Aunt Linda here wishing you a very Happy October 3rd Morning to you.
Sleeping is sweet here in the Old Pueblo this time of year, with doors and windows opened to October air. Of course, when we open to one thing, we open to others as well, and the smell that wafted in the bedroom door just now, as a band of Javelina meandered past was so potent it awakened me early this am. I never saw nor heard them. Unable to return to sleep, I walked outside – the constellation Orion is twinkling as he arises in the eastern sky, as I write
Yesterday, at the front door, a a small crew of hardworking men appeared, in want of a quick meal. Not exactly prepared for this, I rooted around for whatever was on hand to work/cook with. A bottle of beer had strayed from it’s pack and offered itself up. The fridge held a bag of shrimp that were in need of cooking, or of perishing a second time. Red Chiltepin drying on the table called out to be used. An idea began to bubble up, and form froth on top. I love feeling in the midst of a new invention; even if it is new only to me. It is highly likely this recipe has been made a a hundred times in a hundred variations before it ever occured to me. I had some red quinoa on hand, as well as some early spicy arucola from the garden on hand, so I decided to cook the shrimp in a beer-chile and make a hearty salad. Consider adding some pomegranate seeds for a tart-sweet crunch.
I bottle of beer
One dozed shrimp – peeled and de-veined
Half a small onion, chopped to your liking.
2 Tablespoons Chopped garlic
12 chiltepin, or cayenne to taste.
2 Tablespoons or more of fresh herbs, one for cooking and one for flavoring once cooked.
Serve over Quinoa, or wild rice.
Add Fresh greens to make a salad. Pomegranate seeds. Fresh herbs.
I chopped up some onion and garlic and cooked it in olive oil, along with the red chiltepin ( you could use cayenne), adding some basil from the garden (or any fresh herb of your choosing!) for a bit of flavor. It is probably wisest to add the herbs and chilies at the end as well, so the flavors don’t ” cook out”, but I wanted to create a bubbling brew of multiple flavors so I added it all in.
Once the onion looks translucent, and begin to brown, add the cerveza, and let it begin to simmer, and softly boil. Then add the shrimp.
As the shrimp cook in the bubbling mixture they transform from a grey color with a straight posture, to pink and curled. Make sure it is cooked through before serving.I added a bit of salt at the end, along with fresher chile and herbs.
While the shrimp where transforming in their beer-brew in front of me, the aroma invited a question: Where did the word “cerveza”originate? I quickly looked up the word origin for Cerveza and found this:
“The Romans called their brew “cerevisia,” from Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, and vis, Latin for “strength.”
Ceres. Goddess of Agriculture. It is amazing “who” you can meet hiding quietly inside a word.
Note: I had enough of the spicy beer-shrimp BROTH left over (and did not want to add to my shrimp-quinoa-salad), so I added it to a pot of tomato soup and it was DELICIOUS. Have it with sandwiches ( grilled cheese and shrimp sandwiches!)
One more Note: I HIGHLY encourage you to read Paul Greenberg’s book American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood. There have been several great interviews with him on NPR if you prefer to listen. The Mother Goddess would, I feel, encourage us to empower ourselves with such knowledge. Then we can more skillfully impact our food systems.