And now, a little fusion
Despite my comment on fusions back in the Shepherd’s Pie entry, I really don’t hate on anyone who does it. Pretty much everything creative in life came about from taking several ideas and fusing them into a new idea. It’s like when you take eggs, flour, sugar, and milk, and end up with a beautiful cake. Sometimes the new “fusion culture” of food does make it difficult for one to learn the ethnic origins of certain dishes, but they do give many a lot of new options to try.
This recipe came about from this thinking. Zuzana has limited her diet to remove red meat, pork, and chicken; so the only proteins she will allow herself are seafood, legumes, and some soy (tofu). Not wanting to spend her life eating chopped raw vegetables and plain cooked food, she took it upon herself one day and came up with this very yummy creation. It’s shrimp, but cooked and seasoned in a way similar to the cuisine of her native Slovakia.
Now you can get shrimp in Slovakia in the present day, but shrimp wasn’t a normal food found in Slovakia’s past. The technique is similar to many Asian shrimp dishes and even some Italian sautéed dishes. So I give her the credit totally for this one.
One interesting thing to note also is we’re going to be using a seasoning blend known over much of Central Europe – Vegeta. Vegeta is a blend of dried vegetables and seasonings found mostly in the ethnic sections of grocery stores or anywhere you can buy imported goods from Central Europe. If you can’t find Vegeta in your neck of the woods, then check the spices aisle for a “21 Seasoning Mix”, which is similar. I would forewarn though to be careful on how much you use, because it can make a dish very salty.
Zuzana’s Slovak Shrimp
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 medium-size onion, diced
- 1 lb of shrimp
- 2 tsp of Vegeta
- 2 tsp of paprika
- 1 tsp of oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok on medium heat.
- When oil is hot, place the onions in and cook them until they start to brown.
- Add shrimp, Vegeta, paprika, and oregano to the pan and stir.
- Cook shrimp until hot and liquids become more saucy in texture.
If you seemingly have a lot of liquid from the shrimp, then I suggest either pouring out some liquid or pouring some of the liquid into a cup with a tbsp of cornstarch. Stir the cornstarch with liquid and then add back into the pan to thicken.
Zuzana likes this dish by itself, but I prefer it on top of rice or even pasta.