No matter what one’s communication style is, food is the one thing we all connect over (except maybe puppies and kittens, but then you start getting into exotic pet territory and before you know it you need a Bloody Mary).
At any rate, I’ve certainly found my love for cooking has broadened my network considerably, not to mention give me the courage to experiment in the kitchen much as I would in the PR arena.
So I’m adding a new category to my blog in celebration of all things food, the barriers it breaks down and the people who cheer me on (I’m extremely lucky that my husband doesn’t mind being my guinea pig). This accidental recipe is especially for Natalie Tindall, Chuck Hemann and Robin Eads (all of whom asked) as well as Judy Gombita and Betsy Karasik (who, along with Chuck, taught me the difference between red onions and shallots).
From my kitchen to yours: salud.
Shonali’s Accidental Oriental Shrimp Curry (serves 4, or 2 if you’re greedy)
2 tsp oil; 4 shallots, finely sliced; 1 cup finely sliced green onions (scallions); 1 tsp ginger paste; 1 tsp garlic paste; 1 tsp. Thai red curry paste; 2 cups sliced mushrooms; 1 julienned red pepper; 1 cup cut green beans; ½ zucchini, chopped; 1 cup mung bean sprouts; 2 cups shrimp (can use frozen, pre-cooked, just take the tails off when you defrost them); 1 can reduced-fat coconut milk; 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro; 1 ½ tsp lemongrass; 1 tsp salt (or to taste); ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste).
Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Reduce flame to medium, add shallots, fry a couple of minutes until just brown, then add green onions. Add ginger, garlic and Thai red curry pastes. Mix well.
Add mushrooms and cook a few minutes until they start reducing slightly, then add the rest of the veggies. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally; do not overcook.
Add shrimp and mix well. After a couple of minutes, add salt, cayenne pepper and lemongrass, and finally the coconut milk. Stir well until the gravy is the consistency you desire. Finally add chopped cilantro and give it a couple of stirs until it’s well mixed.
Serve over your grain of choice: white or brown rice, or noodles. Equally delicious as a hearty soup.
Notes: Don’t have fresh veggies? Use frozen (they’re almost as nutritious, as I learned when I worked with the American Institute of Cancer Research). Don’t have the specific veggies listed above? Bung in what you have. As to ginger and garlic pastes, if you like Asian cuisine, you can find them at an Indian grocery store (or just grate/crush the fresh stuff at home). Finally, when you’re frying the onions/pastes, if they start sticking to the pan, just throw in a couple spoons water to unstick ’em and it won’t hurt anyone.
If you try this, will you let me know how it turned out? Especially if you cooked a variation, I’d love to know.