Thursday, May 21, 2009

Splendid Table's Ginger Scallion Shrimp

If you haven't already done so, visit The Splendid Table's website and sign up for their weekly email. I've gotten pretty selective about adding recipes to my "to try" pile but about 2 out of 3 recipes from this email make it onto the pile. Lynn Rosette Kasper is one of those people who seem so generous, fun, and gracious that you'd just love to sit down with her for a cup of coffee and laugh and gossip for hours.

I've searched their website to see if they've posted this recipe online so I could give them some link love directly to the recipe, but I can't find it there, so I'll reproduce the entire recipe right here.

You may already know that there are health and environmental concerns about farmed and imported shrimp, which is what is generally sold cheaply in chain supermarkets and elsewhere. The source of the shrimp is now required to be listed on the label in the US, so look for wild shrimp or at least shrimp that is farmed in the US. Of particular concern are shrimp farmed in southeast Asia. There may be some healthily farmed shrimp from there, but it's impossible to disinguish them from the unhealthy ones, so I avoid those. I'd rather eat shrimp less frequently and buy them healthy than ingest heavy metals, etc.

Anyway, getting off my soapbox now, this recipe is one that has made us very happy more than once. It's a rare recipe that I don't tinker with at least a little, but I haven't found a need to change this one bit. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Ginger-Scallion Shrimp

Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Serves 4 generously
This recipe has a favorite brining technique, which is worth filing away. Keep it for other seafood, and for poultry and meats. Spoon the shrimp over rice noodles and scatter with fresh basil and mint leaves.


  • 1/2 cup salt (kosher or sea salt, not iodized)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup medium hot pure chile powder
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 1/2 pounds large raw shrimp, in or out of their shells


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, thin sliced
  • 3-inch piece new ginger root, peeled and cut into long, thin strips
  • 3 whole scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

  1. Brine the shrimp 20 minutes by blending in a medium stainless or glass bowl the salt, sugar and chile in the water. Drop in the shrimp and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes, no more. Drain, shell if necessary, and pat dry.
  2. Have everything cut and ready to cook. Drain the shrimp, peel off shells if necessary, and pat them dry. Heat a wok or 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan over high. Once the pan is hot, swirl in the oil.
  3. Immediately stir in the garlic, ginger, and scallion. Cook until fragrant (a few seconds), stirring all the time. Add the shrimp, sprinkling them with the sugar and black pepper. Stir-fry 2 minutes, or until they are turning pink and are barely firm. Turn them into a serving bowl. Season to taste, and serve with rice or rice noodles.
  • Shrimp are sold by count — the number of shrimp in a pound. The larger the shrimp, the lower the count, and the higher the price. Large shrimp are those labeled 20-30 per pound.
  • Choose fresh ginger root that is firm with a thin shiny skin. Those that look dry or shriveled are past their prime.
  • To store fresh ginger root, blot away any surface moisture, wrap airtight and refrigerate for up to 10 days. For longer storage, peel the root, slice, wrap airtight and freeze. No need to thaw before using — just break off what you need and return the rest to the freezer.
  • Sprinkle coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves over each serving as a garnish.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A new favorite cookie recipe: chocolate peanut butter mini sandwich cookies

Each Christmas, my contribution to the festivities (outside of my sparkling smile and sardonic wit) is a platter of assorted home-baked treats. Last year, I brought dark chocolate buttercrunch (see most recent post for recipe), a triple layered tea cookie with peppermint icing and chocolate drizzle, something else I can't remember, and chocolate PB mini sandwich cookies.

I was betting on the peppermint cookies for favoritude, so imagine my surprise when everyone, including yours truly, decided the Choco PBs were the best! They're peanut butter cookies with a peanut buttery filling, drizzled with dark chocolate and sprinkled with chopped dry roasted peanuts. The recipe is courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens, and you can find it on their site here. But I don't ever trust public sites to keep those recipes around, and in fact if you just go to and search for it, you won't find the recipe. So I always take favorites and write them up either here or on my recipe website. This time I decided to put it on my site, which you can find here.

By the way, those of you who used to pay attention to this blog have probably mostly disappeared, and who can blame you, for who pays attention to one who pays no attention back? I've not been adding much to the blog for a couple of years now, since life got busy work and acting-wise. But work has slowed down, and acting isn't all-consuming, so I do hope to pick back up a bit. If you're still out there listening, will you leave me a comment for encouragement? That's a good soul. Thanks.