Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry with Veggies

For years I have wondered why do I only find shrimp from Thailand here in New England–both at the supermarket and a favorite fish store. Why? Why aren’t Gulf Shrimp distributed and sold here in New England? I recently discovered a company called Biloxi Shrimp. And I ordered 10 pounds from them. I couldn’t be happier.

Reading from their website:

“Biloxi Shrimp Co. was founded in June 2020 by Mark Mavar and Jonathan McLendon, owners of merged commercial shrimp processing companies Biloxi Freezing & Processing, Inc. and M&M Shrimp Company LLC. 

“These two successful businessmen, whose commercial business tag line is “The Coolest Guys in Town,” were both born and raised in Biloxi, Mississippi “seafood capital of the world,” where they grew up in their respective families’ shrimp and seafood businesses with a natural love for their city, their Gulf Coast and their family heritage. 

“More of the history is detailed below, but in short, they built one of the largest and most modern shrimp processing facilities in the entire Gulf, serving both the restaurant/foodservice industry and retail stores. When the pandemic arrived in spring of 2020, they found their freezers full of product that would have otherwise been shipped to the shuttered restaurant industry. Naturally, with shrimp season set to begin soon, they needed a different sales channel to make room in their freezers for the new crop of shrimp soon to arrive at their docks.” (More on their website.)

Ingredients
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 small bunch asparagus, cut into small pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
A handful of cashews, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook until pink, 5 minutes, then remove from skillet.
  2. Return skillet to heat and heat sesame oil. Add asparagus, peas, mushrooms cook until about 5 minutes, but still crisp. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch, lemon juice, brown sugar, and the red pepper flakes. Add to skillet and toss to coat. Add cashews and shrimp and cook until heated through, 2 minutes.

The shrimp is delicious. Perfect. Here is the first dish I made earlier in the week; a simple stir fry with quinoa.

Posted in Color Photography, Documentary Photography, Food Photography, Recipes

Black Pepper Shrimp

A few days ago, Susan found an interesting recipe for Black Pepper Shrimp in The New York Times. She gave it to me and said, “Bruce, I think you should make this.” And, I did. I can’t even begin to describe how delicious it was. I served it with Dirty Rice.

Quoting from The New York Times:

“This dish, adapted from Lucy Carvalho, the cookbook author Nik Sharma’s grandmother, owes its fragrance and fiery bite to a generous amount of crushed black peppercorns in a velvety gravy. Like many other Indian home cooks, Ms. Carvalho, who lived in the coastal city of Mumbai, took the Indo-Chinese dish black pepper chicken and substituted shrimp instead. Some versions of this dish call for curry leaves to be fried with the spices, or they might call for another protein in place of the shrimp, like tilapia, cod or catfish. Here, the peppercorns are infused in hot oil, then left to steep as the dish cooks. Fish sauce bolsters the savoriness, but can be left out. For an even stronger bump of heat, increase the amount of black pepper and toss in a sliced serrano. Serve it all over rice for a fast, satisfying dinner.”

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks (Susan doesn’t like green peppers so I used spicy green olives.)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined raw medium shrimp (fresh or frozen) (I used cocktail shrimp which I added to wok during the final few minutes.)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Cooked white rice, for serving (I served with Dirty Rice.)

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the black peppercorns and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and half the scallions, and sauté, scraping the bottom of the pot as necessary, until the onions turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the green and red bell peppers and sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and sauté for 1 minute, then stir in 2 cups water, the soy sauce and fish sauce (if using). Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the shrimp just until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. (Keep an eye on them: The shrimp can turn rubbery quickly.) (See my note above in Ingredients.)
  3. Working quickly as the liquid cooks, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to form a slurry. Add this mixture to the saucepan as soon as the shrimp turns pink, and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and add more soy sauce, to taste, if desired. Garnish with the cilantro and remaining scallions. Serve hot or warm with rice.
Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Sesame-Soy Shrimp, Ramen, and Bok Choy

Susan showed me the recipe in the morning. I went grocery shopping. I made this for dinner same day. YUM!

Ingredients

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

12 ounces fresh or frozen (thawed) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used cocktail shrimp which I added during last few minutes of the stir fry.

3 green onions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 garlic cloves, sliced

3 baby bok choy (1 pound), trimmed and sliced

½ red bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips

1 14.2 ounce package precooked Hokkien noodles

Crushed red pepper or Sriracha (I used crushed red pepper.)

1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (My addition.)

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1 In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
  • Step 2 In a wok or extra-large skillet heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook 2 minutes or until opaque, turning once. Remove to a plate. (I added cocktail shrimp at end.)
  • Step 3 Add green onions, ginger, and garlic to wok. Cook and stir 30 seconds. Add bok choy and bell pepper; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  • Step 4 Add noodles, shrimp, and soy sauce mixture to wok. Using tongs, toss ingredients until noodles are coated in sauce and heated through. If desired, top with crushed red pepper or Sriracha. Serve immediately. Serves 4

Based on a recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.

Posted in Inspiration

Gardening Is About Patience

Yesterday, Susan bought me a basket
A box really, a cardboard box basket filled with herbs
Four white plastic pots, basil in one
Rosemary in another, oregano in one
Thyme in another, waiting to be
Planted in late May in my garden

Walking Freddy down our street
I see a man cut down a pine tree
He calls out to Dot and Jack
Also walking down the street
“Merry Christmas” I wonder why
He cut down the tree
I don’t stop to ask
He’s a smoker and I am not
And he’s not wearing a mask

Earlier in the day
Outside near the garden
Yet to be planted
Susan cut my hair
Short and if my head was flat
It might be used as a putting green
That is if you played golf

Walking into the kitchen
Susan said those are beautiful
Speaking of the shrimp spring rolls
And they were and they were
Delicious as was the shrimp stir-fry

I am in a place I love
With a woman I love
With a dog I love
With art and books I love
A few weeks ago we read
Shakespeare’s Sonnets
“So long as men can breathe or eyes can see
“So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

 

Posted in Color Photography, Documentary Photography, Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Shrimp in Yellow Curry

Before my son and his girlfriend return to Denver after spending the Christmas Holidays with family here in Western Massachusetts, they always make time to have dinner with Susan and me a few days after Christmas. They also come to our traditional Christmas Eve family get-together but this dinner is just for the four of us. I usually make their favorite, Chicken Piccata, but this year Susan suggested we make something different.

“They love shrimp, Bruce,” Susan said. “And spicy food. Why not make this Shrimp with Yellow Curry recipe from Mark Bittman.”

And I did and we all loved it!

Mark Bittman writes:

“Many Thai dishes are not unlike what we call curries, but although they may contain curry powder, they are more often based on a combination of herbs and aromatic vegetables, rather than dried spices. A typical curry might feature a mixture of garlic, shallots, chiles, lime leaf, sugar and galangal (or ginger). This simplified version leaves out the lime leaf and sugar, but benefits from the addition of a couple spoonfuls of fish sauce at the end of cooking. It is exotic and brightly-flavored, but blessedly easy to toss together on a weeknight.”

Featured in: The Minimalist; The Essence Of Thai Cooking

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced galangal or ginger (I used grated ginger.)
  • 1 teaspoon minced hot chili, or crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste (I used 1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into thin rounds and red pepper flakes.)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
  • 1 cup fresh or canned coconut milk
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds medium-to-large shrimp, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons nam pla (fish sauce), or to taste (I used fish sauce.)
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro or mint leaves (I used cilantro.)
  • 1 package, about 2 cups, pea pods (my addition)

Preparation

  1. Place the oil in a large, deep skillet and turn the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies, pea pods and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and the mixture pasty. Add the curry and cook, stirring, another minute.
  2. Add the coconut milk and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is nearly dry. Add the shrimp, a few pinches of salt and a little black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp release their liquid (the mixture will become quite moist again) and turn pink.
  3. Add half the nam pla, stir, then taste and add the rest if necessary. Garnish with cilantro and serve with white or sticky rice. (I used brown rice.)

 

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Spicy Shrimp with Mint

My wife asked me to make a spicy shrimp salad for dinner a few nights ago. And I did.

Delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds shrimp in the 15-to-30-a-pound range, peeled (deveined, if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 30 to 40 mint leaves (I used chocolate mint as this grows in my garden.)
  • 6 cups arugula and other greens

Preparation

  1. Preheat broiler; adjust the rack, moving it as close to the heat source as possible. Place a large ovenproof skillet or thick-bottomed roasting pan on the stove over low heat.
  2. Combine the shrimp with garlic, salt, cayenne, paprika, half the olive oil and the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice; stir to blend. Turn heat under the skillet to high.
  3. When skillet smokes, toss in shrimp. Shake the pan once or twice to distribute them evenly, then immediately place skillet in the broiler.
  4. Mince about one-third of the mint, and set aside. Tear remaining leaves, and toss them with the arugula. Stir remaining olive oil and lemon juice together in a bowl.
  5. The shrimp are done when opaque, usually 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate; it is fine if they cool for a moment. Add shrimp juices to olive oil-lemon juice mixture, and stir. Dress the greens with this mixture, and toss; if the greens seem dry, add a little more olive oil or lemon juice, or both. Place greens on a platter, and arrange shrimp on top or around them; garnish shrimp with the remaining minced mint.

Based on a recipe from Mark Bittman.

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.