Going the vegetarian route with a new Libby’s dish.
By Judi Gallagher
How did it get to be November? I might be dwelling on this, but seriously—was it not just 92 degrees with high humidity just a few days ago? Was I not just obsessing on whether our Halloween candy would melt before I was able to put it outside? Surely there were no turkeys available other than frozen solids in the freezer section just the other day—and when did the now-infamous Publix Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers appear on store shelves for their annual holiday display? Yup, it’s definitely mid-November.
Many local restaurants have changed their menus to reflect the season. Libby’s Café + Bar just rolled out a new fall menu that features hearty steaks and, my favorite, dishes with Asian flair.
I really loved Libby’s new vegetarian trio. Now, I am a true carnivore—definite descendant of the cavewoman. Bring on a 2-lb. Porterhouse steak, medium rare, and a big steak knife! But honestly, I really loved the trio, which had a Santa Fe black bean tarta with pico, a Sicilian grilled eggplant cake with balsamic garlic “candy,” and a classic truffled Portobello and goat cheese torte. In fact, don’t tell my meat-loving friends, but I’ll definitely be ordering it as my appetizer next time I’m at Libby’s.
Chef Fran Casciato’s rock shrimp fried rice.
My favorite is their new honey wasabi barbecued mahi. Not only is the fish tender and moist, the shrimp fried rice topped with tempura vegetable presentation served in a takeout Chinese container, is absolutely whimsical. Since we have yet to get a decent Chinese restaurant in our neck of the woods, Libby’s will actually pack this up to go. But if you like to cook, I was fortunate enough to get Chef Fran Casciato’s recipe for this new favorite.
LIBBY’S ROCK SHRIMP FRIED RICE
YIELD 4-5 PORTIONS
3/4 POUND CLEAN ROCK SHRIMP
1 TABLESPOON SESAME OIL
3 TABLESPOONS BLENDED OIL
2 TABLESPOONS PICKLED GINGER, SMALL, ROUGH CHOP
½ CUP PLUM SAUCE
4 EGGS, BEATEN
½ CUP EACH VEGETABLE THINLY SLICED (RED PEPPER, SNOW PEA, RED ONION, SCALLION, NAPA CABBAGE, CARROT)
3 CUPS PRE-COOKED, CHILLED WHITE RICE
1. HEAT A LARGE SAUTE PAN, ADD OILS AND ALLOW TO HEAT.
2. ADD GINGER AND SHRIMP. COOK OVER HIGH HEAT 2-3 MINUTES.
3. ADD VEGETABLES AND COOK 2 MINUTES MORE, JUST ’TIL AL DENTE. ADD RICE TO THE PAN AND COOK FOR 1 MINUTE.
4. PUSH SHRIMP AND RICE/VEGGIE MIXTURE TO THE TOP OF THE SAUTE PAN, ADD EGGS AND BEGIN TO SCRAMBLE ON THE LOWER HALF OF THE PAN.
5. WHEN THE EGGS ARE SCRAMBLED COMBINE ALL THE INGREDIENTS IN THE PAN AND COOK FOR 1 MINUTE. STIR IN PLUM SAUCE.