My wife and I love tapas or if you want to call them mezes or banchan, that’s fine with me. Even ‘little plates’, so given the status of my freezer having little albondigas which I made some weeks ago, what better choice than to use that as my starting point?

At Berkeley Bowl, I bought mushrooms, garlic, two bell peppers, a half pound or so of wild shrimp, and some broccoli. For the record, these items I have made before (mostly) so it was simply attempting to coordinate timing on all the ingredients to be ready at the same time,

First thing was to plop the bell peppers into the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes. After they were cooked, I stripped the skin and seeds away, put them all into a shallow bowl, and drizzled a little balsamic vinegar onto them. DONE AND DONE.

I started with the shrimp, stripping off the shells and legs, drizzling with olive oil and some salt, and mincing garlic. DONE.

I then took the broccoli and steamed it for a few minutes to cook it through, dunked it into some ice water to stop the cooking, put out a bowl of flour and pimenton and a bowl of beaten egg, and put aside. DONE.

Now…the fried broccoli I hadn’t done before, but they should all cook pretty quickly, so I dusted them all with flour, dipped them into the beaten egg, and put them all into a colander beside a frying pan now glistening with heat. Beside that, I had the frying pan for the shrimp heating up, and as soon as I placed the broccoli all into the oil, I put the prepped shrimp into its skillet!

Oh! Mushrooms. A dribble of oil, some garlic, and the shiitakes hit the skillet. Omigod–three skillets all a’blazing…how long would the broccoli take? The shrimp I knew–five or six minutes with a single flip. Aargh! The meatballs; get ’em into the microwave…three minutes; if they’re too hot, screw it–they can cool off, but I gotta take them out soon so I can reheat the romesco sauce I made last week.

The mushrooms are looking good; fragrant and releasing their moisture, time for the half cup of wine. Ok! Shrimp! Smoking…needs a little more olive oil and…oh what the hell, a splash of sherry! There!

Broccoli–looking good: put one in my mouth…yes! Perfect. I started to pull them out of the skillet and into the paper lined colander. I sprinkled coarse kosher salt over them…and TOTALLY done there.

Shrimp–flipped them and tossed in the garlic at the last second, and turned down the heat. Looked ready to me…DONE!

Bam! Take out the meatballs, put in the romesco…SLAM!

Table cleared, plates ready, silverware put out–oh! The wine! Some of that cheapass #%$& from TJ’s at $2.49…but not that bad for the money and a weeknight, let me tell ya.

The mushrooms were the very last, as the moisture and the wine started to reduce in the skillet–a quick splash of pepper and salt and…ready…am I?

Angela–put away that laptop…time to eat. Pour the wine, time to eat!

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