New update in the world of Off-Baste, I quit my job!
As you all know, I have just a few months left before I enter the world of medical school. Mid-crisis over how fast that train is barreling towards me, I realized that I need to make the most of the free time I have left to get prepared. Time to do things like write an obituary for my social life and cram the anatomy of the human body into my underworked brain.
I’m back up in my college town and I am going to paint, refinish furniture (my new favorite hobby), bartend for some extra cash and cook up a storm for the next few months before my big move. Maybe I’ll try learning meditation so I can work on being less of a crazy person. Maybe I’ll try something really nuts like exercising regularly? We’ll see, I’m taking each day as it comes.
On the way back up to Athens, I stopped in Atlanta and made dinner with my friend, the one who actually gave me the name for this blog (shoutout to our favorite public defender). After seeing someone combine shrimp and purple cauliflower on Chopped, I was OBSESSED with the idea of making something with shrimp and the color purple. It was very specific and odd request but I needed it intensely and luckily he’s a good sport and game to follow along with my crazy ideas.
Here’s what we made:
- 1 lb gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 lime
- 1 orange
- Kosher salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 head purple cabbage
- 2 large carrots
- 1 green apple
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1 cup cilantro
- 5-6 tomatillos, husk removed and rinsed
- 2-3 tbsp water
- Add the shrimp, the juices of 1/2 of the lime and 1/2 of the orange, three finely minced garlic cloves, minced chipotle in adobo (to taste), olive oil, and cumin to a small bowl and mix well. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Turn your oven’s broiler on high.
- Place the tomatillos, white and light green parts of the green onions, and two garlic cloves in a baking dish and broil for 5-10 minutes or until everything is browned.
- Once browned, throw everything in a blender with 2-3 tablespoons of water and a pinch of kosher salt. Blend until smooth.
- Add 1/2 of the jalapeño, seeds removed, and cilantro (reserving a few leaves for garnish later) and blend again. Adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer the salsa to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Shave the cabbage, apple, and carrot thinly with a mandolin or just with a knife, if you’re impressive.
- Boil 2 cups of water and pour it over the cabbage in a colander in the sink. Immediately follow with cold water to stop the cooking process. What this does is just slightly soften the cabbage and make it easier to eat. Add a pinch of salt and massage it gently.
- Once the water has drained, combine the cabbage, carrot, apple and the juices of the other halves of the orange and lime. Pour in a few tablespoons of the oil from the chipotles and mix well. Refrigerate to let the flavors meld.
- In a large pan over high heat, sear the shrimp about a minute per side or until opaque and cooked through.
- Serve immediately over the slaw with salsa.
Just look at it, it’s gorgeous! You eat with your eyes first, and the colors alone were enough to get me hungry. It was bright, light, and made me feel just a little bit less panicked that I’m going on a beach vacation in two and a half weeks.
What it lacks in calories, it makes up for in big flavors. The chipotles are smoky and spicy, the citrus comes through, and the apples in the slaw might have been my favorite part because they added just the right amount of sweetness. If I keep eating like this, theres a chance I’ll look more like a human woman than a grape with spaghetti noodles sticking out of it in my bathing suits!
It was the perfect introduction to my new state of fun-employment. Good food, great friend, and a glass or two of wine. It felt right.
Here’s to the next three months and my new projects. Next on the list are carnitas tacos and up cycling my coffee table. As always, I’ll keep you updated.