Modernist Cuisine Shrimp Cocktail

In the same session as Modernist Cuisine Pulpo a la Gallega, we also prepared the Shrimp Cocktail from the Plated Dishes volume of Modernist Cuisine. This preparation is quite a contrast with the traditional Avocado and Shrimp Cocktail I blogged about a few days ago. It looks very pretty and is a lot of work. The combination of beets, shrimp, passion fruit, and horseradish is original and works quite well. I liked the passion fruit ‘leather’. We were not enthusiastic about the passion fruit brown butter fluid gel or the pressure-cooked sesame seeds. The verdict? It was an interesting experience and quite tasty, but I don’t think I will make this dish again. Continue reading “Modernist Cuisine Shrimp Cocktail”

Avocado and Shrimp Cocktail

This was probably the first appetizer I’ve ever prepared, more than 25 years ago. It is completely out of fashion now, but it is still very tasty and avocado is popular now because of the omega 3 fatty acids it contains. Another good reason to share this is that I explain how to make your own cocktail sauce, even from scratch if you like. Feel free to grow your own avocados and catch your own shrimp as well if this isn’t foody enough for you 😉 Continue reading “Avocado and Shrimp Cocktail”

Thai Green Curry with Shrimp

Sometimes I can be a bit of a purist (OK you may laugh). Everyone can do as he pleases in the kitchen and everybody can eat what he likes, but please let’s not confuse each other by calling things what they are not. If you want to eat spaghetti with bacon and cream, fine, but don’t call it carbonara (which is made with guanciale or pancetta and eggs, and definitely without cream). There is nothing wrong with using garlic and parsley in a pasta sauce with meat and tomatoes, but don’t call it bolognese. I always try to prepare dishes as authentic as possible, which is sometimes difficult as most of the dishes I cook have not originated in the Netherlands. So I try to research and disclose it on my blog when I am not sure about the authenticity or when I cut corners.

What does this introduction have to do with Thai green curry? I’ve never been to Thailand and I don’t eat at Thai restaurants often, but when I do I tend to like the food. And so I thought I’d do some research and try to prepare an authentic Thai green curry. I found the High Heel Gourmet blog and had a blast reading it. You think I am a purist about Italian food? Check out this lady! I quote: “If you want to follow the “Do it yourself” recipe that uses green onion, cilantro, ginger root, lime juice and THE WHOLE POD of cardamom to make green curry paste so much, go ahead, but don’t call it Thai curry paste and please, don’t serve the curry to the Thais. They would barf!” I love it! She even critiqued Richard’s green curry, but was very nice about it.  (That is actually how I discovered her blog.)

As the High Heel Gourmet appears to know her stuff, I decided to go by her rules. I managed to find the authentic ingredients as specified and prepared my first Thai green curry with it, and absolutely loved it! Also my friends loved it, who have been to Thailand and who eat at Thai restaurants all the time. The curry had great depth of flavor and tasted very fresh. This was of course due to making fresh green curry paste from scratch. That is not a lot of work if you own a blender, the work is in finding the ingredients. It was hot but not extremely hot, and you can of course control the heat by using less or more chili peppers. Continue reading “Thai Green Curry with Shrimp”

Homemade Ebi Nigiri Sushi (Shrimp Sushi)

One of my favorite types of sushi is ebi nigiri. The shrimp has a very nice slightly sweet flavor that goes very well with the rice and it also looks pretty. Although most people think of raw fish when they think of sushi, the shrimp is actually parcooked for this preparation. I’ve already explained how to make sushi rice and shape nigiri sushi in a previous post. In this post I will only deal with how to prepare the shrimp. For this preparation it is important to buy raw shrimp with the shells on. It is not important to have … Continue reading Homemade Ebi Nigiri Sushi (Shrimp Sushi)

Crispy! Spicy Shrimp Crackers

A few weeks ago I made Spicy Shrimp Crackers with Tuna Tartare for the first time. I was very happy with the combination of the flavors, but the crackers were not as crispy as I had hoped for. I looked up what Harold McGee has to say about crackers. He says to roll out the dough very thin and to bake in a moderate oven until dry and crisp (which is longer than I did). I asked my readers for suggestions and it was Vinny Grette who made the excellent suggestion to use a pasta machine to make them thinner (thank you!). I checked … Continue reading Crispy! Spicy Shrimp Crackers

Scallops and Shrimp with a Vanilla Sauce, Pea Puree and Parsnip Puree

Wine is often paired with food, but it can be inspiring to take a bottle of wine as the starting point and try to cook something that will go well with it. Oak barrels can give a hint of vanilla to wines, and so I thought it would be fun to make a vanilla cream sauce to go with a creamy oaked chardonnay. It worked out really well, and the pairing was outstanding. The wine went well with the vanilla creaminess of the sauce as well as with the seafood. The combination of scallops with parsnip and peas is something … Continue reading Scallops and Shrimp with a Vanilla Sauce, Pea Puree and Parsnip Puree

Japanese Mixed Grill

This is one of my favorite dishes from “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art” that is surprisingly easy to make and absolutely delicious. As often in Japanese and Italian cooking, the key is in the quality of the ingredients. I used very fresh line-caught sea bass from the North Sea. You just wrap the ingredients in foil and cookt them in a hot oven for a bit, that’s all! It may not look like much in the photo, but you better believe me that the taste is outstanding. I adapted the recipe and made it even more simple, since there is … Continue reading Japanese Mixed Grill


Tempura is one of my favorite Japanese dishes, that was actually introduced into Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Seafood and vegetables are battered and deep-fried and served with a dashi-based dipping sauce. Just like with sushi you are probably not able to obtain the quality of professionally made tempura, but if you follow the recipe it should still be delicious! Making good tempura requires both some skill (to get a light and crunchy crust) and fresh high-quality ingredients. Tempura should be eaten as quickly as possible, so it’s best to make it in an informal setting where … Continue reading Tempura

Linguine with Scampi, Scallops, Zucchini and fresh Tomatoes

This is an elegant seafood pasta that I like to prepare. As always, the quality of the ingredients means a great deal. I used fresh scampi, but you could also substitute with jumbo shrimp as long as they are ‘wild caught’ and have the heads and shells to make some wonderful shrimp stock. Frozen scampi or shrimp are also fine, but the scallops must be fresh (since frozen scallops release too much water when you try to sauté them). The delicate flavors of scallops and scampi or shrimp go well with fresh tomatoes, zucchini and basil and just a tiny … Continue reading Linguine with Scampi, Scallops, Zucchini and fresh Tomatoes

Linguine ai gamberoni alla Fra Diavolo (Linguine with flambeed shrimp, garlic and chile pepper)

I was intrigued by this recipe by Pasta Princess since it involves flambéing the shrimp, and decided to make my own version with some alterations. As far as I’ve been able to find out by googling, Fra Diavolo is a recipe that is typical of the Italian kitchen in the United States. Nevertheless I tried to make this recipe like I believe it might be made in Italy. I like Pasta Princess’ suggestion to serve this over home-made pesto fettucine, but since I made this after work and didn’t have time to make fresh pasta, I used linguine as this type is … Continue reading Linguine ai gamberoni alla Fra Diavolo (Linguine with flambeed shrimp, garlic and chile pepper)

Risotto ai gamberoni (Risotto with jumbo shrimp)

When you are cooking with jumbo shrimp, always try to buy them with heads and shells on and peel them yourself. It is a little bit of work, but you can make a delicious stock from the heads and shells that is excellent to make a risotto or paella or to use for pasta sauce. If you are not using the heads and shells straight away, just throw them in the freezer until you do. Next time you will be able to make this very tasty risotto, for which you will need more heads and shells than than you will … Continue reading Risotto ai gamberoni (Risotto with jumbo shrimp)