Originally posted on August 13, 2012
WAS away from home for four days last week. No, of course I wasn’t on a media trip. Not at the height of the heavy Southwest Monsoon rains. My husband Raff and I were stranded away from home because the flooded streets that led home from our office in Makati kept us from reaching our house in Cainta last Monday night. Since the heavy rains carried on for the next couple of days, any attempt on our part to get home on Tuesday and Wednesday proved to be futile. Just when I thought the rains were finally letting up and we would finally be able to get home on Thursday, the Monsoon unleashed its fury one more time and kept us hanging on our toes one more day (and night). Sigh!
Finally, the rains stopped, and we were able to drive home on relatively dry roads on Friday night. There was so much to do at home after being away – against my will – for four days. Thank God the floods didn’t get inside the house, as they did during Typhoon Ondoy back in 2009, but there was still so much to do, and one of the things that I had to attend to was rummaging through the ref and freezer. During the whole time that we were away, I kept in touch with our neighbor to find out what was happening at homebase. I tell you, it was such a relief to know the floods along our street were only gutter-deep, in contrast to the deep floods that rendered the main road unpassable for days. I’ve been told our electrical supply was cut from Tuesday night to Thursday night, and so I knew the ref, especially the freezer, needed my immediate and undivided attention. So, I rummaged through the freezer, threw away what needed to be thrown away after two days of being ‘un-frozen,’ and salvaged what could be salvaged. I was so thankful that the relatively big shrimps that I had bought just the Saturday prior to the Great Monsoon Flood were still OK, but I didn’t want to keep them too long in the freezer afterwards, so I bought some asparagus and cooked them into Chili Shrimps and Asparagus.
Chili Shrimps and Asparagus is a dish that I learned from Chef Dianne dela Cruz of Knorr. She featured it in a cooking demonstration sponsored by Knorr when the magazine that I work for, FLAVORS Magazine, staged the ninth edition of its annual culinary competition among schools, FLAVORS Culinary Challenge 2012, at the Annex Atrium of SM City Fairview last March. It seemed easy to prepare, and since I love both shrimps and asparagus, the combination was unbeatable. And it was. I didn’t have trouble whipping up the dish. I even paired it with my own experimental recipe, Carrot and Basil Fried Rice, and Raff and I had a great lunch. Oh, I tell you, it felt so good to be having a great lunch at home after days of being ‘homeless refugees’ (*redundancy intended to stress my point).
2 tbsps. butter
8 pcs. asparagus (or more!)
½ kg. shrimps, shelled and deveined
1 pack Knorr All-in-One + Meaty Seasoning
¾ cup water
2 pcs. red chili, sliced
2 tbsps. sesame oil
2 tsps. cornstarch
1 tbsp. water
white sugar to taste
chili sauce to taste
1. In a pan, sauté garlic in butter then add asparagus. Continue sautéeing until asparagus is half-cooked.
2. Add shrimps and Knorr All-in-One + Meaty Seasoning. Stir well.
3. Lower heat, then pour in water. Add white sugar, chili sauce, red chili and sesame oil.
4. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tbsp. water, then add to pan and stir well.
5. Simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened and shrimps are cooked.
6. Serve hot.
Recipe: Chef Dianne dela Cruz of Knorr
Food prep, styling & photography: Dolly Dy-Zulueta