Friday, May 17, 2013

Po'boy Pasta

Every once in a while we get in the kitchen and throw something together that is worth trying again. Sometimes. This was one of them. I am not really a fryer... I had actually bought oil for the purpose of making falafel because I had a bunch of chickpeas I needed to use up.  I never made falafel... but I fried up some shrimp for myself on Mother's Day because I felt like I deserved it.

Anyone who has tried any of my recipes probably notices a recurring theme of onion, peppers, and garlic. Truth be told, I eat these three things just about every day. I don't really add salt to my cooking, so I get some flavor in there the natural way. I eat a lot of pasta or rice usually with some random veg stir-fried in. More rice than pasta, really, but I do love some good whole-wheat pasta salad now and then when I get tired of greens.

I think there is a technical term for people who eat fish and shrimp but not other meat... it's not a true vegetarian, I know, but it's a stupid name that I never care to remember. I do eat fish or shrimp occasionally  but generally I am on a low-protein diet, so it's more of a treat or an 'I might kill someone if they look at me funny so my protein must be low' sort of thing. There is always tilapia in the freezer for emergencies. But anyway... I have made it quite clear that I am not a very strict vegan-y type person... I just don't like meat and I do not eat processed/canned/cured things if I can help it. I am not really so much health-conscious as I just know what makes me want to hurl or makes me feel shitty and I try not to eat it.

Like fried food... but sometimes it's worth it for a different texture, right?

Here is the point, once again, where I apologize for not really having careful measurements. I may have made the excuse before that I don't really measure things- even when I should measure things- and this is why I am a sucky baker and use phrases like 'however much you want to put' in recipes. Because I would put how much I wanted to if I was 'following' your recipes, or I might leave it out, or I might add something you forgot. I'd like to assume you all personalize your cooking in this way and it doesn't mean at all that I am just obstinate and unable to follow rules.

Po'Boy Pasta
 2 hearty servings

16 medium sized shrimp (cooked, devained, peeled)*
1 medium onion (in halves)
1/2 small bell pepper (I used a yellow bell here as it needed to be eaten soon- but red would be prettier)
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 package of whole wheat pasta of your choosing
2ish cups of SR flour
Salt
Pepper
Creole seasoning
Ranch dressing (about 1-2Tsp each serving- you just want a taste)
*I don't live near a coast, so I don't eat fresh shrimp (just how fresh is it, really, by the time it gets 6hrs from the coast to here?- assuming it did come the shortest route, which it probably did not).  Fresh shrimp is also gray, which does not make me want to touch it with a 10ft fork. Besides, I don't think I would want to fry raw shrimp myself because I would be paranoid if it was done by the time it is a nice light golden brown how I like it. 8 medium shrimp is what I consider plenty for a meal, but please add more if you like, and make up more of the flour if needed.
Put your shrimp in some tepid water to thaw if it's the frozen kind.

Cook your pasta while you employ your knife skills: Dice one half of the onion and also the pepper and add to your frying pan with a little olive oil. Go ahead and peel and dice your garlic and set it aside. Half your other onion half and slice it as thick or thin as you like. Add those onions to your shrimp water to soak.

Saute' your onion and pepper. Let it get nice a done, beginning to blacken a little to bring out the sweetness. Stir in the garlic and remove pan from heat. Sprinkle lightly with your three spices (or more creole if you want it spicier).

When you pasta is done to your liking (better if left a little firm since you will be frying it up a bit) drizzle another little bit of olive oil if it wants to stick. Place pan back on the heat and add the pasta. Stir/flip carefully to mix it in with the onions/peppers. It's pretty much done when you start to smell the garlic roasting. Set it aside to cool.

Begin heating your oil for frying while you prepare your flour and bread your friables.

Prepare you flour with the same three spices. Again, I use tiny bit of sea salt and a good bit of pepper and creole. If you really want it spicy put some cayenne, maybe. Love dangerously (not a typo). Stir well.

(Assuming your shrimp have lost their tails by now) drop your wet shrimp and onions into the flour and toss/stir/whatever you do to coat it evenly. Fry it up when your oil is ready. (I actually fry the onion first and then the shrimp- the onion floats in the water and the shrimp sinks, so it's not really hard to bread them separately) When all that is done and your fried bits are nicely drained and cooled a little, assemble on two plates (Or like me- one plate and one Tupperware for tomorrow).


Pasta... drizzled with a little ranch... topped with onion straws and shrimp. Good with a side of turnip greens or cabbage (Or maybe slaw- seems like Cajun restaurants always try to make you eat slaw). A slightly revised New Orleans favorite!

Enjoy!

This recipe was originally published on A Dog In A Sweater (my old blog)

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