Monday, July 11, 2011

Undeservedly Good Shrimp Curry

Sometimes you want lip smackin' food with the minimum of effort.  By "minimum," I mean practically no effort at all.  Not just cutting corners, but eliminating them entirely.

To that end, I frequently employ some seriously slap-happy cooking practices that just possibly could get me banned from the food blogosphere.  To be honest, the results aren't always blogworthy. 

But this scrumptious dish calls for a little peek into the slam-dunk, get 'er done methods you can use to produce meals when you really don't feel like cooking.  And when you didn't thaw anything ahead of time.  When it absolutely, positively has to be on the table by six o'clock, and you started cooking at 5:45. 


Adapted from tasting the Valley Cafe's Spicy Asian Shrimp from our last visit there.  You can use a 14-ounce can of coconut milk instead of the water and coconut cream, if you like.

25 tail-on (or tail-off ... your call) shrimp, frozen
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes, in oil (I used Costco's, even though they have Italian spices!)
A few slabs (about 1/2 cup's worth) of coconut cream (see end of this post)
1 to 2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
A few grinds black pepper
2 cups water
Green onions (or chives)
Fresh basil or mint (Mint was growing in a pot on the patio, so I used that)
Chopped fresh tomato, if you have it

Quickly rinse the frozen shrimp, pluck them from the rinse water, and lay them in a single layer in a medium skillet.  Top with the sundried tomatoes, and arrange your coconut cream slabs around atop all.  Add the curry paste, crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper and 2 cups water.

Turn heat on to medium high, and when things start to bubble a bit, stir everything around.  Reduce heat a tad, but make sure it keeps simmering.  The shrimp will begin to turn pink.  Stir occasionally, and when shrimp are done, remove them with a slotted spoon to your serving dish.

Continue simmering the sauce until it's reduced about a third.  If you used a can of coconut milk, reducing probably won't be necessary.  Pour sauce over the shrimp, top with green onion (or chives), diced tomato, and basil or mint.

Makes 2 very hearty servings. 

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