Thursday, July 8, 2010

You Ate It, You Rate It!

Last night, Gina came over and we talked our way through a supposedly 15-minute recipe from my new favorite cookbook. It took an hour and a half.

The cookbook is Cooking Light's new Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals, and each recipe is EITHER 5 ingredients or less (not counting salt/pepper/water) OR takes 15 minutes or less. I'm not quite confident I can not make anything in this book in under 15 minutes, but I figure as long as it's tasty and healthy, that's okay with me.

Tonight's recipe was for Pan-Fried Shrimp served with Tropical Slaw. I couldn't find the recipe for the shrimp online, but I wouldn't worry about it, because they were kind of bland. They got 3 stars out of 5 from all three raters. (Gina tried to abstain from rating, but I explained July's rule: "You ate it, you rate it!" and she couldn't really argue with that. Mostly because she was laughing.) The only cool thing about them was mixing chopped cilantro into the panko crumbs before breading--that was a good idea. And I learned something else, too! The recipe said to chop the cilantro and then put it and the panko in a food processor.

I paused, interrupted Gina mid-sentence, and asked, "Um...if I'm going to put it in the food processor, do I really need to chop it first?"

Gina said no. So I didn't. I just put the cilantro in my Cuisinart mini-food processor for a second and it was magically, perfectly chopped. Which caused me to exclaim: "I don't know why anyone ever chops anything!"

Ah, the cooking epiphanies I have.

Anyway, the I made the Tropical Slaw according to their recipe but I tasted it and thought it was pretty darn boring. I loved the pineapple and mango, which I didn't think I would, but the slaw lacked punch. So I looked up some recipes online and improvised. I LOVED my version, which was pretty close to this:


    3 1/4 cups packaged coleslaw
    3/4 cup chopped fresh mango
    1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
      1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
      3 tablespoons minced ginger
      1 tablespoon minced garlic
      2 tablespoons brown sugar
      5 tablespoons soy sauce
      4 tablespoons mirin
      1 teaspoon sesame oil
      1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro


Toss first 11 ingredients, cover and chill 15 minutes, stir in cilantro.

Number of Servings: 3

I liked my version A LOT better. It was SO good. And I thought using packaged slaw mix was genius. This is something I can ACTUALLY make in under 15 minutes. My version of the slaw garnered 4.5 stars out of 5 from our guest judges.

Unfortunately, I cut myself on the garlic while making it.

Yup. You read that correctly.

I. Cut. Myself. On. Garlic.

Stop laughing. It could happen to anyone.

Okay, no. Really only I could do that. I was peeling the outer layer off with my fingernail and I guess it was sharp because I started bleeding! It still hurts.

But that's okay. I'm a chef. I can handle a little food injury here and there.

The Shrimp had 295 calories, 12.6 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fiber. The slaw...well it had 87 calories before I messed with it, but I have no idea. I did take out the mayonnaise they used though, so I think it's still pretty darn healthy. Enjoy!

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