Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gordon Ramsay's Menu - Indian Spice -- Shrimp Pilau -- Wilted Spinach with Mustard Seed -- Grilled Pineapple with Mint and Toasted Coconut

There are some foods that are not just a feast for your mouth, but also for your eyes, and nose. For example, I present this meal.

Shrimp, chicken stock, onion, basmati rice, curry powder, garlic, olive oil, cardamom pods, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Believe me, people. This recipe was a real treat for your sense of smell.

Diced garlic and onion.

Create the spice blend of fresh thyme, cumin, coriander, and cardamom seeds.

Start sweating the onions and garlic in a Dutch Oven.
Mix in the spice blend. At this point, your nose will be directly in your pan inhaling deeply. Please be careful. It is hot.
At the raw basmati rice and brown with the spiced onions.

At the stock and shrimp. (Yes, put the shrimp in raw - I forgot to take a picture of this step.) Cover the Dutch oven with a parchment tent and bake.
Try not to open the oven too much, but I understand it if you want to keep putting your nose in the pan.

Remove from the oven and try not to grab handfuls of this dish directly from the pan. I promise you will be tempted.
Meanwhile, while the shrimp is in the oven, make the wilted spinach.

Spinach, onion, garam masala, ginger, salt and pepper, canola oil, and mustard seed (whole or coarsley crushed).

Start by sauteing the sliced onion with the spices.

Until they're just about golden.

Add the spinach, in batches if necessary. It's amazing how quickly they reduce down when cooked.
It's that easy. Plate it up and dive in.

I will give you this warning. As great as the shrimp and rice tasted straight out of the oven - it didn't make great left-overs. Usually things taste even better the next day after all the flavors meld together -- this one didn't. The spices lost their impact and actually tasted bland. So be prepared to finish all the shrimp.

I wasn't too crazy about the spinach. Cooked spinach just isn't my thing. Don't get me wrong - I could see someone who likes spinach adoring this side dish, but not me. It was the perfect side for the shrimp, though. Ramsay certainly knows about pairing his food.

Something else he knows? Dessert.
Word to the wise: You might want to start this earlier in the afternoon, though.
A very ripe pineapple. My poor boys kept saying that we were going to eat Spongebob's house. Shredded coconut, mint, and sugar.

Cook the water and sugar to create a simple syrup infused with fresh mint leaves. Set aside to cool.
Toast the coconut. Set aside.

Cut your pineapple into about 16ths, and place on a well-greased grill.

Keep an eye on them and watch them take forever to brown.

Seriously - it took forever. I think Ramsay said it would take about 8 minutes -- I was outside for 25 minutes and I had the flame about medium-high.
But finally, they did brown and start oozing their juices.

Place in a bowl and mix with the mint syrup. Ramsay recommends, if you have time, to make this dessert up to and including this step the night before so that the pineapple can "marinate" overnight. That would have been a good idea. The syrup just didn't pack enough mint kick. But, I put it in the fridge for the rest of the afternoon (about 3 hours).

But that didn't stop us from creating a completely awesome dessert.

So, I added one extra ingredient to the pineapple -- coconut cream pie flavored ice cream. Oh My God. What else to say?
Yes, the cold grilled pineapple was wonderful, but it lost some of its grilled goodness when chilled. I think perhaps it would have been more satisfying (if we didn't add ice cream to it) if it were served fresh off the grill with the syrup dizzled over it, or even instead of a syrup, maybe make a minty sugar icing to dot the serving plate. -- By the way, we had some left over ice cream and pineapple, and it made an awesome milkshake.

How long? 2 HOURS! Entirely of preparation and cooking. This does not include the refrigeration time for the pineapple. That was very disappointing considering how wonderful the rest of the meal was (spinach excluded). I was exhausted on my feet by the time I served dinner. Then because so many pans, bowls, grills were used, there was about another 35 to 40 minutes of clean up.
So, dear readers - beware. This is NOT Fast Food.
"Shrimp Pilau with Wilted Spinach with Mustard Seed, and Grilled Pineapple with Mint and Toasted Coconut ... Done."

Pin It!

No comments: