Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lou's Most Excellent Curry II

This is remarkably good for you and remarkably tasty..... I forgot to take a picture when it was completed so here you see a half eaten version. And the picture sucks since the lighting was off and I wanted to hurry back to eat. Sorry.

I made this with hesitation: another oh-boy-something-healthy-it's-gonna-lack-everything. Turns does lack but only because it ain't the real full-fat deal. But if you're watching things, you're gonna be very happy with it.

The addition of saffron probably contributes absolutely nothing to the dish except a visual: it looks nice. The scallops cook lightly - in fact they still are a bit raw in the middle but that's a good scallop. Cook longer if you ruin your scallops.

12 large scallops
6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Black sesame salt
1 14oz can light coconut milk
½ cup chicken broth
2 TBS Thai green curry paste
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 stick lemon grass, cut into quarters
5 - 7 dried Thai chili peppers
2 TBS minced ginger
4 shaved (or minced) garlic cloves
2 TSP cumin
Saffron sprigs
1 green onion, green ends cut into 2" pieces, whites finely chopped
Sea salt
¼ cup of chopped macadamia nuts
½ cup dried Chinese black rice (prepared to mfr's directions)
Peanut, olive, sesame, and chili oils

2 baby bok choi heads
8 oz choy sum (sometimes called yu choy)*
½ cup chicken broth
2 minced garlic cloves

*If you can't find this, add two more baby bok choi heads.

In a 3 quart pot add 2 TBS of olive oil and a dash each of the sesame and chili oils. Heat to medium then add the yellow onions with a big pinch of sea salt. Sweat the onions for about 10 minutes - you want them highly translucent. At this point, add the chili peppers (whole), ginger, and shaved garlic. Saute for about one minute, then stir in the cumin. Add the chili paste, stir to mix, then stir in the chicken broth until the chili paste has been dissolved. Pour in the coconut milk and add in the lemon grass along with a big pinch of saffron sprigs. Reduce heat to simmer and let sit for 30 minutes.

Take about 3 TBS of the black sesame salt and put into a little dish. Dip one end of each scallop into this, heavily coating it. Sprinkle the remaining salt over the shrimp. Set aside.

Cut the bottom inch off the bok choi, peel the leaves, and wash in a colander. They will be dirty. Do the same for the choy sum and save the flowers. In a 5 quart pan bring the other ½ cup of chicken broth to a simmer. Add the garlic, a big pinch of sea salt, and all the leaves at once. Continually turn to braise the leaves for about 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a non-stick saute pan add about 1 TBS of peanut oil, just enough to cover the bottom. Heat over medium high heat to shimmer. Sear the uncoated side of the scallops first for about 1 minute, then the coated sides for an additional minute. Remove from the pan - you will need a good spatula to do this as even in the non-stick pan they still stick a little. Set on a plate, cover, then cook the shrimp till done.

Add the green onion sprigs to the curry.

Drain the bok choi and place a small mound on a plate. Pour a large laddlefull of curry over the bok choi; in the center of the bok choi add about ¼ cup of the cooked rice. Arrange scallops around the plate and place two shrimp each on top of the rice. Sprinkle with macadamia nuts and the whites of the green onions. Don't eat the lemon grass nor the red chili peppers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lou's Most Excellent Shrimp Boats

Delish. Really. And good for ya'.

I'm trying to watch it a little - don't worry, there'll be plenty of sin still published here - but for the most part I try to watch what I'm eating.

I've started taking in the principles of the South Beach Diet (UGH!) to reduce some poundage and eat a little better. It's been tough, esp. since I'm a carbo head.

[Remember, there will still be sin....]

I came up with these after some inspiration from my buddy John. He did this with some rice, chopped up meat (pork, I think) and voila. Here's my take. It's a great app, or if you make a lot, a somewhat filling dinner only because you get to eat a lot of it. Each wrap is only 34 calories, according to Wolfram|Alpha.

10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut in half
½ cup of Egg Beaters
1 TBS sugar substitute, such as Organic Zero
1 sprig green onion, finely diced, whites and green parts separated
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
¼ yellow onion, cut into thin half-rings
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TSP black sesame sea salt
Sesame oil
4 TBS chopped, salted cashews
Chili oil
Macadamia nut oil
Butter lettuce leaves
Cooking spray

Dissolve the sugar substitute in ¼ cup warm water. Add 2 TBS of soy sauce, and 1 TSP each of the sesame, chili, and macadamia oils. Mix vigorously then add the garlic and the white parts of the green onion. Sprinkle the shrimp with some of the sesame salt and place them in the bowl. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat an omelet pan to medium and lightly spray with the cooking spray. Add the onions and bell peppers and saute for 4 - 5 minutes. Add the green onions, gently mix, and give a dash of salt. Cover the pan and let sit undisturbed for a few minutes (you're making a pseudo fritata). Remove the lid, loosen the omelet, and flip the whole thing over. One way to do this is to slide the omelet onto a plate, flip the pan on top, and using oven mitts so you don't burn your hands, flip back into the pan. Cook until you feel the eggs are done. Set aside.

In another pan over medium heat lightly spray with cooking spray and add in the shrimp and marinade. Saute the shrimp until cooked through.

Cut the omlete into 1" thick long strips using a pizza cutter, then cut each strip in half.

Prepare tacos in real time. Set all the fixings on the table. One lettuce leaf, a strip of egg, a couple of shrimp pieces, a sprinkling of cashews, and top with a little kimche.