Last night, my day’s lack of integrity caught up with me. My sluggish vibes took over my writing assignments and even the day was calling it ‘a day’. To top it off, I was about to dial a pizza for dinner but then realized that I was giving myself just one more reason to beat myself –up tomorrow. I got up to cook.
Foraging around in my fridge and freezer, there was very little but frozen shrimp and some rock solid brioche slices. My husband always teases me for being miserly when I freeze left over bread (lessons from my grandmother and later from my mother-in-law)– well, here’s my ‘told you so’ moment, you really just never know when these ingredients would come as saviors on a sparse day. I decided to make butter-toasted brioche with shrimp patties smooshed over the top.
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Just the vision of this dish got me over that hump I was experiencing. This was an exciting dish born out of a guilt-driven moment and all of a sudden, I could see nothing but opportunity in my refrigerator to make this taste great!! In to my shrimp mixture went a splash of lemon juice, some micro-plane grated lemon zest and ginger, green chilies, cilantro and a touch of cumin. The hot toast was then blobbed with coriander-spiked mayo, shrimp patties broken over the top and a hit of some tomato chutney I had in the fridge.
All I can tell you is that the lychee-sweet shrimp (lightly caramelized on the outside and steamed from the inside) on toasty-yet snuggly eggy-bread with hits of chili and creaminess, will pull anyone out of a momentary low.
1 ½ lbs. medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, and chopped in to small pieces
1/4 cup mayonnaise
¼ grated onion
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp. green chili, minced
¼ cup cilantro, finely cut
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry bread crumbs for dredging and 1 tbsp. for burger mixture
4 slices of Brioche bread
Butter (to butter brioche bread)
Pinch of coriander powder
2 tbsp. mayo
½ tsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Combine shrimp, mayonnaise, grated onion, 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
green chili, cilantro, finely cut, lemon zest, breadcrumbs and salt and freshly ground black pepper
2) Heat the oil on medium/high in a non-stick pan
3) Spread 1 cup of breadcrumbs on a plate. Divide the shrimp mixture in to 4 balls and press down in the breadcrumbs to form patties. Coat the other side.
4) Fry until golden. Cover the pan with a lid when cooking the second side to cook the shrimp through
Combine the coriander powder, mayo, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Butter the sliced brioche loaf and toast on a pan on both sides, spread lightly with coriander mayo and serve with burger (as a patty or a little crumbled and deconstructed)
Saira Malhotra, is of British–Indian descent and is a chef, food writer and cooking instructor based in New York City. Raised in Hounslow, U.K, or rather ‘Little India’, where the air is aromatic with roasted spices, little did Saira know these moments would follow her from being a student in France and Italy to residing in NYC with her husband and kids and parlay themselves unexpectedly in to a culinary career. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. Come visit her at her food blog: www.passportpantry.com where she shares approachable and international recipes