Lunch today came from a recipe for Honey Orange Firecracker Shrimp on Chungah Rhee’s Damn Delicious website. More on that later.
I’m in the process of putting my house in order, both literally and figuratively. One of the things I’m doing is replacing an old, wobbly, handmade kitchen shelving unit with a tall new wire chrome replacement. But first I want to repaint the wall in back of the shelving. Until I do that, most of the equipment I need to cook anything more complicated than toast is resting in boxes on my living room floor.
I’m great at starting things, but finishing them is another matter entirely, so it may be a while before the kitchen is usable again. Fortunately, I live in a restaurant-rich city, I really love Thai food, and sending out for Thai is easy, in this best of all possible worlds. As for the living room, I can always fall back on my standard excuse that I’m planning a yard sale. It’s worked for years.
On to the recipe.
I shelled and cleaned the shrimp, dusted them with cornstarch, and dipped them in beaten eggs, wondering yet again why shrimp tails are always left on. Two minutes in the pan and a quick flip was as much as they needed. The kicker was the sauce, which was made with honey, orange juice and orange zest, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and ground ginger, cooked down to a syrupy texture. I plated the shrimp on a bed of rice, and poured the sauce over the top.
Now, about that website…
Is it for real?
Everyone pictured on the “Meet Our Team” page is seriously good-looking. Like, model-beautiful, which isn’t really surprising, because their on-line bios are heavy with actor/fitness trainer/model work histories. This isn’t quite what you’d expect of people identified as “Brand Manager” and “Operations Manager.” I also noticed that their individual websites have the look and feel of being created by the same web designer. The websites don’t look alike, but they share a similar aesthetic.
And who is Chungah Rhee?
The Damn Delicious website give includes brief biographical notes, but “Chungah Rhee” does not appear to have a Wikipedia entry. Is she real, or a construct?
Maybe I’m looking to solve a mystery that doesn’t exist.
And besides, from Betty Crocker to Aunt Jemima to Captain Crunch, our food history is full of mythological creators, so whether Chungah Rhee is real, fictional, or a combination of the two probably doesn’t matter.
I sometimes wonder about Alice Waters , though….
I’ve decided to start rating these experiments on a five-star scale, The boldface entry is my evaluation of the current dish.
★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.