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The main course tonight, a tapas type of meal pulled off of about.com which featured shrimp and mushrooms in a garlic and wine reduction was to have been the highlight, but…it was simply so-so. The addition of pepper flakes (as the recipe called for) as well as some lemon juice didn’t really make the dish sing much, you know what I mean?

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Not that it was terrible, it simply didn’t scream out ‘make me again’. This is a fairly consistent problem when dealing with some websites and their recipes. Only last week I made a shrimp tapa with garlic that took me five minutes only to make but was so delicious neither my wife or I could believe that such simple ingredients could work so well.

Oddly, the near-hit of the evening were the jar of piquillo peppers I had bought to serve along the side of the bread and shrimp/mushroom dish. At the last minute I thought to punch it up a bit, so I got some Bagoong from the fridge (think of it as ‘salt paste with a fishy sensibility’) and fried it together with some sliced shallots to serve as a garnish.

Very nice combination. Alas, the piquillo peppers were a bit too wet which diluted the taste to a degree, but were I to drain the piquillos and pat them dry, the combination of sliced piquillo peppers with crispy shallots sautéed in Bagoong might be a real winner.

Moreover, it was an original creation from yours truly, so it will definitely see the light of day again.

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