“How did the two of you meet?”
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Hands down, it's my favorite question. One that's guaranteed to bring a smile, along with one heck of a good story
A sweet smile. Eyes fade slightly as the mind remembers, searching for the best way to capture a time and place, the backdrop to this very special story
It's no wonder then, my ongoing fondness for Bon Appetit's RSVP column.
“You request a recipe for a beloved dish at a great restaurant, and we try our darnedest to get it for you. Send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better yet, tweet us at @BonAppRSVP. All you need is the dish name, the restaurant, and the city. The rest is up to us.”
Every month I read the snippets and wonder about the backstories. A similar sense of fondness shining through in each short note. Like the requestor, I can't think of a better way to memorialize something that made me happy, than with a recipe
“Please, kind persons of great influence will you help track down … “
“Dear Bon Appetit, on vacation to celebrate 25 years of marriage we had a killer burger at .. “
“Dear Bon Appetit, Try as I may, I can't stop thinking about the Elvis Beer Cocktail ..”
This recipe was a Staff Pick in the April 2014 issue. A Filipino dish, spicy achiote oil gives the shrimp an amber hue. Hints of citrus to round it out the flavors served with crusty bread, or drain the shrimp and serve them on a bed of leafy greens.
A few highlights worth noting ..
Achiote, aka “annatto” is a red seed, which can either be ground to powder or used to infuse oil and butter when cooking. It has a rich red color and subtle earthy flavor.
Don't limit yourself when it comes to achiote oil. It can add a deep flavor and color to nearly any dish. A traditional use would be an addition to yellow rice, but I've also been using it as a base to sauté garlic and onions in for veggie dishes.
~ Adapted from Bon Appetit | April 2014
Shrimp in Achiote Oil
- Achiote oil
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp achiote (annatto seeds)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 - 2 Thai chiles, with seeds, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Calamansi juice (or lime juice)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 ¼ lbs large shrimp peeled, deveined
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- a few pinches each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Achiote Oil
- Cook oil and achiote seeds in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the oil turns dark red, about 5 minutes. Strain into a jar and let cool.
- (The achiote oil can be made up to 1 week ahead. Cover and chill)
- Heat achiote oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Top with scallions and serve with bread
- Add chiles, garlic, calamansi juice, and soy sauce and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until shrimp are opaque throughout, about 4 minutes.
- Top with scallions and serve with bread