Chef Karen and I have really been enjoying the new show, The Taste, airing on ABC, so we decided to have a little competition of our own. The challenge: make one appetizer in under 1 hour, to fit on one spoon, with The Taste being the focal point. The secret ingredient: cardamom.
Chef Karen: I decided to add cardamom to rice to create something. I cooked some Jasmine rice and then added salt and pepper, a bit of olive oil and the cardamom (powder) – all to taste. I laid a spinach leaf on the spoon and then plated the rice on top of it with a slice of cucumber and a dash of soy sauce. It turned out to be very good – and a nice refreshing appetizer.
Chef Jonathan: For my appetizer, I decided to make Deep-fried Shrimp with Cardamom-Infused Aioli. For the shrimp, I took my peeled, deveined, shrimp (tails on), and did a three step dredge: in the first bowl I mixed flour, salt & pepper and paprika to taste. In the second bowl, 3 eggs with a splash of milk to lighten it, and in the final bowl, bread crumbs with salt & pepper. Once shrimp is dredged, drop into a deep fryer, set to 375 F, and shrimp will only take 30 secs to 1 minute to fry. Place on a plate lined with paper towel, and leave to cool. For the aioli, I placed my cardamom in a food processor, and pulsed until the pods open to reveal the seeds inside. Whisk 2 eggs in a large bowl, add minced garlic as desired (I added 10 cloves), whisk in 1 C EVOO in a steady stream, mix in 2-3 T lemon juice, and season with salt & pepper to taste. The shrimp goes so well with the aioli, I think they were made for each other, enjoy!