He’s coming home today! It’s amazing what a difference that makes – I felt more energy than I did all week (barring the jog I took Monday morning, but that must have been a fluke), getting all sorts of little things done. Granted, the thank you cards are still sitting there taunting me… I mean, really, people must know we thank them for their wedding gifts yes? Isn’t that understood, considering the aura of gratitude and happiness that emanated from us that day? No? doesn’t work that way? Alas. Almost nearly 20% done, I feel accomplished.
Nevertheless, I finally hit the kitchen properly today for the first time this week.
I started out with mango tower cupcakes, then lemon garlic shrimp pasta, urad dahl, and I have some chicken and palak on hand as well. What can I say, the boy likes to eat. Admittedly he actually doesn’t stuff himself the way other men do, and he definitely is much healthier, but nonetheless food truly inhabits his heart zestfully.
I experimented with the mango cake actually, and it didn’t quite turn out as expected so I improvised a bit.
Mango Tower Cupcake Ingredients
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Dash of salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (or remove altogether, only if you like the almond flavor)
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- mango puree
- whipping cream
So essentially, just cream the butter and sugar together until its fluffy and creamy. Separately sift the dry ingredients together, and then add ½ of it to the butter and mix. Then mix in the egg and 3 teaspoons of mango puree, and then the remaining flour. I’ve read that the reason to alternate this is that it keeps the batter from getting to sticky (if the egg is added after all the flour) or too lumpy (vice versa). One wonders if this is true, but it has worked for me, so I stick to it.
I made cupcakes, and since there are only 2 of us, I only made a small batter, thus baking 5 cupcakes. I divided the batter into my cupcake tin and placed it in a preheated oven at 325. It took about 15 minutes for the cupcakes to fluff up and just bounce to the touch. And my god did it smell DELICIOUS!
As for the cream… I messed up. I whipped my cream and then I only wanted to fold in the remaining mango puree (from a small mango blended) but I made it too liquidy and deflated. I think probably if I had cream of tartar that would have kept it fluffier, or if I bothered to read online some methods, but I was just winging it. So thusly, I improvised at this point. I wanted a fluffy topping but changed it to a filling. Once the cupcakes cooled, I cut a cone out of the top by inserting a knife diagonally inward and cutting in a circle. Then I filled it with chilled mango cream, and replaced the top. I drizzled more whipped cream on top, and garnished with raspberries and mango slivers. Voila! Mango Towers!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- 1 package raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Olive oil
- 2 crushed Garlic cloves
- ½ tsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Red pepper
- Pasta of choice (I used whole wheat penne because I was out of thin spaghetti)
- One lemon
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tsp butter (or rather, “Smart Balance” in my case)
- Hot sauce
So the ingredients up until the pasta are to marinate the shrimp. I unfortunately could only find jumbo shrimp, so I sliced them in half and then let them marinate for a long couple hours. When the time is ready, lay the shrimp on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.
As for the sauce, I melted the smart balance in the olive oil in a big frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, salt, black and red pepper, and then add the zest of one lemon all around. Mix that in and then squeeze in half the lemon (saving the rest for later). Sample the sauce and add more salt or spice to taste, much of it is a subjective thing (I threw in dashes of hot sauce) and once ready, toss the roasted shrimp into the sauce, letting them cook just a tad more.
Boil your pasta, drain it when cooked, and then throw it into the pan as well, mixing everything all together.
Garnish with some chopped cilantro leaves, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Now… I prepared this, and the sauce was absolutely breathtaking, but the shrimp…
well for some reason my bad luck would have it that they have a veeeeery slight shrimpy aftertaste. Not strong, not detectable, but I know G and now I live in fear of that particular palette. were evidently the best shrimp G ever tasted. Who’da thunk it? Wow. So I seasons some extra firm tofu with salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon, and then breaded them (flour then egg, then breadcrumbs) and panfried them quickly, tossing that into the pasta as well in case the shrimp didn’t sit well with us. Maybe this is because I bought jumbo shrimp for once, I don’t know… Let me reiterate — the shrimp were fantabulous!
Everything tastes fabulous though, so now I just have to head to the airport and pick up my little bugger…