I recently posted pictures from our pepper harvest over on my little gardening site. (That site, incidentally, tends to consist more of pictures of what we're growing than it does any useful gardening information. Probably because Bill is the gardener, but I am the blogger/photographer.)
Anyway, in case any of you saw the peppers – lots and lots of long, twisty cayennes, mostly - and in case any of you were wondering what we were planning to do with all the peppers, I'm going to tell you.
This falls in Bill's area of culinary expertise. He's the one who does more of the Asian cooking. Which is fine with me – he's a great cook. Anyway, when we have a surplus of peppers, Bill makes a batch of either Red or Green Curry Paste, portions it out in ice cube trays, and freezes it.
I'd posted the recipe for the Green Curry Paste some time ago, so I won't repeat myself.
I will, however, post the recipe for the Green Shrimp Curry, because it's REALLY good and you should try it.
So here we go. Sorry – no pictures. I forget to take pictures of Bill preparing meals, which is a shame, but I think I'm usually busy doing something somewhere in a different part of the house when he decides to cook. I need to change that. He cooks some great meals.
The recipe is from our well-worn copy of Keo's Thai Cuisine – a book Bill bought for me a LONG time ago, when we were first dating, and we were doing a lot of Asian cooking. It's one of those cookbooks where you can tell which recipes have been made more than once by the amount of splatter and staining on the page.
Green Shrimp Curry
1/2 lb fresh large shrimp (I use frozen)
2 T oil
1 tsp Green Curry Paste (We use more – probably a couple of tablespoons. we like the heat)
1 cup small and/or large Thai eggplant (or whatever kind you have on hand)
3 kaffir lime leaves (you can find these at most Asian markets or online. we store ours in the freezer and use as needed.)
1 stalk fresh lemon grass, thinly sliced (Again – most Asian stores carry this, or you can order online. we buy this in bunches and store in the freezer. i also recently found a jar in the Asian section of Stop n Shop here – already sliced. They're okay, but not as flavorful as fresh. Convenient, though.)
1 cup coconut milk
10 to 15 sweet basil leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce (Asian markets and some grocery stores…or online)
1 to 5 small green chili peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)
Kaffir lime leaves
Slices of fresh lemon grass
Sweet basil leaves (optional)
Hot steamed rice
(Or garnish with whatever you like – Bill used green scallion stalks in the picture above.)
Rinse shrimp and devein. In a saucepan heat oil and green curry paste on high heat, until curry paste bubbles. Add shrimp, eggplant, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and coconut milk; stir well and cook for about 7 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. Mix in basil, fish sauce and green chili peppers. Garnish with kaffir lime leaves, slices fresh lemon grass and basil leaves. Serve immediately. Accompany with hot steamed rice.
Makes 6 servings.
Note: Green peas can be substituted for Thai eggplant. Chicken can be substituted for the shrimp.
The eggplant is great because it's like a sponge, soaking up all the sauce. The coconut milk in the dish helps balance out the bright heat of the green curry paste. As I mentioned in the ingredients list above, we use considerably more of the green curry paste than the recipe calls for. The heat is amazing – not just heat, but all the other ingredients involved that add other dimensions.
Give this a try some time – it's addictive. You might just find yourself storing batches of green curry paste in your freezer.