Red Curry with Shrimp

Whooooooa blizzards. Being snowed in for a day is fun. Being snowed in for four? Ehhhhhh sorta starts getting old. My patience is getting thin, both of our backs are sore from shoveling, all the laundry is done and the house is clean, I can't watch any more mindless TV, wine supplies are low, and cooking is turning in to a pantry Iron Chef show at just about every meal. So last night as I tried to find inspiration for dinner, I knew I had frozen shrimp and a can of coconut milk. The rest was history. Is this a traditional, "classic" thai curry? GOD no, so don't quote me on calling it that. But did it taste damn delicious and quite reminiscent of much thai take out we have had? Yep! In fact, I got numerous compliments from Alex, which makes me know it was definitely worth sharing here. Despite the fact that there are quite a few ingredients, it's really a quick dinner to throw together!! Plus, it's totally clean. And goodness knows, after the GInormous cookies I baked and we ate, I needed a clean meal!

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 2-3 T red chili paste (depending on how spicy you like things!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2" chunk ginger, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 bell pepper (use orange or yellow if you can, I think they are sweeter than the rest), sliced thin
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper (or less for less heat!)
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t thai dried basil (or just dried basil if you can't find thai, but it is in most "international" grocery store aisles)
  • 2 T brown sugar or all-natural organic honey (you can skip this to keep it clean, or use honey if you consider that "clean" as well)
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lime
Instructions
  • In a large sauté pan, heat 2 T coconut or vegetable oil on medium.
  • Add in the ginger, onion and garlic, and sauté on medium until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the cumin, coriander, cayenne, oregano, basil and some salt to taste.
  • Stir together and sauté for another few minutes until very fragrant.
  • Next, add in the bell pepper, brown sugar, ketchup, red chili paste, fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice, and stir to combine.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, stir, and bring to a bubble on medium.
  • Taste for seasoning, adjust the heat, add more sugar if necessary, another squeeze of lime - whatever floats your boat! Snow emergencies call for some improvisation.
  • Once the curry is done, add in the shrimp and cook until just opaque; they won't need more than a few minutes.
  • (If I had cilantro, I would have used it as a garnish/last-minute touch here.)
  • Serve over rice (white or brown - we did brown to keep it clean!)

Enjoy!
~K