First I made a sauce with peanut butter, brown sugar, fish sauce, coconut milk, Korean chile pepper, lime zest, and ginger. I remembered how delicious the apple salad was from the time I made Lisa Fernandez' strip steak, and wanted to do a simpler riff on that. I didn't have apple juice to make an apple reduction, so I used a caramel sauce instead. We had a jar of good-quality caramel in the fridge, so I warmed some up and added the juice of half a lime and a squirt of fish sauce. This I tossed with two Granny Smith apples, cut into batons. (Next time, I would cut them into matchsticks. In the brownish caramel sauce, they looked too much like french fries.)
Finally, I marinated a pound of colossal shrimp in one clove of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of veg oil, and a splash of soy for 20 minutes. These went into a hot sauté pan for about 5-7 minutes, until cooked through.
I put a puddle of peanut sauce on the bottom of the plate and used a ring mold to make a base of rice. On this I put a handful of apple salad. Around the rice went some shrimpies. To add color and some oniony bite, I garnished the dish with some chopped scallion and sliced shallot.
Mr Minx mixed up some cocktails with some leftover coconut milk, banana nectar, lime juice, and rum.
The dish was a big success. The salty/sweet/earthy peanut sauce was a perfect foil for the garlicky shrimp and jasmine rice, and the tart apple salad with a hint of sweetness was refreshing against the richness of the seafood and sauce. The banana colada was a nice tropical touch.
I guarantee I wouldn't have been "chopped" for creating this dish, and I definitely plan on making it again.