Ken and I are members of the Sunset Wine Club associated with the Sunset magazine, which I've spoken about before. . . fabulous publication. We get two bottles of wine a month, one red and one white. The great part of it is that we also get the recipes and menus suggested to enjoy with the wines! This is the featured recipe for the white in December:
SWEET-HOT COCONUT SHRIMP
- 1 lb. shelled, deveined shrimp (21-31 per lb.), rinsed and well-drained
- ½ c. coconut milk
- Sweet-hot chili sauce (recipe follows)
- 2 cups thinly sliced English cucumber
In a bowl, mix shrimp coconut milk, and 2 tbsp. sweet-hot chili sauce. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Thread shrimp onto 8-10 soaked wooden skewers. Place on a rack in a 10 x 15-inch broiler pan.
Broil shrimp 3-4 inches from heat, turning once, until shrimp are opaque but still moist-looking in center of the thickest part (cut to test), 5-6 minutes. (I think they would be even better grilled!)
Arrange the cucumber slices on a platter. Set shrimp on top. Drizzle about 3 more tablespoons over shrimp. Serve shrimp hot or cool with remaining chili sauce to add to taste.
Sweet-Hot Chili Sauce: In a 1-2-quart pan, mix 1 cup rice vinegar, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 T. minced garlic, 1 ¼ t. red chili flakes, and 2 T. Asian fish (nuoc mam or nam pla) or ½ t. salt. Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to about ¾ cup, 12-15 minutes. Let cool. Makes about ¾ cup.
Funny story: Ken took Ben to the school yesterday so he could watch the basketball games and I asked him to pick up a few things at the grocery store on the way home because I wanted to make this meal. Later he tells me that he was in the produce section and finally asked the guy, "Uh. . . do you have any English cucumbers? These seem to all be from Mexico." The guy looks at him with a little pity and a slight grin and says, "Sir, an English cucumber isn't FROM England. It's just a type of cucumber." Ken says, "Oh." I kid you not!! I fell in the floor!
The Main Dish recipes from the Wine Club come with suggested menu accompaniments that you can access online as a club member. So I also made Sesame Noodle Salad and Hot Sichuan-Style Green Beans to go with the shrimp.
SESAME NOODLE SALAD
NOTE: you can make this salad up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. For best flavor, bring to room temperature before serving.
- 12 oz. dried soba (Japanese buckwheat) noodles, dried Asian wheat noodles, or angel hair pasta
- 3 T. sesame seeds
- 3 T. vegetable oil
- ¼ c. soy sauce
- ¼ c. rice vinegar
- 1 T. sugar
- ½ t. cayenne
- 1 red bell pepper (8 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin, short slivers
- ¾ c. shredded carrots
- ¾ c. thinly sliced green onions
In a 5-to 6 quart pan over high heat, bring 2 ½-3 quarts of water to boil. Add noodles, stir to separate, and cook until just tender to bite, 3-7 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water. If desired, cut noodles into shorter lengths for easier serving. Rinse and dry pan.
In the same pan, over medium heat, stir sesame seeds in oil until golden, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cayenne; stir until blended. Add noodles and mix until well coated. Add bell pepper, carrots, and green onions; mix gently. Add salt to taste. Mound in a serving dish.
HOT SICHUAN-STYLE GREEN BEANS
NOTE: you can make these beans up to 2 hours ahead; let cool, then cover and let stand at room temperature. If you use the maximum amount of chili flakes, the dish will be quite hot.
- 1 lb. green beans
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1 T. rice vinegar
- 2 t. sugar
- ¼- to ½ t. hot chili flakes
- ¼ t. ground white pepper
- 1 T. vegetable oil
- 2 T. minced garlic
- 2 T. minced fresh ginger
Rinse and drain green beans; trim off and discard stem ends. Cut beans into 2- to 3-inch lengths. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, chili flakes, and white pepper.
Set a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add beans and ¼ c. water. Cover and cook, stirring once, until beans are bright green and slightly crunchy to bite, 3-4 minutes. Uncover and cook until any remaining water has evaporated.
Add oil, garlic, and ginger to pan; stir until green beans and garlic are lightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Stir soy mixture and add to pan; bring to a boil and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce thickens and coats the beans, 2-3 minutes. Pour into a serving dish. Serve hot or cool.