Friday, June 12, 2009

what I made for dinner

Have I ever mentioned I really like to cook?

Sometimes I get a wild hair and see a recipe that I like...but not enough to do it the way the recipe is written. I need to change it. Or do my own version. I can never make a recipe as written, I always change something. This is either a character flaw on my part or just sheer orneriness. (It also makes me a terrible baker, as baking is all about following the recipe and changing it up is not a good thing.)

So tonight I saw this cooking show and they were doing Vietnamese prawn cakes on sugar cane. As I don't have any sugar cane and about half the things they were cooking with as they were in Vietnam, I had to extrapolate. My recipe ended up nothing like theirs, except that there is shrimp in it and it was fried.

Karla's Prawn Cakes (Vietnamese style)
(all measurements approximate, I don't measure)

1 pound shrimp, chopped and pounded to a slight mush (with some shrimpy bits still recognizable)
1 egg
2 tblsp fish sauce (or less)
2 tblsp lime juice (or less)
a bit of sugar
some pepper
some garlic
handful fresh chopped cilantro (coriander to you Euros)
enough corn starch to make it all stick together enough to ball it into cake form

Mix all that together, flour your hands, and make a ball of the mix. Dredge each cake in corn starch. Mine were about palm sized (if you have big hands!). Fry in a hot cast iron skillet (I prefer peanut oil for frying) until golden. Serve with Nam Pla sauce, over jasmine rice and (because I like them) black beans.

(Nam Pla sauce is fish sauce, sugar, lime, garlic, chili and hot water. You're online...look it up!)

My favorite kind of cooking is the kind where I just make something up from what I have. 8 times out of 10 I turn out with something pretty damned good. We won't mention the other 2.

Rich is at the pub and he's freaking missing OUT on what might be the best shrimp thing I have ever made.

(Shit, I meant to start eating light the next two weeks as I am going white water rafting with a work crowd and am rather nervous about appearing in my swimsuit in front of boys that I work with. Oh well, fuck 'em.)

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