Shrimp in Yellow Curry

I have difficulty getting together the energy to cook after a long day at the beach. Life is rough! 😉 I’m always looking for new fast and fabulous meals to try.

This is a bright, flavor-packed, quick, and delicious weeknight dish. Perfect after a long day outside. It could be prepared any time of year as well.

The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. I modified the proportions, used Maharajah curry, and incorporated spinach and a red bell pepper into the dish. We ate it over brown Basmati rice. Wonderful!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I used 7 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon minced galangal or ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced hot chili, or crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste (I used Penzeys Maharajah curry)
  • 13.5 oz fresh or canned coconut milk
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into slices
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds medium-to-large shrimp, peeled with tails intact
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro or mint leaves
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving (I used 1 1/2 cups rice to 3 cups stock)
  • naan, for serving, optional
  1. Place the oil in a large, deep skillet and turn the heat to medium. (I used enameled cast iron.)
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and the mixture pasty.
  3. Add red pepper slices and sauté until starting to soften.
  4. Add the curry and cook, stirring, another minute.
  5. Add the coconut milk and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is nearly dry.
  6. Add the shrimp and spinach, a few pinches of salt and a little black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp release their liquid (the mixture will become quite moist again) and turn pink, and the spinach is wilted.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, stir, then taste and add the rest if necessary.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

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Shrimp in Green Mole

I am a HUGE fan of a flavorful green sauce. This one did not disappoint. I would have just gobbled up the sauce with rice, but I served it with shrimp for the rest of the family. 😉 The shrimp is cooked in the wonderful sauce, so it was also delicious!

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Martha Rose Shulman. I loved the contrasting texture from the crunchy, pan-toasted pumpkin seed garnish. Excellent.

Yield: Serves 4

  • ½ cup hulled untoasted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 serrano chile or 1/2 jalapeño (more to taste), stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 3 large romaine lettuce leaves, preferably the outer leaves, torn into pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion, soaked for 5 minutes in cold water, drained and rinsed, plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup tightly packed chopped cilantro, plus cilantro leaves and sprigs for garnish
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon canola or extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound medium-large tail-on shrimp, shelled and deveined (I used 21-25 count per pound)
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving
  1. Heat a heavy straight-sided skillet or a saucepan over medium heat and add pumpkin seeds. Wait until you hear one seed pop, then stir constantly until they have puffed and popped and smell toasty, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not let them darken beyond golden or they will taste bitter. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Remove 2 tablespoons to use as garnish and set aside.
  2. Place remaining cooled pumpkin seeds in a blender or Vitamix, and add tomatillos, chile, lettuce, onion, garlic, cilantro and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Cover and blend mixture until smooth, stopping the blender to stir if necessary.
  3. Heat oil in the skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin and let it sizzle for a couple of seconds, then add puréed tomatillo mixture.
  4. Cook, stirring often, until sauce darkens and thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. It will splutter, so be careful. You can hold the lid above the pot to shield yourself and the stove, or set the lid on the pot to partly cover it.
  5. Add remaining cup of chicken stock, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until sauce is thick and creamy, 10 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
  6. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Shortly before serving, bring mole sauce to a simmer and add shrimp. Simmer 5 to 8 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through but still moist.
  7. Serve over rice, garnishing each serving with toasted pumpkin seeds, diced onion, and cilantro.

Note: The sauce can be made up to three days ahead and kept refrigerated until ready to use it. Alternatively, it can be frozen, just whisk or blend to restore its consistency after thawing.

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Shrimp a La Mexicana Tacos

Let me tell you something… (This information may actually be quite obvious to some of you…) Cooking the shrimp in bacon drippings made this dish ultra-delicious. ULTRA. 🙂

I usually cook bacon in the microwave. (gasp!) I know that this may not be the best cooking method, but, as a complete neat freak, this method does eliminate a major cleanup. Fortunately, I pan-cooked a serious amount of bacon at some point in time and reserved the drippings. Yay! Perfect for these wonderful summertime tacos.

We ate these as a belated Father’s Day celebratory meal with skillet creamed corn, brown rice, and refried beans. The skillet corn consisted of fresh corn kernels which were also sautéed in bacon drippings. The mixture was then combined with a little bit of sour cream and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. SO good.

My husband is a great dad and deserved a super tasty celebration. He always selects his menu and really wanted tacos on his special day for two reasons. Not only does he absolutely love tacos, but, after a thorough search, he gave me fabulous taco racks as part of my birthday gift- he really wanted me to use them ASAP. 😉

He found a local company that makes functional and pretty stainless steel taco racks: www.TacoRack.com. The racks make assembling and serving tacos so much easier. I have always needed such an item in my kitchen! A great birthday gift for me turned into a yummy Father’s Day meal for him. 😉

This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless.com. Great.

I’m sharing with Angie’s Fiesta Friday #129 co-hosted by Jhuls @The Not so Creative Cook and Colleen @Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 4 generously

  • 3 T lard, vegetable oil, bacon drippings, fat rendered from chorizo, or even butter
  • 3 serrano OR one large jalapeño, stemmed
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 ripe medium-large tomato, cored and diced
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (I used large/21-25 per pound shrimp)
  • a few sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
  • a big squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • 10-12 corn or corn & wheat tortillas, for serving
  1. Melt the lard or other fat in a medium-size skillet set over medium heat.
  2. Seed the chiles then chop them finely and add to the skillet, along with the onion and tomato. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened but is not brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet, letting the shrimp cook until they’re almost done through, about three minutes.
  4. In the meantime, warm the tortillas in a tortilla warmer or on a plate covered by a moist paper towel and plastic wrap. (I place a damp paper towel over the tortillas in my tortilla warmer, cover, and microwave for 1 minute.)
  5. Add a big handful of chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, then scoop into a warm tortilla.

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Classic Shrimp & Grits

This is a simple, classic, and perfect version of this fabulous southern dish. As a tradition in our house, we eat Shrimp and Grits over Easter weekend. It is absolutely delicious and can be served for any meal of the day. Great.

This recipe was adapted from Crook’s Corner of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, via Saveur. I used large shrimp and increased the amount of garlic and mushrooms. I also omitted the oil and used Sriracha instead of Tabasco. The shrimp tasted incredible after being sautéed in the bacon fat. Mmmmm. 🙂

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 cup white or yellow stone-ground grits
  • 3⁄4 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar
  • 1⁄4 cup parmesan
  • 2 T unsalted butter, divided
  • coarse salt
  • 2 T olive or canola oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. medium or large shrimp, peeled with tails intact
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges or slices
  • 1⁄2 tsp. hot sauce, such as Sriracha or Tabasco
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. In a 2-qt. saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil over high heat. (I incorporated 1 cup of chicken stock.)
  2. Reduce heat to low and whisk in grits. Cook, whisking frequently, until grits are tender and creamy, 30–40 minutes. (Whisk in more water for thinner grits.)
  3. Whisk in cheddar, parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of butter and season with salt; cover and set aside.
  4. Heat a 12″ skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel–lined plate; set aside. Reserve cooking fat in skillet.
  6. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
  7. Over medium-high heat, add shrimp to skillet and cook, turning once, until bright pink, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  8. Lower heat to medium; add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 minutes.
  9. Add garlic and cook until golden, 1 minute.
  10. Raise heat to high, add chicken broth, and scrape bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. Cook until broth reduces by half, 2 to 3 minutes.
  11. Return shrimp to skillet along with the lemon juice, remaining butter, and hot sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
  12. Divide grits between 4 bowls; top each with shrimp and its sauce.
  13. Garnish each bowl with bacon, scallions, and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

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Curry Noodles with Shrimp & Coconut

I lucked out when I chose this recipe to serve to my brother. As I prepared it, he filled me in on his latest Asian noodle obsession- and all of the fabulous ramen noodle hot spots in Brooklyn and NYC. Fun! Thankfully, this dish was equally amazing-  I don’t like to be outdone… 😉

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. Tanis also suggests substituting chicken, tofu, or vegetables for the shrimp, if desired. A perfect summer meal. Quick, fresh, and tasty!!

  • 12 to 14 ounces rice noodles (vermicelli)
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced, about 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
  • ½ teaspoon grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup slivered scallions
  • cilantro, basil and mint leaves, for garnish
  1. Cook rice noodles according to package directions, then drain and rinse well with cool water. Set aside. (I boiled a pot of water, removed it from the heat and soaked the vermicelli for about 10 minutes.) Keep a pot of boiling water on stove for reheating noodles later.
  2. Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and allspice berries in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant, then grind in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle.
  3. Put coconut oil in a wide skillet (use a skillet that has a lid- for later) over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add lemongrass, garlic and ginger to softened onions and cook for 2 minutes more.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, then add ground coriander, cumin, fennel and allspice. Add turmeric, cayenne, lime zest and juice, fish sauce and coconut milk. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Season shrimp and cherry tomatoes with salt. Add to pan and cover until shrimp are cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Dip noodles briefly in hot water to reheat, then drain and divide among bowls.
  8. Spoon shrimp, tomatoes and sauce over each serving.
  9. Sprinkle with scallions and garnish with cilantro, basil and mint leaves.

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Shrimp & Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Tomato Sauce

We had a crisis situation in our house this year… my husband had to work on Cinco de Mayo. 😦 We more than made up for it by eating these delicious no-bake enchiladas on Seis de Mayo! We also had our absolute favorite tacos (Creamy Chicken & Greens with Roasted Poblano Tacos) the next night as well- if you must know. 🙂

There was something really special about this dish. It was really restaurant quality. It may have been the richness of the sauce, cooking the shrimp in butter…the combination?! It was really very good.

This recipe was adapted from Pati Jinich, via The Chew. We ate it with chips and guacamole, brown Basmati rice, and refried beans. A perfect belated celebration. (& belated post!) Perfect for Fiesta Friday #70– co-hosted by Dini @ Giramuk’s  Kitchen and Mollie @ The Frugal Haufstrau!! (but also a little belated…)

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Serrano or jalapeno chiles
  • 1/4 cup white onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (divided)
  • 1 cup seafood or chicken stock
  • 1 cup Mexican cream (creme fraiche, Latin style cream, or heavy cream,) plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (grated)
  • 3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil (divided)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 pound large shrimp (drained, cut into 3-4 pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ripe avocado (diced, plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, farmer’s cheese or mild feta (crumbled)
  • chopped chives or cilantro, for garnish
  1. To Make the Sauce: place tomatoes, garlic and chiles in a medium saucepan, cover with water. Place over medium-high heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked through and soft.
  2. Place tomatoes, garlic and one of the chiles in the blender (I used a Vitamix.) along with chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, grated nutmeg and 1 cup stock. Purée the ingredients until completely smooth, taste and add the other chile if you would like more heat. (I only used one.)
  3. Rinse and dry saucepan, pour a tablespoon of oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, pour pureed tomato sauce and cover partially with a lid. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, and deepens its color to a much darker red. Remove lid, reduce heat to medium-low and add creme fraiche. Stir and keep at a steady low simmer for about 8 to 10 more minutes, until it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. To Heat the Tortillas: Heat them on an already hot comal or skillet set over medium-low heat, for a minute or so per side, until tortillas have lightly browned. Alternatively, “pass them through hot oil”: heat enough oil to reach 1/2-inch deep in a medium sauté pan, over medium heat until hot. Gently glide each tortilla through the oil, for about 10 to 15 seconds on each side, so they completely heat through, lightly fluff and change color. Transfer the tortillas to a paper towel-covered plate. Alternatively, place on a microwave safe-plate or tortilla warmer with lid. Cover with a damp paper towel and either a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Keep warm.
  5. To Make the Filling: Heat one tablespoon of the oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet set over high heat. Once very hot but not smoking, add the shrimp and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring a few times. The shrimp should be cooked, a bit browned but crisp and plump on the inside. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl. Mix with the diced avocado.
  6. To Assemble the Enchiladas: One by one glide each prepared tortilla through the sauce. Place on a plate, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the shrimp and avocado mixture in the middle and fold as in a quesadilla. Place on individual plates or a platter and continue with rest of the tortillas, laying each one gently on top of the edge of the other. Once you are done, generously spoon more of the tomato sauce on top. Garnish with chives and crumbled cheese.

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Shrimp with Fresh Corn Grits

We eat Southern Shrimp and Grits every year on Easter- it reminds us of our time in the beautiful sunshine while we lived in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s such a flavorful dish that isn’t popular here in New York. This year we branched out and ate this dish on Easter Eve… such a break from tradition. :/ Still wonderful! 🙂

The fresh corn in this version puts it over the top. SO good. The grated corn in the grits makes them thicker and the sautéed kernels sprinkled over the top provide wonderful texture. This recipe is from Bon Appetit, contributed by Dawn Perry. I added more fresh corn and garlic to the topping as well as sharp cheddar-gruyere melange cheese to the grits. Festive & Amazing!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 5 (small) ears of corn, husked
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grits (not instant)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used a sharp cheddar-gruyere blend), optional, to taste
  • 5 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ to 3/4 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika or ½  to 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
  • chopped fresh chives, for serving

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  1. Grate 3 ears of corn on the large holes of a box grater over a medium bowl, catching as much juice as possible; set aside. Cut kernels from remaining 2 ears of corn into another medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Bring broth, milk, and 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat so liquid is at a simmer and gradually whisk in grits. Simmer, whisking often, until grits are very tender, 20–25 minutes. Mix in butter, cheese (if using), and reserved grated corn; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fifteen minutes after you have added grits to saucepan, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, oregano, and paprika, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add reserved kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and beginning to pop, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  5. Serve shrimp and corn over grits topped with chives.

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