Sunday, May 29, 2016

Every-Which-Way Shrimp Stir Fry

You know those times when you ate something and the memory of how good it tasted lingers on in your mind? I first had these shrimp at a potluck a few years ago, and at last have the recipe from my friend, Lisa, to share with you.

“It’s so much better with fresh curry leaves,” both Lisa and the recipe proclaim. I tried it with large shrimp, medium shrimp; fresh curry leaves, fresh basil leaves; Thai green chillies, Serano chilies and red bell pepper. It was all good, but I’ll probably make the medium shrimp - with the Thai chilies and curry leaves - most often.


Adjust the heat to your preference, look for the curry leaves at an Indian market (call ahead), the Thai chilies at a Mexican market, and create your own memories at your next potluck ~


*MPM Rating: 4.5 Persimmons


Ingredients:


1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (or 12 large for appetizer - adjust seasonings accordingly)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chilies, or to taste

2 tablespoons olive or grape seed oil
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 - 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

30 fresh curry leaves for medium shrimp (15 for large) - washed and dried well

10 tablespoons grated* tomato for medium shrimp (6 tablespoons for large shrimp) - about 2-3 large tomatoes
*Note: cut a small piece from one side of the tomato and grate on a hand-held grater - measure the juice and seeds).

Pinch of salt for grated tomatoes

Directions:

1. Wash the shrimp well. Let drain in a strainer, then fold shrimp in paper towels to completely dry them off. Put the shrimp in a bowl; add the cayenne, black pepper, salt and chilies. Mix well, and refrigerate until ready to stir fry.

2. Put the oil in a wok or large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, test one seed to see if it pops. Add the rest of the mustard seeds. As soon as they all pop (in a few seconds), remove from the heat and add the garlic. Cook the garlic through, but do not let it burn. Stir a few times. Return to the fire, and add the curry leaves so they release their oils - about 5 - 10 seconds. Then add the shrimp, and stir around for about 1 -2 minutes as they turn opaque. Add the grated tomato and stir to heat through. Taste for seasonings.

Serve immediately. Medium shrimp serves 2-3. Leftovers can be put in fridge for a day or two.

#paleo #shrimp #glutenfree #dairyfree #chillis #appetizer #indianfood #maincourse #madhurjaffrey #grainfree #Thai #chilies

Recipe adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's book, At Home with Madhur Jaffrey.



MPM Rating between 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Four & Twenty Blackberries Baked in a Pie

And when the pie was opened,
The guests began to sing -
Wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the King!

"A Dramatic and Almost Regal Pie” is the header for Bill Granger's Blackberry Meringue Pie recipe. Hence, the poem; and, of course, feel free to burst into song ~


MPM Rating: 2 Persimmons*


Ingredients:

Digestive Biscuits (gluten-free)


The Digestive Biscuits made with buckwheat flour (in the rhubarb family) were the highlight of this dish for me. The recipe is from the Whatever's Left website here, and were later crushed for the pie crust dough. I added the zest from 1 lemon to the recipe.

Digestive Biscuits


Blackberry Pie

Recipe for the pie is found on the Delicious.com website at this link.


Poem author: Mother Hubbard

#glutenfree #blackberries #pie #coconut #digestive #biscuits #meringue 






MPM Rating between 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Thai Red Curry in a Hurry

Three magical words caught my attention in this recipe from the new issue of Food & Wine magazine: "...in a Hurry."

While the author said it could be ready in under an hour, what worked for me was to make the curry sauce two nights before, then finish the rest before serving. It's not quite the same as ordering a box from Blue Apron, but it comes pretty close!

MPM Rating: 2.5 Persimmons*

Ingredients:

1 large shallot, finely chopped

4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2" piece of peeled ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups whole peeled tomatoes + juice from 1 15-ounce can or 1/2 juice from 28-ounce can
1 can Trader Joe's Coconut Cream (for richest flavor)
Kosher Salt

1 pound mixed vegetables, cut into 1" pieces (I used green beans, yellow cauliflower and carrots)
1 pound firm white fish (halibut or cod); skin removed and cut into 2" pieces
1 package of cooked rice noodles

Cilantro sprigs and lemon wedges for garnish

Directions for Sauce:

1. In a food processor, add the shallot, garlic and ginger to get a fine chop and good mixture.

2. Heat the grape seed oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot mixture and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes; stir often.
3. Add the curry paste and turmeric; cook until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands, then the tomato juice. Stir and cook until the tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in the coconut milk and salt and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.

Note: Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered dish for up to 3 days.

Finishing the Dish:

1. Prepare the rice noodles and set aside.
2. Heat the curry sauce to a medium simmer.
3. Par boil the vegetables separately and set aside.
4. Season the fish with salt and nestle into the curry sauce
5. Add the vegetables and heat everything through making sure the fish is cooked, about 5 minutes. (Note: I fried the fish pieces in hot grape seed oil for about 1 minute for extra flavor and then added them to the sauce)
6. Spoon the curry over the noodles, add the garnishes, and serve.

Serves 4.

#paleo #thai #curry #fish #rice #coconut #rice #noodles #recipe #healthyeating #cleaneating

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine April 2016 issue.




*New feature starting this week:  MPM Rating between 1-5 Persimmons

I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Driver's Market in Sausalito, California USA

I shop at almost all the markets in Marin, but there is one I wanted to give a “shout out” to in case you didn’t know about it.

Driver’s Market in Sausalito is locally owned and committed to supporting sustainable agriculture, biodynamic farming, and non-GMO products. The inspiration for the market was Zingerman’s, a nationally-famous gourmet-food destination in Ann Arbor. To me, it's sort of like having a mini-Dean & Deluca right in our own backyard!
.
Their produce manager, Lauren Miller, sources all organic fruits and vegetables from local farms and buys in small qualities - the best of the best. Their Meyer lemons burst with flavor and juice, and the lettuce from Full Belly Farm is sweet and crunchy like it was just picked (which it probably was). 

The market is small, but full service. Check their website for speakers, films, and classes. And I guarantee you will love the Gurkha Chicken Nepali Plate from Bini’s Kitchen in the deli! 

Please support this Little Gem of a market - you will definitely taste the difference!







Sunday, May 1, 2016

Havarti Cheese Puff Pastry Sticks (Gluten Free)

About half way through making the puff pastry, it occurred to me that there was no way this was going to work. How could gluten-free dough rise enough to be light and flaky like a croissant?

I wasn't totally wrong, but it didn't matter. The toasted Havarti and warm butter were as satisfying as a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich - everyone loved them.


Allow two days to make the puff pastry, and about 1 hour to assemble and bake. Or, if you can tolerate gluten, just buy frozen puff pastry. You didn’t hear that from me, though, right?


MPM Rating: 5 Persimmons*


For the Gluten-Free Puff Pastry:


Follow the guidelines on Bob's Mill website here.  It takes about two days for the dough to be ready to bake.


For the Havarti Cheese Puff Pastry Sticks:*


Ingredients:


Flour for dusting 

2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed; or recipe from Bob's Mill above (makes 1 large sheet)
Egg wash (1 beaten egg + 2 tablespoons water)
1 package Havarti Cheese (about 8-10 oz)
Fleur de Sel, or other chunky salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
Black sesame seeds (about 2 teaspoons)

Instructions:



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

1. Dust a flat surface with flour. Roll out the pastry dough and brush with egg wash.

2. Grate the cheese and sprinkle evenly over the dough.
3. Sprinkle the fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper over the cheese.
4. With a sharp knife, cut strips about 1" wide. (For the gluten-free dough, I cut the strips in half horizontally).
5. Holding the top of a strip, roll it into a spiral from the bottom. Place the rolled strip on a baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the strips. 
6. Brush the sticks gently with egg wash, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Sprinkle a bit more salt and pepper on top.
7. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve warm.


Makes about 24 strips.


#snacks #glutenfree #puffpastry #vegetarian #havarti #cheese #appetizer #Indian #chaat #foodblog


*Thanks to Chef Asima at the Haute Sucre website for the recipe.


*MPM Rating between 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.