Each year, for Christmas, Zach's brother Scott creates a culinary present for everyone. Last year, for example, Scott made beautifully decorated jars of garlic jam, which was absolutely transcendental as a glaze for roasted pork tenderloin, baked tempeh, or roasted veggies. I'm always eager to discover Scott's annual creation, and this year he presented us with two beautiful bottles of chili oil! Even more fabulous, the night before New Years he treated us to a demonstration on how to fix his favorite tapas dish with the chili oil, and in the process cooked us an amazing supper - chili garlic shrimp, perfectly paired with a loaf of crusty, rustic whole wheat bread and some steamed broccoli. As much as I love shrimp, I'm quite convinced that this dish will be equally heavenly with cubed firm tofu, or slices of eggplant, both of which are perfectly poised to absorb the explosive flavors of the chili oil and sauteed garlic...
Chili Garlic Shrimp or Tofu
1/2 cup chili oil (the chili oil Scott made is a Spanish-style chili oil, with smoked paprika) 1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined OR 1 lb firm tofu, cut into 1" cubes 4 cloves garlic, minced Juice from half a lemon Crusty whole grain bread, for dipping
~ In a large skillet, heat the chili oil, then add the shrimp or tofu and the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp is cooked through or the tofu is heated through. ~ Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. ~ Serve warm, in a bowl, with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the gloriously spicy sauce!