Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

February 12, 2010

Shrimp Dinner


Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley
1 bunch curly parsley, coarsely chopped
Broccoli Rabe
Wine: Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, 2007
Dessert: Lindt’s 85% and Lindt’s 70% Intense Dark Chocolate
Blandy’s Bual, 5 Year Aged Madeira

I must have over 800 cookbooks, collected over decades. I seldom look at them anymore, because I have my own repertoire and am no longer interested in fancy cooking. Louis Szathmáry’s “The Chef’s Secret Cook Book,” published in 1971, is an exception. The “secret” here is to cook half of the parsley together with the shrimps; remove the shrimps when they turn pink, and cook the remaining parsley with additional butter, boiled down with a splash of white wine.

Having fresh garlic in the house and chopping one or two cloves when needed, is a nuisance. That’s where garlic confit comes in. I peel about 30 garlic cloves at a time, place them in a heavy saucepan and cover with olive oil. I cook the garlic over the lowest possible heat until soft. When cooled, I put the confit in a mason jar with a tight lid. Stored in the refrigerator, it will keep almost indefinitely. The only thing to remember is that garlic confit is much milder than freshly chopped garlic. I adjust my usage accordingly.

I prepare short grained rice in a rice cooker. To give the rice a bit of a kick, I add 1/2 cup of rice vinegar and half a cup of mirin to 1cup of water. Fresh broccoli rabe is available all winter long. It complements the color of the meal and adds a bit of crunch.

I am not a big dessert eater and George, who loves desserts, doesn't want to gain weight. Except for an occasional splurge, I have worked out the perfect solution: 2 pieces of 85% of dark chocolate for me and 70% each of dark chocolate for George, savored after the meal with a small glass of medium rich Madeira.