Wow, what a week its been. And before I can even think of digging into one of my favorite recipes, I have to say thanks. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This week Maria and I launched Cookie Cravings, Two Peas and Their Pod’s first foray into the cookbook arena and another publishing adventure for me. We both agree its been such a rewarding project to create and finally share with our readers.
So again, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of you for your amazing feedback and support; I can finally uncross my fingers and toes thanks to the digital delivery process going off without a hitch. If you haven’t already, visit my cookbook page for all of the cookie details.
Besides the cookbook, and my craving for noodles, there were a few other cool things I discovered this week, like…
Who didn’t clap their hands and grin real wide when the tweets were flying with James Beard nomination announcements and we discovered some of our favorites were on the list. Congrats to our nominated blogging buddies: Gwen of Bunkycooks, Aran of Cannelle et Vanille and Elissa of Poor Mans Feast. You’ve helped elevate food blogging to a higher level.
On a less serious, but equally delightful note, I found Cooking Minute, a new discovery via Stephane of Zen Chef. All I had to see in the tweet was the words ‘stop-motion’ and I was like, what? I must investigate this Williamsburg-hipster-cooking-doc-photo site that interviews foodies in their kitchens and shows their recipes in progress. It has all the ingredients of a smash hit: hipster Williamsburg + food + voyeuristic glimpses into ‘the other cook’s’ kitchen.
I’m forever obsessing about getting organized, so much so that I often find myself spending more time fretting about how to do it than actually doing it. But Melanie’s post from Inward Facing Girl gives some tips that I hope make getting it together online might help get me in action. In hopes to transition to online list making I’ve been using Teux Deux for some time, but can’t quite lose my good old notebook. I’m looking for suggestions if you have one.
And here’s an online tip for bloggers: Chartbeat. A different form of analytics than Google Analytics, it gives real time stats of who is on your site at that very moment. Yes, I said THAT VERY MOMENT. As in a GPS tracker of your readers revealing what they’re looking at, how they got there and when they bounce off. So if you’re one of those bloggers who is obsessive about keeping track of their reader’s habits, jump in with that barrel of monkeys. Yea, I might be. There’s a 30 day trial…
Oh, and I’m totally digging The Voice. Talent galore—sorry Phillip Phillip lovers, the poor guy is totally on the wrong talent singing show. I wait for each episode to see what will become of Xtina’s eyelash malfunctions and dashing UFO inspired hats. Will she eventually just lift off into space?
And now on to two of my favorite ingredients. Garlic. Shrimp. Noodles. Oh wait. That’s three. Well, you’re going to have to work with me here, I’m an art person not an accountant.
This recipe sings spring: light and easy with bright notes and just the right amount of savory belly filling buckwheat noodles. If you have a hard time finding soba noodles, although it seems most grocers carry them these days, use whole wheat spaghetti noodles. BTW, did we ever decide who invented the noodle anyway? I think the Italians and the Japanese are still arm wrestling for that claim d’ fame.
Sometimes I toss the shrimp on the barbeque grill, sometimes I broil them in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. But most of the time I pull out my stovetop grill pan (the bottom of my panini press) season with a bit of salt and a swath of grapeseed oil and off to the fire they go.
But my love for this dish truly lies in the simple sauce. Ponzu is the body, the less salty cousin to soy sauce and infused with citrus, usually orange or lemon, and with a hint of sweetness thanks to a sprinkling of sugar and this topping gently envelops each toothy noodley strand.
- In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and mix until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Fill a large pot 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. Season water with 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt and add soba noodles. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender. Drain in colander, rinse well with cold water and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet on medium-high heat until oil slithers about the pan and add garlic, shallots and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently taking care that garlic doesn't burn. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and shallots a bit crispy. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet or grill over medium high heat and lightly coat with cooking spray. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to shrimp, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until just opaque on the inside. Shrimp will continue to cook once taken off the heat so cook carefully or they'll become tough.
- Transfer noodles and mushroom mixture to a bowl, season with sauce mixture and combine. Plate noodles in mounds and top with grilled shrimp. Serve with cilantro, green onion and jalapeno slices.