Thursday, August 28, 2008

Adventures in Cooking

I decided about a month ago to get a wine subscription from The idea was that I would have an opportunity to learn a little something about wine selection, what I like/don't like, what goes well with certain food, etc. I've only had two shipments so far (so 4 bottles of wine), and have only managed to drink one bottle, so I can't really give you any updates as to my budding career as a oenologist.

But each of the little sheets that come with the wine do have a list of food that would be a good match. In my first box, I got a bottle of pinot grigio that was recommended to go with fresh tomatoes or seafood. I immediately thought of a dish my dad makes that is excellent - shrimp with goatcheese on top of pasta and tomato coulis. I have yet to reach the stage in cooking where I can create a recipe, but I at least have excellent memory recall and my dad's phone number.

So the first step in this process was to buy shrimp that were large enough to butterfly. I was thwarted on several grocery store attempts due to my night-owl tendencies (did you know they empty the seafood counters after 9 pm or so?), but yesterday finally made it to the grocery store near work during my lunch hour. The only shrimp available where still fully shrimp - little alien looking buggers with the heads still on them and everything. But as shrimps go, they were quite large and on sale. We have a winner!

Last night I got them home and began the cleaning process. I was supposed to get help from the internet, but plans to google "how to clean whole shrimp" were thrown off by our wireless going on the fritz. Here they are, still intact and all:

(take me to your leader...)

I've spared you the photo details of what transpired next, but basically I had to remove their heads. And I was unclear where the body ended and the head started, and this innard stuff squished out and I had to do the "ewwwwwwwww" dance around the kitchen for a minute.

So here they are now, all nice and headless, though not totally clean just yet. I'm pretty meticulous about getting out all of the little black veins, because those sort of gross me out too. As I was sitting there with my paring knife, I thought about the interesting conversation possibilities this presented: "What did you do last night?" "I disemboweled some shrimp. You?"

All nice and butterflied and ready for the filling and the oven:

And ta-da! The final dish, with one shot of the wine as well:

I was pretty hungry by the time I was finished, so I'm not sure I fully appreciated the mix of the wine and the chosen meal...but I still have 6 more shrimp left, and now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing, I'm going to give it another try tonight.


Ebony said...

look at you rocking out your kitchen! well done.

Ava said...

LOL! Let the fishmonger clean them for you next time!

RalphieTB said...

Technically, that's not a vein. It's a digestive tract.

That should help with the ewww factor.