Easy Curry chicken and eggplant

Ingredients:

boneless chicken breast, 1/2#

coconut milk, 1 can (Chaokoh brand is good)

red curry paste (Maesri brand)

eggplant, 300 g+, cut into large chunks. Or small Thai eggplants if available.

cilantro, chopped

optional: fresh peppers — hot or sweet; ginger, garlic, mushrooms, onions

Well it’s so 2017, but I have launched myself into (back into?) it with a purchase of yes, an Instant Pot. I read about Amazon’s one day a year sale on them, and again missed it this year but then read about Walmart competing with an even better model and for only 50 bucks I sprung. I have a honking-large 6-in-one pressure cooker, slow cooker and who knows what else because though I have washed it is in just sitting in the middle of my kitchen taking up an elephant-size share of real estate.

I thought I might try it last eve since I got out of the library the “butter chicken lady” cookbook called Indian Instant Pot Cookbook. Still too involved what with the making up the garam masala mixture before I even got to cooking and I was getting hungry, so I used my can of curry paste and cooked in my mother’s old-fangled dutch oven. Here’s what I did:

Sauté 3/4 can red curry paste in 1 T oil. (Or you can instead of oil, use the skimmed coconut fat/oil on top of the can of coconut milk.) Cook and stir for a couple minutes. Add one can of coconut milk and bring to a boil. (I think you can add some fresh ingredients before the milk, such as: fresh peppers — hot or sweet — ginger, garlic, mushrooms, onions and other sauté-type ingredients.)

Add boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces, and eggplant also cut up. Simmer covered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until eggplant is cooked through. Taste and correct with fish sauce, soy sauce and/or sugar.

Serve with rice garnished with cilantro.

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Summer pasta with shrimp and nduja

Quick and easy, truly! Sauce is made in less time that it takes to cook pasta. I know, many recipe writers state that but this time I can attest it’s true!

Ingredients:

shrimp, Frozen are fine, defrosted under running water (takes about 5 minutes or less)

garlic cloves, 2 minced

tomatoes, 2 small-ish, cut into chunks, or equal amount of cherry tomatoes, halved

nduja, 1 oz (no need to cut up; it will dissolve to create a luscious sauce)

lemon zest, and perhaps some juice

fresh basil or parsley, chiffondade

pasta, such as campanelle, 2 oz per person

Directions:

Defrost shrimp under running water.

Put up large pot of water to boil for pasta.

Peel and devein shrimp. Mince garlic. Cut up tomatoes into large chunks. Slice off a hunk o’ nduja.fullsizeoutput_1d92

Directions: When water boils, add salt and pasta. Stir, bring to boil and cook in usual manner.

Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, and then garlic and shrimp. Cook, stirring about 2 minutes. Add: tomatoes, nduja and lemon zest. Cook, stirring about another 4 minutes or so. IMG_6053If it’s dry, add in lemon juice. Cover and let sit waiting for pasta to finish cooking.

Dump the pasta into the sauce and give it a stir. IMG_6054

Chiffonade some basil if it’s handy. Otherwise parsley is good too.

Greens and beans

This is a classic Italian dish, and I believe is “classic” because it is so very delicious. The ingredients are interchangeable as long as there is plenty o’ garlic, greens and those thar beans!

Here is a pleasant summer variation, close to standard:

Broccolini

new or older onion, sliced in half-moons or quarters

garlic cloves, rough minced

chicken or vegetable stock

parmesan cheese

cannelini beans

Directions:

Cut up onion and garlic. Sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Rinse broccolini and add to sauté pan with S&P. Turn up heat and add stock. IMG_6042

Turn in stock, cover and cook on medium for about 5 minutes until just under crisp tender. Add beans to warm through about 3 minutes. IMG_6043

Serve with drizzle of lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, and grated parmesan.

Garbanzo quinoa vinaigrette

This is an easy and healthy-ish salad perfect for summer gatherings. With no dairy it can go outdoors without danger. And it’s super-easy to assemble, and flexible too. It’s just a simple vinaigrette including both lemon juice and white wine vinegar, heightened with hot pepper — fresh or dried flakes — and mustard and honey to balance. It’s beans with red onion and some carrots and red peppers or whatever is fresh in early summer.

2 large cans of garbanzos (chick peas), drained and rinsed

red onion, 1/2, sliced then quartered, and macerated in white wine vinegar for 15 minutes to mellow

Vinaigrette: lemon juice (~ 2 T), garlic scapes or garlic, mustard, honey, red pepper flakes or fresh hot hot pepper, minced, S&P, olive oil.

Mix together:

Garbanzos

Onions

Red or other color peppers — not green, diced

carrots — #2-3, cut into dice about size of beans or smaller

minced parsley

cooked quinoa, cucumber, garlic scapes, cumin, and/or garlic, optional

Variation: substitute lime juice for lemon juice; substitute black beans for garbanzos, and add cilantro and scallions.  Use cumin.

 

Simple spicy shrimp

Takes less than 15 minutes!

For one person:

1/3 c quinoa, rinsed well and boiled for 10-12 minutes in 2x water (I like red quinoa for maximum flavor)

Shrimp, about 8

1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 lime
Aleppo pepper
dried thyme (or fresh sprigs)
Cayenne

Directions:

Put up quinoa in pot.
Prepare shrimp — shell and devein.
Dice onion; squeeze lime
Mix together small quantities of herbs/spices in smallest bowl w/ freshly ground pepper

Heat medium sauté pan and add olive oil and sauté onion for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rough chop garlic and squeeze lime juice into small bowl.

When quinoa is 4 minutes from being done, add spices and shrimp to sauté pan, stir and cook until almost pink and done. Add in juice of 1/2 lime.

Serve: Drained quinoa under shrimp. Squeeze on lime and salt.