Monday, April 23, 2012

3-C Curry and Shrimp Pasta Wake up the Palate

Last weekend, bored with the same batch of standby dinners that have been in our rotation all winter, I pulled out the binder in which I stuff recipes from magazines and rifled through the disorganized dog-eared pages to see if I could find something different, something with jazzy flavor, maybe with some off-the-beaten-path ingredients (though not too far off, since I have to be able to purchase them here in our town's boutique-sized Safeway).  Some of the recipes turned out passably good, but my husband, Matt, and I agreed that the following two were stand-outs.

3-C (Cauliflower Chickpea Carrot) Curry
This recipe is a slighly modified version of "Fall Vegetable Curry" published in Cooking Light, October 2010.

1.5 t olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, diced
1 medium potato, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
1/2 stalk rhubarb, sliced (this was an impulse because I had leftovers from making rhubarb cake)
3 t of your favorite curry powder
3/4 c vegetable broth
2 c cauliflower florets (broken into small pieces)
1/4 t salt
1 can (15 oz) chick peas
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 T chopped cilantro
Plain yogurt (to taste)

Heat oil, then saute sweet potato for about 3 minutes.  Add potato, onion, carrots, rhubarb, cauliflower and curry powder and saute for another 3 minutes.  Add broth, tomatoes, chick peas, and salt.  Cover and simmer until all veggies are soft.  The broth should also thicken.  This will take about 10-15 minutes.  When done, remove from heat and serve over warm brown rice.  Sprinkle cilantro on top and mix in yogurt for creaminess to suit your taste.  Leftovers last well for a couple of days (add yogurt after you reheat leftovers).

Pasta with Green Beans, Shrimp, Pistachios, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
This was originally published in Cooking Light, May 2011.  I modified by adding the shrimp.  This is a little expensive, but is very flavorful.  Flavor diminishes within a day or so if you keep leftovers.

8 oz. whole wheat pasta of your choosing (tube, curly, etc.)
1 lb frozen shrimp
1 c green beans (fresh or frozen)
1//2 c chopped shelled pistachios
2 T fresh thyme
2 T grated lemon rind
1 T minced shallot
2 T white wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves
5 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Cook shrimp.  Cook pasta.  Drop beans into pasta water for last 2 minutes.  Drain when done.
Mix together:  pistachios, 1 T thyme, 1 T lemon, and hot pasta.  Mix:  shallot, remaining lemon and thyme, oil, sal, pepper.  Toss shrimp and dressing into pasta.

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