Summer is here and I've gotten a "new"/used camera body (yeah!! A Canon 40D!), and a "new" lens - a fast 17-55. Yeah, I know - still no macro lens. It will have to wait for now. But the pull towards creativity has gotten stronger, and my ancient Rebel was beginning to feel about the same as using dial-up.
Summer is here, and I'm using my oven less, my stovetop and grill more. Cherries are in the markets, and so are kaffir lime leaves - my latest culinary love. I'm putting them in dishes which could use a note of citrus, and these days I seem to want that note more and more - in my food and soon in a lovely drink recipe. (Stay tuned). My favorite Asian grocery store sells them in those styrofoam trays covered with plastic. I bring them home and freeze them.
Of course, I don't travel to the supermarket with only one item on the list. And I never come home with only the items on my list. I mean, what fun would that be, without room for serendipity? No. I cruise the aisles and wait for inspiration. This past week it came in the form of shrimp. Decent sized shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined and at an insanely reasonable price. How does $4.99/lb. sound? That's what I thought. Me too. Which is why I went for the bag of baby bok choy and some scallions. I had shitakes at home.
I found a couple of recipes on Epicurious for Thai curries that used seafood and kaffir lime leaves. I read them and then went into the kitchen and got to work. What follows is an adjusted recipe, as best as I can remember my own adjustments. I've never felt compelled to follow a recipe, and those of you who follow my blog certainly don't seem to have those constraints either.
- 1 13.5- to 14.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 12 whole green cardamom pods, crushed
- 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves (3 double leaves)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 5 green onions, finely chopped, dark green parts separated from white and pale green parts
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
- 2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons green Thai curry paste - or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)
- 10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
For curry sauce:
Combine all ingredients except shrimp in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking to blend. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cover and let sauce stand at room temperature 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Strain. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)
In a separate pan, saute the bok choy over high heat with a little oil for 2 minutes or so. Add to curry sauce and let it sit in the sauce while the flavors are blending.
Heat before serving and drop shrimp in, allowing them to cook until pink - 3-5 minutes, depending upon size.
Serve over steamed rice. I added cilantro to the rice after it had steamed but was still hot.