Monday, February 24, 2014

Keeping It Simple, Part 2: Red Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

     The French (and the Belgians) seem to love Oriental food.  At every French market that I have been to there is always a vendor selling Vietnamese food.  (Remember, Vietnam was theirs at some point in history.)  Sometimes, it might just be various kinds of spring rolls, which they call "Nems".  While at other markets, you will see all kinds of noodle dishes, Pork with Caramel Sauce, a Curry Chicken, etc.   The lines are always long at the Vietnamese stand.  When Dear Daughter was young, we would bribe her at the market with a Crepe stuffed with Nutella.  As she is now on the verge of the teens, her taste has expanded...and we now bribe her with a Crab Nem.  Many times, the vendor will have a small fryer and will ask you if you want them froid/cold (for cooking later) or chaud/hot (for eating now).  We normally take the chaud and munch on them as we stroll through the market.  (Well, Dear Daughter and I do...Dear Husband has much too much restraint and declines the second breakfast.)

     Lille's market also had a Vietnamese vendor, selling three or four kinds and sizes of Nems and two different noodle dishes.  We deprived DD's normal snack and order them froid as I knew that I had an Oriental dish on the menu for tonight.  Needless to say, she wasn't thrilled with me.  Oh well, won't be the first...nor the last.

     We woke up this morning and I think that we all had the same idea...where did the weekend go?  They really seem to just fly by and then it is time again for work and school.  However, at least today, we woke up knowing that this time next week, we would be on vacation again.  Not only do we have a two week Spring Break in April, but we also have a week off in March...and they call it "Ski Week".  I guess you are expected to go skiing...which we will.

     An equally nice thought was that I had planned a nice Monday night meal...not complicated but a little nicer than most Monday night meals.  With our lovely Nems as appetizers, we gave ourselves a bit of a treat on a school night.  The nice thing about this meal...it is so incredibly easy that you will want to make it again and again.   Really!

Red Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp
(Adapted from Skinnytaste.com)


Red Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 4 scallions, whites and greens separated, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp, Thai Red Curry Paste (look in the Oriental section at the grocery store)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (I bought frozen shrimp that was already prepped)
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (look in the Oriental section...it seems yucky but really adds to the sauce)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach, torn (we needed a vegetable component)
  • rice (we used brown
Heat the oil and add the white parts of the scallions along with the curry paste to a pan and cook for 1 minute.

Add the garlic and the shrimp and cook for two to three minutes.

Add the coconut milk and the fish sauce.  Cook for another two minutes but make sure that the sauce does not boil too much or you will be left with no sauce!

Throw in the spinach and wilt just a bit, then the cilantro and the green parts of the green onions.

Serve over rice.

It is that easy.  Dress it up with Spring Rolls for an appetizer and you have a semi-fancy meal on a weeknight.  It took more time for the rice to cook than for the dish to come together.

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