Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry

I have always been a big fan of flavor. This dish perfectly exemplifies that. I am always craving spicy Thai food, the spicier the better. While this curry isn’t the spiciest in the world it certainly does the trick, and all without having to buy a thousand different spices. It also took only about 30 minutes to make. The trick: preparation in advance. Chop all of your vegetables before you heat the stove. Be super organized and a food nerd like me and put every ingredient in a separate little bowl to be poured in at exactly the right time I felt like I was hosting a show on the Food Channel. (Hey, fake it til ya make it, right?). I have served this curry so many ways: on top of rice, pasta, quinoa, even by itself like a stew. It’s easy, fast to make, and tastes impressively good. So next time you’re picking up the takeout Thai restaurant menu, pick up this recipe instead. You’ll thank me later.

Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry (makes about 5 servings)

Ingredients

  • 15 frozen shrimp, defrosted
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Thai Red Curry pasta (change this based on spice preference)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced ginger (or shredded fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups kale, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and stir together for a couple minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk and red curry paste. Tasta and adjust spicy factor to your preference. Add chopped broccoli, mushroom, kale, garlic, and ginger to the saucepan. Stir well and let the vegetables wilt for about a minute or two. Add the coconut milk/curry mixture into the saucepan, along with the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper to preference and add scallions. Turn the heat on low and let the curry simmer for 5 minutes, or until all the ingredients are warmed through. Serve over grain of choice.

Optional ideas: use chicken instead of shrimp, add different vegetables (sliced potato, red bell peppers).

The Ultimate Arugula Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I wouldn’t say I am a big grilled cheese person, but man oh man is this sandwich incredible. So incredible that I ate half of it before realizing I should take a photo!

The beauty of this grilled cheese is the balance of flavors: sharp, melted cheddar cheese, crisp sweet apple slices, smoked turkey, and peppery arugula all balanced perfectly between two slices of crispy buttery, multigrain bread. If you’re not drooling upon reading this, I am not sure you are human (okay that was harsh–but seriously, who says no to a melty cheesy sandwich?).

The Ultimate Arugula Grilled Cheese Sandwich (makes 1 sandwich)

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices multigrain bread
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese (in my mind, the cheesier the better)
  • Thinly sliced apple
  • Sliced turkey
  • 1/4 Cup arugula

Directions:

The secret to a good grilled cheese sandwich is low and slow. Warm a skillet on medium-low heat. Butter the two slices of toast on the sides that will be touching the skillet. On the skillet, stack your sandwich as follows: bread slice, cheese, turkey, arugula, apples, more cheese, and then bread. Heat the sandwich on one side for about 3 minutes, until the cheese on that sides starts to do that delicious, melty business we all love. Flip and toast the sandwich on the other side for about another 3 minutes. Take the sandwich off the skillet and chow down!

Shrimp and Parmesan Polenta

Where did the fall season go in NYC?

One minute it’s humid and summery, then Hurricane Sandy comes barreling through, and then it’s freezing! My poor Californian body is having trouble adjusting. But hey, I guess that’s what heavy coats are for.

Anyways, enough ranting about the weather–that’s just boring. Let’s discuss more interesting, delicious things. Like this shrimp and parmesan polenta.

Polenta is something that initially may seem intimidating (I mean with a fancy name like polenta I was already sensing a challenge); however, it is actually very easy to make, and can be a unique grains option for any meal. Polenta is hearty, simple, and flavorful. The perfect winter dish!

Shrimp and Parmesan Polenta (makes 1 serving)

Ingredients for Polenta

  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup water

Ingredients for Shrimp

  • 5-6 shrimp, deveined
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • scallions, chopped (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chili paste (optional, but completely recommended)

Directions:

First, pour olive oil into a warm pan. Add in onion, bell pepper and garlic. Stir for 3-5 minutes.  Pour in pasta sauce, chili paste, and scallions. Add shrimp and stir until warm.

In a separate saucepan, boil the 1 cup of water. Pour in cornmeal and whisk, turning the heat down to a simmer. Whisk together until polenta thickens. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl, stirring in the butter and parmesan cheese until incorporated. Pour shrimp over polenta and enjoy!