French Fridays with Dorie: Shrimp and cellophone noodles

around my french table french firdays with dorie shrimp and cellophone noodles

Gotta say that this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Shrimp with cellophane noodles, p 322) was a momentous occasion. Yes indeed. The first of one hundred some recipes that I truly think didn’t really work. I mean it didn’t taste *bad* per se, but it was very very odd.

The basic premise is a rice noodle dish, topped with shrimp in an Asian tomato sauce. Yes, that’s right: Asian. Tomato. Even reading the recipe it didn’t sound quite right. Let alone with 2 CUPS of tomato purée…  The basic mix (sans purée) smelled great – five spice powder, cayenne and a little sugar with some shrimp, mushrooms, garlic and onion.  That would have been perfect over cellophane noodles tossed in a little sesame oil.

But wait – just when you think you’re done, here comes two CUPS of tomato purée. I did not add 2 cups as after the 1st it looked way too saucy. I can’t imagine how sloppy it would have been with 2 cups. Dearest Dorie, surely that’s a typo?  A couple of tablespoons, maybe even a quarter cup just to make a small amount of sauce maybe? But 2 cups? Surely not.  When I served it, I poured off a lot of the sauce to make it a little more palatable (also, I  was having a fridge drawer malfunction at the time so my noodles were slightly overcooked so didn’t need extra sauce on top of gloopy noodles) and it was *OK* tasting but definitely not the best Dorie dish… {sorry}

shrimp and cellophone noodles dorie greenspan around my french table french fridays with dorie

Next time I will omit the tomato purée altogether for a truly Asian dish. Not one which tasted like Italian masquerading as Asian…

French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs (this week, though you can find the recipe here) rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself then join us here!


, , , , , , ,

44 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Shrimp and cellophone noodles

  1. Liz January 25, 2013 at 06:25 #

    Yup, I thought the tomatoes were out of place…I used diced rather than pureed, but I like your idea of omitting them completely.

  2. Cher January 25, 2013 at 08:25 #

    Oh, Mardi, you are too kind.
    Next time, I will save my puree for making Sunday sauce & meatballs. This one was a wreck for me. I will chalk it up to an educational experience.

  3. Elaine January 25, 2013 at 09:10 #

    You said it perfectly Mardi. I really thought this would be a great dish – it wasn’t awful, but it just didn’t work.

  4. Maggie January 25, 2013 at 09:37 #

    I thought 2 cups seemed like a lot too so I just fudged it a little – sorry this was a stinker but next month looks good!

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2013 at 18:54 #

      I still think no tomatoes is the best way to go for this…

  5. Marina@Picnic at Marina January 25, 2013 at 10:09 #

    Two cups of tomato sauce sounds good to me but then I was raised on tomatoes, and it is one of my favorite fruit/vegetable. My friends give me tomato on a vine as a birthday present, so I am no judge here. I’ll eat it! 🙂

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2013 at 18:54 #

      Well you can’t possibly say that just because you like tomatoes that it will make this dish work. It totally did not “go” with this dish…

  6. A Couple in the Kitchen January 25, 2013 at 11:29 #

    Not that we’ll be making this recipe again, but if we were, we’d leave those crazy tomatoes (2 cups?!?!) out for sure. Glad we weren’t the only ones who didn’t love it!

  7. Sara January 25, 2013 at 12:04 #

    I cannot thank you enough for the heads-up you gave us about the tomato puree! It seems like a tragedy to dump all that tomato over that delicious combo of shrimp and mushrooms. I thought the flavor was fine with a limited amount of tomato. I admit, it is pretty, though, with the red on the white, but that just makes it feel even more Italian. A very strange experience!

  8. Colette @ JFF! January 25, 2013 at 12:30 #

    The tomato was the first thing I noticed, actually. Looks yummy!

  9. Susan January 25, 2013 at 12:33 #

    Luckily, I had read the P&Q, so I left out the puree. We tossed in a diced tomato to keep the flavor without the mess. Truly, I think Dorie should have us Doristas test the recipes for her next book. This one clearly slipped through the cracks!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Diane Balch January 25, 2013 at 12:41 #

    Yes, it is shocking. I would agree this was the first truly bad recipe… thought if you omit the tomato puree it’s delicious. Maybe it was a typo.

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2013 at 18:52 #

      I can’t believe the ingredient is a typo but the amount, yes…

  11. Cakelaw January 25, 2013 at 16:23 #

    Oh no! I was ok with the puree because I think I had slightly less sauce than the recipe required and slightly more mushrooms and noodles, so it all worked out in the wash.

  12. Tammy January 25, 2013 at 16:55 #

    I wouldn’t say it was a truly bad recipe, but it should definitely go back to the test kitchen for revision…especially where the tomato puree is concerned. I only used 1/4 cup, enough to take on the flavors of the spices and lightly coat the shrimp. I thought it was more Thai or Vietnamese flavored than Chinese although I’m not really sure what origin it actually has, if any! I did enjoy it.

  13. Betsy January 25, 2013 at 17:17 #

    I completely agree that this one was ODD. I did add the whole 2 cups of pureed tomatoes, though I have to say that all those mushrooms absorbed them and my noodle topping was not particularly saucy. It just tasted very flat. I won’t make this again…

  14. Mr. Neil January 25, 2013 at 17:57 #

    Please don’t make this again.

    No wine recommendation.

  15. Margaret January 25, 2013 at 23:20 #

    Italian dressed as Asian. What a cute Halloween idea!! But not with food. I also loved the fragrance UNTIL we added the tomato. Nope, didn’t work for me either!!!

  16. Alice January 26, 2013 at 06:59 #

    If you added the sesame oil to the noodles and THEN mixed in the tomato puree, then it would have tasted different. those two flavors really come together and make something new. It’s really easy to overcook these noodles and if you let them sit out of water, they cling together and make themselves change in texture all together…

    • Mardi Michels January 26, 2013 at 07:47 #

      Hi Alice, I did actually do that as per the recipe but we just didn’t think it worked. Apparently we were not the only ones 😉

  17. Mary Hirsch January 26, 2013 at 10:09 #

    You and I were obviously in the same kitchen making the same dish and having the same result. Our Posts mimic each other’s thoughts. I LOVE Mr. Neil’s comment. Well said. Briefly. And, to Alice’s comment. I did add the toasted sesame oil to the noodles BEFORE and it didn’t taste any different than anyone elses. It was awful. The whole premise of having an “orange” dinner party was not a good way to think about food, in my opinion. Just sayin’. Mardi, I am going to be in Paris from May 18th to the 26th and want to book as many food experiences as time will permit. Checking out Paris by Mouth and David L. but would like to check in with you about it via e-mail. If you don’t mind. I then will go down to Sanary sur Mer (renting an apartment there) for two weeks where many friends live. I haven’t seen any of them since Michael died, for two years, actually, so we are all looking forward to it. Would you mind giving me some advice?

  18. Teresa January 26, 2013 at 22:30 #

    I’m so glad you posted in the P&Q this week! I skipped the tomato and made a few other changes, too. We enjoyed the results. The sauce really does seem out of place with the rest of the flavours.

    On to February – it looks like a great line up of recipes!

  19. Jamie January 27, 2013 at 04:34 #

    Hmmm it does sound odd. But I do thank you for your honest write up. I would love to see your own version of this dish which sounds like it could be so delicious. And Italian masquerading as Asian? Oooh funny.

  20. Kendra January 27, 2013 at 15:20 #

    This was not what I would really call French cooking….but I did enjoy it! I am one the few 😉

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2013 at 18:45 #

      Definitely not “French” but now cuisine is so multicultural…

  21. Renee January 27, 2013 at 19:02 #

    Agreed. This one was definitely not a winner. But looking forward to next weeks!

    • kathleen January 28, 2013 at 12:37 #

      Yep, I agree! I would do a similar adjustment if I made it again.

  22. Sonya Ramage February 6, 2013 at 20:55 #

    Looks delicious. I wonder how it tastes though. I have never heard of Asian tomato before. Hope it is tastier that the other tomatoes around in the market.

    • Mardi Michels February 7, 2013 at 16:56 #

      It’s not an Asian tomato. It’s an Asian tomato sauce. So yeah, odd!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.