From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you are looking for a light supper to replace the grilled meats and salads that can become monotonous at this time of year, I'd like to suggest this entree as an alternative. While it's not truly Asian, most of its components come from Thai kitchens, so, only an aficionado will know this dish is a simplified version of a more complicated Asian curry. At first glance, the ingredient list may seem imposing, but if you scan it, you'll see that most of the ingredients are spices. As a matter of fact, if you are really busy, you can substitute a teaspoon of good curry powder for the toasted and ground spices that are suggested at the beginning of the recipe. This is a simple dish to prepare. The recipe comes from the New York Times and while I love this curry I have one caution to share with you. The first time I made it, I found it to be terribly under salted. To overcome that, I soak the rice noodles in boiling salted water and adjust the salt content of the finished curry sauce to my own taste. I really like this dish, and in a short period of time it has made its way to my permanent recipe rotation. I do hope you'll give it a try. I think you'll like it too. Here is how the curry is made.
Rice Noodles with Coconut Curried Shrimp...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of the New York Times
12 ounces rice noodles (vermicelli)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 allspice berries
1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely diced, about 2 cups
2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
2 teaspoons grated ginger
Salt and pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 cups coconut milk
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup slivered scallions
Cilantro, basil, and mint leaves, for garnish
1) Using salted water cook rice noodles according to package directions, then drain and rinse well with cool water. Set aside. Keep a pot of boiling water on stove for reheating noodles later.
2) Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and allspice berries in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant, then grind in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, you can substitute the toasted ground spices with a teaspoon of good curry powder. Add turmeric and cayenne to mix. Set aside.
3) Put coconut oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add lemongrass, garlic and ginger to softened onions and cook for 2 minutes more.
4) Season with 1 teaspoon salt salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Then stir in ground spice mixture from step 2. Add lime zest and juice, fish sauce and coconut milk. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
5) Season shrimp and cherry tomatoes with salt. Add to pan and cover until shrimp are cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.
6) Dip noodles briefly in hot water to reheat, then drain and divide among bowls. Spoon shrimp, tomatoes and sauce over each serving. Sprinkle with scallions and garnish with cilantro, basil and mint leaves. Yield: 4 servings.
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