Ladies Who Brunch

At Home: Shrimp and Cauliflower Stir-Fry by Benjamin
March 17, 2010, 5:55 pm
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A quick Thai inspired dish for weekday lunch

The Ladies have decided we need to shed a few pounds after the extreme over-indulgence in Austin last week, so we’ve adopted a modified South Beach eating regimen, at least for a couple weeks.  Red meat, starchy vegetables, grains and full-fat dairy are out, nourishing colorful veggies and seafood are in.  For a quick, hot lunch today I threw together this simple stir-fry.  When cooking light I always keep in mind the Southeast Asian culinary principle of balancing sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and spicy, so I can get a lot of bold flavor without using a lot of fat.  Here’s a recipe:

1 lb U30 shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 head cauliflower florets

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp Sambal

2 Tbsp lime juice

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 handful each basil and dill, finely chopped

2 tsp sesame oil

Sprinkling of sesame seeds

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil, or whatever oil you like to cook with, in a wok.  Add the garlic.  Toss all the remaining ingredients, except the basil and dill, in a large bowl.  Add to the wok.  Cook, tossing frequently, until all the shrimp have gotten an appetizing pink hue.  Add the herbs, give the whole thing a few more tosses, taste a bit, and add more lime juice, sambal, or salt if necessary.  You shouldn’t need any salt, really, because the shrimp have a little natural brininess and there’s salt in the sambal.  Serve in a bowl, or if you don’t give a flip about the carbs, throw it over rice or some chow fun type noodles.

Note:  Sambal is a ubiquitous SE Asian condiment, consisting  mostly of ground chiles and garlic.  You can make your own, but the bottled brands you can buy in  any supermarket these days are pretty good.  You can substitute sriracha, which is a similar sauce with a sugar added and a smoother consistency.  Enjoy!


Encased Meat Diary — SXSW Edition by Benjamin
March 14, 2010, 12:05 am
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For those travelling to Austin for SXSW this week, we strongly recommend a visit to Frank on 4th and Colorado, near the convention center. Each day around a dozen exotic sausages are offered, along with a menu of classic dogs–including the only genuine Chicago dog (that’s 100% Vienna beef with the all-natural casing) in central Texas.

Sausages are stellar but our group really went to town on the sides, including mini-corndogs, Texas caviar, waffle-fry nachos, and bacon-ranch potato salad. If you’re lucky, trucker hat wearin’ owner Northcut might just buy you a beer from their extensive bottle selection.