Guts. Guts, an American word, a weird word that says so much but sounds and looks ugly.
An intrinsic word, indelicate, it’s meaning lost on no one. A good parent or writer needs guts. AKA— courage, pluck, or a high aptitude for risk.
I have guts. I say I’m a risk taker, without the poker face or habit. I’ve gambled— going for happiness in the short term—following my passion. How many times I’ve lost, I don’t count. I look at my life and risk has paid. I’ve played —and prayed. The Jackpot enough to keep me risking— winning and losing, scared, but never afraid to play the game.
I will gamble—gamble on a child, a man, a friendship, a business, the market, a house, a book, a poem, a recipe, you, me.
I gambled on this recipe. It’s a lot of puff, fluff and a little stuff. A crowd pleaser hors d’oeuvre. Worthy of the complicated word.
This recipe is inspired by The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen.
24 (about 1 pound) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red onion, diced
¾ cup frozen peas
2 lemons, juiced, and the zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For 24 Sacques;
16 sheets (about ½ box) dairy-free frozen phyllo dough, thaw overnight or 2 hours at room temperature
¾ cup Earth balance, melted
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup finely chopped fresh thyme
⅓ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet place shrimp, onion. In a small bowl mix lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil and pepper. Drizzle Lemon mixture over shrimp and red onion. With your hands, toss the shrimp and onions to thoroughly coat.
Roast in middle rack of oven about 8 minutes. Set aside.
Steam peas about 1 minute, drain. Set aside.
Make the Sacques:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Unroll the dough and lay 1 sheet flat on work surface; rewrap the dough you’re not working with parchment and a damp clean cloth over it to keep from drying out.
Use a pastry brush to brush the entire surface of the sheet with melted Earth Balance; and repeat for 3 layers. Seasoning the surface of every other layer with chopped thyme, parsley and ground pepper.
Use a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 6 (4½ inch) squares.
Place a shrimp, onion mix and a tablespoon of peas in the center of each square.
Draw up edges of phyllo squares to create a rough sacque.
Gently twist the sacque above the shrimp, and create frill on top.
Tie with kitchen string, elongate gently (it settles in baking) and brush entire sacque with melted Earth Balance.
Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until well browned.
Repeat for the next batch.
Meanwhile, blanch the chives for 1minute in boiling water, then cool.
When sacques are baked, carefully remove string and tie a chive in its place.
“Play as often as possible, experience is the best teacher.” John Scarne