Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s already 2011? I smile every time I think about 2010 because we made it a great year. The highlight was our big vacation when Apolinaras and I visited his home country of Lithuania over our anniversary. On the career front, Apolinaras joined Pixability, a company he really loves, and I finally figured out that I’d like to be a professor and have begun taking steps to do just that after my postdoc. I also finally got back into working out regularly and did my first, second, and third 5Ks, and first half marathon and sprint triathlon. I’ve grown to love racing! Oh yeah, and I was on the Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown! I still can’t believe my recipes are on the Food Network site. I’m already excited to see what adventures lay ahead in 2011.
Has anyone made any foodie resolutions? I managed to accomplish three of my original five culinary resolutions last year, which isn’t too bad. I whipped up a lot of Indian dishes, including saag paneer, co-hosted Thanksgiving, and tried at least one new recipe a week from the blogosphere or my cookbooks. But, I only made pasta once and I still haven’t learned how to cook all the different cuts of meat, so I need to keep working on those two. And of course, I have a few new ones I’d like to add to the list! I want to improve my Asian recipe repertoire and become a master of whipping up fancy breads and pastries (croissants are first on my list!).
I started the New Year off right by visiting HMart, an incredible Asian grocery store, for the first time. Apolinaras and I spent 2 hours wandering all the rows and having lunch at their yummy food court. About 20 minutes were spent just trying to figure out which dumplings to try – I felt like a kid in a candy store! I also ended up picking up a bunch of ingredients for a lighter Thai green curry. I decided to use both chicken broth and coconut milk in the curry (but if you want a richer curry use two cans of coconut milk instead!) and packed it with Asian veggies and shrimp. I used Chinese eggplant, red pepper, and broccoli rabe, so it was really colorful. I actually hadn’t cooked broccoli rabe before, but thanks to Martha, learned that it’s best to boil it for a minute first to reduce the bitterness and then saute it, so, I did just that and it turned out perfectly. I’ll definitely be making this again, especially if it means I can go back to HMart!
Thai Shrimp Green Curry
1 pound broccoli rabe, ends trimmed and sliced into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 medium Chinese eggplants, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons green curry paste (or to taste)
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (I used regular full fat)
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 3-inch pieces lemongrass
1 cup sliced bamboo shoots, drained from a 20-ounce can
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups cooked brown rice
Prepare the vegetables. Place broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling water and stir well. Boil one minute, drain in a colander, and rinse gently with cold water. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Sauté eggplant and red pepper for 6 to 8 minutes or until veggies begin to soften; add broccoli rabe and sauté 3 additional minutes or until all veggies are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare curry by heating one remaining tablespoon canola oil in a large stock pan over medium high heat. Add red onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and ginger and sauté one additional minute; add curry paste and sauté one more minute, or until fragrant. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, and lemongrass to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lemongrass and add bamboo shoots, shrimp, and salt, and cook 3 to 4 to minutes, stirring frequently, or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in cooked veggies. Serve over brown rice. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition: 697 calories, 33.0g fat, 9.7g fiber, 32.7g protein per serving
Cost: $4.60 per serving