Sunday, August 14, 2011

Recipe tip: Spicy Coconut Shrimp with Mango-Basil Salsa

It's been a while since I shared a favorite recipe, probably because for a decent portion of the spring I was dealing with severe food aversions and not eating normal-people food, and our summer travel schedule got in the way of having many home-cooked meals more recently. But, after entertaining our neighbors Paul and Mimi last night, Matt and I remembered how much we love this recipe from the Food Network Favorites book.

This recipe calls for most of my favorite flavors: lime, basil, coconut milk, ginger, mango, garlic, jalapenos. (I also hope Baby Awesomerod will remember these awesome flavors from his/her time in utero, much like this NPR story suggests is possible.) The recipe, therefore, also allowed us to use up more of our basil, which continues to be out of control.

Matt, as you know, is the chef of the household, so all credit for this dish goes to him. I am merely along for the ride. I can't say Matt made any major modifications to this recipe, so here is a link to Dave Lieberman's Spicy Coconut Shrimp with Mango-Basil Salsa and Lime Jasmine Rice, with the promise that this is one of our favorite recipes of all time, and it's not terribly complicated, either.

One strategy Matt employs while making this dish is breaking out our Cuisinart rice cooker, which is right up there with our favorite wedding gifts of all time (thanks, Ted!). So, when he gets to the Lime Jasmine Rice portion of the recipe, Matt puts all those ingredients in the rice cooker and lets it do its thing. It comes out perfect every time.

And here's a bonus recipe. Because Mimi is also pregnant, I thought last night would be the perfect time to test out some mocktini skills. In my recipe notebook, I'd saved three pages of drink recipes from an old issue of Everyday Food when it featured alcoholic summer drinks. I decided to adapt one called Blackberry Crush for last night's festivities. I am proud of myself for going "off recipe" with this one, since I am really good at following directions but really bad at experimenting when it comes to food. Going with the philosophy that drinks are difficult to mess up, I blazed ahead and I'm happy with the results.

Blackberry Crush
Inspired by Everyday Food

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
16 blackberries
4 sprigs of mint
3 lemons
1 liter seltzer water

1. Heat water and sugar together to form a simple syrup. Allow to partially cool.

2. In a (pretty) pitcher, muddle blackberries and most of the mint.

3. Add the juice of the lemons, simple syrup and bottle of seltzer water. Serve over a glass of ice and garnish with the remaining mint. Should yield 4-5 glasses. (And, if you feel it's not flavorful enough, go ahead and squeeze another lemon into the pitcher and you should be satisfied. If you're not pregnant, you should add vodka to this drink.)

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