Monday, June 22, 2009

Dried Shrimp Pilaf with Tongue Numbing Sichuan Peppercorns & Iberico Pork Sausages

Like many of my original recipes, this one's definitely a crossover that uses the techniques of making a Pilaf and Maze Gohan. Maybe it's something to do with the fact that I'm a TCK (Third Culture Kid), and although I can be a purist about authentic recipes in the beginning, once I feel I have 'ownership' of it, I will use certain elements of these recipes in creating new ones. As a result, my original recipes can be eclectic.

On Saturday evening, after our mid summer's celebration down by the beach, we got a bit hungry and Ronny decided to make Gambas al Pil Pil which is a typical Spanish dish in this area. Basically it's shrimp or prawn cooked inside a nice dose of extra virgin olive oil flavored with Guindillas, salt and lots of garlic.

Anyhow after we had this with some of our sourdough bread, we had a lot of this delicious shrimp/prawn flavored olive oil left, which is normal, since the shrimp/prawns are always swimming in it. Instead of throwing it away like I normally do, I put the oil away in a covered container and stored it in the refrigerator so it wouldn't go bad and decided to make some Pilaf the following day. It's 37C here on warm days now so a lot of things go bad if you leave it outside the refrigerator, including fruit!

Dried Shrimp Pilaf with Tongue Numbing Sichuan Peppercorns & Iberico Pork Sausages


1/3 liter Rice

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (from the Gambas Pil Pil)

1/2 Cup Dried Shrimp

1 Iberico Sausage


Sea Salt

1 Knob Ginger (grated)

Dry Dark Sherry (Alfonso Oloroso Seco)

2 Tbsp White Sesame Seeds

1 Tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns

2 Tbsp Dessicated Coconuts

Cilantro (a handful - chop it up)

1/4 Leek (thinly sliced)

Step 1: Wash the rice and then set it out in a colander to dry for about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Put the dried shrimp inside a bowl and let them soak in sherry.

Step 3: Before you start frying the rice in the oil, make sure you have the same amount of liquid in volume as the rice standing by. The liquid will be a combination of the sherry the dried the shrimp was soaking in (the broth) and water.

Step 4: Heat up the oil (from the Gambas Pil Pil) and throw in the grated ginger and fry a bit. Then throw in the rice and make sure they are all nicely coated in this oil. Add the sherry marinated dried shrimp. Salt a bit and add some soy sauce maybe 2 Tbsp.

Step 5: Add the mixture of sherry and water you've prepared and then put on the lid and let it come to a roiling boil on high heat, at which point you need to lower the heat to low.

Step 6: Set your timer for 17 minutes.

Step 7: When the timer rings, remove the rice from the heat and set it aside and put either a clean cloth or kitchen paper under the lid so that it absorbs some of the steam. And yes, it's ok to lift the lid and let the steam escape at this point.

Step 8: My grandmother would have wrapped this up in a rice cozy and let it sit around for 45 minutes, but since most of us don't have a rice cozy (you know - like a tea cozy?) I would just let it sit around for 20-30 minutes no more.

Step 9: While the rice is sitting there you can start chopping up the leeks and cilantro. You also need to toast the dessicated coconuts, sesame seeds and Sichuan peppercorns. The Sichuan peppercorns need to be put through the food processor in addtion to being you have quite a bit to do during this period!

Step 10: Chop up the Iberico sausages into bite sized pieces and sautee them in a non-stick frying pan until they're cooked. No need to add additional oil as they are already very oily. You can substitute this with Chinese sausages as well. Set these aside.

Step 11: Put the rice into a nice big bowl and season it with the sesame seeds, sichuan peppercorn, dessicated coconut, cilantro and leeks and add the sausages. Toss it all together and serve...and enjoy the tongue numbing experience.

Note: If you don't have leftover oil from making Gambas al Pil Pil, I'd just add some crushed garlic, chili (if you don't have Guindillas), parsley into the olive oil before you add the rice. It won't be flavored with prawns but you're using a dried shrimp sherry broth anyway so I think it should be OK.


Trish said...

Oh I am soooooo over there RIGHT NOW! That sounds so good. I can relate to what you say about trying out a recipe perfectly at first but once you 'got the groove'...making it your own. Totally! This sounds like you did a good job!

Elra said...

This Pilaf is full of interesting flavor. Sounds very delicious!

Lori said...

Good use of leftover shrimp oil. It sounds delicious. I love eclectic dishes.

You know I still think of your comment you made about sipping sangria on your porch, looking at the Mediterranean. Entirely not possible with our current budget but a dream nontheless. Thank you for that little dream.

♥peachkins♥ said...

Wow, I love dried shrimp and this loks like a yummy recipe.

Anonymous said...

Sounds delish. Must have some Iberico sausage soon! Is there anything you can't eat with a little soudough on the side?