By Isa Covo
2020 should have been a great year. We talk of 20/20 vision, well this year it was certainly lacking. The government was aware of COVID’s existence since late 2019 but did not consider it as contagious as it turned out to be. Even the medical establishment did not realize the danger to the general public, they thought that only those dealing directly with the patients, the doctors, nurses, hospital and other health care workers were at risk, and since PPE, including masks were in short supply, they asked the public to refrain from buying them.
The seriousness of the situation soon became apparent and towards the end of March the country was on lockdown. Except for some essential venues and businesses.
When it appeared that we had a certain control over the Corona Virus, some venues were able to open, albeit some with restrictions, and life seemed to be in the path of becoming normal again. Unfortunately for some states, the situation worsened, and they are backtracking. In many states it is caused by the refusal of some people to wear masks and, in some cases, to keep social distancing.
If the President had followed the recommendations of the medical experts to wear a mask and encourage others by his example to wear a mask and follow all other pertinent rules, we would have been in a better situation. It was truly embarrassing to watch the President’s interview with Chris Wallace. If you have not seen it, you can watch it on YouTube.
The virus was not the only serious situation that plagued our summer: The death of Mr. Floyd gave rise to protests, sometimes violent, but also justified, with demands for changes to police force conduct.
Mr. Trump, by his example of brashness, exaggerations, lies, and lack of civility, has encouraged conduct that probably existed already to some degree, but is now even more prevalent.
Sauteed Shrimp with Tequila
I like this dish because of its complex but well blended flavors. It is also relatively easy and quick to make once the ingredients are assembled. Mint, called in Spanish hierbabuena is often used in Mexican cuisine, a remnant from the flavors of Spain. Cilantro is more common now, and if you prefer it you can certainly replace it with cilantro.
- 16 to 20 large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium red onion cut in half lengthwise and then cut into thin half-moons
- 1 medium green bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into thin strips
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, cored and seeded, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of mint leaves (or one
- tablespoon of mint and 1 tablespoon
- of parsley leaves for a milder taste)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup of tequila
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ripe avocadoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- Pico de Gallo (optional)
- Warmed flour or corn tortillas and/or plain boiled rice, as accompaniment
In a pan large enough to contain the shrimp in one layer, or use two pans, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the sliced onion. Cook stirring until the onion becomes soft and translucent, about six minutes Add the bell pepper, the minced jalapeno and the garlic, and continue cooking and stirring until the bell pepper strips soften somewhat and are heated through, about three to four additional minutes. Salt and pepper the mixture.
Add the shrimp and cook, turning them once, until they become opaque and turn pink, about three minutes. Lower the heat and add the tequila. At this point, if you wish, after placing the tequila bottle at a safe distance, using a match, or tilting the pan slightly, if cooking on a gas stove, ignite the tequila, but it is not necessary. Shake the pan, away from the heat, until the flames die down. You may also choose to simply boil down the alcohol for one minute.
Stir in the chopped mint, or the mixture of mint and parsley, and the lime juice. Keep warm.
Arrange four avocado wedges, fan-like, on each of four plates.
Place four or five shrimp, accordingly, in the center of each plate and cover with some of the vegetable mixture and the juices.
If used, place a tablespoon of Pico de Gallo next to the avocado wedges on each plate. Serve with the tortillas or rice.
Note: for the Pico de Gallo in this recipe,
replace the cilantro with chopped parsley.