Alia is my mom and this is her recipe :)
My mom's been making this recipe in chicken form since I was born. It was always the number 1 most requested dish for parties and BBQs, and my personal request for all holiday meals. Imagine crispy fried slices of chicken breast smothered in sticky, sweet, spicy, garlicky sauce. It was like crack. She'd make double batches so that I could have leftovers the next day, and I would always eat the leftover chicken cold- directly out of the tupperware because it was so good I wasn't willing to wait the 1.5 minutes it would take to heat up in the microwave.
Well, in the summer of 2012, Sterling came to visit me at my parent's house in Chicago. My mom, the ultimate number 1 most gracious host and human on earth, knew that Sterling's favorite food was shrimp (in almost any form), and so, for the first time in 20 something years, made a shrimp version of her famous chicken. The game was changed forever.
I've gone back and forth on whether I wanted to share this recipe. Part of me is like- this is my claim to fame... I get to say shit like "my mom makes the best shrimp you've ever had" and be right. Do I really want to give up those bragging rights? But, after much deliberation, I decided it's my responsibility as a good friend to share this with you. And ultimately, none of us can really make this as good as my mom, so might as well spread the love.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Adapted from my mom's recipe
• 1 lb frozen raw shrimp (shelled, deveined, and thawed)
• 1.5 cups cornstarch, plus 1 half tbsp
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1/4 cup sesame oil
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 3 tbsp light brown sugar or coconut sugar
• 1 heaping tsp green onion, plus more for garnish, thinly sliced on the bias
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
• 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 1.5 tbsp garlic, minced
• 1.5-2 cups vegetable oil, or enough to fill a pot 2-3 inches deep
• 1 tsp coconut oil or sesame oil
• Salt and pepper
• In a large pot or wok, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
• While oil is eating, take cleaned shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
• Add beaten eggs to a large mixing bowl and season with pepper. Add cornstarch to a separate large mixing bowl. Toss shrimp first in eggs, then in cornstarch until thoroughly coat. Add more cornstarch if necessary, until shrimps are all evenly and thickly coated.
• Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, slowly add shrimp 1 by 1, and let fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook no more than 10 shrimp at a time (overcrowding will reduce the temperature of the oil).
• Once shrimp are golden brown and crispy, remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a lined plate. Repeat until all shrimp are fried.
• Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, green onion, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes.
• While shrimp is cooking, heat tsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and golden. Add sauce mixture and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently.
• Combine half tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp of water. Stir into the sauce and let simmer until sauce thickens. Stir frequently, careful not to let burn. Reduce heat as necessary.
Note: sauce is done when you can run a wooden spoon down the pan and draw a quick line through the liquid
• Turn off heat, add shrimp, and stir to coat. Garnish with more sesame seeds and green onions and serve immediately.
Goes GREAT with garlicky mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts... just sayin.
This is a simple, elegant looking app that's easy to whip up. I love a good cheese plate, but I thought this would be a fun and unique alternative. I've made two versions here- goat cheese, honey, and walnuts (creamy, crunchy, sweet) and herbed goat cheese, chives, and lemon zest (salty, savory, herbaceous). I'll never say "herbaceous" again, I promise. Anyway, I think the...herby... one would be GREAT with pomegranate, but allegedly they were out of season when I made these, womp womp.
You're just going to add portions to your liking, so I don't have a recipe with exact measurements for you, but here what you'll need.
• 2 endives (will yield about 18-ish useable leaves)
• 1-2 tbsp honey
• A couple tbsp of chopped walnuts
• About 3 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped
• About a tsp of garlic powder
• About 1/4 tsp of dried oregano
• About 3 fresh chives, chopped
• Tbsp of fresh lemon juice, plus half tbsp of lemon zest
• Sea salt, to taste
• Cracked black pepper, to taste
• 3-4 oz goat cheese
Optional toppings: balsamic glaze (highly recommended!), pomegranate
In a small bowl, mix half of your goat cheese with the basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
Spread on half of your endive leaves, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with lemon zest. Add more salt and pepper, to taste.
Take the remaining goat cheese and spread on the second half of your endive leaves. Top with salt, walnuts, and a drizzle of honey
That's it! Keep cold until ready to serve.
My girlfriend Julian came over for dinner last night. We drank red wine, listened to jazz, watched a movie, and had a feast. On the menu was this amazing grilled peach flatbread with whipped honey ricotta and basil. I'll let you take a minute to reflect. This honestly might be one of my favorite things I've ever made.
Every single component is wildly delicious. The naan is perfectly crisp with a chewy center. The peaches are sweet and tart with a beautiful char. The ricotta...my god, the ricotta. It's light, and creamy, with just a hint of sweetness. I had some leftover and straight up ate it by the spoonful as I assembled the flatbread. I actually have a little bit more in the fridge that I'm about to spread onto some toast. And finally, the basil helps to balance out the richness, and adds beautiful color, making this the most scrumptious little bite of heaven.
• Flatbread of choice (I used this naan flatbread)
• 1 cup ricotta
• 1.5 tbsp honey
• 2 small peaches, sliced very thinly (I used 1 yellow and 1 white fleshed)
• 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
• Pinch of salt
• Preheat oven to 425 degrees and fit a baking rack over a baking sheet
Note: If you don't have a baking rack, just lay your flatbreads directly onto a lined baking sheet. Using a baking rack will allow the heat to circulate under the flatbread, with helps cook everything more evenly, but this will still turn out great without one)
• Heat a grill pan over high heat and spray with non-stick olive oil spray. Once hot, arrange peaches in one layer and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until each side has deep grill marks and the slices have softened, without becoming mushy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
**before flipping the peaches, spray the uncooked tops with the olive oil spray, and sprinkle with salt, then flip and cook the other side
• In a blender or food processor, blend the honey and ricotta until the ricotta is light and silky. This should just take a few pulses
• Spread the ricotta mixture over the flatbread, stopping about half an inch from the edge, and top with the grilled peaches. Place onto baking rack and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crispy. Remove and top with chopped basil. Add back to the oven for about 30 seconds, to bake the basil into the peaches and ricotta. Quickly remove so that the basil doesn't burn.
• Serve hot and enjoy!
I loooooove making my mashed potatoes this way. Because you're making them in the slow cooker, the potatoes themselves are no-muss, no-fuss. They're so creamy and flavorful on their own, but the crispy shallots take these to a whole nother level. I also use 2 types of cheese in this recipe- cream cheese for creaminess and depth, and ricotta for it's slight tang, which really pairs well with the crispy shallots.
*Full disclosure, the above photo of the completed dish was taken when I made these for Thanksgiving. I used both russet and red potatoes, and only ricotta cheese. Too tangy. I modified the recipe this weekend and used only russet potatoes and both ricotta and cream cheese, and the new version was perfect and so much creamier, but I forgot to take a picture. Womp. Anyway, if you want to learn my twist on a modern classic, please read on!
Ingredients (serves likeeee 8-10ish):
• 5 lbs russet potatoes (scrubbed, peeled, and chopped)
• 1 1/2 cups of milk and half & half (combined) plus 1 cup half & half for later
• 4-5 cloves garlic (diced)
• 4 oz softened cream cheese
• 1/3 cup ricotta
• 1 tbsp butter
• Salt and ground black pepper to taste
• 1 lb of shallots (sliced)
• 1/3 cup canola oil (this is a guesstimate... you just want enough oil to just cover the shallots. about a quarter inch deep)
• Add potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and milk/half&half combo to greased crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, until fork tender, and then mash together.
• Heat your remaining cup of half & half (just until warm) and add to potatoes along with cream cheese, ricotta, and butter. Mash and stir to blend. Leave warm while you work on your shallots
• Fill large, shallow saucepan with canola oil and heat over medium/high heat until hot. To test the heat level, add in one shallot slice. If it immediately starts sizzling, you're good to go. If not, wait a little longer
• Add in about 1/3 cup of shallots at a time, and let fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plate to drain
Note: over crowding will reduce the oil's heat, so the shallots will take longer to fry and will absorb too much oil
To plate: line the bottom of your dish with an even layer of shallots. Scoop in half of your potatoes, smoothing over with the back of your spoon. Sprinkle on another layer of shallots, and spread remaining potatoes over top. Top with remaining shallots. Boom.
Hi! I'm Shantal.