CASHEW SHRIMP CURRY

If you need a super quick recipe for dinner, look no further. The preparation is a bit unusual in the sense that you mix white vinegar (which has pretty high acidity) with some ground cashews and spices, use that to marinate the shrimp for a short while, cook it and you are basically done. The shrimp turns out fresh, bright, and with perfect texture. This goes to our regular rotation for sure. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

CASHEW SHRIMP CURRY
(adapted from 660 Curries)

¼ cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup raw cashew nuts, ground to a powder
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
water
finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Combine the vinegar, coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt, turmeric, and cashews in a small bowl, and stir to make a smooth paste. Pour this over the shrimp, toss well to coat the shellfish with the marinade. Refrigerate, covered, for about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, arranging them in a single layer and reserving the residual marinade in the bowl. Sear the shrimp on each side, not more than 1 minute per side, so it does not get over-cooked. Pour in the residual marinade and stir once or twice. Lower the heat to medium add a bit of water, the lemon juice, and simmer until the sauce is reduced, about 5 minutes.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I am usually not too fond of books that showcase hundreds of recipes, but 660 Curries is a beautiful exception. My friend Courtnie recommended and I can see why. It has no photos for the recipes, so it could be a drawback to many people, but the recipes are so varied, creative, that I truly don’t mind using my imagination.

You can definitely use peanuts or other nuts in place of cashews, and when I make it again (because I definitely will and very soon), I will add a few toasted cashews, whole, when serving.

We enjoyed it with sauteed broccoli and a simple rice with chickpeas.  A very simple but super delicious meal…

ONE YEAR AGO: Sundried Tomato and Feta Cheese Torte

TWO YEARS AGO: Blueberry and Mango Curd Macarons

THREE YEARS AGO: Michigan and Mackinac Island

FOUR YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, August 2016

FIVE  YEARS AGO: Ka’kat, a Middle Eastern Snack Bread

SIX YEARS AGO: Spinach and Chickpea Curry

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Sautéed Zucchini with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Orzo with Heirloom Tomato Relish

NINE YEARS AGO:  Headed to Brazil!

TEN YEARS AGO: The Rhubarb Brouhaha: Revelation Compote

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Love me tender…

11 YEARS, TIME FOR GOODBYE

I guess it was bound to happen, sooner or later. Eleven years of blogging and all of a sudden I am forced to witness crowds and crowds of readers abandoning me. It hurts, but I feared that this post could cause it. Tofu. Has she gone nuts? Yes, now that you mentioned, cashews are also partners in this crime. If you are leaving me, I am sorry to see you go, and beg you to re-consider. I swear to you, this was one of the best things I’ve made in the past few months, and even “I” cannot quite believe how much we enjoyed it.  Soooo, will you stay? There shall be macarons soon…

JEN’S CURRIED TOFU WITH PEAS AND CASHEWS
(slightly modified from Jennifer Guerrero’s blog

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

1 pound extra firm tofu
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons honey
¼ cup water
2 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups peas (frozen is fine)
1/2 cup cashews (lightly toasted)

optional:
poached chicken breasts, sliced thin

Slice the tofu in a checkerboard pattern and then right across its equator as you see in my composite picture after the recipe. Wrap in plenty of paper towels and put a heavy pan on it to drain while you do the rest of the preparation of the recipe.

In a medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter with the soy sauce, then add the spices, honey and water. Toss with the drained tofu, coating nicely. Spray a baking sheet generously with cooking spray, tip the tofu on in a single layer,  and bake for 30 minutes, flipping them over at halftime.

Whisk together in a saucepan the vegetable broth and the cornstarch. Turn the heat to medium, and when the stock is simmering, add the tofu along with the peas and cashews. If using chicken, add it now.  Stir until it is all lightly thickened, and serve over rice or riced cauliflower.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I hope you stop by Jen’s blog to read her nice write-up about this recipe.  Interestingly, when I read her post about it, I had just bought some extra-firm tofu without any clear ideas of how to put it to use.  Serendipity. Don’t you love when that happens?

Now, I admit that I chickened out and added chicken (very sorry for this phrase, please don’t leave). I was unsure of how we would feel about the texture and taste of tofu, and decided that in case of a complete disaster, at least we could enjoy some animal protein with the peas and cashews. I used chicken breasts that I had previously cooked sous-vide, but you can poach it or saute with a bit of salt and pepper.

This was one amazing meal! It all works together nicely, the tofu gets a nice soaking with the spices and caramelizes a bit with the honey in that marinade. If you are vegetarian, you absolutely must make this. If you are not, you absolutely must make this, and go for the kill: omit the chicken. I guess that means going for the non-kill?  (very sorry for this phrase too, my apologies).

If you are anti-tofu, I hope this post will make you try it, just make sure you get the extra-firm. I know that tofu aficcionados like to use a special press to compact it before cooking, but I felt that the resulting texture was nice enough the way Jen recommended.

Jen, thank you so much for opening my cooking horizons, I love it…

ONE YEAR AGO: Salmon Tacos

TWO YEARS AGO: A Dream that did not come true

THREE YEARS AGO: Kaleidoscopic Macarons

FOUR YEARS AGO: Zucchini Noodles with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

FIVE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, July 2015

SIX YEARS AGO: Sous-vide Pork Chops with Roasted Poblano Butter

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Amazing Ribs for the 4th of July!

NINE YEARS AGO: Baby Back Ribs on the 4th of July

TEN YEARS AGO: Blueberry Muffins

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: A Pie for your 4th of July

 

CURRY TURMERIC SOURDOUGH

Bewitching Kitchen is a food blog and I like to keep it focused on the subject with only small detours into two passions of mine: science and fitness. I must say, though that a couple of recent posts by bloggers I follow echoed deeply inside me, so I share them with you. First, I invite you to read A Texan New Yorker’s take on chili. I must make that recipe in honor of a family I admire and already miss immensely. Then, please stop by Cecilia’s site, who just published a post called “I am an immigrant.”  While you are reading it, keep in mind that I am one, one who got her green card and naturalization through long, complex processes several years ago. Her article is a very well-written piece describing the pleasure and pain associated with leaving your home country and starting all over somewhere else. I firmly believe that we are stronger when we are together. That prejudice and divisiveness should be fought against.

earth

When we have friends over, I love to welcome them with a loaf of homemade bread. I did that when our friends Denise and Helio stayed with us over a weekend (see my post here), and last month did it again when our friend Cindy stopped by briefly on her road trip from St Louis to Oklahoma. I made a batch of parsnip hummus and thought that a loaf of sourdough with a subtle hint of Middle Eastern spices could be a good option to enjoy it with it.  I did not want to add anything else to the bread, was hoping for a nice, golden crumb, with no nuts or goodies to distract from the spice components.  I know you cannot judge if I succeeded as far as taste is concerned, but what do you think of its looks?

curry-turmeric-sourdough-2

 

CURRY TURMERIC SOURDOUGH
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

200g sourdough starter
325g cold water
450g white bread flour
50g spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ tsp fine sea salt

In a large bowl, whisk the sourdough starter with the water. Add the flours, spices and salt. Stir until you have a soft, sticky mass. Cover the bowl and leave it for 10 minutes. Perform a series of quick kneads, 10 seconds or so, making sure you incorporate as much of dried bits of flour as possible, but if something remains stuck to the bowl, don’t worry about it.  Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Remove the dough to a slightly oiled surface. Wash and dry the bowl, Coat it very lightly with oil.  Knead the dough again for a quick 10 second period and put it back in the clean, oiled bowl.  Wait 30 minutes.  Perform another cycle of kneading, or if you prefer, use the folding method, in which you stretch one side of the dough way up in the air, bring it over the full extension of the dough, turn it, repeat it four or five times from all directions.  Wait 1 hour, with the dough covered lightly.  Perform another series of kneading or folding.  Wait one more hour, knead again.  Wait 2 hours, divide the dough in two, and shape each half in a round or oblong shape.

Place in an appropriate containers lightly coated with flour, seam side down. Leave them for a final proof for 4 hours.

Invert the dough on parchment paper, slash the surface, and bake at 435 F with initial steam for a total of 45 minutes. I like to use a Dutch oven covered for the first 25 minutes, then remove the lid and allow the bread to brown uncovered for the final 20 minutes.

Cool the bread on a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

compositecurry

 

Comments: Such a pleasure to work with this dough!  All soft and bubbly, with the delicate scent of curry… I actually made two loaves, and decided to shape one as a batard, a shape I find very tricky to achieve. You can see, there is room for improvement…

siblings

My batard formed a little bulge in one side, and I also would prefer a more pointed edge. Well, gotta keep trying. Still tasted pretty amazing, and as we all know, beauty is skin deep. HA!

 

crumb

The mandatory crumb shot!  What I love the most about this bread is the smell not only while it baked, but when a slice is gently warmed in the toaster oven next day. The hummus went perfectly well with it, but it was superb as a player in the ultra fashionable avocado toast.  I smashed a slice of ripe avocado over the bread, sprinkled drops of lime juice and a light dust with Tajin. Sorry, no pictures, I think the blogosphere is already crowded with avocado toast photos, no need for me to add yet another one.  But, do try it if you make this bread.

curry-turmeric-sourdough-from-bewitching-kitchen

I am submitting this post to Bread Box Round Up,
hosted by Karen, the Bread Baking Goddess.

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ONE YEAR AGO: Brigadeiros de Morango

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YOU PUT WHAT IN YOUR WHAT?

Criticizing is easy, it comes naturally to most of us, I guess.  I’ve done my share of criticizing The Food TV Network, going on and on about the good old times when their shows were actually about cooking, not endless competitions. One example: Cutthroat Kitchen.  I mean, here we have a guy like Alton Brown, who joined the network with the goal of showing home cooks the science behind food preparation, the tricks of developing a perfect recipe. Now, he hosts a show I find incredibly silly.  And I am not alone. Hummm, did I say I was done with criticism?  Sorry, I got carried away.  I am here to actually praise The Kitchen, a weekly show on FoodTV I enjoy quite a bit. One of the things I like is the sense of spontaneity behind it. Marcela Valladolid is charming, adorable, knowledgeable, and I am a huge fan of Geoffrey Zakarian. Jeff Mauro is witty, and seems like a very genuine person, the more I watch the show, the more I like him. They have features like Tool Takedown, interesting and fun. The whole idea is to test a gadget that is supposed to perform a specific task, say peel apples. One person will use it and another will grab a veggie peeler or a regular knife, and they compete to see who does it better and/or faster. For the most part, they demonstrate that single-use gadgets are a waste of money and storage space. I also love a feature called  “You Put What in your What?”. As the name indicates, it involves unusual additions to recipes, or crazy food combinations.  And that brings me to this post. I hope you’re ready for it.

banner

I know, it scared me too! But, please, don’t run away screaming.  These cookies are delightful, the pictures do absolutely no justice to them.  I baked them early in the morning while the kitchen was still dark and had to take pictures under very unforgiving lights.  You’ll need to make the dough at least 4 hours before baking, the day before is even better, so plan accordingly.  I found the recipe at the The Spice House website. Of course, being the spice cookie lover that I am, and reading the rave reviews of those who made them, I could not wait to bake a batch.

Curry Cardamon Cookies

CURRY CARDAMON COOKIES
(adapted from The Spice House website)

Yields approximately 6 dozen cookies

(I made half the recipe and got 30 cookies)

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted, chopped

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture, a third at a time. Stir in nuts.

Divide dough into four rolls and wrap each in waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (may also be frozen).

Slice into ¼-inch slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown, 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to a rack to cool thoroughly.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

rolls
I often tell our students to read the protocol carefully before starting a new experiment. Sometimes it would be nice to listen to my own advice.  The bit of “refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours” caught me unprepared. It was 9 pm and my intention was to bake them before going to sleep. Instead, I had to stick the dough in the fridge and resort to plan B: turn the oven on at 5:30am next day…    Oh, well…

They puff quite a bit while baking and release a fantastic aroma that will fill  your home with joy and tail-wagging dogs.

baking
Can you tell there is curry in them?  I doubt it. Actually Phil could, but I suspect he’s got a mass spectrometer in his nose, that man identify smells like nobody’s business. Our students thought they had ginger. I wish the pictures turned out better, but trust my words: these are GREAT cookies.  You know why I say that? I normally have one cookie of every batch I bake, no matter how tasty.  This was a FOUR COOKIE downfall.  I had four. One at home to make sure they were good enough to share, and the others during our lab meeting. They seem so harmless, but in my opinion they join all goodness a  cookie should have: sweetness that is not cloying, and a peppery, salty, addictive taste that mixed with the walnuts makes you go back for just one more. Maybe three.

cooling

This is another example of a cookie that will not win a beauty contest, I admit. But please, make them, share with friends, and dare them to guess the secret ingredient!

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, March 2014

TWO YEARS AGO: The Blogger and the Shrink

THREE YEARS AGO: The Wheat-Berry Transmogrification

FOUR YEARS AGO: Curried Zucchini Soup

FIVE YEARS AGO: Roasted Onion and Asiago Cheese Miche

PUMPKIN SHRIMP CURRY

With this installment, I used up the last bit of our precious home-made pumpkin purée stored in the freezer.  The series closed with a golden key, by the way.  This curry is a winner!   Pumpkin & shrimp is actually a very traditional combination in the Brazilian dish called “camarão na moranga”.  You can see a photo of the completed dish here.  Think about a shrimp stew served inside a small pumpkin, carved to hold the stew in all its tasty glory.  I intend to make the Brazilian version sometime, but for now I’ll share this variation that I adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.
served1_opt(1)

PUMPKIN SHRIMP CURRY
(adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2011)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
Pumpkin purée (15 ounces can, or homemade)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (light is ok)
1 + 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup green peas (frozen is fine, no need to defrost)
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
cilantro leaves to taste, minced
lime zest to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and ginger; lower the heat and sauté until soft, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and pumpkin puree, and  cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, curry powder, and cayenne pepper; simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add peas, shrimp, and lime juice. Simmer until shrimp are cooked and peas are warm. Serve with steamed rice. Top with cilantro, and lime zest.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I made a few modifications on the original recipe.  It called for only one tomato, diced.  I don’t think that’s enough, I love a more tomato-ey curry, so I added the full 15-ounce can, draining most of the liquid.  As I reduced the sauce, it seemed a bit too chunky, so I worked my immersion blender to smooth things out lightly. My final modification was to use green peas, whereas the original recipe added pieces of cooked butternut squash.  I thought it would be too monochromatic and boring. Plus, not much contrast between the taste of pumpkin and butternut squash.  The green peas brightened up the colors and added great flavor.  So, I patted myself on the back, and told Phil I am a great cook. And also very modest.  He said he knew both things already…  He’s a keeper, my friends. A keeper…   😉

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2012

TWO YEARS AGO: A Dutch Tiger

THREE YEARS AGO: Banana Bread
(bragging mode on: this recipe tied for first place in The Quest for the Best Banana Bread, at Eat, Play Love! ;-))