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August 4, 2006

[bento with tomato-basil shrimp, french beans, avocado, hummus, bell pepper, and edamame]

Top: tomato-basil shrimp with onions, wok-fried haricot verts
Bottom: small avocado half stuffed with hummus and grape tomato, skewers of edamame, sliced orange bell pepper

More succulent shrimp! Another gluten-free and yeast-free bento - that is, unless tomato paste is on your yeast-no-no list (so frustrating that there doesn't appear to be a general consensus as to what you can and cannot eat on a YF diet...we're just going to trust in what the hubs' doctor says and try our best not to second-guess him :P). Anyway, I made up the shrimp dish as I went along for dinner last night, and it was pretty durn tasty! I wasn't measuring anything, so the recipe below is approximate.

I realized yesterday that one of the reasons that Cooking Cute hasn't been indexed yet by Google is because, er, there's no text on the page. The graphics obviously don't show up, but neither do the html headings (which I had to use because some browsers and operating systems can't render the font I use). To compound the problem further, my LiveJournal is embedded in the main page and all of the gallery pages, meaning that when a robot or whatever crawls the site, all it sees are picture files and javascript . . . no text. Being a newbie to this whole web programming thing, I didn't realize that I should have been setting alternative text tags for all images. Whoopsie. Even once I finish correcting all of my image files, however, the Google site search will not be able to search the daily bento Iunch entries - hence I am thinking of hosting the actual entries on the main site instead of just embedding my LJ. If I go that route, I'll have to find a way to create an RSS feed so that LJers can still get their daily fix without me having to update two sites. ;) More work for rainy days!

- Chili-Garlic Oil -
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- Shrimp -
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 large white onion, sliced into wedges
1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, each sliced into 4 wedges
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
juice from 1/6 of a lemon
1/2 tsp dried basil (a handful of fresh basil would be nice too I bet)
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Pour the olive oil into a small sauce pan and heat it on medium low. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic. Cook over low heat for at least 10 minutes, until the garlic has softened considerably (but do not brown). Remove from heat and stir in the crushed red pepper.
  2. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 or 2 tbsp of the chili-garlic oil and the onions. Quickly toss the onion in the hot oil and garlic to coat, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and toss to cook evenly. When shrimp begin to turn pink, add the chicken broth and tomato paste and mix well.
  3. Once the tomato paste is incorporated and shrimp are almost cooked, add the cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until tomatoes begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
P.S. The chili-garlic oil can be reserved for another use. Last night I blanched broccoli rabe in salted water until tender, then tossed it in 1 tbsp of the oil and added the rest of the buttery-soft garlic as well. So yummy! I reserved the remainder of the oil for future stir-fries.

* Check that your ingredients are GF if you are gluten-sensitive.
Cooking Cute