Archives for June 2011

The Ryan-approved Spanish-style Baked Shrimps

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps I made this twice. First time was overcooked but edible. I have a tendency to overcook, something about fear of poisoning myself and others around me just because the ingredients are raw-er than they should be. Food poisoning doesn’t sound like a dignified way to go, if you get what I mean.

The second time, I separated it into two bowls. One with chilli for me and one without for Ryan the Nephew. I’m a great aunt like that. You should be so lucky to have an aunt like me.

This is a real easy and simple way to enjoy your shrimps. By the way, do you know the difference between shrimps and prawns without googling? I don’t, they’re the same to me. I’d always thought that shrimps are smaller and prawns are bigger. According to this article, they are biologically different. Shrimps have large front pincers and shorter legs. Prawns have longer legs and their second pincers are big. Interesting eh? There, you learned something new today. With the following recipe, you’d learn two new things! La vida es maravillosa!

Here’s what you need for the Ryan-approved Spanish-style Baked Shrimps:

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - ingredients

– 400g Shrimp meat, de-shelled with tail intact, deveined
– 8 garlic cloves. More if you like, less if you like
– 1/3 cup / 80ml olive oil. I use extra virgin
– 1 tsp Salt
– Chilli Powder or Flakes for Adults (optional)
– 1 tsp Lemon Juice for Kids (optional)
– Fresh Italian parsley or cilantro/ coriander

First step: clean the shrimps. Village Grocer sells shrimp meat sans shells with tails intact, less work for me yay! But you still have to devein the darn things. Deveining prawns is a thankless job, and you only do it for the people whom you really love. It’s really

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - cleaning shrimp

Take a sharp knife and run it through the back part of the prawn. See the yucky black line thingy in the photo above? Toss. Do the same for the opposite part of the prawn, there would be a small, yucky clear line thingy. Toss. Rinse and repeat for all prawns.

At some point, you should pre-heat your oven to the highest setting for about 15 mins. Mine goes up to 250 degree Celcius.

Next: Lay the shrimps on a single layer on an oven-friendly baking dish. Or two dishes, if you are making an adult version (chilli) and a kids version (lemon juice). Feel free to arrange them like how I did. It earns you brownie points too, ‘cos your nephew would be praising you to high heavens for being so clever to make two prawns stick together like that.

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - arranging

Your garlic cloves should have been peeled and cut to thin slices. I love garlic and I go way liberal with them. You can add or reduce the amount of garlic, but I’m telling you that they taste absolutely yummy.

Sprinkle the salt all over the prawns. Add however much chilli powder of chilli flakes your taste buds can take. The amount of chilli powder that I added in the photo below wasn’t enough for me :( I think chilli flakes give more kick.

For the kids version, you can opt to add the lemon juice. Or not. It makes some difference but not world-changing.

Lay out the garlic slices all over, then pour the olive oil on them.

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - final preparation

Dump them into the pre-heated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. They’ll come out looking like this:

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - out from the oven

Add some chopped parsley/ coriander if you want to. Serve to appreciative nephew.

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - end

Bask in the following adoring praises:
“Xiao Yi, this is the best prawn ever!”
“Xiao Yi, next time you should only cook this kind of prawn ok.”
“Xiao Yi, you are so clever!!”
“Xiao Yi, I love them so much! They are so delicious.”
“Xiao Yi, I don’t want to eat any other prawn but this prawn ok!”


Ryan and his lyrics book

Do you remember how you learned to read? I don’t, exactly. It was a blur of alphabets and word posters and Peter and Jane. Thankfully my Mom being a teacher means that we had a lot of reading material lying around in the house.

I think Ryan was having some problems with his reading, generally from a lack of interest. Mom found a solution for that: by writing down lyrics (in big friendly letters) to his current favourite songs, which coincidentally are her favourite 😀

See, big lyrics book with big handwriting for the boy.

Ryan and his lyrics book

… first page is a John Denver classic.

John Denver's classic in lyrics book

… this is Ryan reading and singing.

And this is Ryan with his evil youngest aunt in her most disheveled because it was at a comfortable place forcing him do everything according to her whim and fancies, in this case laughingly pose for a photograph.

Suanie and Ryan

Think it’s working. Ryan seems to enjoy learning to read via his lyrics book. Other oldies but goodies include Moon River, Knock Three Times and Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree. All my favourites too!

Homemade French Fries with a bottle of mayonnaise

Homemade Fries I love fries, especially if the French cut. Even more so if they are done crispy outside and squishy inside, O Fry Heaven!

I also love mayonnaise with my fries. Unfortunately not every establishment that I used to frequent understand this. Their stinginess with their mayonnaise sometimes leave me so frustrated that I have to think twice when ordering fries.

Why make things so complicated? Will giving me additional mayo bring loss to your earnings, or bring forth the end of the world? Charge me extra for it, I don’t care (much), but lying about the availability of mayo in your kitchen will make me flip.
[Read more…]