Tag Archives: Shrimp

Craving for a Cajun Favourite

It is bloody cold.

I mean it.

Each person feels the cold differently, we are all effected by the lower temperatures in different ways. For me my nose feels it. It gets so incredibly cold and even starts to hurt. I never noticed the sharp pain until today when I noticed the one side of my septum aching. If I still had it pierced I would understand but now? Weird.

Well today was very cold. Winter is officially here. I thought I could rock a thin sweater when I went out with my friend but I was very wrong. I should have worn a wool sweater or something. It is ridiculous how cold I was today!

Cold weather (Don't judge, I know most of you will say this isn't cold)
Cold weather (Don’t judge, I know most of you will say this isn’t cold)

Anyway, it is these types of days that we should enjoy something hot to warm our insides. Heat helps whether it is spice or temperature doesn’t really matter, just as long as it warms you up!

So today I wanted to make a gumbo. Now I had no idea it was going to be such a chilly day, but I am still very happy to have made a gumbo.

Gumbo comes from Louisiana, though it was first made in the mid 1700’s when the African slaves would cook a French soup combined with fish stew. Talk about an ancient food!

When I first was introduced to gumbo I was fifteen and we were invited to a get-together with a couple of daddy’s colleagues. I’m pretty sure the lad who cooked up the gumbo wasn’t even Cajun himself. BUT the meal was spectacular!

It seems that everyone in the oil industry is an expert in something that isn’t originally from their place of origin or passport country. For example dad has a colleague who is Scottish but has a Spanish accent and is far more Venezuelan than he is Scottish. Dad also knows a lad who is Dutch and also is far more Venezuelan than Dutch. So if the non-Cajun whipped up a fantastic gumbo it is pretty normal. At least to us.

Well, I got the recipe from The Housewife in Training Files – LOVE that name! Makes me think of the X-Files but girly, gosh what a nerd I am. The direct link to the recipe can be found here though. I followed mostly everything perfectly except I used fresh okra.

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 (130g) green bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup (115g) celery, chopped
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (large) clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (100g) okra, chopped
  • 1 can (410g) diced tomatoes
  • ½ Tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ Tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • Small pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups (750ml) chicken broth
  • 2 breasts (566g) of chicken, diced
  • ¾ cup (400g) frozen shrimp, slightly thawed with tails removed
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 1/8 a cup cold water – this makes a slurry

What is a slurry? Well it is a semi-liquid mixture such as cement, manure, or cornstarch and water!

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil at a medium heat and mix in flour to make a roux. Once like a paste and fragrant, turn heat to low and mix in vegetables and stir well until vegetables soften. Add diced tomatoes and herbs and spices and cook for an additional five minutes.

  2. While gumbo is cooking, cook your side dish. This usually is rice, however you can also use quinoa as I’ve done.

  3. Add chicken broth, diced chicken, and frozen shrimp. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for ten minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add slurry and bring to a boil until gumbo has thickened. Serve with your choice of starch.

  4. Enjoy!

So for some weird reason my gumbo was more of a soup consistency than a stew. Kinda annoying if you ask me. But it tasted good. AND it warmed us all up. Though I am back to my cold state. If you guys could feel my nose you would all shiver too! It is like ICE!

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

To try and thicken the consistency we mixed our multicolored quinoa into it. That definitely did the trick.

The biggest issue I had making this was definitely my inability to open up the tin can! Do you ever have the issue where you cannot open a can? I definitely did. Dad actually had to run out to the grocery store and buy TWO more can openers because we were both unable to open my can of diced tomatoes. Ridiculous right?

Assortment of Can Openers
Assortment of Can Openers

So now we have an army can opener – does anyone know how to use it? We have a normal one that cuts around the inside of the circumference of the inside of the lid, and there is the can opener that cuts the entire top of the lip off. The first two from the right are the new ones. That last left hand one is the one I couldn’t work. I feel like an idiot.

But I guess we all have our failures in the kitchen. For some people it is forgetting to put flour in brownies, for others it is sprinkling your breakfast with cumin rather than cinnamon (my friends son does this), and then there is me who is unable to open the can with the can opener.

Cold Trees
Cold Trees

Back to the cold, yesterday I learnt that for the winter the gardeners tend to warm the trees up by wrapping them with the long grass. I guess it really does get cold. This 15ᵒC weather is really cold. Everyone says it. So I guess the trees feel it too. These trees are from the western Cape (closer to Capetown) where it is much warmer, so that is when they wrap ’em in long grass. Interesting right?

Alright, I’m done blabbering. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we have!

Happy eating!

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Rice Noodles with Shrimp Scampi

Food. Food is a deadly thing. It is amazingly delicious most of the time, but it is so grand that sometimes you end up stuffing your face. And you know what? I stuffed my face today. I really did. I have a food baby in my belly.

So today mom and I had it lazy. Initially we had planned to go down to the neighbourhood clubhouse for dinner (as every Wednesday they have a buffet dinner), but instead we made our own meals at home. And mom didn’t even make her own meal. She popped her “meal box” into the microwave though and ended up with sweet and sour chicken curry. I however made a real meal. Best of all it was my favourite protein ever!

Shrimp.

I love love love shrimp. I’m not too keen on removing the shell from king or queen shrimp, but normal shrimp that has already been deveined and such is perfect for me.

Rice Noodle Shrimp Dish

I got the recipe from The Recipe Club but if you would like to see the recipe directly, here is the link. The original recipe feeds four people while my recipe is perfect for two. Or even just one very hungry mouth (like mine was).

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 brick rice noodles
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (approx. 3 cloves) garlic, chopped
  • 2/3 cup (205g) frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 3 slices of half a lemon
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and vegetable oil to water as you bring you water to boil.

  2. Meanwhile in a small skillet or frying pan combine butter and olive oil until bubbling. Add chopped garlic and cook until aromatic (be careful as garlic burns easily). Add shrimp and cook until pink (approx. 5 minutes), then remove from heat and add parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon slices. Add last two ingredients and set aside.

  3. Water should be boiling now. Place your rice noodles into the pot and allow to cook. Noodles should be cooked in just 3 minutes.

  4. Drain noodles and return to pot. Combine shrimp mixture with noodles and toss till all is coated.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Shrimp with Rice NoodlesOkay, so I didn’t quite combine my shrimp and noodles all that well because rice noodles are a difficult thing to deal with, BUT I tried. And it still came out pretty well! I may have placed a few too much lemon juice in it though. I also could have done more by adding more garlic as I am a garlic lover, though I was quite content with this. I mean an hour later and I am still very very full.

I really do have a food baby.

Anyway, you may have noticed I called the measurement for the rice noodles a brick. The reason I do that is because the noodles come in a rolled up chunk which is very brick-like. Think like your raw egg noodles that you get for ichiban instant noodles. The noodles are shaped in a brick. Well rice noodles are much the same.

This was a delicious and I am glad to have enjoyed a lovely shrimp dish. Shrimp is definitely my favourite shellfish from the shellfish family. It is just a shame my mom doesn’t like them. That is one good thing to look forward to when living alone again. More delicious shrimp dishes!

Oh well! I hope you all enjoyed this recipe and have a wonderful rest of the day!

Taco Tuesday: Featuring Shrimp and Guacamole

It is official. I hate the heat. Actually no, I hate that the Dutch haven’t thought to install air conditioning units into just about every apartment or house. I hope that after this summer heat they will think that global warming is a real thing and that each coming summer will have highs of thirty. With that knowledge the Dutch will then put air conditionings into houses and apartments. Because Lord knows this heat is making me suffer.

Temperature

A woman is not supposed to perpetrate like I am. It is horrible.

Anyway I finally did what I needed to do: I made tacos for Taco Tuesday!

Shrimp Tacos with Guacamole

I got the recipe from here, though there are several ingredients I left out.

Instructions:

  • 2 gorditas (or small tortilla wraps)
  • 1 cup iceberg lettuce
  • ½ lb (200g) shrimp, deveined
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Guacamole

  • 2 ½ avocados
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil and add shrimp to cook. Sprinkle with cumin, paprika powder, thyme, garlic, and salt and fry until cooked thoroughly.

  2. Cut avocados in half and remove the seed. Remove the meat from the skin of the avocado and place in a large bowl (or food processor depending on ripeness of avocado), add chopped garlic and onion and mash until avocado is mushy. Add cilantro, lemon juice, and vinegar and mix until flavour is as you prefer. Mix in salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Lay out gorditas and place iceberg lettuce on top, spread shrimp over lettuce, add a dollop of guacamole on top of the shrimp and sprinkle with leaves of cilantro.

  4. Finally enjoy!

I have never processed guacamole, but one of my avocados were a bit hard so I couldn’t smoothen it out with just a fork so the food processor worked best! And it worked out best!

Guacamole – like toasted tomato sandwiches, is something I am known for making well. Every time we have traditional tacos at home I have the task of making guacamole for the family. Both my sister and I can eat it straight out the bowl! Mmmhmmm!

Shrimp Tacos with Guacamole

 

You know, because it is so hot and my body cannot handle the heat too well without the air conditioning, I barely eat. Is that a thing for others as well? I was honestly full after only two tacos. The two that are photographed. That is insane! Especially since I usually can eat a horse! 

Anyway, I hope those of you who make my famous guacamole AND the tacos enjoy everything to the max!

¡Buen provecho!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Paella-Like Dish!

I have recently realized that I am addicted to shrimp. Maybe even all shellfish. But shrimp is what I can get my hands on more often than any other shellfish (since grocery stores only ever carry artificial crab for salads and sushi – yuck!) I am pretty sure that artificial anything isn’t all that good. Well except for artificial food coloring, I really don’t mind things unnaturally colored a bright red or something. Colors are awesome!

But now I am going off topic. So about food, shrimp to be precise.

Last night I made a sort of Paella-like dish which had shrimp. If you do not know what Paella is, it is a rice dish that uses a lot of saffron and paprika powder. It is most commonly known for being a seafood dish, but you can use sausage with it, make it purely vegetarian, or even a meat lover’s dish! I have only ever had it as a vegetarian dish and a seafood dish, but I am sure all ways are equally delicious.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

For last night’s dish, instead of using rice though, I used quinoa! The original recipe can be found here, but my tweaked recipe will be seen below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 teaspoons salted butter
  • 1 lb (500g) shrimp, deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the onion and 2 cloves garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant. Add uncooked quinoa, ½ paprika powder, and ¼ red pepper flakes and mix for about a minute. Add broth and bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. When quinoa is cooked it should be fluffed with a fork for greater volume.

  2. While quinoa is cooking, in a smaller pan heat 1 teaspoon of butter, when melted add shrimp and sprinkle with remaining paprika powder and red pepper flakes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the mix. Cook until shrimp are no longer translucent, finally add minced clove of garlic to the pan to add extra flavour.

  3. Melt remaining butter in 2 minced cloves of garlic to make a sauce for drizzling.

  4. Serve the quinoa and shrimp together in one dish, sprinkling with parsley. When garlic butter is melted and cooled, drizzle over shrimp and quinoa and serve immediately!

  5. Enjoy!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

This dish was absolutely delicious! Though it could have been a bit more garlicky. Yet when you look at the recipe it already is pretty garlicky!

I guess shrimp and garlic are my culinary vices!

Oh and last night the Netherlands played Australia and of course kicked Aussie butt! The score was 3-2. I was fully decked out in orange in support for our national team the Hollandse Leeuwen!

Hup Holland Hup!

Who were you supporting, the Dutch or the Australians?

Anyway, if you make this recipe I hope you enjoy it! I know I did!

Eet Smakelijk!

Avocado Green Pasta for a Delightful Dinner

On most blogs… or pinterst, Monday is all about being meatless. But I have noticed that my Mondays tend to be all about shrimp. Probably because every other day of the week is all about vegetarian cuisine! Guess my Mondays are my version of opposite day!

So as you may have guessed, today’s meal has something to do with shrimp.

I made a beautiful green pasta with spicy shrimp. As many of you may know, I am obsessed with the color green when it comes to food, so this meal was pretty great. Especially since the green from this meal is from an avocado sauce! Delicious!

I learnt that this meal is Latin and Italian inspired and if you want to read about it click here. That is also where the original recipe is.

Pasta with Avocado Sauce and Spicy Shrimp

Although it was a bit too spicy, it was quite delicious.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz (170g) spaghetti
    Avocado Sauce:
  • 1 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 slices jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    Garlic Shrimp:
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • a pinch dried hot red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ½ lb (226g) large shrimp, deveined

Directions:

  1. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp in a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is tender but not browned.

  3. Increase heat to medium and add shrimp and sauté, turning the shrimp once with tongs, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes each side. Set aside.

  4. Make the avocado sauce: Place the avocado in a blender or food processor, add the remaining sauce ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.

  5. When pasta is done cooking, drain and place pasta into a large bowl. Add the avocado sauce to the pasta and toss until pasta is well coated.

  6. Using tongs, add the shrimp to the pasta and pour the garlic sauce over the shrimp. Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve immediately.

Green Pasta with Spicy Shrimp

 

Looks quite attractive right? I love that the sauce is kind of like a carbonara sauce in its thickness. Yet it is very much vegetarian. If I nicks the shrimp this could be a fantastic “meatless Monday” meal.

It is truly wonderful. So I would hope y’all try it as well!

¡Buen provecho! 

Easy 10 Minute Meal for a Lazy Sunday

Don’t you love Sunday? Where you can lounge around the house, doing nothing at all but being lazy? Usually this day is spent recovering, that is if you are a party animal who consumed enough alcohol to need the recovery the following day.

For me, Sundays are just days where I get to wake up late and basically just walk around in my pajamas all day.

Sunday is the perfect day to have crispy chicken and oven French fries, except I didn’t have that. I made something much better!

 Green Bean and Shrimp Stir-Fry on a bed of Brown Rice

I made a stir-fry of green beans and shrimp to lay over a bed of brown rice. Easy. Simple. Delicious. This could make a perfect weeknight meal if you like quick and easy. I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ lb (226g) large shrimp, deveined
  • 1/3 lb (175g) green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ lb (225g) brown rice

    Instructions:

  1. Place a pot filled with water on the stove top and turn burner to high, allow water to boil and cook brown rice as directed on box.

  2. Meanwhile place a wok on another burner and turn dial to high. Add olive oil to wok and allow to begin simmering. Add minced garlic to oil and cook for approximately 30 seconds then add shrimp and cook for another 30 second or until shrimp begins to turn pink.

  3. Add green beans and sauté in wok for a few seconds, add 2 tablespoons vegetable broth and cook until beans turn bright green.

  4. Add remainder vegetable broth and Asian fish sauce to wok and continue cooking until shrimp is firm.

  5. Season with salt and pepper for taste and remove from heat.
  6. Drain rice and place back in pot.

  7. Spoon rice into a bowl and layer with stir-fried green beans and shrimp and top with fish jus and  freshly ground pepper

  8. Enjoy

The length that it took me to make the rice is the length that it took me to cook the entire meal. Ten minutes.

Stir Fry Shrimp and Green Beans on a bed of Brown Rice

And this meal has a starch, vegetable, and a meat source.

Everywhere I look (online) I find quick easy meals which take thirty minutes of cooking time, but this took ten minutes cooking time and three minutes prepping time. If you know how to trim your greens and chop your garlic than it is super quick.

This is honestly a fabulous meal. Plus it looks kind of classy, right?

If you are a fan of shrimp and beans and can handle the scent of Asian fish sauce than this is the meal for you!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Eet smakelijk!

Spicy Shrimp Pasta and some Cleaning Insight

Exhaustion is a horrible feeling. All of last week had me exhausted. So much so that I cooked the most drab of meals. I tried making a tuna casserole and failed and after that I just made simple things with lettuce and rice. This is why I haven’t posted in forever.

Finally though today I made an excellent meal which is worth your while.

I’ve been overloading on pasta these past couple of days, and unfortunately today won’t be any different. Alas, today is a fabulous meal. If you’re a fan of garlic and Parmesan than stick around for the meal of the day.

 Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

This is a plate of my delicious goodness. It is Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta which I got from here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound (226g) Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup whole wheat fusilli pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, agave nectar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Add shrimp to oil mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (mix often)
  2. In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta as instructed on packaging.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and oil mixture and cook until shrimp is pink (approx. 2 minutes). Stir in pasta and gently toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place in serving bowl topped with fresh Parmesan and green onions as garnish. 

Although I made enough food for two, I wanted to eat it all up! Alas, I put the rest into a microwave safe bowl and popped it into the fridge.

Enough for 2

By the way, if any of your clear glass bowls are from Ikea and have cute little colorful lids to cover them… they are most likely far from microwave safe. I was reheating some rice and green peas the other day and heard a pop in the microwave. I thought it was the microwave unit itself until I was half way done my rice when I noticed half of my bowl was cracked. So instead of eating peas, I may have been eating small shards of glass. Delicious!

Actually no, glass is really bad to digest. So now I am sticking to microwaving things in plastic containers that I bought rather than what is from Ikea that was here before my arrival.

Also I had an amazing discovery today. White vinegar is heaven. You know when you go to the grocery store and you need to buy vinegar? They always have an array of cooking oil bottle sizes, but you can only buy the MASSIVE bottle of white vinegar? It is a pain in the rear. But I now found the benefit to having vinegar even if I use it seldomly for salads and such.

Vinegar is the magical way of cleaning. Why use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser when you have vinegar?

While I was prepping my shrimp today I was also boiling water and vinegar in my electric kettle. Over the past while there has been a build up of calcium in my kettle. I have tried removing it but never really got it shining like new. Once boiling vinegar water and rinsing with cold water, the interior of my kettle looks BRAND NEW. It is beautiful.

Here you can find sixty-two uses of vinegar. You really should read this link as I learnt so much. You may too.

So that’s my insight for the day.  I hope you learn as I have!

Happy cleaning… and enjoy your Shrimp Pasta!

L

 

Beautiful Spring Tacos for Tuesday!

Are you one of those people who cooks according to the day of the week? Like “Meatless Monday”, “Taco Tuesday”, and whatever else fits for the remainder of the week? I’m not usually someone who follows those trends but for the last couple of Tuesday’s I definitely have.

So everyone, today is Taco Tuesday and I’ve made a delicious Shrimp Taco.

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

I love the colors in this taco. They make me think of a light spring night.

I got the recipe from here, but I tweaked it a helluva lot. In the original recipe you use enough chili powder to give this dish a good ole kick. I however do not have chili powder and am not bothered to buy it as I use paprika powder more than chili powder and I won’t be living here all too long.

Anyway, below is my recipe:

Ingredients

  • Paprika Lime Creama
  • 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Paprika Shrimp
  • 125g shrimp, deveined 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 whole wheat tortillas
  • finely shredded iceberg lettuce (I got pre-shredded lettuce)
  • avocado, sliced
  • lime

Instructions:

  1. Mix together Greek yoghurt, lime juice, paprika powder, and salt until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Season shrimp with paprika powder for ten minutes. 

  3. Heat frying pan and add coconut oil and allow to become a liquid. Add paprika shrimp to the pan and cook until opaque. If coconut oil is too liquidy, drain liquid and dry fry the shrimp for an additional minute. 

  4. Remove from heat and place tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds. 

  5. Once ready place tortilla on a plate and arrange lettuce strips on tortilla add sliced avocado. Sprinkle shrimp onto avocado, then top with the Paprika yoghurt. Lastly sprinkle paprika powder over top for final presentation.

  6. Wrap up and enjoy!

Paprika Shrimp Taco

Due to the paprika powder rather than chili powder, my meal was not spicy, but I can tell you that it sure was tasty! And super light, honestly a perfect meal for a hot spring day. (Because that’s what it has been like for me, especially since hot air rises and I live on the top story of my apartment building)

Looking Into the Taco

Y’all should really be making this for a perfect spring meal. If you have the appropriate spices of choice then definitely go for the original recipe. But if you’re a lazy bum like I am, then my lazy way works too!

I hope you enjoy this like I have for the first of April.

Oh and I hope you’ve had a cheeky April Fool’s Day!

L

Dinner where Indian Curry meets Cajun Shrimp

When you live in a world of expatriates you learn to find normality in multiculturalism. Be it by just living amongst several different people  of different backgrounds or eating multicultural cuisine types, you are more open to the foreign aspect of life. With all my moves, I now live a life of cultural combinations.

So last Sunday when my mom went out for her friend’s birthday gathering it gave both my sister and I a free day to enjoy shellfish such as shrimp. Mom does not like shellfish which means her children do not eat it either, this means when she leaves the house we can enjoy the small things she dislikes. The top of the food pyramid of products which cannot be had when mom is home is shrimp.

Because mom knew she was going out Sunday night she decided to buy chickpeas and spinach knowing full well that those are two items I love to either cook with or just have to eat, so I decided to make a chickpea and spinach curry to go with my shrimp. This is where my multiculturalism comes in. For our Sunday dinner my little sister and I had a chickpea curry over a bed wild rice with a side of spicy Cajun shrimp and a yoghurt dip with lemon and chopped cilantro. Yes, that is a combination of Cajun (from Louisiana) and Indian cuisine.

Luckily the two together tasted delicious although it was very foreign. I mean who combines such things? What a weird confused cuisine type of night.

Chickpea Spinach Curry and Cajun Shrimp

Here is the recipe for the Spinach Chickpea Curry:

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons minced (or grated) fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Combine spinach and your preferred broth in a powerful blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Set spinach puree aside.

2. Heat butter in a medium pan over medium-low heat. As soon as it melts, add the ginger (1/2 teaspoon for a milder ginger flavor) and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn heat to low and add garam masala, cumin, coriander and curry powder. Toast the spices for 3-4 minutes, until they are fragrant and take on a deep color.

3. Add spinach puree to the pan, along with the lemon juice. Cook for about a minute, to bring the flavors together, then add the chickpeas. Continue cooking until the chickpeas are heated through and all of the watery liquid cooks down leaving a puree. Add more broth if you end up needing to make adjustments to the consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Suggestion: serve with rice.

When I made this I used just a bit too much broth making the simmering process for the chickpea spinach curry lengthy, but using half a cup should make the simmering (thickening) process much shorter for a quicker meal.

Below you can see the recipe for the Spicy Cajun Shrimp:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (500 grams) shrimp
  • Shrimp Seasoning:
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon curry powder
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    pinch cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 (6 oz) container plain yoghurt
  • ½ Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Naan bread (optional)

Directions:

1. Mix together the above spices. Sprinkle half of shrimp over 1 pound of peeled shrimp.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to pan — try to get the spiced side down — and saute 5 minutes until done, flip shrimp around and add remainder of spices and cook further.

3. In the meantime chop cilantro and mix with plain yoghurt and lemon.

3. Toast a few pieces of Naan (such as Kontos brand) and serve with cooked shrimp, a spoonful of plain yogurt, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon.

Now I know the combination of both Cajun and Indian seems quite bizarre, but it tasted pretty darn good. Although I know my sister likes chickpeas a lot and thoroughly enjoys shrimp, so that could be why.

If you think about giving this a shot, you may prefer the different parts of the meal separate. I won’t judge!

Spinach Chickpea Curry with Cajun ShrimpBut it does taste wonderful, separate or combined! So give’er a go!

¡Y buen provecho!