Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Two for Thursday: Easy Dinners

Yes, as the leader of the Pattiwagon, I promote taking time to cook delicious food and enjoying the process of creation. Why buy cheese when you can make it? Even it it takes 36 hours? Why buy honey when you can find it? Even if it involves the stickiest mess this side of La Brea. 

But sometimes, I just want dinner now, or better five minutes ago. And I imagine that you do too. So here are two excellent recipes for those busy fall nights. 

Recipe #1: Shrimp Curry
This recipe is totally inspired from my trips to VH Foods, but even if you don't have an awesome ethnic grocery store, I'm sure you can make it work. 
Ingredients
2T red curry paste
1t vegetable oil
1 16 oz can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
variety of cut up vegetables (Zucchini, carrot, mushrooms, and peppers seem to work well.)
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1/2 pint of slurry (basically crushed tomatoes)
heavy-handed dash of fish sauce
rice noodles

Process: 
1. Cook the rice noodles according to the directions. I put them in a big bowl, then pour boiling water over them, and allow them to cook for about 10 minutes. However you do it, just make sure to keep them very al dente. They will cook more when you add the sauce. And no one likes mushy noodles. 
2. Put the oil in a big pot on the stove on medium. Add the curry paste and stir it around a bit to "saute" it. Add in the coconut milk and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. 
3. Add in the sliced veggies, keeping in mind that their cooking times might vary. I like to add the peppers last, as I find mushy peppers as abhorrent as mushy noodles. Let the vegetables cook for 3-5 minutes, or until they have just started to soften. 
4. Add in the shrimp and let cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until they curl up and turn opaque. 
5. To finish, I add in a half pint of slurry (from our canning camp) and some fish sauce. 
6. Serve over the noodles. (Or over rice. Or just ingest with a straw.)


Recipe #2: Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet
This recipe is stolen from Budget Bytes. The combination of sweet and spicy is so flipping good here. The only adaptation I did was precook the chorizo and omit most of the cheese. You should make this recipe tonight. And then again tomorrow. I'll say two words: you're welcome.