Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blue Fried "Shrimp", Morel, Sprouting Broccoli, Ramp and Baby Arugula Salad with a Fiddlehead Remoulade Dressing

My life has me so busy lately that I completely missed my two year blogaversary! Happy belated 2nd blogaversary to me. I can't believe I've been posting here almost every week for two years and I've yet to run out of silly things to talk about. If you've been reading for a while, you know I usually go for laughs, and I suppose my life is pretty funny on a daily basis.

This week, the humor in my world is more about sheer situational irony. Last Friday, I'm sitting at my desk sipping my morning coffee when my phone rings: it's my agent's office. "You have an audition, and it's today", the say. "Great!", I think to myself. I love getting auditions. "What's it for?", I ask. "Jimmy Dean Sausage."

That's when my heart stops. I have an "Oh Shit" Moment. A million thoughts start racing through my mind. Do I have to eat the sausage? Should I even go on the audition? Can I really endorse a product I don't actually stand behind or want to further the consumption of?

Of course, the immediate "go to" answer is to not go. But hear me out on this one: commercials pay a bank load. I've been strapped for cash for months, and booking a commercial would be one answer to my problems. As long as I don't eat it, what's the harm? Well, the harm is that I could end up:

A) Responsible for increasing the death of animals by endorsing a product with my "Sell It" smile
B) Actually increase the number of people who want to consume such products by endorsing it and making something gross look appetizing.

So what did I do? I went to the audition. I got a call-back. I went to the call back. I'm now waiting to find out if I actually booked the damn gig. What I'll actually do if I book is another story, and the thoughts have been plaguing my mind all day. Like I said, my life is funny that way. The vegan in a sausage commercial. Go fucking figure.

Anyway, let's talk about something vegan and delicious. This week, I'm posting a very seasonal, Farmers Market driven SALAD! Yes, the "S" word. I actually posted something light and (almost) healthy. My little sister made the trek up from the OC to L.A. so that she could find herself some green garlic at the amazing Santa Monica Farmers Market, and I took it as an opportunity to score a shit load of great produce. I then set to work on this work or art, and I highly recommend you at least try making the dressing. It's yummy and refreshing.

Have a great week!

Blue Fried "Shrimp", Morel, Sprouting Broccoli, Ramp and Baby Arugula Salad with a Fiddlehead Remoulade Dressing

For the Dressing...
  • 1/4 cup MimicCreme mixed with 2 TBSP Egg Mix
  • 1 cup raw Fiddlehead Ferns
  • The juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped Green Onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped Celery
  • 1 TBSP Horseradish
  • 3 TBSP Whole-Grain Mustard
  • 3 TBSP Yellow Mustard
  • 3 TBSP Vegan Ketchup
  • 3 TBSP Chopped Parsley
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Olive Oil

For the Salad...

  • 1/2 lb Morel Mushrooms, cleaned
  • 2 cups Sprouting Broccoli
  • 5 TBSP Vegan Margarine
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 5 cups Ramps, roughly chopped and stems discarded
  • 5 cups Baby Arugula
  • 2 packages of Frozen Vegan Shrimp, thawed
  • 2 cups Hot Sauce
  • 2 cups Unbleached White Flour
  • 2 cups Blue Cornmeal
  • Vegetable Oil, enough for frying
  • Creole Seasoning (Cajun Blast or Tony Cachere's), to taste
  • 1 large Sweet Onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 3 TBSP Chopped Parsley

Combine all of the dressing ingredients except oil, salt, pepper and cayenne in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Season with the salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Turn the machine back on, and slowly pour in the olive oil while the machine is still running until thick. Add more salt, pepper and cayenne if needed.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the vegan margarine. Add the morels and sprouting broccoli, then toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, then saute for about 5-6 minutes until the morels and broccoli are softened and browning. Remove from heat and set aside.

Take the thawed Vegan Shrimp, and toss with the hot sauce in a mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, blue cornmeal, and as much Creole Seasoning as you desire. In batches, toss the Vegan Shrimp in the cornmeal/flour/seasoning mix, making sure they're coated completely. Shake off any excess flour.

Heat 5-6 inches of Vegetable Oil in a very deep pot until it reaches 350 degrees. Fry the Vegan Shrimp in batches for about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

For the salad, using a large bowl, toss the ramps and arugula with half of the dressing and a touch of salt and pepper. Place a mound of greens in the center of each plate, then lay a few onion slices over the greens. Place a few shrimp atop the greens, then lay the morels and sprouting broccoli around the mound of greens. Garnish with the freshly chopped parsley.


Jes said...

I guess it's an ethical conundrum, but not going hungry is a nice thing too (as in having enough money to live on).

As for the salad, no ethical conundrum there! Looks fantastic!!

Niki said...

Ahh the ethical dilemmas!

And here I have been wondering whether I should date a smallgoods manager - a man who sells pig products.

Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

That's a huge dilemma and I'm curious to know what the outcome is!

All about... (vegan) food said...

I really want to say good luck because everybody needs to work and, more important, to live! But if I can choose my wish, I'd say that I hope that other jobs come in and you can say no to this one ;)

TRSpook said...

Mimicreme returns...ahhhhh but as always a delish recipe

Witch City Runner said...

*Sigh* do you EVER make something not simply fantastic? I never see anything here where I'm like "Yeah right, who the hell would eat that?". That's a compliment btw..yay for vegan shrimp! :-)

CPNC said...

I used to love seafood before I went vegan. In fact, it's the only thing I miss about omni food. For this reason, I get really excited about fishy analogues. I actually had some "prawns" at a place in SF last week, but, I've gotta say, your "shrimps" look much more delicious.

About the more personal matter, I would also love to see you book some other, more vegan-friendly gig. That said, we're all feeling the recession. One needs to live. And your fantastically cute-ass mug needs more exposure, in my opinion.

miss v said...

i always love new dressing recipes - digging this one!

Bianca said...

That is one fancy-ass salad! Morels, fiddlehead ferns, and vegan shrimp. Damn girl. Honestly, I wish I could find fiddleheads around here. I've seen 'em at Whole Foods, like once. And never again. And I've never seen morels either. Boo. I feel so disadvantaged.

As for your conundrum, that is a tough one! Not sure what I would do if I really needed the money. I know that, as a freelance writer, I've certainly written about meat dishes at restaurants that I'd never actually eat ... because I needed the money.

Anonymous said...


The Compassionate Hedonist said...

Dude, they want to book YOU because you are vegan. You look HEALTHY, young, not a total large ass with pimples. Imagine if they actually booked someone who really eats their product? What would they look like. Nasty, fat, obese, baggy eyes, not glowing from life like a vegan.

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

That looks so damn good! I've gotta get some faux shrimps.

Your commercial debacle will end well- hopefully with you rich and promoting Jimmy Dean's new vegan sausage. Perhaps if you score the part you can get some sort of subliminal anti-meat message into the commercial... then you get money and everyone who sees the commercial goes veg? hmmm... now how to compose subliminal messages??

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Oh yeah, and happy blog-o-versary!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

When I grow up, I want to make food as pretty as yours...

the twins said...

looks so good! i am quite impressed that you made vegan shrimp

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, those shrimp freak me out! hahaha. Man, I hate the industry sometimes.

TBossIDL said...

I have a question to ask where do you get Vegan Shrimp at? Thanks.

And also Late Happy Anniversary!

Lauren said...

I have been waiting for Spring just so I could make this delicious looking salad. I thought it was too early for morels and I had planned to substitute, but I was so excited to find some at Whole Foods ( 3rd and Fairfax) along with the fiddleheads, ramps and flowering broccoli. Another truly tast-a-licious creation from Jenn Shaggy :) Oh and those vegan shrimp are the best. I've used them in some of your other recipes and subbed them for real shrimp in other recipes and man, I totally love them. Thanks for introducing them to my mouth!

Unknown said...

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