex, I decided to keep this one particular cookbook that looked simple and healthy, and had some interesting recipes.
I first tried the shrimp in spicy garlic sauce, which was essentially a healthier version of General Tso's, but without all of the fried tastiness. It was good, but I would suggest that calling this a garlic "sauce" is a stretch. It's a stir fry. There needs to be liquid to make a dish sauce-y. I did decide to take a few extra minutes to make my own candied walnuts though. The recipe calls for a purchased version, but since they are really easy to make and super delish on salads...or to snack on while watching the Real Housewives of Anywhere, I made my own. Even if you don't make the shrimp, try making the walnuts. Trust.
Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Candied Walnuts
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound medium raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 medium bell peppers, cored and cut into strips
1 small white onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup candied walnuts (store bought or see recipe below)
1. Whisk the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat a nonstick saute pan over high heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shrimp, reserving the marinade. Cook until the shrimp turns pink, about 2 minutes. Remove and place on a plate.
3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the peppers, onion, salt, additional red pepper flakes if using, and the reserved marinade. Cook until the onion and peppers soften, about 5 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to heat through. Garnish with the candied walnuts. Serve immediately with rice or quinoa. Serve 4.
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces walnuts (about one heaping cup; try not to use pieces)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, cayenne and salt.
2. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Add the walnuts and blanch them for 2 minutes. Drain well and then immediately roll the walnuts in the sugar mixture until thoroughly coated. (The sugar will melt slightly.)
3. Transfer the walnuts to a baking sheet or pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until they are a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully because the sugar can burn easily. Let cool completely before serving.