Monday, March 1, 2010

Shrimp & not-so-Chroizo Kebabs: An LLS Fundraiser and Olympic Hockey

Have you ever found yourself leaving the office on a Friday afternoon thinking, "Man, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend"? I think I jinx myself every time I utter those words.

Not that that's really such a bad thing. Especially if you can keep busy doing fun things (happy
hours, sporting events, etc.) as opposed to, say, tending to the small yet growing mountain of laundry staring at you from the corner of the room.

That's roughly how my weekend went down. My apologies for not blogging about the week's entrees aside from the stir fry. I actually held my own and managed to cook for myself several nights. (Tony had some late nights at work so I was dining solo a good bit.) Of course, I decided to
ease back into the cooking scene (i.e., I was lazy), so mostly I made pasta with lemon, pepper, and nutritional powder. NP or "nutritional yeast" was introduced to me by a vegan buddy who insisted NP tastes like cheese. He was right. So now I have a healthier and tasty substitute to some of the mass amounts of cheese I normally consume.

But back to the weekend...

FRIDAY: Friday night was a special occasion as we picked up Samiha from the train station and then headed down to Federal Hill for Emily's charity happy hour at No Way Jose. Emily is a buddy of mine from the WDW marathon - very determined, charming and improbably energetic. Emily decided to sign up for a second dose of shin-splinting goodness and now mentors runners training to run a half marathon for Team in Training. Em herself is prepping for the San Diego Rock n' Roll Half Marathon, the little go-getter! Friday's happy hour was to help her raise funds for her event. Never ones to say no to themed shots or soft tacos, Tony and I were there in a
flash.

It was a great time. Em must have worked her bum off for the event and it showed: a 50/50 raffle, drink specials (including a special shot), and prize drawings - girlfriend turned it OUT. Emily raised over $700 that evening and Tony and I walked away with a gift certificate to a local eatery. Not too shabby!!

(I'm the one on the left. Em's the cutie in the middle. Note to self: I need a haircut.)

Emily is still raising funds for her run, which you can donate to here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/md/rnr10/emp182psu

Come on! You know you want to...

SATURDAY: Saturday morning I drove Samiha back to her lodgings just outside of DC. It was a sunny day, my car had gas, and the new Sam Cook CD I bought was streaming tunes for the ride. Unfortunately, what should have been a 45min trip took closer to 1 1/2 hrs due to an accident that all but shut down I-95. Black ice, people - let's not mess around with it.

After dropping off Samiha I turned around and picked up my other friend, Emily (Em B, not the runner, who is Em P). We then grabbed her sister Sally and headed out to Korea town for food and shopping. I enjoyed some Dol sot Bi Bim Bop (SOOOO good!) and barley tea (meh) for lunch and then it was off to CVS so Em, who is incubating some kind of virus, could pick up a few cold meds and then we hit the Korean grocer.

I actually love Asian food marts. My mom (who's Japanese Am.) used to take us to them as kids and still makes trips out for Asian-based goodies, so I get a little quiet thrill whenever I'm in one. Plus, it gives me a chance to stock up on my hard-to-find sweet tooth items: sweet rice crackers (which are not Koren, so unfortunately none were to be found this trip), wasabi peas, rice candy, and Yan Yans. If you haven't had a chance to dip the shortbread sticks into the melted chocolatey goodness that is a can of Yan Yans, do so. DO IT NOW.

I also picked up chop sticks and this brand of volcanic-heat spicey Ramen. Emily picked up some (and by some, I mean a metric ton) of kim chee, which I am not a fan of. I think it smells like feet. Sally bought some tortillas (did I mention this shop also carried Spanish/Mexican goods, too?) and tried not to be sick by the smell of fresh fish stemming from the seafood section at the back of the store.

From there it was off to Friendship for shopping. My first purchase? Girl Scout Cookies. The little darlings were selling them on the sidewalk and I for one can never resist the siren call of a Tagalong. We then headed to Sephora, where I picked up some Nars blush (in the not so subtly named shade called "Deep Throat") and this extra-groovy mascara that makes it look like I'm wearing false eyelashes. Very chic. We left Sephora, made our way through the small group of protesters chanting outside of Neiman Marcus in protest of the store's fur sales, and then headed home.

Well, almost - first I stopped to meet up with Tony in Columbia for dinner (we ate at Pei Wei - AVOID AT ALL COSTS) and a movie (the Wolfman- good but insanely violent). Then I finally made it home.

SUNDAY: Sunday morning was a last dash run to one of my happy places (aka, Wegmans) for some provisions. Tony and I were headed to DC for a bbq at Sally and Andres' place for some good eats and some Olympic hockey. Emily made this sick popcorn (good sick, not bad sick) with garlic, NP, and salt & vinegar powder, as well as kielbasa and this banging orzo pasta with sun dried tomatoes and sauteed onions. Oh! and cupcakes. I heart cupcakes.

I was in charge of the other main on the menu, so I went with my go-to crowd pleaser: Shrimp and Chorizo Kebabs.

Now, chorizo can be expensive, and I find meat kebabs are a real pain in the butt to assemble, so in this case I substituted turkey Italian sausage and cooked everything in a disposable aluminum pan on the grill. I forgot to take a photo of the finished product, but managed to snap a few of the prep work.


Paste of caraway seed, garlic, and sea salt.


Grief-free version of the kebabs.

Finished product. Sort of.

Everyone LOVED it, which helped ease the pain of the US Men's team loss to Canada in OT. Tony and I finally made it home around 10:30pm, just in time to deal with two cats who were extremely irritated with our tardiness.


I'll do my best to be better with the blogging as well as the photos, but in the mean time I suggest giving the recipe a go on your own. Instead of skewering the meat, I just roll about an inch's worth of the sausage into a small ball. The whole dish cooks in about 10 minutes over a hot grill or in a broiler. I'd love to hear how they turn out for ya! :)

Spicy Shrimp and Chorizo Kebabs

  • Recipe by Grace Parisi (Food and Wine Magazine)

Ingredients

  1. 2 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  2. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  3. 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  4. 2 tablespoons pure chile powder, such as ancho
  5. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  7. 8 small chorizo or hot Italian sausage (or the like) (about 1/2 pound total), sliced 1/2 inch thick

Directions

  1. On a cutting board, using the flat side of a chef's knife, mash the garlic and salt to a coarse paste. Add the caraway seeds and finely chop them. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the chile powder and olive oil. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the chorizo and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Let cool slightly.
  3. Tuck a chorizo slice in the crook of a shrimp and thread onto a skewer; the shrimp should be attached at both ends. Push it to the end of the skewer and repeat with 2 more shrimp and chorizo slices. Using more skewers, repeat with the remaining shrimp and chorizo.
  4. Grill the kebabs over a hot fire, turning once or twice, until charred and the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

3 comments:

A.E. said...

awesome stuff.

Tasha said...

this is the recipe for the deliciousness you brought to the steelers tailgate way back, is it not? mmmmm...

Adj said...

Why, yes! Yes, it is. I'm glad it made a good impression :)