Red Curry and Shrimp

I love seafood and I love flavor. My typical seafood seasonings are salt, pepper, old-bay, garlic, and some other traditional seasonings. After a brief conversation with my husband regarding his new love of curry, I knew I needed to try some “upgraded” flavors for my seafood dishes.

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Have you ever combined red curry, coconut milk, seafood, and spinach? I hadn’t… but now that I have, my eyes have been opened to a new world of flavor combinations. I found a recipe from PaleoLeap.com and adapted their Curried Shrimps and Spinach recipe (already delicious) into a slightly elevated and non-paleo feast.

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The traditional curry most people find in stores is a yellow curry. I decided to give red curry a try since it was a special item for sale at Aldi recently. Red curry and yellow curry are similar but have a slightly different profile. The red curry is a little spicier than the traditional style. It’s amazing that I’ll see one simple item at a grocery store and develop an entire meal around that one item.

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If you’ve never made shrimp stock you need to learn how to now! Shrimp stock is a staple in New Orleans style cooking that adds a delicious seafood flavor to your meals. It can be used to replace chicken or vegetable stock in recipes. For my red curry shrimp recipe I used shrimp stock in my recipe to give my sauce a seafood flavor without overcooking the shrimp.

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I also boiled my rice in the shrimp stock instead of water to give it a little extra flavor. To make the stock you boil shrimp heads and shells in water (or chicken stock) for about 20 minutes and strain so that only the liquid remains. I like to call my shrimp stock… liquid gold.

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This meal turned out much better than I expected. it will probably become a staple in our home. My husband gave it the seal of approval and I must admit, it was quite delicious. If you’re looking for a slightly exotic recipe that’s relatively quick and easy. Check out my Red Curry and Shrimp recipe below!

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  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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Serves 4

Ingredients:

Shrimp Stock

  • 1.5 lb shrimp with shells and heads still on
  • 5 cups water

Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups short grain rice
  • 2 cups shrimp stock

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red curry powder
  • 3/4 cup shrimp stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Shrimp Stock

  1. Peel, remove heads, and clean shrimp. Set the shrimp aside for recipe use.
  2. In a medium sized stock pot combine shrimp heads, shells, and 5 cups water.
  3. Bring water and shell mixture to a boil and continue to boil for at least 15 minutes. The longer the mixture cooks, the more flavor the stock will have. If you cook longer than 20 minutes be sure to lower the heat to low so the mix can simmer.
  4. Pour shell mixture through a strainer into a container, saving liquid and discarding shells.
  5. Any unused stock and be frozen for later use.

Rice

  1. In a small saucepan combine 2 cups shrimp stock and 1.5 cups short grain rice.
  2. Bring to boil.
  3. Once boiling, cover and simmer over low for 20 minutes.
  4. Fluff rice with fork, re-cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.

Sauce

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in onion and cook, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add red curry powder and stir to combine.
  4. Transfer onion mixture to a blender or food processor and add in 3/4 cup shrimp stock and tomato paste.
  5. Blend or pulse mixture until pureed and smooth.
  6. Pour puree mixture back to pan, add coconut milk.
  7. Cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, stirring to combine.
  8. Salt and pepper sauce to taste.
  9. Mix in shrimp and spinach until spinach is wilted and shrimp are pink.
  10. Serve over rice.

*Recipe adapted from Paleo Leap Curried Shrimps and Spinach.

Quick and Easy Entertaining

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I recently celebrated my first birthday as a married woman. My husband and I had our families over for cake and ice cream in the middle of a long and busy weekend. We wanted to have heavy snacks that would keep our guests full, but wanted food that did not require a lot of prep.

I went last-minute grocery shopping and filled my cart with easy to prepare items, dressings that I planned to doctor up, chips, salsa, cheeses, and meats. Purchasing foods that don’t require much preparation but look good on a spread is key for last-minute entertaining. Here are my 7 simple tips for creating a welcoming (and delicious) spread for a last-minute party.

1. Cook simple favorites that you’ve made hundreds of times: I love chicken nuggets. I’ve made them hundreds of time and chicken nuggets tossed in BBQ or Buffalo sauce are “Boneless Wings”. Boneless wings are easy, delicious, and most people love them. I served my boneless wings in a crudite server with a blue cheese dressing and fresh celery sticks.

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2. Do as much as you can the day before: I cut all of my cheeses the day before and refrigerated them in ziplock bags. Cutting the cheese the day before was a simple step that saved me a lot of stress. I also “set” my table the day before. Knowing where my dishes, cutlery, and plates were going to go ahead of time allows for me to have a more inviting setup.

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3. Create a menu with foods that can be eaten at room temperature: I am a fan of cheese platters and since the items tend to be eaten rather quickly they don’t need to be kept warm or cold. Chips and salsa are easy and lately my guests have loved pita chips with hummus. Having to keep foods cold or warm means more work for the host.

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4. Be selective with processed and pre-prepared items: Avoid pre packaged or pre-prepared foods as much as possible. If you have to use pre-prepared items, doctor them up where you can. I used a pre-bottled blue cheese dressing but to give it a bolder taste I crumbled fresh blue cheese and added it on top.

5. Use disposable plates and cutlery (when appropriate): I love having clear glass plates available for my guests to eat off… but I opt for sturdy and simple disposable plates when I’m on a time crunch. Disposable plates are being produced at a higher quality and the best part is that you don’t have to stay up as late clearing and washing dishes.

6. Invest in quality serving trays and platters: One tip I came across when registering for wedding gifts was, “Invest in white”. Plain white dinnerware, platters, and serving trays are timeless. Foods look better on white and you don’t have to worry about the color of your food clashing with the color of your plate. Food also looks better in sturdy and quality dishes. Take the extra few minutes to place the chips in a bowl, the lemonade in a carafe, and the turkey on a platter. Macy’s The Cellar line has a variety of items available in all price points. Most of my serving dishes are from The Cellar line. Crate and Barrel has slate boards which are pretty to use as a cheese trays. Use soapstone chalk to label your items.

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7. Buy Ice: I believe the best way to keep canned beverages cool is by placing them in a beverage bucket filled with ice. If you forget to buy ice, you won’t have any ice available for your guests to use in their cups. Spend the extra $2.00 and buy a bag of ice.