Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Cali Diet: Part 2 Spicy Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Am I the only girl that just about hates shopping when I'm looking for something under a deadline? It's almost a given that I will never find it. And then I stress and make silly purchases, like fake eyelashes, because I couldn't find something equally stupid like sexy shorts. I walked blocks tonight after work because I was dead set on finding this one perfect pair of shoes. No others would do. It's insanity. And it's not even like I get the satisfaction of doing this to look good on the arm of someone else... although someone is getting a mini fashion show tomorrow night... but just because I was completely taken aback when the itinerary said everything was "LA casual." What does that even mean? I'm completely thrown but at the very least I've remained committed to purchasing only things I'll use again, and yes, perhaps even the fake eyelashes.Oh but you came here for the food. Sorry! I just had to get that shopping rant off my chest.

I am very aware that when dieting you want to avoid coconut milk at all costs. But it's tasty and delicious, so this creates something of a dilemma, especially when you've had a craving for quite a while. You can use the "lite" coconut milk which is pretty readily available in stores or you can simply buy a can of the good (read full of fat) stuff and then just water it down. And voila, that's all the lite coconut water is anyways and you're saving a bit of money by adding in that free water (aren't marketing ploys just evil like that?). And if you reduce it back it'll still be pretty nice and thick and saucy. So that's what I've always done. If you're so inclined you could use chicken or seafood stock or coconut water for more depth of flavor instead of water.
The ingredients getting all cozy in the skillet.
This recipe was another adapted from Simply Recipes but there were a few things I added and some things I left out, as per usual. To add a touch of sweetness, but through natural sugar I added some carrots that were a day or 2 from going bad. And I added shitakes, because they're just delicious. I didn't have any red chili sauce of the kind their recipe uses so I just used sriracha, which combined with the shitakes and carrots made it seem a lot more thai meets masaman curry, which is totally ok by me.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp
1/2 lb peeled shrimp
4-5 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
2 c. water
2 carrots, peeled and diced
10-12 large shitakes, stems removed and discarded, cut into thin strips
1 can "lite" coconut milk- aka 1/2 coconut milk, 1/2 water (or stock, coconut water)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbl olive oil
1/2-1 Tbl sriracha- depends on how spicy you want it
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ginger
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a bowl add the shrimp water and smashed garlic. Let that hang out for approx 30 min. Meanwhile, in a saute pan add the oil and once hot add the carrot, then shitake, let it saute and brown slightly. Once liquid is gone from mushrooms (no longer squeaky) and carrots are tender, drain the water from the shrimp and garlic and add the latter to the pan. Cook until shrimp is almost pink.

2. Add the coconut milk/mixture, ginger and sriracha. Let reduce. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer until sauce has reduced to a gravy consistency and turn off the heat. Serve over coconut rice.

To give this more of a South American twist,  you can substitute the sriracha with aji paste. As a lover of spice, I highly recommend keeping both on hand.

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