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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Italian with a 'Twist'

Yet another cooking demonstration at Nature Basket and this time it was an ‘Italian Cooking Demo with a twist’ by Chef Thomas Zacharias from Olive Bar and Kitchen

When I received the invitation on my phone, I should have understood that it would be crowded. I should have gone earlier to occupy a comfortable seat. It was an Italian food demonstration; so naturally many people would be interested.

But I took a mid-day nap and reached the venue at the dot at 4:30

The place was jam-packed with the crowd leaking into the passage way. There was no place to move and many of the women just took U-turn and walked away. The women who stood in the crowd were equally irritated and complained of imaginary pushes and pokes. Some were scary lot who kept adjusting their hand-bags closer to their breast and spend more time  at watching people around them rather than to concentrate on the demonstration. One late-comer scolded the management of Nature Basket for having invited her to such a crowded place with so little space.

 "Have it in a larger room next time, if you wish to invite me, understand?" she said as she pouted, fumed and walked away.

I was curious to know about this ‘twist’. I waited in the crowd just listening to the instructions and the comments that were made in the audience, but unfortunately, missed most part of the demo because I went away for a coffee to the next door restaurant and returned after 30 minutes. Towards the end, I was able to find a seat, left vacant by woman who wished to leave mid-session.

Well the ‘twist’ in the demo was the sauce that was cooked in cream and shrimps. The taste was sweet and sour; the lemon zest gave it tangy taste which induced the desire to ask for second helping of one more spoonful of this spaghetti.

Tangy shrimp Picante sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large shrimps roughly chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh red chili, finely chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2cup heavy cream
1tsp fresh basil
Water as needed
1tbsp lemon juice
10large shrimps, halved and diced
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tsp lemon zest, grated.


Step one
Cook spaghetti as instructed on packet and keep it aside

Step two
Stir fry shrimps with salt and pepper and keep them aside

Step three
Heat oil in a non-stick pan, sauté finely chopped shrimps with salt and pepper. Add chopped garlic and fresh green chilies.

Step four
Add tomato paste to the mixture

Step five
Add fresh cream and basil leaves, mix and stir.

Step six
Allow it to cool and puree the mixture in the food processor till completely smooth.

Step seven
Add the puree mixture back in the pan, and heat it. Add lemon juice and lemon zest.

Step eight
Add the boiled spaghetti to the sauce and cook it

Step nine
Serve with stir-fried shrimp that were cooked in step two.

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