I haven’t been feeling inspired in the kitchen lately. I’ve been kind of lost, just wandering around peeking in cupboards and behind boxes and jars. Kind of like Winnie-the-Pooh when he woke up and couldn’t find his hunny pot.
I could blame it on the weather. I naturally gravitate toward heavier comfort food that isn’t always appealing during the summer. My garden was a great source of inspiration last summer. I’m sure it will be the same again, but it will be a while before I harvest any rewards from it. Meanwhile I’m waiting for the lightning bolt of inspiration to hit and drive away this foggy, uncertain thinking. I’m hoping I find my kitchen magic again, and soon, like Winnie-the-pooh who eventually, after some searching, found his missing hunny pot.
I have wanted to make honey walnut shrimp for a long time. Well, kind of. What stopped me before was it seemed to be a one-note dish; sweet shrimp with crunchy walnuts and little else to flavor it. Very delicious but I wanted more. Given my current state of mind this was perfect. Unfussy. Unpretentious.
I added red chilies for a little heat and snow peas for nutrition’s sake. The mayonnaise and condensed milk make it seem like a heavy dish, but it isn’t at all. It’s light and the thick, creamy, smooth sauce is sweet and nicely spiced. I served the shrimp over salad greens but craved rice when I was eating. Rice would have been more satisfying and been a nice texture to include with the succulent shrimp and crispy walnuts. And did I mention the egg rolls? Another first for me. The filling was made from shrimp, cabbage and for a nice bit of crunch – water chestnuts. They were little packages of lightly-fried, golden-brown goodness.