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Gourmet camping for a good cause

October 7, 2009

I was honored to be auctioned off to cook a meal for a family at my daughter’s school campout. A gourmet meal tent-side for the highest bidder. I did a first course of bruschetta with roasted wild mushrooms and sautéed cubes of sweet pumpkin (back in season!) with toasted sage. Second course was Cauliflower soup with sumac (the citrus scented, mouth-watering dried red berry used in Iranian cooking) and smoked paprika (great play of citrus “sweet” and smoky heat), a third course of seared shrimp shrimp harissa feta mintwith a chile/caraway broth, feta cheese and mint, and lastly achiote style chicken in banana leaf. For dessert, tender, golden crepes with orange liqueur and cardamom mascarpone. To avoid having you exit out of an overly long blog I am going to highlight the shrimp.

I wanted to do a harissa based sauce (big surprise) but did not have any. I decided to roast the shrimp shells with shallots, caraway seed, coriander seed, cumin seed, sun-dried tomatoes, chipotle and some garlic. I added water and made an intense broth that I then pureed and strained. I love using this technique to get a lot of flavor in a sauce or a broth but without weight. I then seared the shrimp and deglazed (make sure to take the shimp out of the pan before deglazing so you don’t boil the shimp which would make them hard) with this sauce and then sprinkled feta and mint over the top.

I can never get enough of the sweet taste of the sea that shrimp always delivers. I love that gentle pop, that firm texture that still remains tender when cooked just right. Shrimp marry with almost anything. The broth became saucy during deglazing and was slightly spicy from the chipotle chile but had the most mouth warming elegance from the lingering aftertaste of caraway. The cumin provided its classic earthy warmth and the coriander was the citrus element. The feta cheese cleansed it all with a mouth-watering pucker of fresh milk and salt and the mint was like the grand finale of flavor leaving you refreshed and ready for more! Enjoy.

Eat well, enjoy life, be happy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. shauna permalink
    October 12, 2009 2:36 pm

    Yay…the publicity is building……..

    When are you coming to Texas? What is your schedule; I couldn’t find it. Enjoy this awesome journey, Jeffrey, and always share it with your wife and family. I think that’s part of why you’re endearing to our family (42/50 parents and 7/9 kids) — we love exploring together, travelling, cooking. Keep it up! Your Texas Fans

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      October 14, 2009 12:57 pm

      Thank you shauna. I will! you can check out my facebook under “events”. I hope to meet you and the family.

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