Sunday, January 3, 2010

A very shrimpy new year

Hello little blog, how have you been? I've been busy moving and visiting family over the holidays, but now I'm ready to get back to updating you. In fact, my only resolution this year is actually to blog more often! So let's get to it.

I found a nice looking bag of frozen, unpeeled shrimp at my new grocery store (since moving I've swapped a Whole Foods for a Wegman's) and decided what the heck - I don't do a lot of seafood, but I always feel like I should, and shrimp seem a rather unthreatening place to start. I know shrimp overcook pretty easily, so I wanted to make something where I could just drop them in in the last few minutes. My standby curry seemed a good place to start, both for the ease of cooking and for the fact that the strong curryness would hide the seafoody shrimpyness. Yes I'm a wimp.

Curry is one of my favorite go-to meals when I don't really feel like cooking. All it requires you to have on hand are a can of coconut milk, a jar of curry paste, whatever random assortment of veggies you have languishing about, and some kind of meat. The basic instruction is: brown onions in coconut oil, add in all the other ingredients, simmer 20 minutes.



GO-TO CURRY shrimpy style
serves 3 maybe

The culprits today:
copious amounts of coconut oil
half a large onion
2 tiny sweet potatoes
1 stalk of celery
a can of coconut milk
a small jar of green curry paste
1/2 cup frozen peas
huge handful of baby spinach
1 lb shrimp

I heated the coconut oil in a big skillet and set the onions, sweet potatoes and celery to browning. Then I added the curry paste and let it fry for a minute until it got fragrant, followed by the can of coconut milk, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Then I stirred in the peas and spinach until the spinach started to wilt, followed by the shrimp. Watched it like a hawk and removed it from the heat just when the shrimp turned pink. Done! Served it with lemon wedges to spruce it up a little bit.



To be very strictly paleo you wouldn't want to use the peas or possibly the sweet potatoes, but like I said - just add whatever veggies you have in the house and it'll be fine. My curry is different every single time I make it! If I'm using a different, longer-cooking meat such as chicken, I usually add in at the same time I add the coconut milk.

Since the shrimp I bought needed to be peeled, I was left with a big pile of shrimp shells. I decided to try making some shrimp stock. I have no idea how this tastes yet, and frankly I'm a little leery of it (eww seafood!), but I'm determined to find some way to eat it this week.



I read a few recipes online and amalgamated them to this:

SHRIMP STOCK

shells and tails from 1 lb of shrimp
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1/2 a big carrot, chopped
a few sprigs of parsley
1 small lemon, sliced
1 bay leaf
5 whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp sea salt
water to cover

I combined everything in a smallish pot and brought it to a boil. Skimmed the foam, reduced the heat, and let it simmer for an hour.

Now I have this:



And no idea what to do with it! Please don't say seafood soup, I can't think of anything more horrifying.

In the meantime, maybe I'll start cooking some stuff out of my shiny new cookbooks.



The Whole Beast - Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson and The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearlessly-Eatsitall. I can't wait! Happy New Year everyone!

96 comments:

W8liftinmom said...

Hmm, I'm thinking your could dry those shells and grind them into a powder and sprinkle on food for added, I dunno, maybe calcium and whatever other goodies come from it? Haven't tried it myself, just thinking out loud. :-)

Jamie Dougherty said...

Looks really good. I actually make something similar over the weekend. I will definitely make stock next time. Thanks!

Low Carber said...

Heya

Welcome back! Hope you have a great 2010!

Robin said...

I too am a shrimp wimp. Maybe it's due to my midwestern upbringing. At any rate, I've been trying to do better and can eat shrimp if it's cooked with a good sauce to cover up the shrimp a little. I'm not sure about curry though, I haven't acquired a taste for those flavors yet. I do try from time to time.

As a cookbook geek, I was excited to see your new books. I have been thinking about getting both of those but haven't gotten around to it yet.

starro said...

thai tom yum soup, that's my suggestion. if you put enough chilli in, you won't taste anything else. just buy the paste and then chuck in the contents of your fridge in the stock. it's great stuff.
you'll love fergus' cookbook. makes me want to keep pigs :)

Sara said...

Hi Elizabeth! I just discovered your blog. LOVE your recipes, thanks for sharing! About the shrimp stock--you could make pumpkin curry soup with it. I make it with chicken or fish stock,(but shrimp would be really good), canned pureed pumpkin, canned coconut milk, and as much Thai curry or Madras curry as you like--I usually throw in some cilantro at the last minute too. It is a thickish soup the way I usually make it, but you can vary the amounts at will. Happy New Year!

Melissa said...

I LOVE shrimp! And I think it's much easier to cook than most people say - just don't cook it for too long and you're golden. In any case, I can't wait to try this recipe.

CrossFitChron.com: Lindsey and Web Smith said...

Hey,

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Grant said...

The River Cottage Meat Book is amazing. I read it in less than a fortnight. My girlfriend couldn't understand my satisfaction in reading about meat.

Just wanted to give you props for your site. It is really well done! I just linked to your Paleo Spaghetti post (first return on Google, btw!). http://crossfitktown.com/?p=1208

Hope you enjoy seeing your work published elsewhere now (with due credit, obviously).

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I'm not sure about curry though, I haven't acquired a taste for those flavors yet. I do try from time to time.

Voodoozim said...

love shrimp and seafood, but cant do coconut and am very very wimpy on curry. what could i substitute to make the sauce?

Douglas Robb said...

Love shrimp...love curry...gotta love shrimp curry

On another note, one of the readers on my blog (Health Habits) is having trouble wrapping her brain around integrating Paleo eating into her student lifestyle.

She knows what she should do...she just doesn't "think" she can do it.

One of her big stumbling blocks is lunch. I suggested she check out my fave Paleo food bloggers (yourself included)

During our discussion, I realized that she had raised a great question:

How does she “brown bag” her lunch "Paleo style"

What a perfect idea for a blog post.

And that is why I am contacting some of my favorite Paleo food bloggers to ask them that question:

How do you "brown bag" your lunch "Paleo style"?

If you are interested in participating, email me your ideas and I will include them in the article - with full credit going to you.

For your reference, I did a similar post last year on how to get fit and save money - http://www.healthhabits.ca/2009/03/26/how-to-get-fit-and-save-money/

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Anonymous said...

Hi there, I just got turned on to our site by the MDA forum, and love your shrimpy ideas. I will be making them very soon. I just made some Shrimp Diablo, and will post it soon. Love shrimp thank you for all the great ideas.

Beth said...

Please start posting again-- I love your blog!

C.A. Scott said...

Shrimp stock is an essential ingredient for good seafood/sausage gumbo... All you need now is some okra, trinity veggies, andouille sausage, and whatever seafood you like... rice and a little file powder for the bowls if you wanna' be really authentic (my Choctaw ancestors invented it by drying and grinding sassafrass leaves)...

C.A. Scott said...

Oops, I forgot... paleo style forget the rice! ;-)

laura rose said...

I just found your blog - and also just started eating paleo. Not that you still have shrimp stock still on hand, but I bet a take on Avgolomono soup would be good. You basically heat broth (traditionally chicken) and then slowly add an egg/lemon mixture till thick. There are lots of recipes online. Most are for a chicken and rice soup but I made it the other day without add ins (meat, rice, peas) and used it as a dipping sauce for steamed artichoke. Super tasty.

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Stephen said...

WOW! I love shrimps! And shrimp curry is new to me, I'll try these one of these days. Can't wait.

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Knifewear said...

Two of my fave cookbooks. Fergus and Hugh are awesome. I crave bone marrow like you can't believe.

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