Archive for the ‘the greatness of man is contained therein’ Category

ImageRecall my love of shrimp. In restaurants, shrimp scampi is either the plain Jane of pastas or a boat of butter and garlic, sometimes both at once.  But it shouldn’t be that way. Shrimp scampi is perfect for summer, especially when you consider the veggies in season and the potential lightness of the dish. Dig my suggested upgrade. I served this to the fiance a few days back and, yes, love.

1.5 tbsp. butter.

1 tbsp. garlic

1 lb. shrimp

1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup white wine

1 whole tomato (tomato and all veggies should be diced)

1/2 medium zucchini

1/2 red pepper

1/2 yellow pepper

1tbsp. minced garlic

1tsp. thyme

parsley to appearance

Heat pan on medium/high. Melt butter. Cook garlic two minutes. Then cook shrimp about two minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add veggies, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook two minutes. Add lemon juice and wine. Sauce should thicken. Stir in parsley. Serve over string pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti). Allow guests to sprinkle parmesan to taste.

Note: I would’ve taken a picture but, um, we ate.              

                Let me speak on behalf of shrimp, my fourth greatest love.  Fellow Jews call it trafe, but shrimp is our perfect food.  A jumbo shrimp is an ounce or so of protein in a protective but not impenetrable shell. It can be cooked any way you like: grilled, boiled, fried, sautéed, seared, etc.  It goes with any sides.  It can be enjoyed hot or mild.  Almost any cooking spice will reveal a new, fine flavor, though I don’t recommend nutmeg. 

                More than fish, crabs, bodybags, corrupt cops or the smell of piss baking in the streets, I associate shrimp with New Orleans.  They make me stupid with nostalgia.  I remember eating them by the pound at an age when I didn’t eat.  Every so often, Dad and I used them for bait.  I’d rip off the head and stab it with a hook.  Simple psycho fun for a kid, much more fun than fishing. 

                Last night, I made a shrimp etoufee for the fiancée and our neighbors.  We went for middle class nuttiness, folding napkins, pulling out the china and crystal.  The neighbors brought over some good wine.  Briefly I though just how nutty this was: creole dishes go with beer and whatever you’ve got around.  This is food for just folks.  But it was a pleasant nutty.

                Shrimp can be ruined: just keep cooking the fuckers and you can make useless rubber on your stovetop. But an etoufee is pretty easy creole. If you’ve got fresh shrimp, rice, and a hell of a lot of butter, you’re in good shape.  It’s the last night of Passover, you should obviously try out this recipe, which I ripped off from Emeril.

2 lbs. fresh large shrimp

2 onions, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

4 sticks celery, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

Half a stalk of green onions

A generous helping of parsley

Salt (to taste)

Cayenne pepper (to taste, start with a teaspoon)

1 cup water

1 tablespoon flour

1.5 sticks of butter

                Get your sauté pan hot on medium heat.  Melt the butter. Halfway through the melting process, add the onions, celery, and green peppers.  Cook for about ten minutes, till the onions and celery are translucent and everything’s got a buttery sheen.  Add the garlic and cook about a minute or two.  Then add the shrimp, salt and pepper.  Cook till the shrimp start to turn on both sides.   This should take about four minutes.  While they cook, mix the flour with the water.  Add to the pan and stir.  When everything starts to thicken, turn the heat to medium low.  Taste to see if it’s peppered to your liking.  Add more if necessary.  Let this cook 8 minutes.  Then add the onions and parsley.  Cook two minutes.  Serve over rice.  For sides, French bread and soft butter.

camera got drunk

My buddy Rob Walker and I hit the Bold City Brewery last weekend. It’s in Riverside, off Roselle St. I should’ve visited before, but hermits do as hermits do.

From the street, you can’t tell it’s anything more than a warehouse, so it’s got the camouflage aesthetic going on. There’s too much light in the main drinking room, but Rob assured me that it gets dimmer come evening time. During the day, though, everybody’s got clear view of your physical flaws.

I recommend getting the free sampler first. I think it was free. My memory’s a little hazy on that point. Anyway, you get a nice taste of everything on offer. Then settle for what you knew you wanted in the first place. In my case it was the 1901.

Here are my loves, on 3/26/12, ranked in order of importance:
a) The fiancée
b) The quarterbacking artistry of Mr. Drew Brees (ignore this link’s background music–yikes)
c) 1901
d) Shrimp, grilled, boiled, sautéed, fried, hell, sun-dried’ll work…
e) The guitar work of Tony Iommi. Study up, youngsters.

Stick around long enough and someone’ll offer you a tour of the place. That’s when I started taking pictures. The machines are beautiful. Yes, my camera was drinking too.

nice, nice, very nice.

bury me inside

please store my diseased remains inside, forty, fifty, or sixty years hence.