Sunday, March 13, 2011

Curry Shrimp

I do two versions of curried shrimp, both are pretty easy. The first is a great appetizer because it goes right on a cracker or chip. But that is for another post. This Curry Shrimp I made last night for dinner. This is potent stuff, heavily seasoned. The shrimp are cooked separately so the masala doesn't totally dominate the shrimp flavor. It would be good, and more traditional on rice, but I'm using pasta. I would use gnocchi if I had them. Potatoes would be good as well; in fact, I had it for breakfast with boiled fingerlings, excellent combo.

Software:
From Cooking

Not pictured, farfalle pasta.

Spices:
You could really use any spice blend. I tried this combination and its pretty good. If you are really lazy, its about 3-4 tablespoons of a store bought powder. Badia does a decent yellow curry powder but the McCormick Signature Collection Red Curry powder is better.

Coriander, fennel seed, fenugreek, white pepper, cardamon - Twice as much coriander as fennel. About equal amount of fennel seed and fenugreek and pepper. 6 pods cardamom. Grind into a powder using a coffee grinder.

Turmeric, about a tablespoon. I like turmeric, I use a heavy hand.

Cayenne to taste.

Everything in Place:
From Cooking

There's the farfalle!

Only chopped 2 of the 3 carrots, as they are quite large. It about the same volume carrot as onion.

I hit the diced tomatoes with the IMMERSION BLENDER!!! (this is the appropriate way to describe the coolest power tool in a kitchen) resulting in a pureed consistency. I want a smoother sauce because this will go over pasta, but it works just fine with diced tomatoes.

Everything in Place 2:
From Cooking

Heavy cast enameled cast iron pot with canola oil and a tablespoon on cumin seeds. They sizzle for about 2 minutes in the oil before the onion goes in. Flavor country.

The frozen shrimp are on a steamer rack with water below.

Control Flow:

Shrimp:
Steam pot on high with lid. Should take about 15 - 20 minutes to cook the frozen shrimp depending on size and stove power.

When done (they can be a hair under cooked as they will finish in sauce) move shrimp the ice bath to stop cooking. If they are not peeled, do so later while the masala simmers.

Aside - It is interesting my stove appears purple in the picture, its actually red.

Pasta:
I used the shrimp water to cook the pasta for some added flavor. It's almost a quick stock, i guess. So add some water to the pot, above half way full, then back on the heat to boil.

Masala:
Heavy pot gets a liberal coating with canola oil and tablespoon of cumin seeds and medium heat. Seriously, use canola. Generic vegetable oil probably is fine, but don't use olive (flavor profile and low smoke point) or peanut (won't mesh in the masala).

Cumin will start to pop and sizzle. Let it for a minute or so.

Add onion. Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally. They will just start to brown around some edges.

Add garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Add homemade curry powder, stir, cook for 1 minute.

Add tomato and some salt. Stir.

Add half can of coconut milk. Cook and stir.

Note - Proportion of coconut milk to tomato is done to taste. I think minimum 2-1 tomato to coco is needed. I actually added a little more at the end.

Add carrots. Stir. Lid on. Stir it occacionally.

Let this simmer for at least 10 minutes. My heat is down to 2 and it still got a strong simmer going. It can simmer for longer, mine went almost 30 minutes due to dog walk, shrimp peel and waiting for pasta to cook.

Drop the pasta (this one says to cook for 10 minutes, i'll do 8 and let it finish in masala), time your accordingly.

Integration:
Pasta goes in masala. Some cooking water can go with it, not problem. I used a slotted spoon for the transfer.

Peeled and ice bathed shrimp go in next.

Kick the heat up a bit, stir it all together to a consistent temperature.

Serve:
From Cooking

I'd put a sprig of cilantro for color if I had it.