Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Caveman Chef: Shrimp Massaman Curry

I made an incredible dinner last night. I was so proud of myself for cooking something so delicious (that I am about to reheat for dinner tonight) that I had to share my creation with you all.

my shrimp curry creation
As I have mentioned in my Paleo posts, this eating lifestyle requires a lot of cooking and a lot of ingredients that I had never used (in some cases never heard of) before we started this in January. In my cupboard you find things like coconut oil, fish sauce, macadamia nut oil, ghee, almond flour, a variety of curry pastes, thai chili paste and other exotic (at least to me) cooking ingredients. Since I am cooking at almost every meal, I like to experiment with said ingredients and create my own concoctions every now and then. Some are not as successful as others (the salmon topped with the cilantro, lime and jalepeno was not my favorite) but every now and then I make magic that even I am shocked came from my kitchen.

So last night I didn't really have a dinner plan, but I had been waiting to use my Massaman Curry Paste, so I wanted to experiment with it. We always have some sort of protein kicking around, so I grabbed some frozen shrimp and started defrosting them by running cold water over them in the sink.

I then checked the veg drawer in the fridge and grabbed everything we had left: carrots, plum tomatoes, yellow pepper, scallions, sweet onion and garlic. I began my nightly chopping of a thousand veg (I seriously think I have tendonitis in my right arm because of all this chopping! Oh and carrying around a 17 pound baby all day.) The plum tomatoes I left whole, as I love the way they taste when they cook whole. Everything else I just chopped up as usual.

Since starting eating Paleo I have only used two pans in our kitchen: our 12" and 15" Lodge cast iron sautee pans. I use them at least once a day, most days at every meal, and don't even bother putting them away after I clean them. I fired them both up, and put a blob of coconut oil in each one.

In the 12 inch I put 4 minced cloves of garlic and all the shrimp.

In the 15 inch I put all the veg.

The shrimp cooked in about 5 minutes, so I transferred them to the veg pan, making sure I didn't bring any of that liquid that was in the pan. Because they were frozen shrimp they tend to leave a lot of liquid in the pan that is very unappetizing if you ask me!

Now comes the fun part - the experimenting with the ingredients.

I added an entire can of Coconut Milk (my go to liquid for anything I make these days), and about 3/4 of the can of curry paste. My husband and I love hot stuff, so I knew I wanted it spicy. If you don't want it too spicy, I recommend just adding a tablespoon. Then I sprinkled everything with fish sauce - I have no idea who much, but I would guesstimate about 2 tablespoons worth. I stirred it all up carefully, so that the curry paste mixed in, and the sauce turned a lovely orange color. I finished with generous salt and pepper, and then let everything cook for about 8 minutes more, until the veg was nice and soft.

So simple. So delicious. I could seriously eat this every night.

It took only about 30 minutes from start to finish, so this is definitely going to be a recurring dish in our house!

Here is the ingredient list again:

1 2 lb bag of frozen shrimp or fresh shrimp (your choice)
1 carton of cherry tomatoes (keep them whole)
1 sweet onion (chopped - i like to keep them in bigger pieces as I love onions
4 scallions (chopped)
1 yellow (or red or orange) pepper (chopped)
2 medium carrots (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 can of Massaman Curry Paste (the amount is up to your desired level of spiciness)
2 T of Fish sauce
1 can of Coconut Milk
2 T of coconut oil
Salt & Pepper

Try it! You'll like it!


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