Photo of Warm Shrimp and Escarole Salad, by Bryan W. Ferry,
from the February 2013 issue of Bon Appétit. Click on it (or here) to go the recipe!
Confession: This was not my first choice for dinner.
As I mentioned on my other blog, the cover of the most recent issue of Bon Appétit shouts about the joy of pasta, gourmet nachos and “The Creamiest Chocolate Mousse.” However, I’m currently living in a world where the phrase “intake of protein” was used* instead of “eating,” so the creamiest chocolate mousse will remain untested for at least awhile.
* Not by me, mind you.
Instead, I tried out a salad. (Audio cue: click here and hit “Play.”)
Not that it didn’t sound good — shrimp is one of the seafood dishes that I will happily devour — but I have issues with wilting lettuces and expecting the results to satisfy an appetite. And radishes aren’t my favorite. But I was sure willing to see what happened if I got to cook the hell out of them.
I wasn’t willing to buy a whole tin of anchovies, only to use just two fillets. Luckily I found a tube of anchovy paste, which is squeezable, resealable and fish-trunk-free. It would have helped to know how much anchovy paste was the equivalent of one anchovy fillet. That ratio wasn’t not listed on the box, so I just sort of winged it. I later looked it up online to find that ½ teaspoon of paste is the equivalent of one fillet; I seriously overshot that estimate, so the kitchen was quite … fragrant. Measure twice, mix once.
Cost of ingredients: About $15, not including the shrimp, because …
Substitutions: I already had a bag of cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp in the freezer — a larger quantity than called for, but “lots of shrimp” cannot be a bad thing, in my book. Plus, of course, the anchovy paste.
As easy as they said? More or less. I suspect the thawed shrimp contributed more than the standard amount of liquid to the broth, however, so I ended up scooping them out with a slotted spoon for a few minutes while the sauce thickened to a form more suited for
tossingdressing a salad.
How’d THAT go over? The flavor was good, but as I feared, it wasn’t very filling. I pre-emptively supersized “six portions” into three, and still a half-hour after eating, I was skulking around the snacks cupboard looking for something to munch on.
Would I make it again? Maybe as a side dish. Too tiny on its own, and it needed something else in the mix — something crisp that would lend another texture, and possibly more substance.
|WHAT SAM WORE: 02-04-13|
|The shirt: Cotton button-down, from the J. Crew outlet store in Anthem.|
|The pants: Regular straight-fit jeans, from Uniqlo in New York.|
|The shoes: Custom slip-on Converse All-Stars, a gift from Funny Michael.|