Curry that thinks outside the can of coconut milk
A bag of frozen shelled and deveined shrimp is a weeknight cook's dream. They are delicious, versatile, can be kept on hand for months and -- most important -- can be on the table in no time.
Start with the thaw. To prep frozen shrimp for cooking them, dump them in a strainer and run them under cold water for about 5 minutes, or until fully thawed. Be sure to let them drain well afterward.
After that, go with what inspires you. I recently beat together a couple eggs and a splash of milk, gave the shrimp a bath in it, then dredged them through a bowl of panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs. I then dumped them on a baking sheet, spritzed them with olive oil cooking spray and baked them at 400 F for about 6 to 8 minutes. They were crispy, healthy, delicious and tasted fried.
Stir-frying is another way to go. Toss some chopped veggies along with some sesame oil in a wok or large saute pan. When the veggies just begin to brown, add the shrimp and keep them moving in the pan until pink and firm. Season with soy sauce, rice vinegar and honey.
Or go Indian, as in this easy ginger and tomato shrimp curry. If you can't find kaffir lime leaves, don't worry. Just leave them out. Serve this dish with plenty of rice to soak up the juices.
GINGER AND TOMATO SHRIMP CURRY
Start to finish: 30 minutes
3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), divided
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 kaffir lime leaves
14-ounce can diced Tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
In a large saute pan over medium-high, melt 2 tablespoons of the ghee. Add the shrimp and sear for about 1 minute per side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside. Discard any liquid in the pan.
Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add the onion, jalapeno and garlic. Saute for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Add the turmeric, chili powder, ginger, lime leaves, tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Return the shrimp to the pan, mixing and heating thoroughly. Stir in the lime zest and juice, and the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.