One of the reasons I set up this blog was to have an incentive to try new recipes and foods. Last year, I got in to be a bit of a rut and was eating the same meals very frequently. This blog has been great in getting me to try new recipes but I have felt recently that I have started to make meals that are quite similar. I haven’t shared them all yet but I have made quite a few Italian inspired chicken recipes recently.
So late last week when I received an email from Genie from Bunny Eats Design inviting me to take part in the link up party Our Growing Edge, I knew it was just the nudge I needed to get me to look at trying out new foods. Our Growing Edge is a linked up party to inspire trying new foodie things. This month is hosted by Corina of Searching for Spice.
I have been meaning to try out liquid smoke for a while now since seeing it in the local Asian grocery. Not very Asian I know but the little grocery has started expanding its range to include more American/Tex-Mex ingredients. I love smoked meat so was intrigued by the idea of being able to add that smoky flavour without needing a smokehouse etc. There is definitely a trend here in Australia of American and Mexican ingredients becoming much more readily available. I was a bit flummoxed at the shops when I found out the liquid smoke came in different flavours. I went with hickory but there was also mesquite and applewood. Do any liquid smoke experts have thoughts on which one would have been best for this recipe?
I had a poke around pinterest to find a recipe to try out the liquid smoke. Most of them were very smoked pulled pork or smoked beef ribs neither of which I am very fond of. I am not a big pork fan (unless it is minced in sausages, dim sum etc) and I am not keen on meat on the bone – I get in to way too much of a mess. Then I came across this recipe for spicy New Orleans shrimp. It looked delicious and I have previously made this sesame garlic chicken by Jo from jocooks.com and loved it – one of my favourite chicken recipes.
The recipe is very easy to make and aside from needing to marinate for 4 hours, the recipe is fairly quick in terms of hands on cooking time. My prep time was about 10 minutes – mainly pulling things from the cupboard but I did use deveined prawn meat (shrimp) so if you buy your prawns any other way the prep time will go up. The original recipe called for white tiger shrimp but the shop didn’t have them so I went with ordinary prawn meat (shrimp).
I was a bit worried about the liquid smoke when I opened the bottle. It does have a powerful smoky smell. I thought it might overpower the shrimp but it mellowed surprisingly well in the cooking process so that there was just a lovely hint of smokiness in the dish. I’ll definitely be trying it out in some other recipes.
This is a delicious recipe but I did feel like the sauce was perhaps a bit too strong for the prawns and the fishy element that I love about prawns was a lost a bit. I think next time I would make this with chicken. I just love the natural taste of prawns too much to have them hidden by sauce.
I also didn’t get as much sauce as the original photos suggested I would, which was a bit of a shame as the sauce is fabulous. I had the recipe with bread as suggested and the best bit of the whole meal was mopping up the sauce at the end with the bread. Just scrumptious. When I was marinating the sauce looked very sparse but in the cooking process quite a bit of liquid came out of the prawns to add to the volume and flavour of the sauce.
To make this for one I used the following ingredients:
- 200g of prawn meat
- ½ tbs of unsalted butter
- ½ tbs of olive oil
- ½ tbs of sweet chilli sauce
- ¼ tsp of Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp of chilli powder
- ¼ tsp of liquid smoke
- ¼ tsp of smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp of dried oregano
- ¼ tsp of sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp of minced garlic (equivalent to 1 clove)
- ½ tbs of lemon juice
- ½ tbs of parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
I followed the recipe as given. I did let the sauce cook for 10 minutes but next time would look at cutting that down by a few minutes to make sure it didn’t reduce too much. I cooked my prawns for 15 minutes and that was just a tad too long – I would do a check after 10 minutes and see how everything is looking.
The calories in the meal are about 330. I don’t think you could get these down very much as the olive oil and butter are needed for the sauce.
And yes I would use the liquid smoke again but probably with a different meat. It would be delicious with chicken or maybe a meatier fish like trout. It is such a clever idea to be able to put the taste of smoke in to a liquid.