Posts Tagged ‘easy entertaining’

Curry-Coconut Shrimp Want curry in a hurry? If that’s the case, try this recipe. With its ease of preparation and subtle coconut and curry flavors, this dish will become a favorite for quick dinners and easy entertaining.

Curry-Coconut Shrimp
Epicurious, courtesy of Ying Chang, Cooking with an Asian Accent

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups cooked brown rice
4 lemon wedges, for serving
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish, optional

1. Combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, lemon juice, bell pepper, minced cilantro, sugar, and curry powder in a 10-inch glass pie plate. Add the shrimp, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. Bring water to a boil over high heat in a covered steamer or pot large enough to hold the pie plate. Wearing oven mitts, carefully place the pie plate into the steamer. Cover, lower the heat to medium, and steam for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the shrimp are just cooked through.

3. Using oven mitts, carefully lift the lid of the steamer away from you, and remove the pie plate from the steamer. Serve the shrimp over brown rice. Garnish with the lemon wedges and cilantro sprigs, if using.

Makes 4 servings

1. I buy shrimp that are already deveined. I peel them and they are ready to go. Peeled and deveined shrimp are also available, but I save the shells to enrich the flavor of soup stock.

2. Start the rice before you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This allows the rice enough time to steam.

3. How long the shrimp take to cook is dependent on what size shrimp you’re using. You do not want to overcook the shrimp, so I would check the shrimp after 4 minutes. If they still appear translucent and have not curled, let them cook one more minute. Continue to check after every minute. Once they are removed from the heat they will continue to cook a little more.


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Here’s another quick summertime dish that’s a wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats or is perfect by itself for lunch. It’s a pasta salad that involves only a few steps to make, is full of flavor, tastes better the next day, makes use of sweet summer produce, and is great to take to potlucks or picnics. What more could anyone want? It’s been almost thirty years since I clipped this recipe out of a small town, local newspaper, but it has stood the test of time. I’m asked for this recipe just as frequently now as I was when I first started preparing it!

Spaghetti Salad
Adapted by Linnell

1 pound package spaghetti
8 oz. Wishbone Italian Dressing
McCormick’s Salad Supreme
1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 orange or yellow pepper, diced
2-3 oz. black olives, sliced

1.  Sprinkle 1/4 package of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix into the bottle of Wishbone dressing and shake to mix. Let sit. Seal the remainder of the package for use at another time.

2.  Cook the spaghetti noodles until al dente. Do not overcook. Drain, rinse, and drain again. Pour on the salad dressing while the noodles are still warm. Toss.

3. Add tomatoes, onion, peppers, and olives. Toss. Sprinkle 1/3 jar (or to taste) Salad Supreme and toss again. Chill until serving.

Note: I’ve found this recipe to be adaptable and forgiving. It’s difficult to botch it up and almost anything can be added to it. For variety, I’ve added a combination of the following ingredients to create an antipasto-type salad: quartered artichoke hearts (marinated or packed in water), diced pepperoncini, sliced mushrooms, and salami, cut into thin strips.

Hope this recipe stays in your recipe files as long as it has stayed in mine! Enjoy!

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‘Tis the season to be quick and speedy. With time at a premium, but a high desire to entertain, why not make life easier? That’s what I did when I needed a tasty appetizer in a hurry. I simply reached into my pantry and pulled out a can of cannellini beans. Cannellini beans are also called white kidney beans and like other beans, they are high high in protein and fiber and low in fat. Cannellini beans are popular in Tuscan dishes and other Italian cuisine.

Here’s a bean spread recipe that requires few ingredients and is a hearty appetizer when served with toasted baguette slices or pita chips. During the summer when tomatoes are abundant and flavorful, I gently fold in some fresh diced tomatoes after the mixture has been pulsed in the food processor. This is in addition to the sauteed ones. If the spread needs to be thinned, I add additional olive oil like the recipe states, but I use Meyer lemon infused olive oil for a brighter taste.

Cannellini Bean Spread Recipe

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Chef Kurtis Jantz of Trump International Beach Resort in Miami.

4 ounces olive oil, good quality
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, small, diced
15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed in cold water and drained
1/2 ounce Italian parsley leaves, rough chopped
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper, fresh-ground, to taste

In a medium, tall-sided sauce pot, add olive oil and heat on high until just below the smoking point. Remove from the heat and carefully add minced garlic. As soon as you smell the aromatics of the garlic (you do not want the garlic to get overly brown), add the tomatoes and stir well. Return pot to the stove over medium heat and add cannellini beans. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from stove, and let cool slightly. Fold in parsley. Using blender or food processor, pulse blend just until the beans are broken up but not pureed, leaving some texture. You can add more olive oil to the mixture if you like it thinner. Cool to room temperature and serve.

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