Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Another Friday In the Kitchen

Fridays have become somewhat of a ritual in the kitchen for me. My roommates are out, the sun is bright, and I'm usually hungover, which gives me the perfect excuse to cook in my silk robe all day. This Friday, a fraction of my day was used to make this Chinese/Italian inspired pasta dish that requires lots of shrimp! All of the unconventional ingredients can be found in chinatown, if you can find them!

 Luckily I had some leftover pasta from my last post! See the recipe here
 Slightly different flavour profile from traditional tomato sauce: shallots, garlic, brined ginger, thai basil.
 Picked up this brined ginger at the supermarket. It's slightly more acidic and salty than fresh ginger. Reminds me of the stuff used in congee.
 I sliced the shrimp in half lengthwise and sauteed them in coconut oil until just cooked through.
 These dried/cured shrimp are flavourful but very chewy. I blanched them in water for two minutes to rehydrate them. Reserve the water for cooking the pasta.
 The sauce:
Oil for sweating (I used coconut oil but any bland oil will work)
1 large can of whole tomatoes
Half of a shallot, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1/8 cup brined ginger
Leaves of 1 large thai basil stem
2 large spoonfuls of shrimp paste
Sriracha to taste
S&P to taste

Sweat the shallots, garlic, ginger and thai basil on low heat in a pot until translucent, then add the canned tomatoes . When it begins to simmer add the shrimp paste and let it cook on medium to low heat for about 3 hours. Let it cool slightly before pureeing in a food processor. Add the salt, pepper and Sriracha to taste as your pureeing, until everything tastes good and is smooth. Return to the pot and keep on low heat until ready to use.
 Thin, fresh pasta like this only needs to be cooked for about 2 minutes. Cook it in the leftover water from blanching the shrimp, strain then throw in the fresh shrimp, sauce and some extra thai basil into the bowl. TOSS.

 I sprinkled the dried shrimp, sliced scallion and bonito flakes on top.

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