Goodness…I haven’t been here in a while. The holidays were a whirlwind…in a truly wonderful way…and I have been cooking like crazy. However, I have to say, my camera has not been a huge part of my cooking this past month. I don’t normally like to apologize for lack of posting here on the blog (since this is after all my “hobby” )…but I will say, I do apologize for not taking picture of some of the delicious food that I have eaten in the past few weeks. I really hope to recreate most of it over the next months…with my camera handy so I can share it all with you.
One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was from my husband, the cookbook Everyday Indian by Bal Arneson. This cookbook was recommended to me from one of my pals at the gym when she learned that my husband and I were just starting to enjoy and experiment with Indian food. I am so excited to cook my way through this cookbook…it’s full of new spices and flavors that I can’t wait to try. And her approach to Indian cooking is healthy, which makes the cookbook even more appealing to me.
I have to tell you, this meal was perfect. The shrimp had such a fragrant and flavorful spice to them and they paired so nicely with the sweetness in the salad. I can not wait to make this again. Don’t be intimidated with cooking with whole spices, this was my first time and it was way easier than I ever thought it could be. I recently purchased this cute mortar and pestle with the help of my Spice Smuggling friend Jeffrey Saad during my last trip to Napa and finally broke it in. Let me just tell you how cool I felt grinding up my own spices by hand in my kitchen. You have to try it.
Indian-Thai Fusion Shrimp
Recipe adapted from Everyday Indian
2 TB light olive oil
4 TB Fusion Curry Paste (see recipe below)
20 uncooked shrimp, peeled
Place oil and curry paste in a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook through until pink.
Fusion Curry Paste
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 dried red chili pepper
2 cardamon pods (I used a few seeds)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine all the ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes. Let cool and process to a fine powder in a small grinder or crush with mortar and pestle.
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 TB finely chopped lemon grass (I did not have this and could not find in store)
1 TB grated ginger
1 TB grated garlic
1 TB lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
2 green chilies
1/4 cup water
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process to a paste. Add the toasted spices and process until all the ingredients are well mixed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Spinach and Orzo Salad with Mango Dressing
Dressing recipe from Everyday Indian
For the salad:
fresh spinach leaves
whole wheat orzo, cooked
toasted and chopped pistachios
For the dressing:
1/4 cup mango juice (I used peach nectar)
3 TB light olive oil
2 TB finely chopped mango
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
pinch salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar or sealed container and shake until mixed thoroughly. Toss dressing with spinach, orzo and pistachios. Dressing can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.