The recipe came together as a failed attempt of another recipe. I was sitting around and I realized that I wanted to try working with jicama. I have eaten it before but I had never actually bought one and worked with it. Fortunately, I was able to find this recipe from Bobby Flay and I was all set to try it out. I went to Whole Foods and low and behold, no jicama! I had most of the pantry ingredients laying around so I just bought the head of cabbage and decided to try it anyway. Since that recipe uses both jicama and the cabbage, I used half of the cabbage and just went to town. Midway through making it, I realized how fresh and fun it tasted and thought it would be a great topping on a taco. Fortunately, I had some shrimp in my freezer. A quick sear of those in the cast iron pan and I was in business. The tahini at the end just ups the richness factor of this dish. Very fun, tasty and great to look at.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
When I started to seriously get into cooking, I mostly taught myself by recreating my favorite takeout dishes. It was a low risk, high reward way to figure things out. So other day when I had a craving for some White Boy Special (General Tso’s Chicken w/ pork fried rice) I decided to check what I had available and make it at home instead. After checking my fridge, I switched it up and did a General Tso’s/chili black bean/Sichuan-style thing.
A few months back there was a Living Social deal for a pasta making class at The Village Belle. I remember first eating at The Village Belle just a few weeks after their opening. I was really impressed with the food, the ambiance and service of the restaurant. I’ve been back a few times and it always seems to get better. When this deal came across the wire, I snatched it up. I thought it would be fun to learn to make gnocchi and cavatelli as taught by Chef Louis Campanaro and if I get to make a mess in someone else’s kitchen, I’m all about it.
Have you ever seen the film My Cousin Vinny? Of course you have. Everyone has seen it. In fact, you’ve probably seen it multiple times and can quote lines from it. That’s ok, I’m like that too. Anyhoo, I was watching it recently when it was on HBO and it was at the part where they are talking about “instant” grits in the courtroom. ”No self respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.” I got to thinkin, hrmm, I should have some grits. That was step 1.
Step 2 came when I was at Khyber Pass Pub recently. One of my buddies had a birthday brunch there and at the table, someone ordered their shrimp and grits. I tasted it and like all of their food, it was pretty phenomenal.
Step 3 involved me wanting to make polenta and having shrimp in my freezer. The rest is history. I give you, shrimp and polenta (italian grits)
Consequently, I once heard Emeril Lagasse answer a question about polenta on his show. His comical description went something like “in the south, you get a bowl of grits for 2.99 In an italian restaurant, you get a plate of polenta for 22.99 Who’s smarter?” Well played Emeril, well played.
I had more noodles lines up for all y’all but seeing as how today is 4/20, here’s the druggiest recipe I had in the archives. I’m calling it a “Ruckus Sammich” because much like the Wu-Tang Clan, it is chock full ofdistinct flavors all jockeying for prominence while at the same time coming together in a harmonious whole. This sandwich ain’t nuthin’ to fuck wit.
(N.B. It is unlikely you have all the ingredients listed in the recipe at hand. Substitutions are noted, but each will impact the overall flavor, which is carefully balanced lest it become an incoherent pile of slop. No substitutions have been listed for certain ingredients e.g. the peanut butter powder and Chinese raisin bread because the alternatives–peanut butter and domestic raisin bread, respectively–have much stronger flavors than those called for in the recipe. Basically, not sure how useful this recipe will be to anyone but here it is anyway.)