04 March, 2006

a recipe and a typical London story

I know I have just blogged a marathon entry, but I wanted to tell you
about a recipe of extreme simplicity (I have been working so hard all
week on my cookbook, by the way!) that shrimp lovers will relish. You
buy a half pound or so per person of large raw shrimps with the shells
still on (or frozen raw is fine, in fact most raw shrimp you see in
stores has been previously frozen and that's fine as well), and with a
little scissors cut the shell down the back, but leave it on (adds
tremendous flavor). Chop a lot of garlic and ginger and sprinkle it
on the shrimp, which you've laid in a single layer on a plate.
Sprinkle on some sea salt and leave to marinate at least a half hour
before you cook. Meanwhile mix about a half cup of soy sauce with two
good tablespoons of each of these: sesame oil, chili paste and rice
wine vinegar. Add one teaspoon sugar and mix. Slice a bunch of green
onions and add to sauce. Now heat peanut oil in a wok and saute the
shrimp until they JUST turn pink. Don't overdo. Take off heat and
put a cover on the wok and leave them to release their juices for five
minutes. Meanwhile, put a cup of basmati rice and a cup and a half of
water in a saucepan and cover. Turn on a medium heat and watch it
carefully for spitting; it will take about 20 minutes to cook.

When it's done, take it off the heat and leave covered. Pour yourself
a nice icy vodka and add a slice of lemon. Squeeze the rest of the
lemon juice onto the shrimps, and then take them out of the wok. Put
them in the bowl you plan to serve them in and set aside. Now heat
the wok again and pour in the sauce. Stir for about four minutes
until the onions start to wilt, then add shrimp. Turn up super high
to heat through, and you're done! Serve on the rice with TONS of
napkins, and a body plate for the shells. So you pick up each shrimp
and peel it, and eat it very messily, scooping up some rice for each
bite. Heavenly!

And so funny: English celebrities are constantly complaining about
paparazzi harrassment and I always thought they were being very whiny
about it. And probably exaggerating hugely. However. As I walked
down super-chic Sloane Street yesterday, I came upon a huge crowd of
photographers with their zoom lenses pressed against a shop window,
Roberto Cavalli, Victoria Beckham's new design obsession. Wondering
who was warranting all the feverish excitement, I wandered over and
asked a guy, "Who's in there?" He turned sort of lugubrious eyes on
me and said, "Some random footballer's girlfriend. Not even a wife.
I don't know what we're doing here."


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