Sticky Glazed Shrimp and Broccoli with Brown Rice

This recipe is really well balanced, both in flavor and in nutrition.  I chose to buy uncooked shrimp so that they would not be tough in the finished dish.  Feel free to use precooked, just be sure to add them at the last possible minute so that they heat through, but not overcook.   Also note that if you use a commercial kind of dried apricots which are sweetened then you will have a sweet and sticky sauce.  If you purchase just dried apricots (like the kind in the loose bins at Whole Foods) which are unsweetened, you will have a less sweet sauce and may wish to add some simple syrup, or karo syrup, or even a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Ingredients

4 dried apricots

3/4 cup water, divided

2 tablespoons coconut milk

1 tablespoon tamari

1 clove garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly peeled ginger

1 pound small broccoli florets

3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used hot sesame oil)

Directions

  • Place the apricots in a small bowl with 1/4 cup boiling water and let soak for half an hour
  • Heat ½ of the oil in a frying pan and lightly toast the sesame seeds
  • Remove the seeds from the pan and set them aside, add the remaining oil, and cook the shrimp until they just orange on the outsides (about a minute per side), then remove from pan and set aside
  • Transfer the apricots and their soaking liquid to a food processor and zip until a paste forms, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally
  • Add the garlic and ginger and pulse
  • With the processor running, add the coconut milk and tamari and process until just combined, then set aside
  • Bring the remaining 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5 minutes
  • Uncover, add shrimp and apricot mixture and stir until shrimp and broccoli are coated. Continue to cook about 3 minutes or until heated through
  • Stir in crushed red pepper
  • Plate over rice and garnish with sesame seeds

This recipe found its inspiration from this Whole Foods Market post.

J

Paella

I will admit to being a bit apprehensive about attempting paella.  This dish is so rich in tradition and is thought of by many as the national dish of Spain for goodness sakes.  With the list of expensive ingredients (and I did an abridged version) I did not want to have the creation from hell (yes this has happened in my kitchen before) on my hands.  I can honestly say that my anxieties were for not.  The dish really comes together on its own- all the cook really does is add the ingredients at various stages and watch it happen.  The flavor profile is fantastic- sweet peas and creamy rice, acidic tomatoes, savory saffron.  This one is definitely worth your time.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 Spanish chorizo

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Spanish onion, diced

1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed

1 cup Spanish rice, short to medium grain

1 teaspoon saffron threads

3 cups water, warm

12-16 large shrimp, peeled

1/2 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed

Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:

  • Rinse the chicken breasts and pat them dry, then cut into cubes
  • Mix the oregano and paprika with salt and pepper in a small bowl
  • Rub the spice mixture all over the pieces of chicken; marinate for 30 minutes or more
  • Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or wide skillet over a medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan, and brown
  • Add the chorizo and continue to for 5 minutes (you will see the sausage begin to brown)
  • Remove the chicken and sausage to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil

  • Return the pan to the stove and lower the heat to medium
  • Make a sofrito by sauteing the garlic, onion, and tomatoes until the mixture caramelizes a bit; season with salt & pepper

  • Add the rice, stirring to coat the grains

  • Stir the saffron into the rice. Pour in the water and simmer for 10 minutes (do not cover)
  • Add the reserved chicken and chorizo. Give the paella a couple of good stirs to coat all of the pieces and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes
  • Scatter the peas & shrimp on top and continue to cook for 5 minutes

  • Allow to rest, off of heat for 5 minutes

  • Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges

This recipe was adapted from one by Tyler Florence.  I made my version a bit lighter and less heavy on the seafood.

J

Spicy Thai Peanut Shrimp with Green Beans

Not everything in my kitchen is made from scratch.  If it was, I could probably have a new post for every day of the week.  But it’s not, so I don’t.  In fact, Neil and I can be found munching a take-out pizza about once a month.  We’ve had our share of turkey sandwiches, burgers, dogs, boxed mac-and-cheese, etc.  With that in mind, this is a meal that I threw together in less than 10 minutes- yes you heard me right.  And it was great!  Spicy, vinegary peanut shrimp over smooth rice noodles with sweet, steamed fresh green beans.

shrimp in spicy peanut sauce over rice noodles, with steamed green beans

What I did:

  • Boiled some water and tossed in the packaged noodles to cook for 6 minutes
  • While that was going I heated a bit of oil in a fry pan with some red pepper flakes and added the frozen shrimp, then covered so that the shrimp would heat up quickly
  • The green beans went into a steam pan for about 7 minutes to get their cook on
  • When the shrimp were fully heated, I removed their tails then threw them back into the pan and poured in a bottle of peanut sauce just to get warm
  • Drained the noodles
  • Chopped a bit of fresh cilantro
  • Plated dinner, shrimp and sauce over noodles, sided by beans, topped with cilantro

J

Bulgur with red pepper, corn & shrimp

From downtown Holyoke, kitchbitch welcomes back guest chef Neil (applause).  Neil selected this recipe for the health factor.  You see, bulgur is packed with fiber, then there are shrimp for protein, lime and cilantro which add flavor-POP!  You just can’t go wrong with this one.  Total for prep and cook time was about 20 minutes.  How’s that for a quick & healthy dinner?

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup bulgur wheat

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 ounces raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 cups corn kernels

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 limes (1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  • Put 2 cups of water on to boil in a kettle or small pan
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until you can smell it
  • Add bulgur and salt and stir for a minute
  • Gradually stir in 2 cups of boiling water, 1/2 cup at a time (waiting until bulgur absorbs it to add more), until bulgur is slightly soupy, 8 to 10 minutes
  • Add the shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until it turns pink
  • Add corn, bell pepper, juice from 1 lime and red pepper flakes and stir, adding water to keep the mixture creamy. Cook, stirring, until corn and pepper are warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes

  • Add cilantro; serve with lime wedges (and preferably something else green on the side)

J


Spicy Coconut Shrimp with Mango Basil Salsa and Jasmine Rice

Last week I had a special request for a coconut shrimp dish with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.  I got my fingertips to work scouring the interwebs and combined some recipes, then changed them up a bit, and came up with what’s below.  Sweet, spicy, crunchy shrimp over creamy coconutty Jasmin rice, and sweet mango salsa.

Ingredients

Salsa:

1 mango, peeled and finely diced (Frozen works just as well and Trader Joe’s carries them)

5 basil leaves, julienned

1 lime, juiced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shrimp:

2 fresh jalapenos, sliced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 lime, zested

1/4 cup coconut milk

Small handful basil leaves, torn

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

15 grinds pepper

1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp

1 Cup panko

½ Cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

Jasmine Rice:

1 cup jasmine rice

3/4 cup coconut milk

3/4 cup water

Pinch salt

Directions

  • For the salsa: Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Make up to a day in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator.
  • For the shrimp: In a mixing bowl, combine jalapenos, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime zest, coconut milk, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours, refrigerated.

  • Roll the marinated shrimp around in the panko-coconut mixture to coat evenly
  • Spread coated shrimp out on a baking sheet and cover with remaining coating, spray lightly with oil or pan spray (to assist with browning) and bake at 425 for about 10 minutes (just long enough to create a browned, crunchy coating)
  • Put the rice, coconut milk, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and gently simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • Add reserved marinade to a pan, bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour over the cooked rice and serve with Shrimp topped with Mango Salsa.

J