The sky is blue and endlessly high, the sun is smiling, the air feels as clear as it can be. In spite of all the blessings of early spring, it must have been one of those days that the cooking fairy had turned her back on me…
Let me save the shrimp talk (as it’s in the title) for later. Instead allow me to mull over the chicken dish I worked hard on today. <sigh>
I first marinated drumsticks in a mixture of egg and ranch dressing. While they were being marinated, I made the supposedly crispy-to-be outer coating with some ideas I collected in past recipes. Generously coat the chicken in this dry mixture, then fry. They turned out to be the look I was going for, BUT not cooked through. I think there is nothing as disappointing in cooking as seeing abhorrently juicy chicken blood after a probing poke. Wishful thinking, I wait for a few minutes hoping it gets cooked with the remaining heat in the meat. Not gonna happen! Drawing at straws, I stick it in the microwave, then hear a loud “BOOM”. Open the microwave door with fear…then close it as if I didn’t see anything…
Keep cooking. Keep cooking. You have to put food on the table no matter what to feed hungry mouths, right?
Shrimp, Dill and Capers Flat Cakes
Eh-hem, <clearing throat> this recipe, I can proudly share with. I have been lucky with -Shrimp, Dill and Capers Flat Cakes-, an Asian influenced dish made with a combination of multinational ingredients. It is forgivingly easy for a cook who’s failed in one recipe
|Shrimp, Dill and Capers Flat Cakes|
- 8 medium size shrimps, shelled and deveined
- 2Tbsp dill, chopped
- 2Tbsp capers, minced
- 3/4cup all purpose flour
- pinch of black pepper
- 2/3cup water
- 1-2Tbsp salad oil for pan frying
- Chop shrimps into small pieces.Run a knife through until it gets sticky.
- In a bowl, combine the shrimp with the rest of the ingredients except salad oil.
- Heat salad oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Scoop in the mixture to form 3 inch flat circles. Cook about 2 mins each side or until golden brown.
I served it with Ponzu -a Japanese soy sauce based dipping sauce with citrus flavor- for dipping this time. If you want to make it spicy, adding small amount of Japanese yellow mustard is recommended. I also tried with guacamole before and worked well, too.
There is an oriental grocery store about 10 minutes drive from my house. Every Wednesday evening, fresh fruits & vegetables are delivered to the store. Needless to say, the store gets packed with all the people at that time. Although I crave fresh vegetables all the time, I get discouraged to drive there just thinking of the crowd. It seems by now that the employees there recognize each customer by dividing them into two separate groups: the Wednesday people and the Thursday people. I’m one of the latter ones. Each group of people have gotten to know each other and the store provides us with a community place. Having a chat there is a part of fun. I got there on this Thursday soon after they opened. Any foodies will easily understand the thrilling moment when I see and smell all the pretty fruits and vegetables!
Where am I going with this story? Oh yeah, DILL. I always count on the fresh herbs they sell, so lively and calmingly aromatic. As always, it came carefully packed in a huge bundle. Since dill has such a strong characteristic smell, a little goes a long way in dishes. So that’s when my big appetite comes in place, trying to come up with some good uses of it.
If I remember correctly, I started making this recipe two summers ago. Without giving much thought to it, just mixed what I had in my refrigerator. One of my blog friends was saying in her blog a while ago that often good recipes come out of spontaneous cooking. I totally agree with her! And that kind of unexpected moment gets us hooked on cooking!
The trick to this dish is how to chop the shrimp. I would say half lumpy / half pasty?
The saltiness and and sourness of minced capers work so perfectly that you don’t need any additional salt. Isn’t the salmon-pink-color of the shrimp enticing?
They can be served either as a part of a meal or an appetizer.
They will also make a terrific accompaniment along with alcoholic beverages.
At last, we use this Ponzu for various sorts of dishes.
It is a wonderful dipping sauce for veggie/meat stuffed dumplings and also works in simply mixing in boiled vegetables. Most oriental grocery stores carry this at their sauce isle.
Just give it a try if you have a chance!