Nine times out of ten when the boy and I venture out for dinner it’s usually to a restaurant serving some sort of exotic food. Whether it’s Greek, Mexican, Thai or Japanese, if I’m going to spend money eating out I would rather be trying things that I wouldn’t normally eat at home. While it would be a toss up for me between Mexican and Japanese the boy loves Thai. I love the yin and yang of spicy meets sweet, but more times then not I end up ordering a dish that makes my eyes tear and my nose run incessantly. Definitely not a look you’re going for on date night!
My fix was to start experimenting with Thai inspired dishes at home. That way I could control the amount of heat in each dish and not end up looking like I spent the past 20 minutes doing the ugly cry! Most curry dishes rely on thai chili’s for the heat but I find that using red pepper flakes is an easier way to control the heat factor of a dish. That way you can make a dish to your liking and your better half can jazz up his plate to his hearts fiery content.
Thai Shrimp Curry
1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
1 tablespoon canola / vegetable oil
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like it really spicy)
3 teaspoons red curry paste
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 can coconut milk
5-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Cauli-rice, steps above
Heat 1 tablespoon of canola / vegetable oil over medium high heat. Toss in the chopped onion and sauté about 3-5 minutes until the onion begins to caramelize and turn light brown. Add the bell pepper, curry paste, red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Grab your whisk and slowly add the coconut milk whisking frequently to prevent the curry paste from clumping. Lower the heat to medium and add in the shrimp, continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Check for seasonings, add more curry or red pepper flakes to amp up the heat and salt and pepper to taste. Cut the heat and toss in the chopped basil and serve over steamed rice or cauli-rice.
* This dish can also be made with chicken in place of shrimp. Slice the breasts into thin strips and follow the same steps above. You can also toss in broccoli florets, snap peas or even frozen baby peas to really amp up your veggie servings. Just add the additional veggies at the same time as your protein.