Margot’s Rainy Day Asian Shrimp Soup for One
It was our first blustery rainy day of the fall season and Hugo and I were by out lonesome’s reading a great book, “The Accursed” by Joyce Carol Oates. I had just finished another fabulous book: “A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story” that I hope you all will read. It actually truly is a “Must Read”.
I was a bit hungry so for a late lunch/early dinner, I felt like making something easy and light on the belly and something warm. For some reason, Asian came to my mind. From my freezer, I took out the remainder of my medium sized cooked, tail on shrimp and defrosted them. So, at least I knew what the main protein ingredient was going to be. I also found some rice noodles in the pantry. I’m not really an expert in cooking Asian flavored dishes, but those two ingredients are what came to my mind today. So, below is what the end result was and honestly, it was delicious and quite Asian tasting. It also was quick and easy to fix.
- 18 precooked medium frozen shrimp w/o shell but w/tails—defrosted
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 Tblsp. butter
- 1 Tblsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp. soy sauce
- Dash of red pepper flakes (depends how spicy hot you wish it to be)
- 1/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spices
- 2 cups heated vegetable bouillon
- Flat rice noodles—you judge how many but remember, this is just for one
- Whole peanuts (optional)
- Shredded coconut (optional)
- In your food processor (I used my small one), place onion, celery, garlic cloves and process till finely chopped. Of course, you can do this by hand if you wish.
- In a large pot heated over medium heat add the butter, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper flakes and Chinese five spices till somewhat bubbly. Add the processed celery, garlic, onion and stir for about 3-5 minutes till veggies are softened.
- Add the heated vegetable bouillon and bring to a soft boil.
- Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes with a lid.
- Remove the lid and add the rice noodles. Gently boil for 8 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and boil another 2 minutes.
- Serve in a large soup bowl and if you wish garnish with whole peanuts, shredded coconut and even parsley or cilantro if you have some of that.
Avocados Stuffed with Lemon-Tarragon (etc.) Chicken Salad Sided with Pickled Radishes and Halved Tomatoes 3-6 servings
September is my birthday month so I plan to have lots of friends over for lunches and such to celebrate my longevity on this earth as we know it. Cooking and smoozing are some of my favorite activities therefore to celebrate another year gone by, I plan to do a lot of that this month.
To start the month off, I had today a little mid-day lunch for one old friend and one newfound friend. That’s a nice combination, don’t you think? Avocados were on special at our markets, so this is the recipe that I served. I sided it with a platter containing a bit of goat cheese and antipasto meats, a basket of crusty, fresh French baguette slices, and on the individual serving plates I surrounded the stuffed avocados with fresh halved cherry tomatoes and quickly homemade pickled radishes. I also shared a bit of wine for those of us who are winos and for my non-alcohol drinking friend, my wonderful homemade lemon/lavender drink. For desert, I made a bit of coconut/lemon non-churn ice cream and topped it with fresh raspberries—a really wonderful combination. Of course a nice good strong cup of coffee and lots more great conversation followed. Before we knew it, my 1pm lunch turned into a 5:45pm good-bye. Nothing like a long lingering luncheon with good food and great people to help make your birthday month very special indeed!!!!
Oh yes, I almost forgot, for the background music, Bandit, my green singing finch, serenaded us with his songs, symphonies and sonatas. Perfect indeed!!!!!
Ingredients for the Chicken Salad Mix:
- 1 Tblsp. or a bit more fresh tarragon
- 1/3 C. onion
- 1 ½ C. diced cooked chicken
- 2 celery stalks
- 1/4 C. chopped apple
- 2 Tblsp.( or 1 more Tblsp. if you wish a creamier version) mayonnaise
- 1 ½ Tblsp. lemon juice plus some to sprinkle over the freshly cut avocados to keep them green
- 3 small/medium avocados and one extra to make sure you have enough good ones for your luncheon because I have found that some avocados are decidedly better than others.
- Lettuce leaves for serving.
Directions for the Chicken Salad Mix:
- In a processer, process for just a couple of pulses, so as to make a rough diced mix, ingredients # 1 through # 6.
- In the processer bowl (or if you wish, another bowl in which you have added the mix), add the mayonnaise & lemon juice.
- Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two or better yet, overnight.
- Halve and pit the avocados. Gently rub some lemon juice over the exposed flesh to prevent them from browning. Scoop 1/4 (more or less) of the chicken salad mix into each of the avocado halves.
- I served my stuffed avocado halves on a glass plate which sat on top of a larger white plate that I had lined with fresh large lettuce leaves. Each glass plate had 2 small stuffed avocado halves surrounded by halved cherry tomatoes and quartered pickled radishes.
- Below, please see the recipe for the pickled radishes (easy and not time consuming).
Ingredients for the Pickled Radishes:
- 1 bunch radishes
- 3/4 C. white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 3/4 C. water
- 3 Tblsp. honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
- 2 Tsp. salt
- 1 Tsp. red pepper flakes or less if you prefer less spice
- 1/2 Tsp. mustard seeds (optional)
- Optional add-ins: garlic cloves, peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds—use your imagination
Instructions for the Pickled Radishes:
- Prepare the radishes by slicing off the tops and bottoms; slice or cut into small quarters or eighths.
- For the brine, in a small sauce pan, combine ingredients # 2 through #8 and bring mixture to boil, stirring occasionally.
- Take pan off heat and place radishes in pan; let mixture cool to room temp; or if you have just an hour to make this, cover the pan and place in frig. till cool.