Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Excitement on an otherwise cool day

I had some shrimp left over from a few days ago, so I threw together a quick dinner to finish them off.  While water for pasta was boiling, I peeled the shrimp and threw the shells in some oil to roast with a pinch of salt.  After straining out the shells, I used a bit of the roasted shrimp shell oil to saute the shrimp with a bit of garlic, toasted cumin and red pepper flakes.  A touch of sherry to deglaze before adding tomato sauce.  When the pasta was nearly done, I threw in a handful of frozen peas.  Tossed it all together with a bit of black pepper to finish it off.  Roasting the shells really donate a rich nuttiness that elevated the otherwise ordinary tomato sauce.  In fact, I can still smell the aroma of roasted shellfish lingering..

Dinner was nothing fancy, so I wanted dessert to be straightforward too.  What better to satiate my sweet tooth than a flip.  It also gave me a chance to crack open a new bottle of Cruzan Black Strap rum to serve as the base.  Sweetened with a bit of orgeat and vanilla syrup and spiced with a touch of allspice dram and Angostura.  Dry shake with a whole egg to give it body.  Delightful combination of spice and buttery richness.  The sweetness alternated between maple, caramel and molasses, the latter being the most expected but perhaps the least apparent.

Despite using no butter, cheese or cream, both ended up being quite rich.  The richness of the flip was no surprise, but the results of using roasted shell oil in the pasta was unexpected.  I still have several tablespoons of the roasted shell oil left, and I would love to try it in more dishes.  Any ideas?

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