Monday, January 23, 2012

Dinner of the Week: Thai Pesto Shrimp

One of our favorite things to do is to cook.  But now that Evan and I both have full time jobs and often work long hours, we've gotten into the habit of resorting to takeout, frozen pizzas, and spaghetti-sauce-out-of-a-jar nights.

Yes, lovely.
We need to bust out of this rut, and fast.  By making more home cooked meals, not only will we eat healthier, but we will save a lot more money.

That's why I'm planning to share at least one new recipe with you a week.  I promise you that this isn't another hollow New Year's Resolution.  Nope, I'm sticking to it!

Thai Pesto Shrimp with Coconut Lime Rice
Courtesy of Southern Living Cookbook (2009)

For Coconut Lime Rice:
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Not going to lie, I was put off at first by the fact that the coconut milk looked like separated tofu.  But apparently that's what it's supposed to look like!  Bring the coconut milk, salt, and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in rice; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  Stir in lime zest and juice.  Avoid nibbling on all the rice before the rest of the meal is finished.

For Thai Pesto Shrimp: 
- 1 1/2 pounds large raw shrimp
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- Olive oil

While the rice is cooking, thaw (if necessary) and peel shrimp.  Process cilantro, lime juice, peanuts, ginger, garlic, salt, honey, red pepper flakes, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor or blender until smooth.  This will smell amazing.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in some olive oil.  Toss the peeled shrimp into the skillet and cook until they turn pink on all sides.

Stir in the cilantro mixture.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

Evan picked his plate clean within five minutes.  I think he may have liked it just a tad.  Personally, I thought it could've used a little more red pepper flakes to kick up the heat, but that's just me.  I'm obsessed with spicy food.  The cilantro-pesto is brilliant.  The coconut-lime rice is divine.

This is definitely a dish that we'll try again.  It took less than a half hour and was super easy.  Great for a week night!

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