Monthly Archives: May 2013

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

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Shrimp with Lobster Sauce served with rice and roasted carrots

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce served with rice and roasted carrots

This is a contribution from a Sophisticated Gentleman.  My brother-in-law enjoys cooking more than my sister does.  This is one of the first dishes that he won her heart (through her picky stomach) with when they were dating.  It is still one of her favorites.  Don’t worry if it turns out differently every time.  It is part of the charm of it all.

It all comes together quickly, so I recommend prepping all the ingredients before you start cooking.  I color-coded ingredients that can be mixed ahead of time so you just have to dump it all in at once.  The bonus is you can taste it and see if you like it or want to adjust it before adding it in. Feel free to play around with the quantities.  If you like more egg, add more.  Like the black bean sauce, add more of that.  If you’re not sure about how to adjust it, think about the individual ingredients – too salty, that is too much soy sauce, so add more black bean sauce.  Black bean sauce is usually in the Asian section of the grocery store, or of course in Asian grocery stores.  Before adding in the water/cornstarch mixture, make sure you give it a fresh stir because it tends to settle in clumps.

Everything prepped and ready since everything cooks up quickly (the bonus, you'll feel like you're on your own cooking show!)

Everything prepped and ready since everything cooks up quickly (the bonus, you’ll feel like you’re on your own cooking show!)

2 T cornstarch (split into ½ T and 1-1/2 T)
2 tsp dry sherry or Shao Zing wine
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
¼ pound ground pork
1 c chicken broth or water
2 T soy sauce
2 T black bean sauce
¼ tsp sugar
¼ c cold water
1 egg, beaten

In a medium bowl, dissolve ½ T cornstarch in the sherryAdd the shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat.  Prep the rest of the ingredients if they are colored, put like colors together.

Heat the wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp and fry until pink, about 3-5 minutes, flipping them about halfway through.  Remove the shrimp to a plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

Add the garlic and ginger to the hot oil, fry for a few seconds.  Then add the ground pork.  Cook, stirring constantly until the pork is cooked and no longer pink.

Combine broth, soy sauce, black bean sauce, sugar and salt in the wok with the pork.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes.  Mix the remaining 1-1/2 T cornstarch with ¼ c cold water.  Pour in the pan with the pork.  Add back in the shrimp and any juices.  Bring to a simmer and keep stirring.  While stirring, drizzle in the egg and keep stirring until the egg gets mixed into everything as it cooks.  Serve over rice.

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Keema with Peas (Peas optional)

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Keema seasoning mix is available in Indian grocery stores

Keema seasoning mix is available in Indian grocery stores

Today we are tackling keema.  It is a lovely flavored ground meat, onion and pea mixture that is super easy to pull together.  If you can brown hamburger, you can make this.  It is a total weeknight dish since all you chop is an onion and you make this all in one dish in less than 20 min.  I serve with with parathas and another vegetable.  Last week we had Arvind’s favorite baked “fried” eggplant.  But that is a recipe for another day.

Usually keema is made with ground lamb.  If that is not something you can get easily or enjoy, substitute it out for other ground meats.  I made it with turkey recently to keep it lean.  You might find that chicken or turkey take a little more seasoning because the meat is a little blander, whereas lamb, hamburger or meatloaf mix have a little more umphf to them.

Next week I will be covering Bengali egg rolls.  Unlike the Chinese food of the same name, these actually have eggs in them.  And you can use your leftover keema in your egg rolls.

For those of you who love kabobs, we’ll cover keema kabobs later.

My apologies that I don’t have pictures of the final dish today.  My photographer left for India today and has all sorts of pictures in his camera.  I will edit this later to include them, so check back later!

Olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
1 T ginger garlic paste (or ½ T minced garlic and ½ T minced ginger)
½-1 T keema seasoning (see picture)
1 pound ground lamb (or ground turkey, ground chicken, hamburger, pork or meatloaf mix)
1/2-1 c water
2 c frozen peas, optional
1 T cornstarch mixed into 3 T water, optional

Here is how I carve out a spot for heating up spices before mixing them into fried onions.  Heating the spices helps make them taste better.

Here is how I carve out a spot for heating up spices before mixing them into fried onions. Heating the spices helps make them taste better.

Heat oil in a skillet and mix in onions.  Cook until they are just starting to brown.  Pull the onions aside to make a small hole in the lowest part of your skillet.  (On my stove, it is off to the side because of my crooked house).  Add a pinch more oil, then add in the ginger garlic paste.  Mash the paste with a wooden spoon to get as much of it touching the skillet as possible.  Let the paste heat up a pinch.  Mix into onions.  Create a new free spot and add a pinch of oil.  Add in the keema mix.  You can go easy on this and add more later if you don’t add enough.  It can get spicy if you do a ton, so go light to start and you can always add more later.  Mix the keema spices and oil and let heat until you can smell the spices heating up.  Then mix into the onions.  Add in the ground meat.  Break up the meat with wood spoon to get small pieces, about the size of peas.  Brown the meat.

You can stop here if the meat is cooked all the way through.  Particularly with lamb, you’ll probably want to keep going because the meat will get more tender with more cooking.  Just test the dish to make sure you like how it tastes.  If it is too bland, add in more keema seasoning.

Add the water and cover.  Cook for 5 min.  Mix in peas and cover up again.  Cook for 5 more minutes.  Take the cover off of the pan.  Check to see if everything is cooked well.  If it is saucy with a thin sauce, mix up the cornstarch/water mixture and add that in as well.  The sauce will thicken up.  If it isn’t as thick as you’d like, add another round of cornstarch/water.  It should be the consistency of taco meat.  Taste it and see if you like how it tastes.  If it is too bland, add more keema spices.

Serve with parathas.  Keep the leftovers for egg rolls (coming next week).

Parathas

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Parathas nicely puffed up

Parathas nicely puffed up

Parathas.  For those of you who know what they are, you’re all sighing in contentment.  This easy bread is a great way to finish off cooking a meal without having to do any work.  And if you have an Indian husband lurking near your kitchen, you can probably put him to work “making” them for you.  I will be using them in other recipes, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to them today so you have the basics in what they are an how to make them.

What are they?  Parathas are an Indian bread that is similar to naan.  You can make them from scratch, but here in the States, pre-made frozen ones are very popular.  They are smaller than the naan you get in a restaurant.  The come in plain, whole wheat or stuffed.  You can heat some up to take the place of rice in different

Fresh out of the freezer, they are hard disks

Fresh out of the freezer, they are hard disks

meals.  Or, if you are Arvind, they are the meal.  The first meal he made me was parathas, Indian pickle (lime chutney, carrot chutney, etc) and shrikhand (a sweet, strained yogurt).  Yeah, he went all out.  But I was hooked.  The puffy consistency pulls you in and they have just enough flavor that they are good on their own, but can also go along with a ton of different dishes.  Arvind is a fan of Swedish meatballs and parathas.

What is up with the different types?  Plain and whole wheat parathas are the basics.  they’ll go with anything.  But they do make them stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower, onion, or my new favorite – fenugreek (methi).  The stuffed ones are a bit more substantial and can be coordinated with your other dishes.

A plain one (in back) and whole wheat one (in front) just starting to cook

A plain one (in back) and whole wheat one (in front) just starting to cook

How do I make them?  This is the easiest part.  You will need a non-stick pan.  We use a 2-burner griddle (aka “the paratha pan” in our house).  That is it.  No oil, butter or ghee.  Just a pan and some heat.  The parathas come in 5 in a pack (or multiple 5-packs in a larger bag).  They gave sheets of plastic between them.  You take out as many as you want while heating up your pan over medium-high heat.  I usually am too impatient for the pan to heat up and as soon as it is warm, I toss on the parathas.  They will look like a frozen tortilla.  Using thongs, a spatula or wooden spoon, flip the paratha frequently as it melts and then starts to cook.  As it gets closer to being done, you’ll see brown spots on it.  When it puffs up and has some nice brown spots, you’re done.  You can make the next one.  We keep them in a tortilla warmer to keep on the table because you want to keep them nice and warm.  They aren’t great reheated.

As thaw, they get almost opaque

As thaw, they get almost opaque

Of course they come from the Indian grocery store.  They are in the freezer section.  Our freezer section has a bewildering array of them, but the nice thing is that they are pretty risk-free in trying out different flavors, but definitely start with the plain ones to get a feel for them.

Click on pictures to make them bigger. Enjoy!

They start cooking after they thaw

They start cooking after they thaw

Nearly there! Brown spots are starting to form and they are getting puffier

Nearly there! Brown spots are starting to form and they are getting puffier

 

Done! You can see the plain one (in back) is puffier than the whole wheat one

Done! You can see the plain one (in back) is puffier than the whole wheat one

You can find parathas in the freezer section of the Indian grocery store, or larger Asian grocery stores

You can find parathas in the freezer section of the Indian grocery store, or larger Asian grocery stores

Beaufort Stew

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Beaufort Stew with Rice  has tons of flavor and is easy to make

Beaufort Stew with Rice has tons of flavor and is easy to make

Are you looking for something that is PACKED with great flavors – Andoulle sausage, shrimp, chicken – that is super satisfying, impressive for guests, but also super easy to pull together?  Well, here is one for you.  It is a stew, but you serve it over rice, so it is an all-in-one meal in a bowl.  This one is from our family friend, Lois.  She is an amazing cook who has only given me amazing recipes.  And lives up to her great reputation.   The tomato stock can be made directly in the skillet, so you won’t even use too many dishes to make it.  If you think of it, grill the chicken ahead of time when you’re making something else on the grill (or bake them if you don’t want to fire up the grill).  You can add more veggies if you want and if you like it even thicker, just add more cornstarch-water mixture.   It freezes well, and it is a great one for company because you can finish it ahead of time and then serve when you want.

Chicken with cajun seasoning and andoulle sausage really make this pop

Chicken with cajun seasoning and andoulle sausage really make this pop

2 T olive oil
1 cup celery, large diced
½ cup onion, large diced – I used about 1 medium onion
1 cup mixed red, yellow and green peppers – about 1 pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast – grilled (I used about 4 frozen ones) – I sprinkled with Cajun seasoning before grilling.
1 pound Andoulle sausage – sliced
1 pound shrimp, peeled
1 small can of corn – or use fresh if you have it!

Tomato Stock:
3 cups V8 juice
2 bay leaves
Pepper and salt to taste
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp. thyme (fresh or dried)
2 tsp corn starch (mixed with 2 tsp water) – mix into stock

Saute the celery, onion and peppers in large heavy skillet in olive oil.   Cook until vegetables are half cooked.  Add the chicken and Andoulle sausage and sauté for 5 minutes.  If you are serving it right away, add in the shrimp at this point.   Add in the tomato stock ingredients, simmer for 10 minutes or until you feel all is done.  If it isn’t thick enough for your liking, mix up some more corn starch and water and mix it in.

If you are serving later, add the shrimp in and heat over medium-high heat for about 7-10 min until the shrimp is cooked.

Serve over cooked white rice.

Can freeze to serve later.

If you want to look at pictures more closely, just click on them.