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Archive for April, 2010

Limey Green Curry

All credit for this recipe goes to Juergen Barthelme, our friend who lives in Belgium and is a wonderful cook.  He made this dish as a starter course while we were visiting in March, and kindly sent me the recipe.  It was from a European cookbook, so I needed to convert the measurements.  I also wanted to make it into more of a main dish because I don’t cook quite as fancy as Juergen – I don’t serve multiple courses!

So I tried this one night and I have to say, it’s probably our most recent favorite recipe!  We both licked our plates.  There is nothing to not like about the lime-coconut-shrimp combination – it is HEAVENLY.  You use lots of fresh lime juice and zest, plus kaffir lime leaves, which are dried leaves that give more subtle lime flavor.  There is so much oopmph in this dish, yet it doesn’t feel too heavy.  I used light coconut milk and served it over brown rice, so it was actually reasonably healthy. 

The recipe called for string beans – I like snap peas better so I used those, and we had some carrots that needed to be used up so I added them as well.  I think any combo of veggies would work here, though.  You should be able to find fish sauce and the green curry paste in the Asian section of your grocery store, if you don’t already have them.  And the kaffir lime leaves you could get at a specialty food store – for those in the Chapel Hill/Durham area, I got mine at Southern Season.

Limey Green Curry

1 lb raw peeled, deveined shrimp

1 13.5 oz can of light coconut milk

½ cup water

2 Tbs Green Curry Paste (available in the Asian aisle of the grocery store)

6 kaffir lime leaves

2 cups loosely packed sugar snap peas or green beans (I measured by 2 large handfuls)

1 cup diced carrots

2 Tbs fish sauce

2 limes, zested and juiced

2 tsp brown sugar

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Heat the coconut milk and water in a wok or pan for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Add the curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, beans and carrots; bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp to the pan with remaining ingredients and simmer about 5 minutes, until shrimp are fully cooked (pink with tails curling up).
  3. Serve over rice, sprinkle chopped cilantro over the dish.

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Black Bean Salad

I got in trouble with the midwife last week for not eating enough protein – so I have a new focus on trying to find new, flavorful recipes using beans, tofu, peanut butter, yogurt and the like.  I haven’t really recovered my usual appetite for meat or fish – except, strangely, if it’s ground or mixed up with something else (sausage, hamburger, tuna cheese sandwiches and salmon cakes all appear to be ok).  So we’re trying new things out here – and bean salads are high on the list.

There are lots of black bean salads out there, but I’ve never had a recipe, so I looked for one by Bobby Flay on foodnetwork.com.  I found one from one of his guests on his show.  It was a pretty good one!  I made a few changes – added tomatoes and the chipotle pepper – but it is essentially still a great side salad to a tex-mex or otherwise summery meal.  LOTS of flavor – and lots of protein!  Yippee!

Black Bean Salad

Adapted from Food Network

  • 1 can (2 cups) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cooked corn kernels
  • 1 cup small cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 chipotle pepper, diced fine
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Combine the beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the bean mixture. Chill the salad for 2 hours before serving.

 

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We had a really delicious dinner one night last week – of which I made one thing: the condiment. I apologize in advance for those of you who do not have a Trader Joe’s  nearby – maybe if you have a Whole Foods or another cool grocery store you could find equivalent pre-made ingredients?

I used a package of chicken tenders marinated in masala sauce – I intended to take them down to our pool to grill then on the community grills, but it got late and chilly so I just cooked them in a pan on the stovetop with a little oil instead and they did just fine.  (Though I still think they’d be better with a little smoky-grilled flavor.)

Next I heated up a package of pre-made Chana Masala, which is chickpeas cooked in a tomato based sauce.  This is a hearty dish, filling and satisfying but not too rich because of the tang from the tomato sauce.  Easy as pie to heat up in the pot.

Then I heated up some Garlic Naan bread, which warms up quickly and is then coated with a little melted butter – not because I like it but because it’s the way real Naan is always prepared.  I promise.

The only thing I made was a Cucumber Raita.  Raita is a yogurt-based sauce used in Indian cuisine which serves as a very helpful cooling agent on a plate of what is normally highly-spiced and spicy food.  It really adds something to an Indian meal, I think – I love it.  It’s similar to Tzatziki Sauce in Greek cooking.  I found this recipe on Epicurious and it turned out really well.

All together, the yummy chicken, hearty chickpeas and cool cucumber raita on the garlic Naan bread was a very easy and VERY delicious meal – one I will absolutely be making again.  The best part about it was that everything came out of the freezer except the raita, so it’s even an easy meal to keep on hand.  Trader Joe’s strikes again!

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