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Honey Walnut Prawns

August doesn’t recall having had this dish in her life before Zach, but now it’s one of their shared favorite Chinese plates.  Not all restaurants have it – in fact it can be hard to find – so Zach figured out how to make it at home for any time the mood strikes us.  This should be eaten immediately because the batter is so light and crispy that it can get soggy from the honey glaze, so don’t anticipate any leftovers.

honey walnut prawns

honey walnut prawns

Makes 4

48 oz. of peanut oil for frying

1 1/2 lbs. of peeled and deveined shrimp

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup for dredging

1 1/2 cups of soda water or carbonated water, ice cold

3/4 cup of corn starch

1/2 cup of mayonnaise

1/2 cup of walnuts

1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk

4 tbs. of local honey, divided in 2 and 2

1 tbs. of sesame seeds

4 tsp. of baking powder

2 tsp. of kosher salt

1/4 tsp. of powdered ginger

Orange slices for garnish (optional)

Thirty minutes before cooking the shrimp, make the sauce so that it can set up in the refrigerator.  Mix the mayonnaise, orange juice, condensed milk, 2 tbs. of honey, and ginger, thoroughly until well combined.  Chill for 30 minutes, which allows plenty of time to prepare the walnuts.

Toss the walnuts in 2 tbs. of honey, then sprinkle with sesame seeds to coat them.  Bake on a sheet pan lined with foil or a Silpat at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted.

Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer.  In a medium size mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt so that the ingredients are evenly dispersed.  Add the ice-cold soda water and mix thoroughly to make the batter.  Put the 1/2 cup of remaining flower in a separate bowl.  Toss the shrimp 10 at a time, first in the flour and then in the batter; tail on or off is up to you.  Removing the shrimp from the batter in one motion, gently lay in the hot oil one at a time, never more than 10 at once so as not to overcrowd the fryer.  Cook for no longer than 2 minutes or until lightly golden.  Remove with a spider and drain on a towel or several paper towels before transferring to a large bowl

Take the sauce from the fridge and drizzle over the shrimp on the bowl.  Toss, making sure they’re all coated.  Plate with a small handful of walnuts and a few orange slices.

Rogue Honey Kolsch

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

honey kolsch

honey kolsch

Today was super taxing between my two jobs (teaching and helping Zach with catering), so not only was there little time for much more than a beer post, but I earned this treat after a long day of hard work.  The motto of my classroom is a Latin pun: si sapes, sis apes – “if you are wise, be a bee.”  I remind my students of this with encouragement, because bees are hard working, they care about their community, and the reward for their efforts is pretty sweet.  The message translates to the classroom and to life in general.  I have to say that Rogue‘s Honey Kolsch was a very sweet reward for this busy bee.  Over 100 bee colonies neighbor 40 acres of Rogue hops and their honey is used in part for this beer, and thus it is a delightful tribute to honor the bee.  Light, crisp, and with faint honey flavor, at 4.9% ABV and 26 IBU, this is very easy to sip and enjoy.   With no preservatives, no additives, no chemicals, and only ten ingredients, it tastes as natural as a beer can taste.

Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew Ale

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

honey dew 003

It had been many years since the last time I shopped at Whole Foods market, at least well before Zach and I met.  Either I forgot, or I never realized, how extensive the beer selection is.  We went the other day and it was his first time at a Whole Foods so he was impressed by everything, but for me I was mesmerized looking at the myriad of bottles.  Amidst the scores, the bright label of Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew caught my attention.  It is very light and refreshing, yet still with just a hint of a bite.  This 5% ABV and 19 IBU ale reminds me of European Budweiser – by that I mean it is very easy to sip and almost sweet, but a teensy bit spiced.  Served super cold, I imagine this would be a great summer brew.