Wednesday, October 8, 2008

makin' a mess.


Do you remember the first time you got your hands dirty in the kitchen? I was three, and my mom let me cook something for my dad for dinner. You may scoff that I remember, but I have wicked good long term memory (possibly a benefit from veganism, who knows). Anyway, my mom gave me the "have to it" to the pantry--and I thought my little brain might explode from the unbridled fun. I mixed a box of chocolate cake mix with some water, an egg or two and some Triscuits, then stirred it all around and served it to my dad in the mixing bowl.

I still like to take liberties in the kitchen. Maybe not with the ucktastic selection I chose when I was three, but it's still fun to get wonky on kitchen adrenaline and put new things together. This afternoon, I played around with making shrimp to batter and deep fry. Although the flavor of my muse is not at all shrimpy, (I googled what shrimp taste like, I have no idea--anyone?), the texture is nice--al dente, but not too chewy. I made up a basic tofu ricotta with Vegenaise, parsley, salt, pepper, Creole seasoning and nutritional yeast, then added carrot shreds and rice and chickpea flour to make a kind of dumpling (think gnocchi). I simmered the guys for awhile, then let them cool and drain and wrapped them in softened tapioca wrappers for shape and steamed carrot for color. I plan to batter and fry 'em to see how well they hold up. My goal is something shrimp shaped to top off or garnish stew and rice dishes.

xo
kittee

22 comments:

  1. I love that you remember your first cooking experience! So cute. <3

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  2. my one and only time with shrimp I called it a 'poppy' texture it seemed to pop in my mouth, it was that texture that I totally cant remember how the heck it tasted!! This looks really interesting can't wait to see the end results!

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  3. Tim will love you forever if this works out.

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  4. I can't wait to hear how those turn out! I've always been eeked out by vegan shrimp, but we're going to the beach in November (yay winter beaches!) and I'm the only veg/vegan so I have to contend with shrimp boils and the like. Gotta show up the omnis!

    Yours look authentic thus far!

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  5. Fresh shrimp was one of the hardest things to give up after making the decision to go vegan. The taste of fresh shrimp is described for me as a nori flavor. I have experimented with faux fish and shellfish and seitan made with sea salt and nori comes pretty darn close to the flavor of seafood.Seitan infused and steamed with these flavors is amazingly close in my opinion to the real thing and I am a recent vegan so my memory of the taste is still pretty good. Can't wait to see your final recipe.

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  6. As always, gorgeous!

    Shrimp has a bit of a sweetness, plus the brininess of the sea. Your faux shrimp are adorable!

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  7. That looks so shrimpy! No idea what shrimp tastes like, never had it.
    I remember things from when I was three or four too! Isn't it cool!

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  8. oh, miss kit. I used to love shrimps, but I'd be hard-pressed describing the flavor which I don't even think I can remember...

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  9. Those are absolutely beautiful. I'm very interested in how they hold up with frying.

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  10. This is such a cool idea. I used to like shrimp when I was little - they really tasted much like what they were cooked with, had a sort of seitan texture. Salty maybe? I love that you remember cooking with your mum! I hope my daughter will have fond memories like that!

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  11. I used to think shrimp didn't have much flavor. The main point to me was always the fried batter. Hope you like how yours turn out!

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  12. Ooh post how they turn out! I remember what shrimp tastes like, but I can't describe it. I do remember the last time I tried to eat them a few years ago, and I just couldn't do it. They were my favorite when I was little. It would be neat to make some vegan shrimpy stuff.

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  13. Kitty, you rock! These shrimps look like a piece of art.

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  14. The first thing I thought of when I saw the picture was shrimp! I only remember the texture being kinda thick and weird. I never cared for them. I did like the coconut shrimp appetizer though. YUMYUM.

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  15. I have never had shrimp so I can't help you on the taste, but when I first saw these I thought, "hey this is a vegan blog, those look like shrimp" Good job! If faked me out.

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  16. I idea of making fake shrimp like this is blowing my mind. Funny how you had to look up the flavor. I would have done the same since I never ate shrimp (or seafood period) even when omni.

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  17. very creative!

    it'll be interesting to see the finished product

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  18. How cute! I don't know what shrimp tastes like either, but I bet I'd love these!

    I remember my first kitchen experience as well. I was two (it's actually my earliest memory) and my mom was sick. So my dad and I (mostl my dad) cooked her spaghetti for dinner. I'm pretty sure I had a minimal role in the actual cooking, but I got to hang out in the kitchen and "help."

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  19. i love your idea for these little shrimps! i have seen mock seafood seitan recipes that use sea vegetables for flavor, like kombu, etc. - something to consider...can't wait to see the final recipe!

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  20. I don't remember the first time I got my hands dirty but I do remember the first time I set up a restaurant in our kitchen complete with menus.

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  21. i only ate nonbreaded shrimp a couple times and i wasn't really a fan. it just wasn't as tasty as the popcorn shrimp when i was a youngin' and then as the big breaded shrimp, when i became a sophisticated "adult."
    i don't remember a taste.
    and i don't remember my first kitchen experience.

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  22. Funny coincidence, we were just discussing shrimp and grits at a party here in NC. I agree with what folks say about nori being a good flavoring. I think if I had to think of another approximation, mushrooms come kind of close, in texture also. Definitely kind of a resilient texture there. Oddly, I sometimes think raw cashews taste kinda 'fishy' to me, but in a good way...maybe just because they are kind of rich compared to other foods I eat.

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