Sunday, June 26, 2011

Inspiration + Impulse = A Totally Different Dinner

Wow! Another dinner post! I guess you can’t fault day trips out of your borough for a lack of inspiration. I actually went down to Kensington a few weeks back with a mission to buy one of the ingredients that came into play with this spicy seafood meal of mine, but believe it or not I came home with it (after searching a few stores) but without a clue why I chose to buy it in the first place! Thankfully, achiote is a fairly common ingredient in the foodie universe, especially with the Mexican and South American crowd, so although I bought the annatto seeds ground to a powder and not make into a paste, a few quick searches and some stitching together of recipes gave me a viable substitute that was perfect for a whole different meal.

I can’t believe how well the spicy paste mixture meshed with the sweet shrimp in this cobbled-together crapshoot of an idea. In all honesty, it would be a killer use for grilled steak, mixed into burgers, stirred into veggies and rice or smeared onto BBQ’d jumbo prawns (mmm, shrimp on the barbie!). I can’t wait to try it out with tofu, too – I’m betting that with a good, couple-days soak in the mixture it would convert any meat freak! The sweet and sour slaw was a refreshing, crunchy and cooling accompaniment, balancing out the entire meal. In short, it was nothing less than a perfect Summer supper.

Now if I could only figure out what I bought the achiote for in the first place!

Achiote Shrimp Slaw
Serves 1

Sweet and Sour Slaw
9 oz bag coleslaw mix
5 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp mustard seed
¼ tsp celery seed

Marinated Shrimp
1 tbsp achiote powder
½ tsp cumin powder
¾ tsp black pepper
pinch chipotle pepper
pinch allspice
pinch oregano
pinch cinnamon
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ tbsp grated orange zest
1 can (106g) small salad shrimp, drained well, OR 3.5 oz cooked small shrimp

Slaw
  1. Mix rice vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard seed in a small cup.
  2. Pour over the slaw mixture and toss well. Let sit 1 hour.

Shrimp and Assembly
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together achiote powder, cumin, pepper, chipotle, allspice, oregano, cinnamon, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, white vinegar, water, fresh garlic and orange zest.
  2. Add shrimp and stir to coat thoroughly.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning, then top slaw mix and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 253.1
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 70.0 mg
Sodium: 492.8 mg
Total Carbs: 43.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 20.7 g