Flashback Friday – Blind Date

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 3/16/09 at Exit 51

Blind Date

Recipe testing is the culinary equivalent of blind dating.  You hear about a hot new recipe and instantly know you are meant to be together.  You begin to doodle your initials  and “I Heart” on grocery lists and daydream how wonderful your life together will be.  You get lost thinking about how intoxicating he will smell and what it will be like when your lips finally meet.  Will you be able to control yourself?  Or will you just have to go back for more?

blind-date

Then, the day of the date, you get everything together just so and count down the minutes until the bell rings.  Finally, the moment has arrived.  You open the door with eager anticipation and there he is.  But it’s downhill from there.  You want to like him.  Really, you do.  But despite all the positive things you heard from other people, he’s not what you expected.  To put it another way, you’re just not that into him.

That describes my brief relationship with Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp.  I first came across the recipe at Orangette and it piqued my curiousity.  And then I bumped into it again at The Amateur Gourmet.   And in an ‘all roads lead back to Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp instant’, I decided that fate wanted us to be together.

Boy, did fate get that one wrong.  I can’t say there is  any one reason in particular why I don’t love this dish.  I know I should.  It took all of about five minutes to prep and in less time than it takes for Rachel Ray to drive me to find the remote, the entire meal is done.  So it’s quick.  And the ingredient list is about as minimal as you can get for a one dish meal…broccoli, meet shrimp…shrimp, meet broccoli.  The cooking technique could not get any easier…heat oven, open oven door, insert sheet pan…lather, rinse, repeat.

But seriously, I just am not that into it.  Maybe with some different spices, or more of them, I would have that lovin’ feeling.  Or maybe  it just wasn’t meant to be for me and Broccoli and Roasted Shrimp.  Perhaps the two of you would enjoy each other’s company?  Let me know how it goes, I love a good blind date story.

Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp

thewednesdaychef.com

  • 2 pounds broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil, coriander, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and chili powder. In a separate bowl, combine shrimp, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Spread broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Add shrimp to baking sheet and toss with broccoli. Roast, tossing once halfway through, until shrimp are just opaque and broccoli is tender and golden around edges, about 10 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges, or squeeze lemon juice all over shrimp and broccoli just before serving.

Flashback Friday – Today’s Count

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 7/2/08 at Exit 51

Today’s Count

If you read my July 1st post, you are already aware of my problem when it comes to collecting recipes.  Just to illustrate how in need I am of an intervention, I thought I’d share with you the recipes I found today. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Today’s Count”

You Don’t Speak For Me Chris Kimball

I debated whether I should start this post by asking who died and made Chris Kimball boss….looks like I just did.  Mr. Kimball has taken it upon himself to suggest that the world of food bloggers is somehow a slap in the face to trained professionals who, in his words, possess “thoughtful expertise…that comes from real experience, the hard-won blood-on-the-floor kind.”  I’m referring to his recent Op-Ed in the New York Times in response to the announcement that Gourmet magazine will cease to exist.

I understand perfectly that this is Mr. Kimball’s opinion and he’s entitled to it.  He’s also entitled to share that opinion with all who will listen.  But please Mr. Kimball, don’t self righteously express your voice when it suits to get your opinion printed in the New York Times and then discount others doing the same when it doesn’t suit your business model.  The idea of each person having a voice, people in this world die for that privilege.

Mr. Kimball, do you really think that  “the world needs fewer opinions”?  Personally, I think its imperative that different opinions can be expressed and considered.  Not all opinions will be good ones, but why is it that you think only the opinions of “experts” are worthy?  Is that really the world you live in?  I don’t.

And what about your idea that only those who graduate from the “school of hard knocks” are credible?  Are you saying that my life experience has no credibility?  Really, could you be THAT arrogant?

Furthermore, how can you defend this opinion that so blatantly insults your publications’ readers?  Do you realize that some of us on this “ship of fools” are the same people who make it possible for your magazines to exist?  We’re the ones who subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated or Cook’s Country.  We’re the ones who buy your annual cookbooks.  We’re the ones paying YOUR salary Mr. Kimball.

Let me know if I’m following your logic correctly…if I aspire to become a credible cook, the only way to do that is by enrolling in an accredited program?  If that’s the case, then why have I sent your company a check for the last three years?  Silly me, I thought that by using tested recipes, my skills would grow.

And about those recipes, you do know that you ask us, the “instant pundits”, to test them during development for your publications.  You do know that, right?  Why would you do that if you think that our experiences are not worthy?  Or did you just mean anyone who doesn’t belong to your CI, CC,  or ATK club?

And please, I really would like to understand your logic behind making print subscribers also pay additional for online content.  Is it really necessary for you to double dip into my finances just so I can access your Premium Content online?  You may call that “a thriving paid Web site”.  I call it greed.

I would never presume to say that my skills in the kitchen are anywhere near those of someone who has been to cooking school.  But since when do you have to wear a chef’s hat in order to be a good cook?

When all is said and done Mr. Kimball, I do respect your right to your opinion.  But I respect myself more than to be a pawn in your world.  So I’m going to express my opinion in the one and only way that matters to you, with my pocketbook.  Gourmet may be gone but your magazines aren’t the only other players left in this game.

Will it make me a hypocrite to leave the Cook’s Illustrated recipes up that I’ve posted here?  Maybe so.  But I’d rather be a hypocrite than a fool.  And if I were to continue to subscribe to your publications, that’s exactly what I’d be.

Thanks for the memories Chris.  You really know how to ruin a good thing.

For other responses to the OpEd piece, mosey on over to The Amateur Gourmet for Adam’s post, or to Sky Full of Bacon , Wise Ax, The Gurgling Cod, or The Breakaway Cook. And for Mr. Kimball’s blog response to all this, click here.