Homemade Chocolate Syrup

November 21, 2014

I’m in the middle of my Thanksgiving preparations and don’t really have time to figure out how to make homemade chocolate syrup. But I have a few good reasons why I made time. First, my squeeze bottle of Hershey’s “Genuine Chocolate Flavored” syrup has been empty for a couple of weeks, and I feel bad because my son has been eating ice cream that clearly needed chocolate syrup. Second and more important, I had examined the ingredient list (in an effort to answer the question: what does “Genuine Chocolate Flavor” really mean?), and was very disappointed with Hershey’s choice of ingredients. It’s as if they had purposefully tried to use the worst possible ingredients. The first two ingredients are: (1) high fructose corn syrup, and (2) corn syrup. Really, using just regular corn syrup was too difficult. This homemade recipe uses regular sugar, and I omitted the other chemicals and artificial flavors. Finally, instead of using real vanilla Hersey’s uses “Vanillin”, so they are obviously using imitation vanilla made from a wood pulp waste product.

Delicious Ice Cream definitely needs chocolate syrup

Delicious Ice Cream definitely needs chocolate syrup

Comments:

  1. Hershey’s isn’t tricking us by calling it “Genuine Chocolate Flavor”, as I had assumed. Chocolate includes both Cocoa powder and Cocoa butter, whereas chocolate syrup includes only cocoa powder. It is a non-fact product (a good thing) and thus by excluding the Cocoa butter, Hershey’s cannot call it Chocolate. Hence the phrase “Genuine Chocolate Flavor”.
  2. Many people suggest using Dutch-processed cocoa, but I just used whatever I had in my kitchen, which was Hersey’s. Hershey’s is natural cocoa powder; not Dutch processed.
  3. This recipe yields 18-ounces of chocolate syrup. I re-used the same Hershey’s syrup squeeze bottle, but eventually I imagine that I will just use a regular squeeze bottle. Also you can use regular mason jars.
  4. The recipe continues to be non-fat, which means that there is no cocoa butter in any of the ingredients. That could change depending up what type of cocoa powder you use.

Rating: 4-star.
Cost: $1.15 for 18-ounces of syrup.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 5 PM. Dinner time 5:10 PM.

While Chris Kimball does have a recipe to make chocolate syrup, I wanted a replacement for Hershey’s that has a stable shelf life. Chris Kimball uses dairy (heavy cream and butter) which means that it must be used within a short period of time. Today’s recipe is based upon Alton Brown’s cocoa syrup recipe.

1 cups water
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cups cocoa powder (2-5/8 ounces)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Mix sugar, water, corn syrup, and kosher salt in medium-sized pot and bring up to a boil. Whisk in cocoa powder and continue mixing until it is dissolved. Boil for 1 minute, and remove from burner.
  2. Stir in vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature. You can either strain into squeeze bottles: in case you have a lot of solids that could plug up your bottle.
  3. Store in refrigerator. While the recipe will appear to be too runny, it will thicken when it cools to refrigerator temperature.

Pre-Thanksgiving Preparation Timeline

November 18, 2014

It snuck up on me, but the time has come. Thanksgiving preparations begin now. I need a full week to fully defrost my big turkey (plus a day or two to prepare it).

Planning for the Thanksgiving

Planning for the Thanksgiving

Wednesday or Thursday Before Thanksgiving: Buy and Defrost your Turkey

When planning on what size Turkey to buy, a general guideline is to plan for 1-1/2 pounds per person (assuming you want leftovers). Without leftovers you can get away with 1 pound of turkey per person.  I’m planning for a crowd of between 12 and 14. So I need approximately 20-pounds.

If you are buying a frozen Turkey, it is essential that plan ahead. A large turkey will take a full week prior to Thanksgiving. In my case, my refrigerator seems to run a little cold. Every year I need an extra day or two to fully thaw my turkey. Thaw your turkey by keeping it in its original wrapping, placed on a rimmed sheet pan on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. Thawing guidelines are generally 5 hours per pound, but I haven’t found those guidelines are accurate for large turkeys. Cooks Illustrated cites 1 day for every 4 pounds of turkey.

Turkey Weight Approx Thaw Time
10 to 14 lbs 4 days
14 to 18 lbs 5 days
18 to 22 lbs 6 days
22 to 26 lbs 7 days

Saturday or Sunday Before Thanksgiving: Take Inventory

With about 5 days to go you should have your menu planned, and you should have selected which recipes you will use. Different recipes will require different slightly different ingredient lists.

This weekend is when most people do a majority of their Thanksgiving grocery shopping, so go early in the day to try to beat the crowds. Ultimately, patience will be required no matter what time you go. Hopefully you can finish most of your major shopping early on Saturday, as the availability of key items diminishes.  Especially prone to selling out are items for pumpkin pie and fresh spices; especially thyme and sage.

  1. Cranberries. Ocean Spray supplies 75% of the total world-wide market of cranberries, but has a 100% monopoly on the supermarket supply of cranberries in my area. The lack of competition has resulted in inferior berries. I usually have to throw away up to 1/4 of the bag, because they sell unripe berries intermixed with ripe one. The monopoly means that I have no alternative.
  2. Russet Potatoes, 6 or 7 onions, 1 bunch of celery, a few carrots, garlic, sage, thyme, maybe parsley (but you can usually find parsley).
  3. Canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, pie dough, ground cloves (you can substitute whole cloves and grind them yourself, using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle).
  4. Bread Cubes or high-quality sandwich bread. While Pepperidge farms stuffing is ubiquitous, it’s just as easy to make your own using high-quality sandwich bread. Arnold Country Classics White Bread (24oz) is Cook’s Illustrated choice, but Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White Bread Celery was the runner up in the CI taste test.
  5. Chicken Stock. Make sure you have at least 4-cups for gravy and stuffing. I have already made a fresh batch of homemade chicken stock.  This year my gravy recipe alone calls for 3-1/2 cups. Actually, this year I used spare turkey bones to make turkey stock.
  6. Butter. Be sure you have at least a pound, but butter usually goes on sale around Thanksgiving. I usually pick up a few pounds of Land o Lakes for $2/lb, and freeze any extra. (This year it’s a little more expensive, and it seems like $3/lb is the lowest price).
  7. Heavy Cream For mashed potatoes and maybe whipped cream for pie. A few eggs (for stuffing).
  8. Any specialty items: White wine for gravy, Salt pork, sausage, kosher salt. This year I need 1 cup dried cranberries  for the stuffing.
  9. Snacks for Thanksgiving Day: Chips, Salsa, Cheeses, Sandwiches. These items don’t generally sell out, but it’s nice to know that you have one fewer thing to worry about.

Tuesday Before Thanksgiving (2 days before):

Take stock of the status of your turkey. Is it soft? Or is there any chance that the turkey’s interior is still frozen? If it’s still partially frozen, then you should thaw it in a clean bucket filled with cold water (leaving turkey pre-wrapped). I don’t have any buckets large enough for my 20-lb turkey, so I use a sink lined with a large trash bag. Depending upon how frozen your turkey is, it can be completely thawed in just a few hours.  Of course, don’t thaw using anything other than cold water at this point.

Wednesday Before Thanksgiving (the day before):

On Wednesday morning, assuming your turkey is thawed, brine or salt the turkey. Lately I’ve been salting because it leaves the skin more appealing.

There are also some things that you can optionally make ahead:

  1. Cranberry sauce.
  2. Pie dough.
  3. Mix the pumpkin pie filling, which will taste better if you mix the night before.

Thanksgiving Day:

Decide when you plan to bake your pumpkin pie. Your options are (1) early, an hour before the turkey goes in the oven, or (2) immediately upon taking the turkey out of the oven. I am going with option 1. Option 2 will require a little cooling time in the refrigerator so that it is cool enough to firm up. There is a school of people who make it the night before and leave it at room temperature until dessert the next day (I’d be too worried about potential bacteria to even consider this).


Sesame Seed Crusted Salmon with Sweet-and-Sour Chutney

November 17, 2014

About 6 months ago, I made this delicious, similar Sesame Crusted Salmon with Lime and Coriander, which was 4-1/2 stars. That success gave me high hopes for Today’s recipe, which is nearly 15 years old (the 4-1/2 star recipe was from March 2014). Unfortunately, today’s recipe was only 3 stars. Still edible, but just an average meal. Even considering the chutney, the recipe was too plain. The seasonings were generally warm, but I think that the vinegar in the recipe was a lackluster substitution for a more traditional citrus. The recipe lacked anything to brighten the dish. Part of the fault may lie in the age of this recipe; which is older than my 15-year-old son.

I am more than a little embarrassed by my “worst ever” cell phone picture, which makes this average meal appear sub-par. That’s the reason I’ve hidden it at the bottom of the post.

Comments:

  1. While it only takes a few minutes to make this chutney, prepare it before cooking the salmon (because the fish cooks so quickly). A little of this intensely flavored condiment goes a long way.
  2. Because I don’t have cardamom (and didn’t feel like buying a $10 bottle just for this recipe), I used equal parts cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Because the recipe only used 1/4 teaspoon I doubt that this substitution is to blame for the disappointing results.
  3. The recipe says to cook the salmon in Step 3 for 3 minutes for medium-rare and 3-1/2 minutes for medium.

Rating: 3 star.
Cost: $18.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5 PM. Dinner time 6 PM.

The recipe for the Sweet-and-Sour Chutney with onions and warm spices is here. The recipe for the Pan Seared Salmon with Sesame Seed Crust is here. The descriptions of how I prepared both are given below:

Sweet-and-Sour Chutney Ingredients:
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

  1. In a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon fennel, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon table salt; mix and set aside. Finely chop 1/2 of a medium onion, which should yield about 1/2 cup.
  2. Set a medium-sized skillet over medium burner. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil, then sauté onion for 3 to 4 minutes until soft. Add spice mixture from step 1, and sauté for  1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Turn up burner to medium-high and add 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook 1-1/2 minutes until it reduces by one-third and attains a syrupy consistency. Stir in minced parsley, set aside until ready to serve salmon.

Sweet-and-Sour Chutney Ingredients:
1/4-cup sesame seeds
4 salmon fillets skin-on, about 6-oz each and 1″ to 1-1/4″ thick
3 teaspoons canola oil or vegetable oil

  1. Preheat a 12″ heavy-bottomed skillet for 3 minutes over high burner. Rub salmon fillets with 2 teaspoons canola oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread sesame seeds in a pie plate, and press flesh sides of fillets in sesame seeds to coat.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon to pre-heated pan; swirl to coat. When oil begins to shimmer (but is not smoking) add the fish with skin-side down. Without moving the fish, cook for 30 seconds until pan regains its heat, then reduce burner to medium-high. Continue cooking for 4-1/2 minutes until skin-side becomes well browned and bottom half of fillets turns opaque.
  3. Carefully flip fish and cook for 3-1/2 minutes, again without moving, until they are no longer translucent and have become firm, but not hard, when gently squeezed.
  4. Remove fish onto serving platter or individual serving plates, being careful not to break sesame crust. Allow to rest for 1 minute. Pat with paper towel to absorb excess any fat from surface
  5. Serve immediately with the chutney.
Horrible cell phone picture; ok tasting salmon

Horrible cell phone picture; ok tasting salmon


Ceviche

November 13, 2014

Ceviche is one of my favorite things about visiting the Caribbean (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here). Of course, ceviche is “cooked” in citrus juice rather than being thermally cooked. While its important to understand the potential risks about eating “raw” seafood (see here), I personally have never allowed the slight risks from stopping me from enjoying ceviche. I rely on my judgement to select the right restaurant (not-to-cheap-price, cleanliness). I’ve also made something similar but gently cooking the shrimp.

Delicious, but heavy on the veggies

Delicious ceviche, but a little too heavy on the veggies

Frozen seafood cannot match the flavor and texture of fresh, Caribbean seafood, but it still work making at home. This version has more peppers and vegetables that I generally get in the Caribbean. It is more like a citrus seafood salad. It is still delicious. 4-stars. I served it with this Pernil.

Issues:

  1. After waiting the 1 hour listed in my recipe, the ceviche still looked semi-raw. I wanted to wait until the entire exterior lost it’s brown, translucent appearance. Finally after 3 hours the shrimp appeared completely cooked.
  2. I exclusively used shrimp, but the recipe is written to also work with sea scallops, skinless fish fillets, or any combination. I believe that it would be important to cut them in very similar sized pieces, so that they will finish “cooking” at the same time.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $12.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time: 2:30 PM. Ready at: 6:00 PM.

The original Cook’s Illustrated recipe is here.  The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound)
1 teaspoon grated lime zest from 1 lime
1/2 cup juice from 4 limes
1/2 cup juice from 4 lemons
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1 jalapeño chile (small), stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
Salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, sliced thin
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Ground black pepper

  1. If using shrimp, peel them completely, devein (if not already done), and use a paring knife to slice each shrimp in half lengthwise  (through the deveined groove in the shrimps back).
  2. If using scallops, remove the side tendon and cut into 1/3″-thick rounds.
  3. If using fish, remove any bones and cut into 1″ squares that are 1/3″-thick.
  4. Add the lime zest, lime juice, lemon juice, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a medium bowl. Stir until combined.
  5. Gently stir in the seafood, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 60 minutes (it took mine 3 hours) until the seafood becomes firm, opaque, and it appears cooked. Stir halfway through the marinating time.
  6. Drain the mixture though a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the liquid. Leave it a little wet, and return to the bowl.
  7. Gently stir in the oil, scallions, cilantro, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Pork Pernil

November 9, 2014

The menu for my big Mexican dinner party (which happened last night) has been planned for a few weeks. Then, two days before the party, I was watching Cook’s Country and heard Chris Kimball declare his latest recipe to be “the best pork recipe he’s ever eaten.” Sure, I hear that every few episodes, but the final pork looked amazing. So I switched my theme from Mexican to Latin. I added ceviche, but left the Mexican Chicken Flautas on the menu. I also made a homemade tomatillo sauce. The pork was absolutely delicious; flavorful, tender. Yet without a doubt, the crispy pig skin was the best part of the entire meal. The recipe softens the skin by soaking it in water while baking at pretty high temperature for 4 hours. It’s as if the entire recipe is crafted towards perfecting the skin; the piece de resistance on an entirely delicious meal. The only flaw in the recipe is that the wonderful flavors of the sofrito do not permeate into the meat; even after 24-hours marinating. Instead of the complexity of the sofrito, the final presentation of the dish relies on a much simpler lime/cilantro jus. 4-1/2 stars. Definitely worth the 6-1/2 hours.

Tender pork topped with crispy pig skin

Tender pork topped with crispy pig skin

To overcome the recipes main flaw, a Latin friend says her sister pokes holes all over the roast with a big knife. Allowing the Sofrito, or Recao as she called it, to flavor the entire roast rather than just the exterior.

Other Comments:

  1. About 4 hours into the recipe I had a near disaster, so I offer this warning. Do not treat the 4 hours of cooking in steps 3 and 4 as virtually unattended cooking time. After you remove the foil, starting with step 4, plan to add 1 to 2 cups per hour. In my case I caught it just in time to save the drippings. Another 15 minutes and I could not have made the Jus.
  2. The 1 hour of cooking in Step 6 only brought my port up to 180-degrees. It took an extra 35-to-40 minutes to attain 195-degrees.
  3. While not described in the original recipe, the step of crisping the skin (step 8) had an added secret, which was very subtly shown on the Cook’s Country episode. You can use balled up aluminum foil to hold your roast in perfect position so that the skin crisps evenly.
  4. I had to buy two bunches of cilantro to yield the requisite 1-1/2 cups. One bunch will give you enough for the night before dinner, but I had to make another trip to the supermarket the next day.
  5. Chris Kimball recommends serving this with plain, white rice.

Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
Cost: $15.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time: 11:30 AM. Ready at: 6:00 PM. (Begin marinating the day prior)

The Cook’s Country original recipe is here.  The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

1-1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems (used in Step 1 and Step 10)
1 onion, chopped coarse
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
7-pound bone-in pork picnic shoulder
3 to 4 limes (1 tablespoon grated lime zest plus 1/3 cup juice)

  1. The day before you cook the meal, add 1 cup cilantro, onion, salt, oil, garlic, pepper, oregano, and cumin to food processor. Pulse 15 times until finely ground. You may need to scrape down sides of the bowl.
  2. Pat pork dry with paper towels and rub sofrito all over. Wrap pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Start cooking 6 hours before dinner. Set a rack to lower-middle of your oven and pre-heat to 450-degrees. Pour 8 cups water into a large roasting pan. Unwrap pork, place in pan with the skin-side down in the water. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and roast at 450-degrees for 90 minutes.
  4. Remove foil, and turn down oven to 375-degrees. Continue roasting uncovered for 2-1/2 more hours.
  5. Prepare a V-rack by spraying it with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
  6. Remove entire pan from oven. Gently slide metal spatula under pork to release skin from pan. Using two clean, folded dish towels (or wads of paper towels) to grasp both ends of pork and put on V-rack with the skin-side up. Use paper towels to wipe the skin dry. Place V-rack with pork in roasting pan. If the pan looks dry, add 1-cup water (I recommend adding it no matter what). Return to oven and bake for another 1 hour (mine took 1-1/2 hours) until the pork registers 195-degrees. (If needed, to add water several times to prevent the pan from drying out.)
  7. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with foil (for easy cleanup).
  8. Remove pan from oven, and set V-rack with pork in prepared baking sheet. I saw on the Cook’s Country episode that they make the roast level by creating a ball of foil to support the flatter end. Return to oven, and turn up the oven temperature to 500-degrees. Cook for 15 to 30 minutes; rotating sheet halfway through cooking. It will be done when the skin becomes well browned and crispy., and you can tap it lightly using tongs and it should sound hollow.
  9. Allow pork to rest for 30 minutes on a carving board.
  10. Meanwhile, pour juices from pan into fat separator. Allow to settle for 5 minutes, then pour off 1 cup of the de-fatted juices into large bowl. If you don’t have 1 cup, then make up the shortfall using water. Whisk 1/2-cup cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice into bowl with the de-fatted juices.
  11. Remove crispy skin from pork in large pieces. Chop skin coarsely into bite-size pieces and put in serving bowl.
  12. Trim and discard any excess fat from pork. Remove the pork from the bone and chop it coarsely. Transfer pork to bowl with cilantro-lime sauce and toss to combine. Serve pork, with crispy skin on the side.

Quick Tip: Don’t Burn Your Bottoms

November 5, 2014

THE PROBLEM: It always used to happen that my biscuits and cookies would have over-baked bottoms. Using parchment paper helps a little (and helps a lot with cleanup) by insulating a little from the hot baking sheet. The bottom-line is that all ovens heat from below. So even with my oven’s convection fan, the part of the oven below the baking sheet is always hotter than the top. Previous, the only tool in my tool chest to prevent it was to lower the overall oven temperature. But the recipe calls for a specific temperature for a reason, and lowering the oven temperature will almost always have unwanted consequences. For example, “oven spring” usually calls for higher temperatures to cause rapid rising of the leavening agent (yeast or baking soda/powder) before the flour sets. A lower temperature will result in denser biscuits and cookies.

Allows the tops and bottoms to brown perfectly

Allows the tops (left and top) and bottoms (center) to brown in unison

THE SOLUTION: Half-way through baking, put a large Pyrex casserole dish filled with 1/2″ to 1″ of hot tap water on the shelf below whatever your baking. (See photo below). This technique allows time for the “oven spring” to occur, but then prevents the metal sheet pan from overheating and burning the bottoms. The exact timing will depend upon the characteristics of your individual oven, but I have found that half-way is the general rule for my oven.

It’s definitely a balancing act; too soon and the bottoms wont brown, and too late and the bottoms will overcook. If your oven requires you to include from the beginning, be sure to include the water during the entire preheating cycle. The idea is not to lower the overall oven temperature, but rather to even out the temperature in the top and bottom of your oven.

 


Stir-Fried Shrimp with Garlicky Eggplant, Scallions, and Cashews

November 2, 2014

Chris Kimball says that this recipe has two secrets that make it delicious. First, cooking the vegetables and shrimp separately allows you to cook the shrimp using lower heat. Not only can you cook the vegetable for longer, but the higher heat allows the eggplant and scallions to brown which adds a lot of flavor. Second, Chris Kimball says that soaking the shrimp for 30 minutes in salt, oil, and aromatics will yield tender (and deeply flavored) shrimp. Be sure to use the time that the shrimps is soaking to prepare all your vegetables. Overall, the recipe is delicious and takes less than an hour. The recipe did not yield enough sauce. I didn’t realize how delicious the sauce is until I tried to supplement it with plain soy sauce. If you are serving with rice, then you should increase the sauce. 4-stars.

Delicious combination of shrimp and vegetables

Delicious combination of shrimp and vegetables

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $13.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time: 4:00 PM. Ready at: 5:00 PM.

The Cook’s Illustrated original recipe is here.  The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

6 medium garlic cloves (used in two ways)
1-lb 21-25 sized shrimp
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons dry sherry or Shaoxing wine
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons cornstarch
6 large scallions
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 medium eggplant (about 3/4 pound)

  1. Peel (and devein) the shrimp and remove the tails. Peel and mince 1 glove of garlic (or pressed through garlic press). In a medium bowl, add shrimp, minced garlic, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon table salt. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  If serving with steamed white rice, begin to cook it now.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add soy sauce, oyster sauce, sherry, sugar, sesame oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch. Whisk to combine. Thinly slice 5 cloves of garlic , and thinly cut scallions whites.  Combine sliced garlic with scallion whites and cashews in small bowl. Cut the scallion greens into 1″ pieces and set greens aside separately. Cut eggplant into 3/4″ dice.
  3. Add 1 Tablespoon sesame oil to a 12″ nonstick skillet. Set over high burner and pre-heat until just smoking. Add eggplant and saute for 3 to 6 minutes until lightly browned. Add scallion greens and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes until greens begin to brown and eggplant becomes fully tender. Empty vegetables to a medium serving bowl.
  4. Add 1 Tablespoon sesame oil to now-empty skillet and pre-heat until just begins to smoke. Add garlic-scallion-cashew mixture and saute for 30 seconds until it just begins to brown. Add shrimp, and turn down burner to medium-low. Cook for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, while stirring frequently, until shrimp turn lightly pink on both sides.
  5. Whisk soy sauce mixture to recombine and add to skillet. Turn up burner to high, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, continuing to stir constantly, until sauce is thickened and shrimp are cooked through. Return vegetables to skillet to heat through, toss to combine, and serve onto individual plates or re-using the vegetable bowl.
Ready to serve

Ready to serve


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