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Recipe: Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry


I’m pretty sure is the third curry recipe I’m posting, but the stuff is just so damn good. This one is a sort of a hybrid of coconut shrimp and Thai curry, hence the name Coconut Shrimp Curry.

Curry is so full of flavor, it’s quickly become one of my favorite dishes. And it’s not that hard to make — especially with the assistance of a food processor.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry blends shrimp, vegetables, pineapple and toasted coconut in a Thai curry.


Ingredients:

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, minced
  • 1 TBSP dried chili flakes (less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Gulf Shrimp in Coconut Curry

    Gulf Shrimp in Coconut Curry

  • 1 TBSP ketchup (or tomato paste)

For the curry:

  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup dry toasted coconut

Directions:

  1. Place all curry sauce ingredients in a food processor and process well. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together and stir well to combine.
  2. Pour sauce into a deep pot and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium. Add the vegetables, pineapple and shrimp, stirring to mix. Simmer until shrimp look plump and turn pink.
  4. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm while you toast the coconut.
  5. Toasted Coconut in Curry

    Toasted Coconut in Curry

  6. Place dry shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. “Fry” the coconut, stirring continually until it turns golden-brown and is fragrant. Then turn off heat.
  7. Add half of the toasted coconut to the curry and stir to combine.
  8. Taste for salt and sweetness, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, and more brown sugar if you want it sweeter. Also, you can also add chili sauce if you’d like it spicier.
  9. To serve, transfer curry into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted coconut on top of each dish and serve (over rice if desired).

As I live in New Orleans, I’m lucky enough to have access to fresh Gulf shrimp. They really make this dish stand out from using frozen shrimp, but you gotta use what you have access to. I recommend fresh over frozen any day.

As this is a curry, it goes great over rice, but it’s good enough to eat it without. The choice is yours. Enjoy this Coconut Shrimp Curry!

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, One-Pot Wonders, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Tofu Coconut Curry

Tofu Coconut Curry

Tofu Coconut Curry

In one year I’ve gone from never having tofu to eating it at least once a week. It’s so versatile and goes well with just about everything, but especially curry.

The tofu really takes on the flavors of the curry well. Pair the tofu with coconut curry and vegetables and you’ve got a quick meal of Tofu Coconut Curry that’s loaded with nutrients and low in fat and calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • The Veggies

    The Veggies

  • Juice of one lime
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 TBSP minced ginger
  • 2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, mix coconut milk, curry powder, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili paste and ginger.
  2. Basil in Tofu Coconut Curry

    Adding the basil

  3. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add tofu, bell peppers, onion, mushrooms and tomato. Combine all ingredients, cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Mix in basil. Season with salt or more soy sauce to taste.
  6. Continue cooking for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender, but crisp.
  7. Garnish with additional basil and serve over rice, if desired.

Make sure to thoroughly coat the tofu in the curry sauce. This recipe is quite spicy. My nose was running after eating it and my palate and body are quite accustomed to spicy food.

Also, the vegetables I used are just a guide. Feel free to experiment with a variety of veggies.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken is a dish that’s popular in most Chinese and/or Thai restaurants. It’s a versatile given the fact you can throw in the veggies of your choice as long as the chicken and cashews are a constant.

This recipe includes a sweet/spicy sauces to accompany the veggies, chicken and cashews. The best part is that it’s loaded with nutrient-rich veggies and protein-rich chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch (dissolved in 3 TBSP water)
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 4 green onions, cut into thirds
  • 4 leaves of purple or green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews, dry roasted
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Marinade:

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP water

Sauce:

  • 3 TBSP dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar

Veggies for Cashew Chicken

Veggies for Cashew Chicken


Directions:

  1. To make the marinade, dissolve 2 tsp of cornstarch in 2 TBSP of soy sauce and 1 TBSP of water in a medium-sized bowl. Add chicken pieces and stir to combine. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Combine all sauce ingredients and whisk to mix to make the sauce.
  3. In a wok or large pan, saute the onion, garlic, red pepper, broccoli and green onion in oil over medium-high heat for about two minutes.
  4. Add the marinated chicken and mushrooms. Continue stir frying until chicken pieces are cooked (up to five minutes). If the wok becomes dry, add broth or white wine (1 TBSP at a time).
  5. Add the cabbage and continue stir frying another 2 minutes.
  6. Add the sauce and cashews to the wok then add the cornstarch powder dissolved in water and soy sauce. Continuing stirring until all ingredients are well combine and the sauce thickens.
  7. While cooking, taste test for salt and sweetness. If it’s too sour, add more sugar. If it’s not salty enough, add more fish sauce.
  8. Serve over rice or noodles.

If you don’t own a wok, I highly suggest investing in one. They’re perfect for stir-fry dishes such as Cashew Chicken. This recipe should suffice when you don’t have the time venture to your local Chinese or Thai restaurant.

Also, a side note, but I used salt and pepper cashews from Whole Foods to give my version a little extra kick. Though regular dry-roasted cashews should work just fine.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Review: La Thai Uptown

Paht Thai

Paht Thai at La Thai

There was a time when I wasn’t a big fan of La Thai. I’ve had to reevaluate my opinion and I’m happy to say, I’ve changed my mind. You can now count me as a fan.

Like any place, some dishes are better than others, but what won me over was the Thai-Coon. A delicious dish with jumbo shrimp, Lousiana crawfish, vegetables and fried eggplant in a spicy garlic basil sauce over jasmine rice. It’s a filling dish, but the eggplant is fried to perfection and the seafood, veggies and sauce all work in nearly perfect harmony. It’s hands down my favorite dish at the place.

I’m also a big fan of the Crispy Calamari. La Thai has breading and frying down and their version of calamari is made with one of the best sweet chili sauces you’ll find. A friend even said it was “the best calamari she’s ever had.” At this point, I’m inclined to agree with her, at least when it comes to fried calamari.

Crispy Calamari

Crispy Calamari at La Thai

Two other appetizers I enjoy quite a bit are the Skewerless Chicken Sate and Mama’s Stuffed Chicken Wings. The wings are some of the best wings I’ve had in quite a while. I’ve never really seen New Orleans as a big wings city, but La Thai has a dish that proves to be the exception to that.

La Thai also has two salads that stand out. The first is the Naked Shrimp Salad with mango, tri-colored peppers and mango-peanut dressing. It’s fruity, crunchy and full of zest and flavor. The second is the Pecan-Crusted Oyster Salad with lump crabmeat, pecans, grapes and wasabi lime aioli. This is probably the best salad on the menu. The oysters are fried perfectly and actually work well with the sweetness of the grapes.

The noodle and rice dishes are La Thai’s bread and butter and they have some great dishes in this section of the menu. The Paht Thai is always a popular choice, but I’ve always found it just a tad bit underwhelming compared to the Paht Woon Sen and the Thai-Coon. Did I mention I’m in love with the Thai-Coon?

Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken at La Thai

You’ll also have a great choice of curries when visiting. All are delicious and very in spiciness.

On my last visit, I went during lunch and ordered the Cashew Chicken. They definitely didn’t skimp on the cashews (a big plus in my book) and it was a great blend of sweet, saucy, spicy and salty. I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.

Aside from the food, the decor is impeccable and the service is always excellent. Diana and Merlin Chauvin (chefs/owners) are two of the nicest people on the New Orleans restaurant scene. They don’t treat anyone at La Thai like a stranger. They’ve collaborated to make La Thai a great neighborhood joint for all of New Orleans.

Paht Thai and Calamari images courtesy of Amy Jett Photography.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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Recipe: Thai Duck Breast Curry

Duck Breast Curry

Duck Breast Curry

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes to make. The flavors in this dish are out of this world. It is a little pricey thanks to the duck breast, but it’s 100% worth it.

Of course, you can always use chicken, beef or even pork to make the dish. But do any of those meats really compare to duck? Think about it, then go ahead and splurge.

Ingredients

  • 6 TBSP Thai red curry paste (you can buy it, but here’s a homemade recipe that’s superior to storebought)
  • 1 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 TBSP fish sauce
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 TBSP minced ginger
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/2 whole pineapple, cut into chunks (if using canned, drain before adding)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 boneless duck breasts with fat
  • cooked jasmine rice
Duck Breast Curry in the Pot

Duck Breast Curry Simmering in the Pot

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Place duck breasts (fat side down) in skillet and cook for several minutes (until skin is crisp and golden brown, the meat doesn’t need to be cooked at this point).
  3. Remove duck from the skillet, cut into slices and set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic and curry powder to skillet. Let cook for several minutes so that flavors release.
  5. Pour in coconut milk, water, fish sauce and minced ginger. Stirk over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. In a separate pot (or Dutch oven) heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Then add onions, mushrooms and bell peppers and cook for several minutes.
  7. Make sure the pot is hot and add the duck. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring regularly.
  8. Add pineapple and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  9. Taste the curry sauce and adjust spices as necessary.
  10. Pour curry sauce into the pot with duck and other vegetables. Stir to combine then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  11. Check sauce’s consistency and add more water if too thick or simmer longer if too watery.
  12. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  13. Add chopped basil and serve immediately over jasmine rice, spooning sauce into the bowl.

This recipe may seem overwhelming, but once the curry paste is prepared, it really is a breeze to make. And if you still think it’s time-consuming, I promise you the flavors will make you forget all about the labor.

This is a recipe you will want to make over and over again. It’s that good.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Cookin', Recipes

 

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Recipe: Thai-Style Beef Short Ribs

Thai-Style Beef Short Ribs with a Side of Bok Choy

Thai-Style Beef Short Ribs with a Side of Bok Choy

Here’s a great slow cooker recipe. I love my Dutch oven (almost as much as I love my iron skillet) so it’s something I cook in quite a bit. This short ribs recipe features Thai flavors that are bold and intense.

While this recipe does take several hours, it’s definitely worth it. The short ribs will melt in your mouth once slow cooked. The sauce soaks into the rice making a great bed for the rich flavors of the short ribs.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp chili oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 lb beef short ribs, trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 3 TBSP minced fresh ginger
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 TBSP red curry paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tsp lime rind
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200F.
  2. Heat chili oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Add half of the ribs to the Dutch oven and cook 2 minutes on each side until browned. Set aside and repeat with remaining ribs.
  3. Thai-Style Beef Short Ribs in the Pan

    Thai-Style Beef Short Ribs in the Pan

  4. Saute garlic, shallots and ginger in Dutch oven for about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in 1/4 cup water and curry paste and cook another minute.
  6. Stir in coconut milk, sugar and fish paste.
  7. Add ribs pack to Dutch oven and cover and cook in over for 6 hours.
  8. Remove ribs from cooker and set aside, but keep warm.
  9. Strain remaining liquid through a colander over a bowl. Place a zip-lock bag in a 2 cup measuring cup and pour liquid into the bag and let stand for about 10 minutes.
  10. After the fat has risen, seal the bag and cut off one of the bottom corners. Drain the drippings into a bowl, stopping before the fat drains.
  11. Stir salt, pepper, lime rind and lime juice into the sauce.
  12. Shred the rib meat while removing the bones.
  13. Serve the ribs over rice and top with sauce.

If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you’re welcome to cook this in a Crock Pot. I’m sure it will work just as well. You can also kick up the spiciness of the dish by adding in some sriracha. Serve with a side of sauteed bok choy.

Photos courtesy of Miguel Solorzano Photography.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Cookin', One-Pot Wonders, Recipes

 

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