Saturday, June 4, 2011

IACP Conference and a Recipe for Garlic Shrimp by Rick Bayless

If you live in Austin, then you've probably heard of the International Association of Culinary Professions (IACP) conference that has been taking place at the Hilton this week. I had the opportunity to volunteer for a couple of days and was able to meet a lot of fun people! Culinary heroes from around the country were present for this conference, so it was quite a sight to see! 

I apologize in advance for the completely horrible pictures in this post. Seriously atrocious, but you get an idea of what I saw at least.

Throughout the conference, I saw famous and influential people of the food world like Rick Bayless and Penny De Los Santos-
Dorie Greenspan-
Shirley Corriher (suuuchhh a bad picture, I know!)-
Ellie Krieger-
I also snagged a picture of her when I was standing behind her at a cookbook fair and sampling event.
Jacques Pepin-
And white house pastry chef, Bill Yosses.
There were so many other people there that went unpictured that it would be impossible to name them all. Some included Diana Kennedy, Martin Yan, and Kim Severson.

I also enjoyed great food at the Culinary Expo that all went undocumented. All except my first bite, then I got lazy :P
From the Idaho Potato Commission- beef and vegetable stew with potato foam and crisp purple potato chip.
All the food was amazing I couldn't help but sample nearly everything! You could say I left thoroughly stuffed (: 
Another thing I took a picture of was the adorable mini pies they served at a gala event.
They had peach with a brown sugar topping-
Custard with raspberry and whipped cream garnish-
And pecan with a dark chocolate ganache topping (my favorite)-
And the cutest thing? Pre-scooped vanilla bean ice cream to put on top!
Again, I apologize for not taking a bunch of photos of all the goodies and swag from the Culinary Expo (seriously, largest Expo I have ever seen...) but if I had this post would have never ended! :P

I loved volunteering, helping people out, and meeting other local bloggers and food lovers! Its nice when basically whoever you talk to loves food just as much as you do.

In honor of one of the chefs present at the Expo, I would like to share a absolutely wonderful recipe from Rick Bayless that I made ages ago but never posted. I could eat this dish again and again; it's amazing! 

It's basically shrimp cooked very quickly in a delicious and spicy garlic-infused olive oil. Yummm.
Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo (Shrimp with Garlic)
by Rick Bayless
3/4 cup garlic clove, peeled (about 2 large heads of garlic)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
The juice of 1 lime
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and cut into thin strips (canned)
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional) 

1. Chop garlic into 1/8 inch bits. Scoop into a saucepan, measure in the oil and ½ tsp. salt, and set over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally as the mixture comes barely to a simmer. Adjust the heat to the very lowest possible setting to keep mixture at very gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft and pale golden, about 30 minutes.

2. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime into the pan and simmer until most of the juice has evaporated or been absorbed into the garlic, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chiles, then taste and add more salt as needed. Keep pan on low heat. Cut remaining limes into wedges and reserve.

3. De-vein shrimp. Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spoon in 1 ½ Tbsps. of oil, but not the garlic, from the garlic mixture (the mojo). Add half the shrimp to the skillet, sprinkle generously with salt, then stir gently and continuously until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cilantro or parsley; set aside. Repeat with remaining half of shrimp and another 1 ½ Tbsps. of garlicky oil.

4. To serve: Scoop out warm bits of garlic and chiles from pan and spoon them over the shrimp. Serve with lime wedges. 
Though the cooking of the shrimp is lightening fast (especially the tiny ones I got), the oil does take some time so you have to account for that.

I made a small batch (only 1/2 pound of shrimp and 1/2 the amount of garlic oil) because it was just me and my dad. 

I had this perfect rice to serve it with; a "Santa Fe" whole grain medley by Uncle Ben's.
 Ready in seconds and bursting with flavor! I really liked this one (we got a variety pack from Costco) but it was too salty. Go figure from pre-flavored rice, though! It had brown rice, red and white wheat, black beans, corn, peppers, cilantro, and seasonings. Perfect to pair with the shrimp :D
 I used some of the leftover delicious garlic oil to roast a couple brussel sprouts sprinkled with kosher salt for the side. That oil has found its way into almost everything I make! (The recipe makes a lot, but the oil keeps forever in the refrigerator.)
 All together!
 Perfect meal. Thanks Rick Bayless :P
I'll be in Arkansas for the next couple of days so I won't be able to blog. Driving up there won't be fun (9 hour drive) but I'm excited for student orientation at the University of Arkansas! Soon I'll be living there...crazy!  

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