Sweet and Sour Shrimp Lettuce Wraps - Wok cooking is the original one pan meal. It's all about layering with the basic cooking order of: long cooking veggies, short cooking veggies, protein, aromatics and finishing ingredients. Today we get the wok smoking with some high temp sesame oil then add in 2 diced carrots and 2 diced celery stalks. Stir fry for about 2-3 minutes until just starting to soften.
Give those a minute stirring constantly then add in the shrimp.
Stir these constantly too for about a minute until they turn orange. Lastly we add a small can of chopped water chestnuts, 1 small finely diced jalapeño, a couple cloves of crushed garlic and some fresh ground ginger. Stir well until heated through, finish with a splash or two of soy sauce and the whole kitchen will smell like garlic and ginger, then remove from heat.
As the filling is keeping warm we can knock out the dipping sauce which just consists of 1/4 cup sweet chile sauce, a couple of tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and a few squirts each of sriracha and sesame oil. Whisk well then top with sesame seeds.
To serve we wash some leaves of Bibb lettuce then scoop some of the filling on top. These get plated on a platter with plenty of dipping sauce on the side. These were light as can be but still bursting with flavor.
Stone Pale Ale - We were somewhat shocked that we hadn't yet featured this semi-flagship beer from the mighty Stone Brewing yet. Their pale ale pours a copper colored ale that is crystal clear with a good amount of effervescence. The head is white and thin yet sturdy, the aroma is malt-heavy with a little hoppiness there too. The first sips hit with a hop bite right away followed by a smoky sweetness only to finish again with a hoppy burn. Adding to the layers of flavor is a fruity yet subtle apricot smoothness. All of this flavor combined with a medium mouthfeel makes for a pretty full bodied pale ale that worked amazingly well with the super light lettuce wraps.
Bedroom Rehab Corp. "Fortunate Some" - The dynamic heavy psych duo from Connecticut known as Bedroom Rehab Corp are back at it with their crowning jewel "Fortunate Some". It's a four song dark and doomy trip that kicks off with "Riddles of Wind and Time" and alternates between Electric Wizard's low end sludge and High on Fire's intense heaviness. The best track on the album, which was also the teaser track that had us chomping at the bit to get our hands on the full release, is the heavy, angst-ridden "When All You've Got is a Hammer". Fitting title as that's exactly what your head feels like it was hit with when that first note of the bass drops. That same bass also digs into a super sludgy groove that keeps the listener just as locked in as the groove itself. Add to all of that huge drums and a chorus that you'll be singing at the top of your lungs for days and you've got an absolutely killer track. "Giants in the Ice" starts off with a wall of sound that somewhat quickly dissapates into a gelatinous mound of low end sludge. The album ends with the dark and proggy "The Serpent the Smiler" which also has its fair share of grunginess to it. It's a great release and one that we've been spinning constantly lately.