Friday, July 24, 2015

Chili-Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Rice and Snap Peas

I am here this morning to tell you about one thing: SHRIMP! A couple weeks back, I tore out a few pages from the “Superfast Recipes” section of my Cooking Light Magazine and crossed my fingers, hoping the recipes they contained would pass what I will now refer to as The Cooking Light Husband Test. This has been the summer of swimming lessons over here because I'm bound and determined to GET MY KIDS TO SWIM even if it kills me (which it is). This means 45 minutes at the pool nearly every weekday which is awesome but also has forced me to be quicker on my toes when it comes to dinner. This is so not my gifting. When I look out my window, I see my neighbors out playing with their kids until 5:30 PM without batting an eyelash. I can't help but wonder, who is roasting their pork shoulder? Who is rolling out their fresh pasta dough? Who is flash-cooking their tomatoes so they can whip up a batch of Panzanella Tomato Bread Salad? I mean, how do they possibly eat dinner if THEY AREN'T INSIDE COOKING?!

Doesn't every good meal take at least 90 minutes to complete? You see, I have this strange ability to take simple things and make them incredibly intricate and complicated. Like the time I planned a "quick hamburger dinner" and ended up making my own ketchup from scratch and caramelizing my onions for nearly an hour. Yeah. I guess this little "skill" of mine is what makes me a bit dubious when it comes to recipes toted to take "only 20 minutes." The idea of making a meal that fast sounds amazing but I don’t know a lot of diners that pursue their next meal based on how little time it took the chef to prepare it. It took 5 minutes to make? Wow, sounds DELICIOUS! Dish me up a plate.

So this summer has been a bit of my test for me and I've tried really hard to branch out and simplify a bit. And you know what, I've found a couple of recipes that are fast AND hit it out of the park. The week I made all the Superfast Recipes from Cooking Light, my husband complimented me every meal about how good the food had been that week (you know, because the food I usually cook is CRAP). ;) I know I'm not the only one and that there are others of you who are slaving in your kitchens so you can "eat well," wishing you could be outside playing with everyone else. Or maybe just wishing you could find the time to cook something yummy with all the craziness of life, Well then, this post (and the next one) is for you.

One of the great things about this recipe is that you make a big batch of shrimp on one day, reserve half of it and then make a totally different dish with the reserved shrimp the next day. Two super fast meals, two nights in a row with two wildly varying flavors. I'm a little ashamed to admit that prior to this recipe, I don't think I'd ever fed my family snap peas. I "never like them" and so it didn't occur to me to offer them to anyone else. Well, it was through this dish that we learned that THREE members of our tribe actually like snap peas (myself included!!!) I know 3 out of 5 is a failing grade if we're talking a pop quiz or something but when it comes to feeding a young family, a score of 60% is considered a major success. I've now added them as a staple to my weekly shopping list.

We are all also in love with the coconut rice in this recipe and I've prepared it probably 5 times already since discovering it. It's so easy but takes plain rice to the next level. Of course, I like to substitute short grain brown rice sometimes too and just use the entire can of coconut milk (minus the 3 Tablespoons needed for the sauce at the end) and a little extra water. The last thing I'll say about this recipe is that it's gluten-free! Eat up. 

Chili-Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Rice and Snap Peas
(from Cooking Light Magazine)

2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons light coconut milk, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 70)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
12 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed

Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon canola oil; swirl to coat. Add minced ginger; sauté 30 seconds. Add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute, stirring to coat. Add 1 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup water to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in chopped cilantro.

Combine 3/8 teaspoon salt, shrimp, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, and sambal oelek in a large bowl, stirring well to coat shrimp. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of shrimp to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Place cooked shrimp in a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining shrimp. Return cooked shrimp to pan. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons coconut milk and lime rind, and cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Reserve 1/2 of the shrimp mixture.

Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add sugar snap peas; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Combine snap peas, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl; toss to coat. Serve snap peas with rice and remaining 2 cups shrimp mixture.
Serves 4

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posted by kelsie