Archive for June, 2008

Pinch me. Is it real?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 20, 2008 by Susannah

So it finally (and completely unpredictably) happened: I got a job writing about what I love most — food.

I am so incredibly excited!!!

Starting the week after next, I’ll be one of the editors at YumSugar, a food blog connected to the online women’s network Sugar Inc. I’m still definitely going to weigh in on restaurants (something I won’t be doing in my professional blogging space), home-cooked meals and other musings here, but you’ll also be able to read me on YumSugar under the byline “YumSugar” from now on.

Bring it on!

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The Lost Prawns: A Fable

Posted in Destinations, Food for thought, Restaurants, Susannah's Home with tags , on June 11, 2008 by Susannah

In March 2007, Andy and I took a weekend trip to Portland, Oregon. Neither of us had ever been before and we were both pleasantly surprised by the caliber of dining there. My most memorable course was an appetizer of jumbo prawns stuffed with jalapeño cream cheese at a downtown restaurant called the Veritable Quandary. Since then, I’ve not had a chance to return to Portland (yet), but I have craved the shrimp on multiple occasions. Whenever I think of the dish — not quite shrimp cocktail, not quite jalapeño popper, and the perfect blend of seafood, creole spices, decadent cream cheese and crispy breading — my mouth would water. Unfortunately, I was never able to locate a version of it in the Bay Area, nor could I ever find a recipe online: I went to the restaurant website, where the menu no longer listed the dish. I even went so far as to write Bon Appétit, but to no avail.

Finally, a last resort: I emailed the restaurant, asking them about the recipe. Had I made the whole thing up, or had there once been a menu item that was truly that divine?

It turns out I wasn’t imagining things after all; I got an email shortly following my inquiry. “We focus on farm-fresh local ingredients which means we end up changing our menu rather frequently. Unfortunately, we no longer have that particular item on our menu, so the recipe isn’t readily available,” explained the restaurant’s manager, Jason Gerlt. However, he was kind enough to dig up the old recipe and send it to me.

Moral of the story: If you ask for something, you might just get it!

Prawns stuffed with jalapeño cream cheese

Ingredients:

Large prawns (half a dozen to a dozen or so)

Flour, for dipping

Panko crumbs, for breading

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 jalapeno, diced small
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauce:
Pinch of garlic
3 scallions, diced
1/4 cup tomato, diced
2 cups heavy cream

Instructions:

1. Combine all of the filling ingredients until blended.

2. For sauce, briefly sauté the garlic, scallions and tomato. Add the cream and Creole seasoning, simmering until thickened.

3. Devein and butterfly shrimp. Stuff with cream cheese filling. Coat, first with flour, then egg wash, then panko crumbs seasoned with creole seasoning.

4. Deep fry until golden, and serve plated with sauce.