Monday, March 15, 2010

Shrimp Korma, Saag Aloo

I looked at the calendar this morning and noticed that Spring will officially start on Saturday! At long, very long, terribly long, last!!! :) We went to the lake house for a few days to deal with cleaning up storm damage there, and when we returned to the farm the change was incredible. After a week of warm temperatures and sun, and 2 days of rain, there is no snow. None. Well, a few pockets of the white stuff which remain at the northeast part of the house, closest to the porch, but other than that… wow. The night before we left I needed to grill chicken to take with us for use in a few recipes and I had to stand at the side of the grill because there was still too much snow piled around the front and other side. Amazing. Welcome, oh yes, and amazing. One month ago, there was over 2’ of snow everywhere, I had to strap on my snowshoes to make my way down to the mailbox, and it seemed as though winter would never end. I’m not kidding myself. We do get snow into April, but it will not last long. The warm, fuzzy, gentle light of spring is absolutely, most definitely at the end of the tunnel now!

Last week, I came across a great deal on shrimp while grocery shopping. I buy wild, gulf shrimp and often cannot seem to find them already peeled and deveined. Really, it’s one of my few indulgences since I do not like preparing shrimp but I do love to eat them. bought a couple of bags and for dinner I made Shrimp Korma from the book Curry, Fire and Spice by Mridula Baljekar.

I have made this recipe once before and my notes indicated that while it was very good, something was missing. The shrimp, even after being cooked in the sauce, needed some flavor. I remedied this by sprinkling the raw shrimp with cumin and allowing them to stand for a few minutes to allow the flavor to absorb. Also, a sprinkling of chopped, roasted cashews added a satisfying crunch. These two simple adjustments to the recipe worked for us, and served with saag aloo (spinach and potatoes) it was a very flavorful, warming meal. I suppose I could have added another vegetable (I don’t often serve rice and potatoes in the same meal), but it worked.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Shrimp Korma

Recipe adapted from Curry, Fire & Spice

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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10 ounces large shrimp -- peeled and deveined

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons plain lowfat yogurt

2 tablespoons light coconut milk

2 tablespoons skim milk

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground red chili pepper -- not chili powder (which is a mix of different peppers); if unavailable, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper will be a decent substitute

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon coconut extract

2/3 cup water

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon grated ginger root

1 piece cinnamon stick -- about 1"

2 whole green cardamom pods

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons cashews -- chopped

hot, cooked basmati rice

Drain shrimp on paper towels to remove excess water.

Place yogurt through water in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside

Sprinkle ground cumin evenly over the shrimp and toss lightly. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok over medium heat and add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom pods. Turn heat to low and fry for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the yogurt mixture and raise the heat to bring to a boil, stirring often.

Add shrimp and cook, stirring, constantly until sauce thickens a little more and shrimp turn pink.

Portion rice onto serving plates, divide shrimp on top of rice, pour extra sauce over, garnish with cilantro and chopped cashews.

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Nutritional information does not include rice

Per serving: 296 Calories (kcal); 13g Total Fat (2g Saturated); (37% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 217mg Cholesterol; 309mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : The coconut extract is essential. If not available, increase coconut milk to 4 tablespoons and omit the skim milk.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Saag Aloo (Spinach with Potatoes)

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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4 ounces fresh spinach

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 medium onion -- halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced

1 large garlic clove -- crushed

1 teaspoon minced ginger

6 ounces white potato -- cut into 1" pieces

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

Steam the spinach for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and fry the mustard and cumin seeds until they begin to sputter (do not burn them!). Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the potatoes, cayenne, salt, and water. Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes, stirring often and adding more water if necessary to prevent sticking.

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Per serving: 128 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat (trace Saturated); (32% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 319mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates