Saturday, March 15, 2008

Recipe Annoyances

I hate it when recipes hide tasks in the ingredient list! The shrimp scampi recipe I tried tonight claims to take 10 minutes of "prep" time and 10 minutes cooking time, so I left 25 minutes. Much to my annoyance, the first item on the ingredient list was "2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on". I had two pounds of shrimp, all right, but the shells were still on, and it took nearly 20 minutes to peel and devein them. So much for 10 minutes of prep time; I was just lucky that the rice and artichokes could sit while I finished the shrimp. I suppose that if you are a famous chef and have a kitchen full of highly-experienced people to do the real prep work of cleaning shrimp, slicing onions, and mincing garlic, this recipe only takes 20 minutes to put together, but in the real world it takes closer to 40 minutes.

And then there was the "1/2 cup shrimp stock" further down the recipe. That doesn't come in stores near me, but Emeril very kindly provided a recipe for it - which takes another hour and a half and needs to be done after you peel the shrimp but before you make the dish. So to make this 20-minute scampi, you need to start at lunch time, peeling shrimp and making stock. The recipe was pretty good, even without the shrimp stock (I doubled the wine and added about a quarter teaspoon of beef base), but the time required was definitely false advertising.

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