gingerYou probably already know that this is ginger root.

Ugly little spud, isn’t it?

I post about it because last Friday was the first time I’ve ever had any direct culinary dealings with one of these things.  And as I worked with it, I couldn’t shake the notion that it looked like the diabolical creature that held Planet Theta Upsalon V in its thrall, waiting for the moment when Captain Kirk was busy getting to know the scantily-clad green-skinned babes that loitered about the planet’s seemingly Paradisical setting, so that it could suddenly leap out from behind a rocky ledge, get rid of a couple of Red Shirts and start eating Spock’s brain.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on whether I was to be cast in the Kirk, Spock or Red Shirt role), nothing of this sort occurred in my kitchen.

I was gingering up in preparation for trying out Mrs. P’s shrimp recipe.  And I can tell you that this recipe was an instant success at the Port Swiller’s House, enjoying a solid 4 to 1 endorsement.  (An 80% success is awfully good at the PSH.  The lone dissenter, the nine year old, said to me, “Weeeeell, Dad, you know I’m not really into seafood that much.”  What about the rice, I asked.  “Weeeeell, Dad,” she said, “I don’t really like rice, either.”  Weeeeeell, too bad.  The dish is yummy, easy and Friday-friendly, so it goes into the reportoire.  The gel can eat saltines for all I care.)

In response to my previous post announcing my intention to try the dish, something of a discussion brewed up in the comments about the proper way to go about grating ginger root.   Resident chef Boy Named Sous recommended that one freeze the ginger beforehand, thus making it easier to grate.   Sistah said that when she had tried this, it just came out slimy.

Not knowing this trick, I grated mine at room temp.  It certainly came out moist, which made me awfully glad I had decided to grate it into a bowl.  At the end, I had a pretty respectable amount of ginger juice in the bowl, which I simply went ahead and added into the sauce.  As I say, the whole thing was quite tasty.

This leads me to another question about ginger root, though.  Before grating, I peeled mine like one would a carrot.  Was this wrong or right?  Did this save me from having bits of nasty ginger skin gritting in my rice, or were my instincts incorrect, thereby depriving me of the opportunity of an even more flavorful experience than I actually had?

Most importantly, did my stripping the ginger of its outer self deprive it of the power to fill my kitchen with scantily-clad green alien babes in order to put me off my guard while it started to tuck into brains?

The world wonders.