Friday, November 14, 2008

Shrimp Masala

This recipe has been taken from the expanded edition of Healthy South Indian Cooking, authored by popular culinary instructor Alamelu Vairavan.

Shrimp pan-fried with ginger, garlic, and other seasonings, Shrimp Masala can accompany many flavored rice dishes and chappatis or pooris.

Serves 4

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
2 or 3 slivers cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped tomato
4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper and cumin powder mixture
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and washed
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

1. Place oil in iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. Stir-fry until spices are golden brown.

2. Add onion, tomato, garlic, and ginger root. Stir-fry for a few minutes.

3. Stir in turmeric powder and curry powder.

4. Add tomato sauce, cayenne powder, salt, and black pepper and cumin powder. Blend the seasonings well and simmer for a few minutes.

5. Add shrimp and mix with the seasonings. Cook until shrimp turns pink.

6. Add coriander and stir-fry, uncovered, for an additional few minutes. (Shrimp is delicious when allowed to absorb the flavor of the seasoned sauce while stir-frying over low-heat.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Orata al Cartoccio (Sea Bass Baked in Foil)

The last of the four recipes featured in Diane Nocentini and Madeline Armillotta's video cooking blog entry:

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: one hour

4 baking potatoes, cleaned and sliced
4 (1-pound) fresh sea bass, cleaned and scaled
1 lemon, cut into 8 slices
1 tomato, cut into 8 slices
1/2 cup olives
1/2 cup capers
4 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to
400ยบF. Grease 4 squares of foil, large enough to enclose a fish and a potato. On each piece of foil, lay a sliced potato and place a sea bass on top. Sprinkle with salt. Put two slices of lemon and two of tomato into the cavity of each fish. Add a few olives and capers to each packet, and sprinkle with oregano and salt to taste. Drizzle olive oil inside and over the fish. Wrap each fish in the aluminum foil and lay in a baking dish. Bake for 1 hour. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and a salad.

VARIATION: Rainbow trout or halibut steaks are appropriate substitutes, if sea bass is not readily available.

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.