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! ;-))

CELEBRATE WEDNESDAY WITH A SEAFOOD CURRY

I honestly could not remember when was the last time I made a special midweek dinner for us. It seemed like ages, so I browsed the blog and there it was:  May 3rd.  Four  months ago.  Four hectic months.  Slowly we begin to adjust to a new routine, but there’s no doubt that my cooking suffered quite a bit.  Lack of energy, the feeling of being always short on time and exhausted, it all took a toll on me.  But, it’s about time to shake things up a little. This was simple enough to prepare after work, and delivered all that I expected to make that evening – a prisoner in the middle of a busy week – feel very special!

THAI SEAFOOD CURRY
(adapted from Bon Appetit Everyday Meals)

3 large limes
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut in small dice
1 + 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
1 can (about 14 oz) light unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
10 ounces cod fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
12 peeled large shrimp
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Finely grate enough peel from 2 limes to measure 1 + 1/2 teaspoons. Squeeze enough juice from 2 limes to measure 2 tablespoons. Cut third lime into wedges, and reserve for serving.

Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the  shallots, bell pepper, and minced ginger; sauté until shallots and peppers soften up slightly, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Stir in curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce,  lime peel, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Simmer gently, for a few minutes. Sprinkle fish and shrimp with salt and pepper. Add fish and shrimp to curry sauce. Return to very gentle simmer and cook just until fish and shrimp are opaque in center, 5 to 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cilantro and basil; serve with lime wedges, over steamed white rice.  Prepare to receive high praise.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  The original recipe used halibut, but I substituted cod because our grocery store had gorgeous looking cod that day, whereas the halibut seemed a bit sad (or, to quote a favorite French expression of mine: pas fameux ;-)).  My other modification was to use green curry paste instead of red, because that’s what I had in my pantry.  As to coconut milk, I almost always use light because it works well for this type of recipe. It is slightly less dense, but feels rich and flavorful enough, with the added bonus of lower fat content.

ONE YEAR AGOPost-workout Breakfast

TWO YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

THREE YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers