When I set out to write this post, I wanted it to be A) wise B) funny C) life-changing. Things changed in the past hour and the staring game I’ve been playing with a box of acrylic paints has convinced me that I need to set this past weekend in stone. Lest I forget. I forget weekends a lot. The first question people ask here on a Monday morning is: How was your weekend? If there was extreme weather, forget about mentioning anything dire. Nobody will care X 100000. This time, I decided to prepare*.
“So, how was your weekend?”
Me: Glad you asked. I woke up on Saturday with ants in my pants. I hate relaxing. If I tell you I relaxed all weekend, don’t believe me. I ran. If I was going to finish off the rest of that pizza, I needed to make more room. My insides can only take 4 slices of a medium pizza at a time. Plus, somebody gave me a box of Top Pot donuts on Friday sooooooo. As soon as I got home, I celebrated by eating my first slice of pizza with a side of 2 eggs. I am not an animal. I showered and watched my first movie of the day: The Skeleton Twins. It was on iTunes for $1 (rent, not buy). As if I needed convincing…KRISTEN WIIG. Hello. My short review is that this movie is worth more than $1. My long review doesn’t exist. After the movie, which wrecked my insides, I proceeded to work on food illustrations for the next 7 hours. It was a productive and healing time for me. Making art and eating pizza is the best thing you can do for yourself on a Saturday. Once I finished creative pursuit #3, I went to creative pursuit #4, watching another movie – Amour – all by myself, under a blankie. I can’t understand why all I want to do is emotionally destroy myself. Oh yes. It’s because I had leftover donuts.
On Sunday, lest we forget, we went to our (my) favourite grocery store and bought more shrimp, a side of salmon and lots (I’m not even joking) of vegetables. We searched in vain for cheese samples and left for home to eat more donuts and drink coffee, like Americans. Soon after I cleaned the fish and marinated shrimp, I sat down to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I never stopped. I couldn’t. I have never binge-watched anything before and in order to stay true to myself, I slept through the last episode. Pinot Noir hasn’t stopped playing in my mind cassette. As for the shrimp and kale food, it was amazing. The shrimp will never be as good as it is in Goa but it was a brave attempt and I’m willing to give it many chances until December. That’s when I’ll eat all the in-between small and fat-sized prawns. Fair warning, tourist season.
How was your weekend?
Goan-style shrimp and grits
This recipe is my interpretation of a Goan dish called “kismur”. It’s usually made with tiny dehydrated shrimp or fish. While I’ve always loved the coconut part of the recipe, I could never eat the shrimp because they always jabbed the inside of my cheek. I decided to use fresh shrimp instead and serve it over grits, a new favourite comfort food for me thanks to the Kiss My Grits food truck that spoilt us last summer. This recipe needs no “notes”, but one and that is a note of thanks to Gabby for giving me a bag of grits straight from South Carolina! THANK YOU, G-DAWG (I’m inviting you over again so I can make you this).
For the grits
- Recipe from Sean Brock’s Heritage as posted on Food 52. I halved the ingredients in Food 52 recipe for this post.
For the shrimp + coconut (kismur)
- 8 shrimp, peeled and deveined (keep the tails on)
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- Juice of ¼ of a lime
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp +1 tbsp coconut oil, divided
- 2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Thai green chili, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup green onions, chopped into rounds
- 1 cup fresh grated coconut (You can also use frozen, which you should find at any Indian grocery store in the US)
- Pinch of garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Chopped parsley, butter and lime to serve/garnish
Marinate the shrimp with chili powder, turmeric, lime juice and salt and let it sit covered in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hours to a maximum of 6 hours.
Cook the grits, cover and set them on the stove on very low heat while you cook the toppings.
Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add the garlic and chilli to it. Stir frequently for about 30 seconds making sure that the ingredients do not burn. Add the green onions next and sauté for about a minute. Next, add the coconut and fry it for about 4-5 minutes or until the coconut browns slightly. Take the frying pan off the heat as soon as this happens and add a pinch of garam masala and salt to taste. Empty the coconut mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Once the shrimp is ready to fry, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the pan. It should sizzle as soon as it touches the pan. Cook for a minute to a minute and a half on one side and turn the shrimp over. Cook for a minute more and take the pan off the heat. Stir the coconut mixture into the pan and toss to coat the shrimp. Place the contents of the pan back into the bowl.
To serve: Spoon a heap of grits into a bowl and top with the shrimp and coconut. Serve hot/warm with chopped parsley, a wedge of lime and more butter.