Thursday, March 26, 2015

Good Bye Winter Shrimp and Beer Curry

This simple shrimp curry will warm you up on early Spring nights when it's normal for the temperatures to dip but you’d prefer it to be a few degrees hotter. 

Look for a curry blend with some cinnamon, cardamom and coriander.  These spices go well with coconut milk-based curries.  You can add a few pinches of any of these ground spices to your favorite curry powder to approximate the flavor.

This is a mild curry and slightly sweet. If you like your curry with some extra heat, add dried red chili peppers or a tablespoon of sambal.

Give this curry plenty of time to cook and thicken.  At least 15 minutes on simmer in an uncovered pot is recommended (stir frequently). 

Good Bye Winter Shrimp and Beer Curry over Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
2-4 tablespoons curry powder – look for a so-called Malaysian curry with cardamom and cinnamon
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup beer
½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ketchup
1 tablespoon mango chutney or 2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red pepper (or ½ red pepper + 1 jalepeño or Serrano pepper)
1 cup steamed green beans (briefly steam ahead of time or use any leftover green vegetable)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt
Garnish: ¼ cup chopped cashews, chopped peanuts or sliced almonds

Method
  1. Prepare curry sauce by melting butter in a medium, heavy bottomed pot (2-quart pot recommended).  Add flour and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until flour-butter mixture is light brown.  
  2. Add curry powder and continue to stir and cook another minute to release the oils in the spice blend. If using dried hot chilies or cayenne powder, add at this stage.
  3. Continue to stir and slowly add chicken broth, a few ounces at a time to create a smooth paste.  Now stir in reamining broth, beer, applesauce, ginger, ketchup and chutney (or honey).  If using a liquid hot sauce or hot chili paste like sambal or siracha, add at this stage.  
  4. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes while preparing shrimp and vegetables.  Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté peppers and green beans over medium-low heat.  Add vegetables to curry sauce. Taste and add salt if needed.  
  5. Continue to cook sauce until vegetables are tender.  Add raw shrimp and cream.  Lower heat and cook about 4 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through. Taste for salt.  Serve over hot rice.  Garnish with nuts.
Tip: Use the remaining coconut milk for the 14 ounce can to make coconut rice.   For 2 cups of cooked rice, use 2 cups of liquid, leftover coconut milk plus enough water to make up the 2 cups.