MAHI-MAHI IN THAI-CURRY SAUCE

This is another example of a “lightened-up” version of a classic that worked so well I could not wait to share! Two ingredients are absolutely mandatory: red curry paste and fish sauce. I realize that opening that bottle of fish sauce requires a little psychological preparation, but it is worth it. Just hold your breath as you measure the amount. Actually, I do have a very sharp sense of smell, so it could be less of a problem for you.

MAHI-MAHI IN THAI-CURRY SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste 
1/2 cup unsweetened light coconut milk 
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 mahi-mahi filets, cut in chunks
smidgen of olive oil + squirt lime juice + salt + pepper to season fish
fresh cilantro leaves
lime zest for serving

In a medium pot over medium heat, whisk together the curry paste, coconut milk, and yogurt. Bring to   a simmer and cook, whisking until the mixture is smooth, but don’t let it boil too hard. Add the fish sauce, sugar, and water; stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for a couple of minutes, cover and remove from heat. Reserve.

Season the pieces of fish with a tiny bit of olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. I just squirt a very small amount of oil to lightly coat the pieces, no need to measure. Use a light hand. Same goes for lime juice, salt and pepper. Reserve.

Heat a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the oil and heat until it is shimmering. Add the bell pepper, and mushrooms, and cook until the vegetables are starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Then add the fish and sauté for a few minutes. Pour the curry sauce into the skillet and heat it through. Serve the curry over rice, garnished with fresh cilantro and a little bit of lime zest, added right on the plate.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was such a delicious meal! It had that feel of “eating out” which… come to think of it we cannot do that often, as our little town does not have a Thai restaurant. It is probably my favorite type of food, but I can only enjoy it when we travel. You know travel, right? That act of leaving your home with luggage, stepping on a plane and landing in a totally different spot? Yeah. It’s been a while.

We enjoyed it over white rice. I added a bit of lime zest on my serving, and to my taste it was perfect. You can use a squirt of lime juice or omit it altogether, but if you have the same passion I do for all things citric, go for the zest. It packs a nice little punch of flavor. The only thing you need to be careful about is not boiling the sauce too hard. Because it has less fat than a regular recipe, it tends to separate a bit.

ONE YEAR AGO: Twelve Years of Sourdough Baking

TWO YEARS AGO: Rainbow Carrots with Rose Harissa

THREE YEARS AGO: Deviled Eggs go Green

FOUR YEARS AGO: Tiramisu

FIVE YEARS AGO: Pulled Pork, Slow-Cooker version

SIX YEARS AGO: The Pie of the Century

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Bon Bon Chicken

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Leaving on a Jet Plane

NINE YEARS AGO: A Pearfect Drink

TEN YEARS AGO: Ming Tsai Under Pressure

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Paris, je t’aime!

FENNEL-RUBBED SHRIMP IN LIGHT COCONUT SAUCE

Nothing comes together faster than a meal involving shrimp. Or sea scallops, for that matter. But in this neck of the woods it is a rare, very rare event to find dry scallops, whereas good quality shrimp is always available. For this preparation, instead of using a full can of coconut milk (so common in recipes everywhere), I opted for full-fat yogurt with a touch of light coconut milk. Worked wonderfully well. Tasty but considerably lighter.

FENNEL-RUBBED SHRIMP IN LIGHT COCONUT SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 + 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground Kashmiri chiles
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 to 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/3 cup cashews, toasted
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup light coconut milk
drizzle of honey
dried mint, to taste (optional)

Combine the ground spices and salt in a bowl, add the shrimp and mix to cover it with spices. Refrigerate for 30 min to 1 hour, if possible, but you can start cooking right away. Mix the yogurt with coconut milk and honey, reserve.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp, cook, stirring them for a couple of minutes. Add the yogurt-coconut mixture, and cook in low-heat until shrimp is fully cooked and the sauce reduces a bit. Add the cashew nuts, dried mint (if using), and serve..

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I am calling this dish “Fennel” shrimp because it was the flavor that came through more obviously, at least for me. If you like more heat, add more pepper, or add a touch of cayenne. I love the flavor of Kashmiri pepper, so that’s what I used. If you are like me, and twist the nose at dried mint, I suggest you give it a try. I lost my dried mint snobbism after reading about it in Middle Eastern cookbooks. It has a permanent spot in my pantry now.

Shrimp in light coconut sauce over white rice. So simple, and so satisfying! My kind of dinner!

ONE YEAR AGO: Puff Bread Balls, Two Salads and a Cookbook Review

TWO YEARS AGO: Pistachio-Caramel and Apple Mousse Cakes

THREE YEARS AGO: La Couronne Bordelaise

FOUR YEARS AGO: A Special Birthday Dinner

FIVE YEARS AGO: Duck Confit for a Special Occasion

SIX YEARS AGO: Tuscan Grilled Chicken and Sausage Skewers

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with Pork Tenderloin & Apples

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Salmon Wellington

NINE YEARS AGO: The Green Chip Alternative

TEN YEARS AGO: Weekend Pita Project

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Let it snow, let it snow, eggs in snow

NOT QUITE MOQUECA

Moqueca is one beloved dish in Brazilian cooking. Several ingredients are mandatory: coconut milk, dende oil, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. The main protein can be shrimp, fish, or both. It is spicy, luscious, quite filling, and always served over a simple white rice. I have already messed up with this classic before, but with this recipe I shall infuriate my fellow native Brazilians a second time.

MOQUECA-STYLE SHRIMP AND CHICKPEAS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1.5 pounds large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (14.5 oz)
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely diced
1 red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon harissa (or to taste)
1.5 cups crushed tomatoes with their juice
3/4 cup light coconut milk
fresh cilantro to taste
juice of half lemon

Heat the oil on a large sauce pan. Add the fennel, shallot and bell pepper, saute everything together seasoning with salt and pepper until translucent and very fragrant.

Add the crushed tomatoes, harissa, and chickpeas, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the shrimp and  coconut milk, simmer gently until the shrimp is cooked, 5 minute or so. Add the cilantro, lemon juice and serve over white rice.  If you like, add some hot sauce on the plate.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Moqueca originated in one of the hottest states of Brazil, Bahia. Even though it is a kind of stew, it is enjoyed the whole year, even at the height of the summer. I like to bring this up because those of us living in the Northern hemisphere are headed to very warm days. Don’t twist the nose to a nice serving of moqueca for that reason. This will please you no matter how hot it is outside.

I completely forgot to get fresh cilantro at the store, so I added a couple of Dorot frozen cilantro cubes together with the coconut milk/shrimp mixture. But don’t make this mistake, fresh cilantro not only looks great but it adds a lot more flavor, especially if added right before serving the meal.

I committed many sins with the recipe, but served it over white rice as any good Brazilian would. I hope this helps restore my reputation.

ONE YEAR AGO: Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Nuts

TWO YEARS AGO: Mississippi Roast and the Open Mind

THREE YEARS AGO: Walnut-Raisin Bran Muffins

FOUR YEARS AGO: A Star is Born!

FIVE YEARS AGO: Chestnut Flour Sourdough Bread

SIX YEARS AGO: Kinpira Gobo and Japanese Home Cooking

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Walnut Sourdough

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Thai Chicken Curry

NINE YEARS AGO: Zen and the art of risotto

 

PARSNIP, COCONUT & LEMONGRASS SOUP

Inspired by a recipe from Mary Berry, this soup is simple and flavorful. I don’t think parsnips receive the attention and praise they deserve. There’s something about their slight sharpness that can be quite pleasing. Maybe for some it might be an acquired taste… Come to think of it, when I was a teenager, I would march out of the house if my poor Mom would dare serving parsnips in any type of preparation. I was difficult. I got better… At least in some aspects…

Back to soup. Make it. If you are not lucky enough to have friends who give you a gorgeous lemongrass plant, search for those cute little plastic tubes at the grocery store.  They are actually not that bad if you cannot have the real thing. I confess to always having the ginger kind in my fridge. And once our lemongrass goes into hibernation, that version will be joining us too.

PARSNIP, COCONUT AND LEMONGRASS SOUP
(inspired by Mary Berry Everyday)

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
3/4 pound parsnips (about 8 medium ones), peeled, cut in chunks
1 medium shallot, minced
2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
2 tsp honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock  (or water)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 lemongrass stalk, bashed to release flavor
salt and pepper to taste
yogurt and black sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallot and parsnips, and saute for a few minutes, until they start to get a golden color at the edges.  Add the ginger, red curry paste and honey and saute for 30 seconds, then add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and lemon grass.

Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through, very tender. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste, then remove the lemon grass and discard.

Process the soup in a blender or food processor. Serve warm with a dollop of yogurt and black sesame seeds, if so desired.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Loved this soup. Lemongrass, fish sauce, coconut milk, ginger, red curry paste, they do make a fantastic fantasy of flavors in your mouth, but oddly enough, you can still detect a bright and clear taste of parsnip. I had it for lunch several times in that particular week. Phil tried some and enjoyed it, but he prefers to have his smoothie – Wasa cracker/nuts/jam combination so I was left alone to savor this comforting soup day in, day out.  It gets a bit thicker each day, but adding a bit of water brings it back to a perfect consistency. I also like to squirt a little lemon juice right on the bowl.  Have I ever told you that we never, absolutely never run out of lemons in the fridge?  I get nervous if I see only one in there. Use them all the time, not only for cooking but in my carbonated water and that evening tea.

Soup weather is approaching fast. Too fast.
Grab a pin to be ready for it!

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, October 2016

TWO YEARS AGO: Paleo Moussaka

THREE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, October 2014

FOUR YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, October 2013

FIVE YEARS AGO: Bourbon and Molasses Glazed Pork Tenderloin

SIX YEARS AGO: Crimson and Cream Turkey Chili

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Taking a break from the nano-kitchen

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Chocolate Chip Cookies

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

CREAMY BROCCOLI AND MUSHROOM CASSEROLE

One more time I am sharing a recipe from the super athlete Mike, who runs the blog The Iron You. For those who like to experiment with a lower carb or Paleo nutrition, eggs are a fundamental ingredient. Great source of protein and fat, they are so versatile: you can make a nice omelette, frittatas, egg muffins, egg bakes, adding all sorts of ingredients from meats to veggies. I eat a lot of eggs each week for lunch, usually sunny side up or scrambled, sometimes hard-boiled, but at dinner time I opt for more elaborate uses, souffle’ being a favorite when I don’t mind splurging a little.  This casserole is quite low in carbs, but feels like splurging. Satisfying without making you feel uncomfortably stuffed. Perfect side dish, if you ask me…

Broccoli Casserole1

CREAMY BROCCOLI AND MUSHROOM CASSEROLE
(slightly modified from The Iron You)

1 ½ pounds broccoli florets
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fine grain salt
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup full fat coconut milk

Heat oven to 350°F  and place a rack in the middle. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil.
Place an inch of water in a saucepan with a steamer and bring to a boil. Steam the broccoli for 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Remove from the heat and let cool.

While the broccoli cools, melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the shallot and celery and sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.   Add mushrooms, thyme, salt, paprika, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until mushrooms have browned a bit, about 8 minutes.

When broccoli florets have cooled down a little bit, chop the larger ones into bite-sized pieces. Add broccoli to the skillet and gently stir until combined. Pour the broccoli-mushroom mixture into the prepared baking dish. In a bowl whisk eggs with coconut milk and pour over broccoli mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden-brown.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you google recipes for low-carb egg bakes or egg muffins, you’ll end up with thousands of hits to choose from. For the most part, they can be divided in two categories: those that use just eggs to bind the ingredients, and those that rely on dairy (quite often heavy cream).  I am not too fond of recipes that use only eggs because they end up with a rubbery texture I don’t care for. As to the ones loaded with heavy cream, they feel overly rich for my taste. This recipe solves both problems, the texture is perfect, and it has just the right amount of naughty…   We enjoyed it back in December, actually.  Obviously, it’s taking me a while to share,  but the weather is still appropriate for casseroles. Make it and you will fall in love with it too. You can add different veggies, in fact soon I intend to try a version using carrots and zucchini. I might even get my spiralizer out just for fun, and a bit of added naughty.

Mike, thanks for all the great dishes you blog about, two thumbs up for this one!

ONE YEAR AGO: Maple Walnut Biscotti

TWO YEARS AGO: Barley Risotto with Peas

THREE YEARS AGO: Oatmeal Fudge Bars

FOUR YEARS AGO: Cauliflower Steaks

FIVE YEARS AGO: Soft Spot for Chevre

SIX YEARS AGO: Quick sun-dried Tomato Crostini