I haven't cooked much this week and therefore, have had very little to post about. Lame, I know. And what I did cook, I've already told you about. It was perfectly scrumptious and lovely alongside a big glass of malbec, but nothing new-fangled and really now, what wouldn't be good alonside a big glass of malbec? But stick around, because there is a little something I have to share with you and it's one of the best things I've made in a good long while, which I suppose more than makes up for a week of not-much-new happening in the kitchen.
Part of the problem was that yesterday found me lying listlessly on the couch on a bright and sunny Saturday, curtains drawn, suffering through the tail end of a cold or a flu or perhaps malaria (I like to call it my scurvy) that had me wishing someone else was there to do little nurse-maid-y things for me like turn the ceiling fan on or off or higher or lower or make me a cup of tea or smother me with a pillow to put me out of my misery.
Early in the morning, I stumbled to the window and saw that the birdfeeders were empty (I've had SO many birds lately -- swarms of them) and in a state of delirium, I looked at the thermometer and it read -3 and I became convinced that all the birds were going to freeze to death unless I put some clothes on right then and drove to the store to buy them some birdseed (this is their favorite). That's what I did. It wasn't until I was pouring seed into the feeders that I thought to myself: perhaps I'm in no state to operate motor vehicles and how many people did I just infect with my scurvy? Sorry about that Three Bears.
Last night I woke up with my teeth hurting like crazy when I bit down on them and then to my astonishment I discovered I was sprouting a second tongue -- you know those two little knobby bits of flesh under your tongue? One was all swelled up and sore. Has that ever happened to you? Because that was a first for me. I stood in the bathroom prodding my second tongue with my first tongue, wondering if it was something worth waking the husband up to ask about. There's nothing like being shaken awake in the middle of the night only to be asked, "Have you ever sprouted a second tongue?" He's pretty grumpy when you wake him up anyway, so I had to give it some serious thought. In the end, I decided to do what I always do when I want some sympathy at 3 a.m. -- I flopped clumsily into bed and let out a groan of suffering and a moan of woe, both loud enough to wake anyone up. Anyone, that is, except my husband. He didn't budge. I reluctantly fell back to sleep, praying that I wouldn't wake up with a third tongue. In the morning, he was horrified by the second tongue and couldn't believe I hadn't shaken him awake for a second opinion.
I warned them beforehand that when I'm feeling poorly, I lack both problem-solving skills and decision-making skills and that's why I was of no help when we somehow managed to pitch the ice fishing hut inside out and then couldn't figure out how to turn it inside-in. Here's the two of them inside the tent trying to figure out what the hell the problem is -- because even though they'd managed to turn it inside-in, it wouldn't pitch into an upright position. I stood outside snapping photos and laughing.
That tent looks pissed. Like it's thinking it would like to swallow them whole the way a big stomach would and then flush them down the holes we just augered in the ice.
It was a pretty busy day out on the lake, as you can see from the cute lady with her fur-trimmed hood and all those red tents in the distance but in the end we had nary a nibble and we packed it up and went home fish-less and now here I am, sitting in the dark in my patagonia long underwear with hotties toe-warmers still stuck to the bottoms of my wool socks (my toes only just now thawed out) and the dog curled in a ball on the floor snoring loudly.
So let me tell you about that thing I cooked this week: roasted broccoli and shrimp. I kept reading about it, here and here. It was like the cooking gods were steering me towards this recipe. And for good reason because, like I said, it was the best thing I've made in awhile because it was good and easy and perfectly seasoned with lemon and a sprinkling of coriander and cumin and chili powder and salt and pepper. So good that when I generously shared a perfectly-roasted, juicy and fleshy shrimp with the dog and she spit it out on the floor, I nearly cried. So good, that I thought about making it twice in one week. So good, that I'm recommending it to you now.
The original recipe can be found here and it calls for whole cumin and coriander seeds but I thought powdered would be better for even sprinkling and infusing. I sprinkled them liberally over the broccoli and shrimp where it lay on the baking sheet. Here's my version:
Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp
2 pounds broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
4 tablespoons ( 1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or less than a teaspoon of regular salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot chili powder or cayenne
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 1/4 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
Lemon wedges, for serving.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil. In a separate bowl, combine shrimp, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Spread broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and chili powder. Roast for 10 minutes. Add shrimp to baking sheet and toss with broccoli. Roast, tossing once halfway through, until shrimp are just opaque and broccoli is tender and golden around edges, about 10 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges, or squeeze lemon juice all over shrimp and broccoli just before serving.