Tag Archives: squid

Chez Carey: baby shrimp wontons, wonton soup and squid with mixed veggies

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I am on the email list for http://www.hungry-girl.com/ and recently got one that highlighted wonton wrappers as a great low calorie food to work with.  Inspired, I decided to look for them on my next supermarket shopping trip. My boyfriend and I got excited about something new to get creative with and started thinking about the rest of the meal. We picked up a package of frozen, whole, baby squid, some assorted veggies and a few bottled sauces and we were on our way.

This was officially the first meal that we prepared as a team and it was a great success! What better activity than hand-filling and wrapping wontons and prepping tons of veggies? Well, I suppose the ‘eating it’ part was pretty awesome too.

Anyway, here’s the basic idea for the 3 dishes we came up with:

1. Spicy wonton soup

Ingredient list:

wonton wrappers

chicken broth (allow about a cup per person)

red cabbage (about 1/2 cup)

carrot (about 2 carrots)

garlic (a few cloves)

ginger (about a tablespoon)

sriracha sauce (be CAREFUL, don’t use too much- I used about 1 tablespoon)

soy sauce (about a teaspoon)

oyster sauce (about a teaspoon)

honey (half a teaspoon)

celery (1 stalk)

egg white (about 1 egg worth)

mushrooms (about 6 large)

scallions (about 4)

cilantro (a bunch)

a can of baby shrimp, rinsed (or fresh shrimp, cooked and diced would be great too)

Cut up all of the veggies into tiny pieces. If you have a food processor, this would be  great time to get it out. If you don’t, like us, be prepared to chop for a pretty good chunk of time. Put it all into a bowl. Add all of the liquids (except the chicken broth!) to taste. Mix everything really well. Put about a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of a wonton. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water using your finger and seal it up as best you can (we found there were a few different effective ways to do this). Fill as many wontons as you can, leaving about a 1/4 cup of the mixture in the bowl. In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Carefully drop in a dozen or so wontons (3-4 per person) and bring back to a boil for a few minutes. Add the rest of the mixture from the bowl into the pot, stir carefully and continue boiling for another minute or 2.

Meanwhile, with all of the those wonderful leftover wontons, spray a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil with Pam. Put the wontons on it. Spray the top of the wontons with a little more Pam and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until brown and crispy. Let them rest on paper towels for a few minutes before serving. These are also great floating in the soup when you eat the rest of the ones that were in there already and end up with a bowl of broth.

2. Baby squid and veggie dish

Ingredient list:

Baby whole squid, cleaned. (you can find these frozen in asian supermarkets if you can’t find them fresh)

red cabbage (about 1/4 cup, sliced)

bok choy (a whole head, sliced into 1 inch pieces)

garlic (a few cloves, sliced)

ginger ( 1 tablespoon, shredded)

baby corn (1 can)

mushrooms (about 10, sliced)

bamboo shoots (a small can)

coconut oil spray

soy sauce (a few teaspoons)

duck sauce (a few teaspoons)

oyster sauce (a few teaspoons)

apple cider vinegar (a few teaspoons)

honey (a teaspoon)

chinese mustard (a teaspoon)

lemon juice (a few teaspoons)

cilantro (a bunch)

Whisk all of the liquids and the cilantro together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside. Spray a little coconut oil in a wok and get it up to a high heat. Add in the veggies in small enough batches to stir fry them and transfer to a bowl as needed. Re-spray the wok in between batches and continue until all of the veggies are in the bowl. Saute the squid for just a few minutes and then add some of the sauce on top for a few more minutes. Add the rest of the sauce over the bowl of veggies and stir everything together.

Serve over rice if you like, or just with a massive bowl of soup with extra wontons on the side. YUM. (This meal is definitely more fun to make and eat if you prepare it with someone you love.)

Enjoy!

The verdict is that we are most *definitely* going to be buying more wonton wrappers to play around with. I feel like the possibilities are endless and I’m thrilled to have a new ingredient under my sleeve to experiment with. I plan to fill them with crab-stuffed mushrooms next…stay tuned!

Club A Steakhouse: 240 E. 58th St. New York NY

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My friend and I had a prix fix dinner deal for 2 from Living Social that we finally got to use tonight. It was $69 and included 2 apps, 2 sides, 2 entrees and 2 desserts. What a great deal! I walked in and was greeted by B, sitting at the bar, sipping a glass of red wine. It was a beautiful atmosphere to walk into with an abundance of warm red fabrics, candlelit tables and red roses. The host asked if we’d like to be seated downstairs or upstairs, and told us that upstairs had banquets instead of tables. Wanting the cozy warmth of a booth, we opted to go up. What a great decision. As soon as we got up there we noticed the red quilted ceiling and the huge window looking out on twinkling, white, Christmas lights in the trees outside. We settled into our seats and I ordered myself a glass of Malbec, my favorite red wine.

A basket of lovely rosemary bread, onion bread, and breadsticks were brought out along with butter and ice water. The waiter brought us our menus a few minutes later. We had about 6 choices in each section- better than most prix fixes I’ve seen, and just about everything sounded appealing. B and I are EXCELLENT at sharing and we always seem to agree on the same dishes which, along with a easy, lively conversation, makes us perfect dining partners. We opted to share everything.

We started with the caesar salad and the fried calamari. The salad was covered in delicious shavings of parmesan. The homemade dressing that came with it was perfect with just enough anchovies to give it great flavor- but not totally too many which can be overpowering. The calamari was ok- a little too breaded for my taste, but nice and crunchy and accompanied by an awesome spicy marinara.

Next we shared the hanger steak and the filet mignon and both were cooked to absolute perfection. The filet was SO buttery and tender and actually had a lot of flavor. We expected that of the hanger but not the filet which I often find is sort of flavorless but a great consistency, so that was a pleasant surprise. The hanger was our favorite though. It was still very tender but also extremely juicy and flavorful. It was cooked to the exact specification that we requested, medium rare. For our sides we asked for the mashed potatoes and the truffle infused creamed spinach and were delighted when they surprised us with the mac and cheese as an additional side. Yes, surely a nice, light dinner. Haha. The dishes were all so generous that I was able to bring home some of everything to enjoy the following day. All of the sides arrived in their own little crocks, an adorable presentation of delicious and hearty food. What a great meal for a cold, winter night with a dear friend.

Our desserts were pretty good but not outstanding. Then again, that might have just been because we were already stuffed to the brim. The tiramisu was fine, but not terribly exciting. The cream puffs were tasty, but boring, simply filled with cream and covered in more cream. It definitely could have used some berries to brighten it up a bit. Those were the only 2 choices for dessert and I was pretty unimpressed with them considering the quality of everything else. No chocolate option? No ice cream, sorbet, pie or fruit option? That was the only part of the meal that wasn’t awesome.

The only other thing that I think is worth a mention is the service. Although they were very professional, polite and friendly, they were slow as mud. We didn’t really mind since we wanted to chat and they didn’t seem to care if we lingered for hours, but it would have been nice if they checked in on us a few times during our meal and in between courses. We literally sat for an hour sipping the end of our glasses of wine waiting for the check and eventually flagged someone down to bring it over. Again, I’m not sure that this is a negative…just something worth mentioning.

Overall, I really liked Club A. I thought the atmosphere was incredibly romantic and sexy and would be a great place for a date on Valentines’ Day or another romantic occasion. I will certainly consider a repeat visit…especially if they run another fantastic deal like this one!

ADDENDUM!!

Gabriel and I returned to Club A to celebrate Valentine’s Day and WOW, what a special evening it was. 

There was SO much food we practically rolled out of there at the end of the night, but the overindulgence was worth every single calorie and  I can’t possibly say enough good things about the way we were treated and the food we consumed.

We were treated like absolute royalty by the staff and Bruno, the owner. First, a bottle of champagne and a basket of bread was brought over. Next a complimentary bottle of wonderful red wine was elaborately decanted for us.

Two of the largest shrimp cocktail were our next surprise, YUM!

We shared a caeser salad and a garden salad and I must rave for a moment about the outstanding caeser dressing. It was thick and creamy, with a lovely anchovy flavor and a hint of parmesan. One of the best caesers I’ve ever had.

We were then surprised yet again with a treat of lobster ravoili. The chunks of lobster inside were so decadent and fresh, this might have been my favorite part of the meal. At this point, we already felt SO full, but there was still a ton of food coming so we prepared ourselves. I began thinking that my skintight pencil dress might not have been the best choice for my outfit.

Out came our hanger steak and NY strip, cooked to perfection with the perfect amount of pink in the center. The outside was crisp and had so much flavor and juice inside…we were in meaty heaven. We also shared 2 wonderful sides of truffle oil creamed spinach and amazing mashed potatoes. We took some of the steak home and began thinking that perhaps we’d opt to take our desserts home too… Just then, out they arrived before we even ordered them! A PLATTER of sweets for us to squeeze into our bellies. It’s funny how there always seems to be just a little more room when you absolutely need it. We shared a gorgeous array of chocolate heart-sharped cake, cream puffs AND tiramisu and were blown away by the beautiful presentation of fruit that arrived  shortly after. WOW.

This was seriously the most food I’ve put away in one sitting. I was still full the next morning! Thank you SO much to Arben, Bruno and the whole staff at Club A. This was a night we will cherish in our memories forever.