Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Salad Shrimp Red Curry

Tonight I was cooking for myself and I wanted something delicious and different. I decided to make curry when I was in the store and gathered together the ingredients. One of my downfalls is that I can never remember what I have at home in the pantry and tend to buy some ingredients over and over again. Such as coconut milk. I thought I had some but was so unsure I couldn't risk it.  I had some. Conveniently  the kind I bought had the curry recipe on the back!

This is pretty much the fastest meal you can make. It takes 10 minutes and you can cut down on any "prep" work if you have to by using frozen vegetables and ready to eat rice. It says this serves four, and that's probably about right if you aren't starving.

1 package Uncle Ben's Jasmine Microwavable readu rice (2 packages for 4 people)
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly lengthwise and then cut in half
1/2 C sugar snap peas
1 can lite coconut milk
1 T brown sugar
2 T red curry paste
1lb cooked salad shrimp (and shelled if the shells are on)
2 T fish sauce (or I think you could easily use the same amount of soy sauce)
4 basil leaves (optional)

1. In a large skillet or walk bring the coconut milk to a simmer over medium heat
2. Add curry paste and brown sugar and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes
3. Add vegetables and cook 3 minutes
4. Microwave the rice for 90 seconds (or read the directions) and at the same time add the shrimp to the curry.  The shrimp is already cooked so you are just warming it
5. Add fish sauce & basil, stir
6. Serve the curry over rice

Sunday, November 4, 2012

(Joseph Conrad) Heart of Darkness Brownies

For my wedding, I received a cookbook called "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey." Unfortunately, I've only ever made a handful of recipes from it because generally when we have people over Joey takes part in the dessert preparation and leans toward exotic pies and tarts.  But this time I stood firm on wanting something chocolatey.

These (Joseph Conrad) Heart of Darkness brownies are so rich that while the recipe makes 24, your guests will only be having one. They are that rich.

These brownies combine regular brownie batter with snickers, chocolate chips, marshmallows, caramel drizzle and an option of toasted nuts.  And they remain moist and a little bit gooey in the center.

It seems like a lot of steps to take but these brownies aren't as difficult as you might assume. The hardest part is unwrapping all the candy!  Don't make these if you are dieting. Do make these if you need to use up extra halloween candy. I think you could easily swap in another candy like milky ways or twix bars or even peanut butter cups.

Before you scoff at the ingredients remember this makes over 24 regular sized muffin cup brownies. We made a small ramekin extra.

For brownies:
3 Sticks unsalted butter
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 1/4 Cups sugar
1 C brown sugar
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T vanilla extract
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 t salt
1 C semisweet chocolate chips
5 full size  (2.07 oz each ) snickers bars, or half a regular sized funsize bag, chopped into chunky bits
3 C mini marshmallows
1 C coursely chopped toasted almonds or pecans (optional)
For Caramel Sauce:
6 oz unwrapped caramel candies (such as craft brand)
2 T heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray two muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

1. Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a pan over med-low and stir til smooth
2. Pour chocolate mixture into a bowl and add sugars, eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine.
3. Add the flour and salt and stir just til combined
4. Add the nuts if using, chocolate chips, and snickers bars and stir until just combined
5. Fill the muffin cups half full and bake for about 20 minutes until the surface is glossy and cracked.
6. Remove from oven and top with marshmallows
7. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes more so marshmallows are lightly puffed
8. Set aside on racks to cool for about 10 minutes
9. After 10 minutes, remove brownies from tins and set to cool completely on racks
10. When brownies are cool, combine all the caramel ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high 1 minute. Add 30 seconds until the caramels are melted. Stir to combine and then drizzle over brownies
11. Let the caramel cool and harden, then serve or store in an airtight container