Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

An Easy-Peasy, Quick-n-Easy Meal in Under 30 minutes!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 22, 2021

Jasmine rice w celery, onions, carrots, bell peppers, cooked in leftover beef broth, with… yup — it’s SHRIMP!

Altogether, including prep time, a meal in under 30 minutes.

Like I’ve said previously… Rachel Ray ain’t got NOTHIN’ on me!

A tasty, nutritious, easy-peasy, quick-n-easy meal in <30 minutes!

Okay… so, What DO you do to make this?

1.) Get your ingredients, i.e., go grocery shopping.

2.) Select the groceries.

3.) Purchase the groceries.

4.) Go home.

5.) Unload the groceries.

6.) Fix the meal.

7.) Eat the meal.

8.) Wash the dishes.

9.) Dry the dishes.

10.) Put away the dishes.

Seriously…

Volumes/quantity are up to you. If you wanna’ fix enough to feed a small army, go for it.

If it’s just you, that’s cool, too.

Perhaps some may ask something like, “How much shrimp should I use?”

The EASY answer is… how much do you want?

The rice? What about it? How much should I use? What kind?

For Pete’s sake, PLEASE DON’T buy rice in a cooking pouch. Seriously. Just don’t. It’s just not that difficult to cook rice. I mean, if illiterate folks in jungles and their kids can cook it perfectly, you can too.

Just remember: Rice requires a 2 to 1 Water to Rice ratio, i.e., 2 cups water, 1 cup rice… or whatever measure you’re using. Again, 2 to 1, so if it’s 2 teaspoons of rice, you need 4 teaspoons of water. Sure, that’s a silly example, but you get the point. Hopefully.

Cooking is not brain science, or rocket surgery, and cooking rice is quick-n-easy.

Boil water, add rice, turn down the volume, cover the pan, wait a few minutes. Voila! It’s ready. The Rice🍚Fairy🧚🏻‍♂️ has visited the pan and already made the rice!

So… what’s the story behind this meal?

Well, it goes kinda’ like this:

I had to make room in the freezer for the frozen pie & ice cream, which meant removing the frozen shrimp, which I did, placed it in the fridge, and wrapped a towel around it to keep the water from getting all over the place. It was in a plastic bag, and as stuff warms, condensation forms — that’s just plain ol’ science — so that’s why I put a towel around it. Not a magic towel, not a paper towel, a terry cloth towel. Hell… any towel will do. Just use one. Unless you don’t mind mopping up water inside the fridge. Then, fuggetabout it.

About a day, or so, later, I looked at the two, starting-to-look-sad-and-turning-wrinkly-red-green bell peppers, and decided to get that container of rice off the counter, and so had to remove some of the rice in order to get the lid to screw onto the container.

Yeah.

I use larger plastic containers to store food in, rather than leaving it in the bags in which it was sold. Stuff like flour, corn meal, corn masa, sugar, rice, dried peppers, etc. It makes those containers useful, keeps ’em out of the landfill, and they’re better than the original purchase bags. Plus, I’ll write on, or cut out and tape a portion of the label to the container to ID it at a glance. Pretty kewl, eh? And besides, you know the drill… Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — right?

And, it took 2 cups of rice to do that, to get enough room to secure the lid.

POP QUIZ!

How much water did I need?

Well… I used leftover beef stock, and it measured out to be… SEE ABOVE for the answer.

Then, I reboiled the residual water from pressure cooking the chuck roast a day, or so, earlier. Yes, I left it out on the stove top. Yes, I reboiled it once a day after initially cooking it. Reboiling it will keep the crud from growing on it when it’s left out. And it took exactly 3 days to eat it all. Including the portions I gave to Li’l Gurl Dawg. I loves that bitch.

So, I measured the residual cooking water, and it was 3.5 cups. Then, I added an extra cup of water. As the seasoned water heated up, the semi-solidified fat layer atop the water began to liquefy. All the tasty, beefy goodness from the roast was in that water, you see.

I placed the pressure lid on the pot, but didn’t pressure seal it, which allowed pressure to escape -BUT- it also helped the water boil much more quickly, and kept the heat in. And when it did boil, I threw in the rice, turned down the volume, and reapplied the lid in the same configuration as previously.

While the Rice Fairy was doing his thing, I diced an onion, celery stalk, and the 2 starting-to-look-sad-and-turning-wrinkly-red-green bell peppers, and sliced 2 carrots with a peeler, then chopped the slices.

PRO TIP: Get a mandoline. Specifically, get the Progressive International brand model PL8. You’ll save yourself lotsa’ work, and you’ll thank me for it. You’ll save time, and use your knife a whole lot less. So, stop wasting time. Just get it.

Watch it in motion.

 

And wouldn’t you know it!?! By the time I had finished prepping the veggies, the Rice Fairy had finished his work! So, I mixed the veggies in with the rice.

First, a word about shrimp.

Nowadays, most shrimp are farmed, not “wild caught.” And most shrimp are farm-raised overseas, in places like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and other SouthEast Asian nations. And that immediately raises questions, and genuine concerns about food security. So, let’s touch upon that topic, because nobody likes getting sick from eating contaminated food, and everybody is interested in knowing how their food is handled, from start, to finish.

The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) organization is a subsidiarity of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit international trade & standards organization “dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances,” headquartered at 85 New Hampshire Avenue, Suite 200, Portsmouth, NH 03801 USA [1-603-317-5000 Office hours: Monday-Friday 8AM -5PM Eastern Time] with the organization EIN: 54-1853030.

The BAP is the only third-party aquaculture certification program, and identifies 4 stages in the aquaculture production chain: Hatchery, Feed Mill, Farm, Processor, and establishes best practices standards and guidelines in conjunction with other independent organizations, such as the WHO (World Health Organization). The process of establishing standards is completed by a Standards Oversight Committee (SOC) comprised of members with broad stakeholder representation and comprised of one-third conservation, one-third academia, one-third industry, and welcomes public comments throughout the processes.

In a nutshell, BAP ensures aquaculture is conducted responsibly through its third-party certification program, which is publicly identified by a logo with a 4 star system, identifying the stage of product which is certified, along with a certification ID number.

So, when shopping for seafood, look for the symbol. It’s your guarantee of quality, safety, and uniformly high standards in all aquaculture products so labeled.

My personal choice was the “large” sized shrimp, meaning 13-15 per pound. There is no uniform standard to size shrimp, so size is stated as a range, expressed as the average number of shrimp per pound. Some call that “super jumbo,” some call it “colossal,” while yet others simply call it “large.”

The shrimps were already deveined, but the shells and tails were still on, so I removed all the shell contraption by using a paring knife to slice through the topside of the residual intact tail portion of the shell, which in turn facilitated the easy removal of it all, without wasting the tail meat. LGD loved eating the shells. Extra fiber in her diet, you know.

So while that was going on, a panful of liberally salted water was heating to boil.

By the time the water was at a rolling boil, I’d finished shelling the shrimp, rinsed ’em off, and added just a wee bit more water to the pot, just to ensure that there was enough to do the job.

Just in the case you’ve never cooked shrimp before, they cook VERY quickly. And just by the time I’d put ’em in to cook, then rinsed, dried, and put away the bowl, and fed the shells to Li’l Gurl Dawg… bada BOOM, bada BING! They were ready.

Seriously. They were. When they’re pink (orange, reddish, or whatever shade of color it is) they’re done!

Do NOT overcook the shrimp, which will make them rubbery and tough. Shrimp should be tender, with an “al dente” type texture to them, i.e., not tough at all, and when they’re bitten into, give way very gently (easy to chew), and the flesh should have a taste slightly sweet taste.

 

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