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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Curry on my wayward son. Add some peas and dinner is done.

Thai Shrimp and Asparagus Curry recipe and Coconut Vegetable Curry with Cashews #cookingwithcurry #sharecooklove

My family knows how fond I am of a dump and stir meal. Some dinners require more prep than others. However, once the pan is hot and the first ingredient gets going you are minutes away from serving.

Curry dishes fit the bill on a quick, flavorful supper. Typically associated with Thai and Indian cooking, curries are spice blends not unlike chili powders and seasoning blends. Different brands have different levels of heat, sweet, and savory. These blends can be found on the international or spice aisle at the grocery store.

Pineapple, green beans, spinach, chickpeas, colorful bell peppers, and English peas can all be used as vitamin-rich fillers.

There are three types of curry. Red and green curries are in the form of a paste. Fresh, not dried, ingredients like cilantro, chilies, coriander, and shrimp paste make up these Thai spice blends. Yellow curry is more readily found in a dry spice blend but can be found in a paste as well. Yellow curry is bright and distinctive incorporating one of my favorite spices, turmeric. Curry dishes are made in a stir fry fashion. Using a wok or stir fry pan will incorporate the flavors as intended. These dishes can be served over rice or rice noodles. My preferences are basmati or jasmine rice. And as far as what to throw in a scrumptious curry, just about anything is game.

Lime juice, lemongrass, or lime leaves are all very complimentary in curry dishes. Add more spice with freshly grated ginger. Coconut milk, coconut cream, and fish sauce act as thinners and flavor aids to these pastes and spices. Pineapple, green beans, spinach, chickpeas, colorful bell peppers, and English peas can all be used as vitamin-rich fillers. The sauce can remain vegetarian or add in seafood, poultry, pork, or beef. I usually go with shrimp or chicken and leave the duck for a Sauce Picante recipe.

I recently made a wonderful Thai dish that is great for either green or red curry. Using seasonal ingredients like shrimp and asparagus makes this an affordable springtime refreshing dinner. And in an Indian cooking class I taught last month, we made a fabulous vegetarian yellow curry dish that will please even the picky eaters. Try either one of these recipes on a night when “quick and easy” is essential. Thai Shrimp and Asparagus Curry 1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil 2 lb. shrimp, deveined and peeled 1 tsp. kosher salt 4 oz. red or green curry 13.5 oz. lite coconut milk 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1 inch pieces 1 red bell pepper, sliced 1/8 inch thick 20 oz. canned pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice 2 tbsp. fish sauce 1 tbsp. lime zest 2 cups steamed rice .66 oz. basil stems removed and coarsely chopped

Season shrimp with kosher salt and set aside. Heat oil on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes in a wok or skillet. Add asparagus and peppers to the oil stirring until the asparagus turns bright green. Stir in shrimp and curry stirring until the shrimp begin to curl. Stir in coconut milk, lime zest, and fish sauce until incorporated. Drain pineapples reserving the juice. Add pineapples and stir. Thin the sauce as desired with reserved pineapple juice. Remove from heat. Serve over rice. Garnish with basil.

Coconut Vegetable Curry with Cashews ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 medium shallots, sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated 2 tsp. cumin 2 tsp. coriander 1 tbsp. yellow curry powder ½ tsp. cardamom 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 13 oz. coconut milk 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and stems removed Kosher salt and black pepper 1 tbsp. lime juice ¼ cup cilantro leaves ¼ cup cashews Steamed basmati rice

Heat skillet or wok over medium heat until hot. Swirl oil into the pan. Add shallot, ginger, and garlic. Cook stirring for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add dried spices and cook stirring until spices smell toasted 2 to 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and carrots. Stir to coat with oil and spices. Salt to taste and stir in coconut milk. Cook stirring occasionally for 6 minutes. Add green peas and spinach and cook stirring until spinach wilts. Stir in lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and garnish with cashews and cilantro. Serve over steamed rice.

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