When we left for LA I waved goodbye to all my cookbooks except one:  Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times.  It seemed like the perfect guide for our stay here, when we’d face longer commutes and a busier overall schedule.  I’ve already made quite a few recipes from it,  and this simple shrimp recipe is a fine example of its utility:  the dish was ready in minutes and perfect for a weeknight dinner.  Throw on some white rice, whip up a salad, unleash some tropical music (we’ve been listening to this quite a bit lately), and rock the casbah!.

(Mark Bittman, visit his website by clicking here)

2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs minced ginger
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 + 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp lime zest
1 can tomatoes, diced  (28 ounces)
salt and black pepper
1 + 1/2 pounds peeled shrimp
fresh cilantro (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the ginger and saute for 1 minute.  Add the cumin, coriander, and lime zest and cook for 30 seconds, stirring.  Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, mix well and bring to a boil.   Reduce the heat and cook until the mixture is almost dry – about 15 minutes (I opted for leaving a little bit more saucy, so I cooked for less than 10 minutes).

Add the shrimp and stir.  Cook until done, less than 10 minutes in very gentle heat.  Taste, adjust seasoning, sprinkle fresh cilantro leaves and serve over white rice.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Two details make this recipe shine. First, the ginger is minced, not grated.  I confess that when I read the recipe I rolled my eyes  – why mince ginger if you can grate it, Mr Bittman? – but, my Microplane is bigger than our kitchen sink, so I succumbed to the idea of washing a knife instead.    😉    Well, from now on I’ll be mincing ginger with a smile, because I loved its intense flavor in each bite, making a huge improvement over grating.

Secondly,  he lightly toasts the spices  in oil, a common technique in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, that also pumps the flavor to another level. Don’t omit these steps,  because they make this dish surprisingly tasty. Shrimp (and seafood in general) is indeed the busy cook’s best friend!

ONE YEAR AGOGolden Zucchini: A taste of yellow

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(Mark Bittman)

2 colheres de sopa de azeite
1 colher de sopa de gengibre picado
1 colher de sopa de cominho
1 + 1 / 2 colher de chá de semente de coentro moida
1 colher de chá de raspas de limão
1 lata de tomates picados (cerca de 2.5 copos)
sal e pimenta preta
750g – 1 kg  de camarão descascado
coentro fresco (opcional)

Aqueça o azeite em uma frigideira, adicione o gengibre e refogue por 1 minuto. Adicione o cominho, semente de coentro moida e raspas de limão e cozinhe por 30 segundos, mexendo sempre. Adicione os tomates, o sal e a pimenta, misture bem e deixe ferver.  Abaixe o fogo e cozinhe até que a mistura esteja quase seca – cerca de 15 minutos (optei por deixar um pouco mais liquido, cozinhei menos de 10 minutos).

Acrescente os camarões e mexa. Cozinhe até que mudem de cor, menos de 10 minutos em fogo bem suave.  Prove, ajuste o tempero, adicione o coentro fresco imediatamente antes de servir, de preferencia com arroz branco.