curry-flavor shrimp with sesame rice

Curried Shrimp wth Sesame Rice

It’s been so cold that I decided to cook something hearty but quick and easy. I found this recipe for Sesame Rice Salad in the South Beach Diet cookbook, the blue cover. Since then, I’ve adapted it in some form or another depending on the vegetables I have on hand. One thing I won’t swap is the asparagus. It must have asparagus! Bright green, cooked asparagus is such a pretty contrast in this dish. Though the rice and shrimp are spicy, the crisp-tender asparagus cools the mouth.

Curry-Flavor Shrimp with Sesame Rice

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

20 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, washed and patted dry with paper towels
2 teaspoons curry powder (I recommend Montego, the Jamaican curry powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
8 stalks asparagus, cut in thirds
1/2 cup frozen edamame
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
cooking spray
2 scallions sliced thin on the diagonal
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced fine
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Red pepper flakes, to taste, optional
salt and pepper

Season the shrimp with curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Set aside.

Boil a saucepan of water, lightly salted. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green. Remove from the heat at once, drain, and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

Spray cooking spray in a large skillet. Heat the skillet until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Add the shrimp and cook on one side until no longer pink, 1 minute. Turn and cook on the other side, 1 minute.

Add the frozen edamame and peas to the hot skillet and cook until they are heated through, scraping up the browned bits or fond on the bottom. Add the rice and the cooked asparagus. Toss to combine. In a small bowl, mix the canola oil, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Whisk until the mixture emulsifies. Pour over the rice and toss lightly. Add the scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds. Toss lightly. Add red pepper flakes, if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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grilled shrimp tacos with green apple salsa

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Green Apple Salsa (adapted from myrecipes.com)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 minced Thai chile pepper
8 (6-inch) whole wheat tortillas (recommend: Toufouyan Soft Wheat Tacos)
1 ounce crumbled queso blanco
Tomato Salsa, optional

1. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons lime juice, cumin, paprika, and red pepper in a small bowl. Combine shrimp and spice mixture in a zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Let stand 15 minutes.

2. Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 2 teaspoons juice, onions, 1/8 teaspoon salt, rind, apple, and jalapeño; toss.

3. Remove shrimp from bag; discard marinade. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Arrange half of shrimp in pan; grill 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining shrimp. Toast the tortillas in grill pan, if desired.

4. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates, and divide shrimp evenly among tortillas. Divide salsa evenly among tacos, and top with queso blanco. Pop it under the broiler to slightly melt the cheese. Serve with Tomato Salsa, if desired.

 

all green: grilled pesto shrimp with cucumber relish and roasted vegetables

It’s been so hot in New York. I’ve been getting a lot of use out of the George Foreman grill this summer. It’s small, doesn’t need greasing, and all I do is plug it in. Best of all, it doesn’t heat up the kitchen. I made this pesto shrimp in batches, about 6 per batch. They cooked up tender and juicy in just 3 minutes.

Grilled Pesto Shrimp (adapted from Skinnytaste)

Ingredients

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil (may be less)
1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Skewers

Preparation

In a food processor, put the basil, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper. Process until the basil and cheese are combined. The basil mixture will stick to the sides of the food processor bowl. While the machine is running, pour the oil in a gradual stream down the side of the tube. Stop pouring the olive oil immediately when the basil mixture begins to come together in a paste. Scrape down the side and pulse a few times to mix.

In a small bowl, add the shrimp. Pour the basil-olive oil mixture on the shrimp. Mix to coat thoroughly. Let sit about 30 minutes while you do the vegetable sides.

When I make kabobs, I usually use metal skewers. I decided to grill these in the George Foreman grill without the skewers. It took 3 minutes for the shrimp to become just pink. If you use an outdoor grill, the shrimp will be done in 3-4 minutes on one side. Turn and repeat on the other side.

Serve with roasted vegetables and a simple cucumber relish that’s also great with grilled chicken.

curried cashew shrimp with garlic cilantro rice

I’m in the mood for curries this week! From coconut curried chicken to curried cashew shrimp with garlic cilantro rice, these two recipes demonstrate that curries are savory and versatile accompaniments to just about any meat and vegetable.

INGREDIENTS

For rice
4 teaspoons canola oil,
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 1/4 cups chicken broth or water or enough water to come up to your first knuckle
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using chicken broth)
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

For shrimp
1/4 cup cashew nuts, whole or in pieces
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled
4 teaspoons mild curry powder, such as Madras
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large red or orange sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (e.g. Aroy-D, Chaokoh)
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce

PREPARATION

For rice

Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a 10-inch skillet and add the garlic. Cook 30 seconds until garlic becomes fragrant and golden brown. Add uncooked rice and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a rice cooker. Add salt, if using, and 1 1/2 cups water. Press the button and cook. When the rice is cooked, stir in cilantro just before serving. Set aside on the keep warm feature of the rice cooker.

For shrimp

In a medium bowl, toss shrimp with curry powder, ginger and salt. If cashews are raw, toast nuts in a large skillet over high heat, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Spray a light layer of cooking spray over the cashews. Raise heat to high; add 2 teaspoons canola oil. When the oil is hot, add shrimp, peppers and zucchini. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until shrimp begins to turn pink. Reduce heat to medium; add coconut milk and bring to a slow boil. Cover and simmer until vegetables are soft and shrimp is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes; remove from heat. Slowly incorporate yogurt until a smooth creamy sauce forms. Stir in sugar, and season to taste with fish sauce. Serve with garlic cilantro rice.

Chinese-Trinidadian stir-fried shrimp with rum

I found this rather unique dish on epicurious.com and decided to try it for Sunday dinner. It’s really a variation on Chinese sour-and-sweet dishes except that it is made with dark rum instead of rice vinegar. As a result, it has a mild rather than a pronounced sour flavor. Using a dark rum instead of vinegar is really an inspired idea. It shows how the Chinese adapted their cuisine to include what is locally available, as they did in  Trinidad and Tobago, where they have lived since the early 19th century.

Chinese-Trinidadian Stir-Fried Shrimp with Rum

Ingredients
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined with the tails on
Juice of 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 medium ripe tomato, cut into thin wedges
1 large bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Preparation
1. In a medium bowl toss the shrimp with the lime juice for a few seconds. Rinse the shrimp, drain, and set on a plate lined with paper towels. With more paper towels pat the shrimp dry. In a small bowl combine the ketchup, rum, soy sauce, and ground white pepper. [Cook’s Note: I didn’t have a piece of fresh ginger so I added 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger to the sauce.]

2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the garlic and ginger, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Push the aromatics to the sides of the wok, carefully add the shrimp and spread them evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the shrimp begin to sear. Sprinkle on the salt and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the shrimp begin to turn orange. Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions and stir-fry 1 minute or until the shrimp have turned almost totally orange. Swirl the ketchup mixture into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until the shrimp are just cooked through and the sauce coats the shrimp. Stir in the cilantro.

3. Serve with hot cooked rice and vegetable sides. I recommend steamed green beans lightly sprinkled with kosher salt and pan-roasted asparagus drizzled with lime juice and almond slivers.  And if you can get it, ripe plantains baked in the skin for 15 minutes.

Caribbean island lime shrimp

I have a pet peeve when I talk about the Caribbean.

The word is Car-rib-bee-an, not Ca-rib-bee-an. I’m from the Caribbean but I’ve never had this dish before. Despite its dubious provenance (about.com), I can say that it was not bad at all; unusually sweet, salty, spicy, tart, and sour–which surprises the mouth rather like the first time one eats Pad Thai. One thing I don’t understand is why a recipe calls for alcohol and then notes you can leave it out. Since I don’t drink, I don’t have alcohol on hand, so I was happy to leave it out.

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1/8 cup tequila, about half a mini-bottle (optional)
1 tablespoon Triple Sec or Cointreau orange liqueur, about half a mini-bottle (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 1-1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on for presentation if you wish

PREPARATION:
Measure 1/4 cup olive oil, lime juice, orange juice concentrate, tequila (if using), Triple Sec (if using), cilantro, garlic, sweet onion, curry powder, salt, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, and black pepper into a large zip-top bag. Seal and squish contents to mix. Add shrimp to marinade, squeeze out all the air, and seal. Turn bag to coat shrimp. Refrigerate for 1 hour. (Do not over-marinate or the citrus acids will “cook” the shrimp.)

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat. Remove shrimp from marinade, reserving marinade, and place in a single layer in the hot pan. Cook for 1 minute, then flip the shrimp to the other side. Do not overcook the shrimp or it will become rubbery. Add the reserved marinade to the pan. Cook 1 minute, then remove shrimp and keep warm. Continue cooking the marinade until it reduces two-thirds to a thick sauce. Turn off the heat, return the shrimp to the pan, and toss in the sauce.

Cook’s note: If using medium shrimp (31 per pound), don’t cook for 2 minutes. Cook for 1 minute then remove from the pan. To cook all the shrimp at the same time, and to prevent overcooking, I turned off the heat while putting them in the pan. It’s important to work quickly so don’t be squeamish;  stick your hand in the bag and grab a handful of shrimp and sprinkle them in the oil. That’s why it’s safer with the heat off.

Serve Caribbean Island Lime Shrimp over white rice. Another serving idea, and low calorie too, is to serve it with romaine lettuce leaves. This dish is also good as a room temperature appetizer for parties. I made this dish last night so other good accompaniments are roasted yams (American sweet potato–yam in the Caribbean is a different vegetable), and of course,  the strawberry, spinach, hearts of palm salad.

Yield: 4 servings

shrimp lettuce wraps with pineapple salsa

When I started to make the salsa there was something familiar about it. I had made it before for the September 16th post! I must be losing my mind… Actually, the two recipes in the Light and Healthy cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen (2011) both use a pineapple salsa. Except this one adds jicama to it. I could not find jicama so I chopped up half a green apple and threw it in. If I was in my kitchen in Bangkok, I would have cut up a farang or guava instead. Originally called Shrimp Tacos, this is the low-cal version of a seafood taco: instead of refried beans, this “taco” is accompanied by mashed avocado. America’s Test Kitchen cooks advise you not to let the shrimp marinate for longer than 15 minutes or the acid marinade will begin to “cook” the shrimp and turn them rubbery. To lower the calories of this dish, I substituted iceberg lettuce for the corn tortillas. I liked the taste and the textures of this dish, a symphony of crisp crunchy lettuce, spicy grilled shrimp, and tangy-sweet salsa with avocado in the high notes.

Accompaniment
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
Salt

Using a potato masher, mash the avocado with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice until some chunks remain. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pineapple-Green Apple Salsa
1/2 green apple, cored and stemmed, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (10 oz jicama in original recipe)
10 ounces (1 1/2 cups) fresh pineapple cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1-2 jalapeño chilies, stemmed and minced (remove seeds if you want less heat)
Salt

Combine apple, pineapple, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño in a medium bowl. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Shrimp
I was supposed to heat the spices but since I did not have ground coriander, I made a paste out of chopped fresh cilantro and the remaining spices. I left out the sugar as the purpose of adding it was to caramelize the shrimp, an unnecessary step to me.

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (1 teaspoon ground coriander in original recipe)
3-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (I omit this)
1 1/2 pounds extra large frozen shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined
Iceberg lettuce (12 x 6-inch corn tortillas in original recipe)

In the workbowl of a food processor, combine the cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne and set aside. Scrape the cilantro mixture into a large bowl and set aside.

Butterfly the shrimp. First, remove the shells over the tail, then split the curved back of the shrimp until you can open out both halves but not separate them. Butterflying helps the shrimp to cook faster and more evenly. Put the shrimp in the bowl with the cilantro mixture and toss to coat evenly. Thread the shrimp onto skewers and grill (2-4 minutes) or broil (10 minutes) until the shrimp turns opaque and just pink.

Note:
Serve at once with accompaniment and salsa. I served it with Asian Avocado Salad and in this way used up the large avocado I had bought and the other half of the green apple.

Per serving: Cal 410; Fat 14g; Sat fat 1.5g; Chol 170mg; Carb 45g; Protein 27g; Fiber 8g; Sodium 450mg (will vary because of the substitutions)

shrimp with pineapple salsa

At $11 a pound, salmon for dinner just wasn’t appealing. I decided to adjust this recipe for shrimp, which was a bit more appetizing, pricewise. I found the recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s  Light and Healthy 2011: The Year’s Best Recipes Lightened Up.

Salsa
1 1/4 cups fresh pineapple, chopped into tiny cubes
2 scallion, sliced thin
1-2 jalapeño chili pepper, minced (1 is hot enough for me; discard the seeds if less heat is desired)
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice (1/2 a lime)
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste (it doesn’t need it)

Shrimp
4 teaspoons agave syrup
1/4 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (allspice in original recipe)
salt to taste (it doesn’t need it)
12 large frozen shrimp, shelled and deveined with the tails still on, thawed
skewers

1. For the salsa: combine the pineapple, scallion, jalapeño, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. For the shrimp: Position an oven rack near the heating element and heat the broiler. Stir together the honey and water in a small bowl. In the workbowl of a food processor, add the chopped cilantro, ground ginger, garlic powder, black pepper, and garam masala. Add salt if using. Process until a fine paste. Scrape into a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Thread shrimp onto skewers.

3. Broil shrimp until opaque and just pink, about 4-7 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and serve with the pineapple salsa. Oh, almost forgot to take the picture!

Shrimp Fauxsotto

I found this recipe in Famous Footwear’s in-house magazine Mind Body Sole. Really! But you know me, I’m willing to try anything if it looks good. We’re now on Cycle 3 of the 17-day diet which allows us to have carbs at dinner. So why not? The author of this recipe calls it a mock risotto or fauxsotto, which I hoped would not taste like shoe leather, just because it’s made with instant brown rice rather than arborio rice. As if rice wasn’t rice. Anyway I am quibbling. It’s the English teacher in me. It was a satisfying meal, tasty, but too soggy for my taste–instant rice just does not hold up well to “stirring often” required for a  risotto, even a fake one. Anyway I like rice al dente. I think I will reduce the liquid by one cup the next time I make this. In order to clean out the fridge and freezer in the Teeny Tiny Apartment I made my own chicken broth out of bones, scraps, and leftover vegetables.

Shrimp Fauxsotto

5 cups low fat reduced sodium chicken broth
¾ cup dry white wine
6 tablespoons butter substitute
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
¼ to ½ teaspoon dried crushed pepper
¾ pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup finely chopped shallots
1 ½ cups instant brown rice
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup cut asparagus
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
¼ cup fat free chive and onion cream cheese
½ cup low fat herbed goat cheese
Salt and pepper

Warm broth and wine. Keep broth warm in a saucepan on the stove top. Warm ¼ cup wine in the microwave.

Cook shrimp. Melt 2 tablespoons butter substitute in a skillet over medium heat. Add half the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté 30 seconds. Add shrimp and sauté until the shrimp just turns pink, about 2 minutes. Add remaining ½ cup wine. Simmer until shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook shrimp. Drain shrimp, reserving cooking liquid.

Make rice. Melt 4 tablespoons butter substitute in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and remaining garlic; sauté until shallots are pale golden in color, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add 1-2 cups broth. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding broth ½ cup at a time, stirring often and simmering until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes total.

Add cheeses. Make sure there is a little liquid left at the bottom of the skillet and stir in cream cheese and goat cheese. Place peas and asparagus in a layer on top of the rice. Cover and allow remaining liquid to steam vegetables.

Put on the finishing touches. Uncover and cook until rice is just tender and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add a final shot of white wine. Stir in reserved shrimp cooking liquid. Add shrimp. Remove from heat.

Serve. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley into risotto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to plates. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon parsley.