Oh Dorie, you’re so funky. Shrimp & cellophane noodles.

I am a member of the French Fridays with Dori cooking club. Have I cooked along with the club lately? Um no. Mostly because many of the dishes are filled with dairy products I can’t have. It’s heart breaking. I am honestly jonesing for some gouda. I am even threatening to buy some local raw milk mozzarella. I am grateful I can have goat dairy. Should have seen me when I stopped into Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and a sample table was set up in the dairy department. I looked over, sighed and kept walking to get my goat cheese crumbles. When the farmer saw that, he invited me to try his samples, explaining I can’t have anything but goat dairy, he smiled and told me it was all goat. Yes I squealed, jumped up and down (my husband is going, wait you didn’t tell me all this) and tried everything on his table. Goat milk, chocolate milk and yogurt. It was a happy dairy binge for me. Still there is nothing like cheese.

I am also craving some of the Humboldt fog cheese Whole Foods carries. I swore I would buy someone if a certain family member scheduled an appointment that needs to be made. I am waiting with anticipation for that small treat for me….er us.

So back to the cookbook and Dori Greenspan, I just fell off the wagon of cooking alongside the group. I miss it but decided this week to find a recipe I could cook that wasn’t going to take to long. Just wanting to get back to cooking out of this book and trying something new.

Well Dori, all I have to say is this was interesting. I have to confess what I did was different. This was a case of I went to the store to purchase my ingredients and found them to not be in stock. Like the dried Chinese tree ear mushrooms. Sadly our local Asian market closed, I looked around for anything asian mushroom and ended up using the dried chanterelle I had in the cubboard.The other items was the cellophane noodles (aka Chinese vermicelli or glass noodles). Again my store was oddly out and Trader Joes said they discontinued them but had a long rice noodle that was fresh in the fridge section so I got that. That might have been the issue with my kids. Odd noodle. Not bad just different. My cilantro wilted badly and the plant on deck went MIA so I used dried at the end for sprinkling. Fresh would have been way better.

I also forgot to read the “serving suggestion” she puts with most of the recipes in the book, and should have served something with a little crunch to go on this, like some chopped peanuts or sliced scallions. The Sriracha I put out helped with the sweetness that was interesting in this dish. My boys didn’t like that part or the odd noodle. Otherwise they said they liked it. I will give this dish another try with the right noodles and something crunchy to go on top.

It’s a funky dish. Kind of like the chicken one I did a year or more ago that only me and my cat, Jericho (bless his little heart) liked. I actually was craving that the other day and wondered if my new little kitty, Miss Purresly, would enjoy it. She’s picky. Will turn up fresh fish but will eat potato chips. Boys think it’s funny the health coach has a cat that likes junk food. But like all things I like funky things. Dori your pretty funky with some of the dishes in this cookbook but I love them. They can be odd but fun to try and with a few tweeks something odd can become something more familiar.

Give this one a try to see what you think. I might suggest leaving out the sugar all together.

Shrimp and Cellophane Noodles serves 4
What you need:
1 ounce dried Chinese tree ear mushrooms
3 ounces cellophane noodles
1 tablespoon Asian toasted sesame oil (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of cayenne or other hot red pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil or grapeseed oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 small garlic cloves, split, germ removed and finely chopped
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 cups of tomato puree
2-3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

What to do:

30 mins before your ready to cook, soak the dried mushrooms in a large bowl of warm water untill soft. Drain, rinse and pat dry. Chop them into shreds.

Cook or soak the noodles according to the package. When soft and slippery, drain and snip them into easy to eat lengths. Toss them with sesame oil.

Bring a medium sauce pan of water to a boil and keep it at a simmer. Have a strainer at hand.

Mix the five-spice powder, sugar and cayenne together.

Put a wok or large skillet over medium heat and pour in peanut oil. When hot toss in onion and cook for a minute or till translucent. Add in the mushrooms and garlic and cook stirring for another 30 seconds. Turn up the heat and add the shrimp followed quickly by the spice mixture. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until the shrimp just start to turn pink. Pour in the tomato puree and cook stirring for about 2 mins or untill the shrimp are fully cooked. Taste for salt, pepper and cayenne, then turn off heat.

Slide the cellophane noodles into the simmering water, turn up the heat and cook for 1 min. Drain the noodles in the strainer, shake to dry them. Put in a serving bowl, toss with a little more sesame oil.

Pour the shrimp and sauce over the noodle, sprinkle with cilantro over the shrimp and serve immediately.

So what did you think? I’d love to hear how this went or other funky dishes you have tried.

Till next time!
Shelly

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