I bet you saw the picture of this recipe and you were like, what? This is a baking blog! Well, today I’m taking a bit of a departure from my usual brownies, cookies and bars. I decided to join a recipe swap (my first one!) and the theme was your favorite celebrity chef recipe. I got a Rachael Ray recipe for garlic, ginger and scallion shrimp from Jaida’s blog Sweet Beginnings. I was very excited when I saw this recipe for a few reasons. I love shrimp, especially when it is dressed with Asian flavors. And, since it’s a Rachael recipe, I knew it would be quick and easy. Finally, knowing my crazy picky family, this would be a special treat just for me. No sharing. True, I am a baker at heart. It’s what I am good at. But, one cannot live on desserts alone, as much as I wish I could. The problem is, I am not the best cook, but that’s mostly because of lack of opportunity. I was so up for this challenge!
I went to Whole Foods to pick up the shrimp and I don’t know what I was thinking, but I got shell on shrimp that even still had legs. Of course, I should have gotten cleaned shrimp, but I’m sure I was distracted by one of my two children at the time. Most likely both. When I got them home, I was thinking “Hmmm…I have never cleaned shrimp before”. This could be interesting. Hopefully all my Food Network watching would lead me through this. I pulled off the legs and the shells came off pretty easily. I then cleaned the underside of half of the shrimp and then I noticed a dark discoloration along the back of the big shrimp I had in hand. Oh, this is the part I’m supposed to be removing. So, I went back and correctly cleaned the shrimp I had thought I had already completed.
Another ingredient I have never worked with is real ginger root. I’ve only used the powder in baking. I thought I remembered seeing someone peel the root with a spoon, so that’s what I did and it worked pretty well. I had a microplane out that I used earlier to zest some lemons for lemon pie bars (recipe soon to come) and I decided to use it to grate the garlic and ginger. I don’t know if that is the right thing to do, but I’ve never been one for liking to bite into a chunk of garlic and I figured I would feel the same about ginger. It worked great for me. I went on to cut the scallions and finally my mise en place was set and I was ready to pan fry. The shrimp cook very quickly and will be rubbery if overcooked, so make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go and within reach. The result was delicious and if it wasn’t for the shrimp snafu, it was really a 30 minute meal. A perfect weeknight dinner.
I was so glad to participate in this swap. This recipe made me step outside my usual chicken finger making comfort zone and I tried some new techniques that I have only seen on television or read about in books. I found a great new recipe and I got to share one of my favorite recipes, chocolate sugar cookies, with someone who loves food just as much as me. And, that’s what blogging is all about. I’m already looking forward to the next swap!
Garlic, Ginger, and Scallion Shrimp
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds large (26 to 30 count) shrimp, shelled and deveined
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons) I grated it
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, scraped and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon) I grated it
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional and adjust by taste)
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 scallions, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch-pieces, dark green parts set aside
Steamed rice I used boil in a bag because I cannot make good rice to save my life!
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white with the cornstarch, sugar, salt and pepper until a paste forms. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Set the shrimp aside to marinate for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes; set aside.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the shrimp and the white and light green scallion pieces and stir to coat with the oil. Cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet, until the shrimp are almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic mixture and the dark green scallion pieces and cook, stirring, until the shrimp are cooked through, about 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the shrimp to a large platter and serve with steamed rice.