shrimp and rice with vegetables

Vegetables are okra and peas.

Rice is steamed with ground popcorn because I was originally thinking shrimp and grits. The corn portion was almost masa harina. You can see it in there, the tiny bumps on the rice.

The sauce is chicken broth velouté with what amounts to an American curry and a spot of top grated hard cheese off the heat.

Sauces confound people but they shouldn't.

* butter and flour in equal portion, 1Tablespoon each per Cup of liquid, generally speaking.

Cook the flour and butter in a little pot until the butter turns brown and the flour is cooked through, a few minutes. This is a roux, a French technique that is fundamental to Cajun cooking. There are three general stages of butter/flour roux from blond to quite dark. We are going for medium. The spices are added at this point, the heat tends to activate the oils in the spices while overcooking will burn them, so, liquid to follow in rapid succession. The liquid heats up and everything whisks and thickens quickly.

And you can pretty much make it taste like anything.

It doesn't have to be just the pan drippings.

* pressed garlic
* cumin
* coriander powder
* oregano
* cayenne chile powder
* salt/pepper

Although pan drippings are the best place to start the cook is not beholden to the flavor of remnant bits. I could have included something like cherry or blueberry preserves just to have a sweet and a fruit element. Something like pineapple would be perfect. So would mangos. As it is, I settled for white box wine to initiate the liquid portion and stop the spices frying, it absorbs and evaporates quickly leaving behind a thick dark sludge, the chicken broth is tossed in and whisked. Boom, gravy. I showed this to a friend and he said,


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