Grape, Pear and Curry Cashew Salad

I have loved this salad for years. I think I first made it about 5 years ago. I love salads that have different components and flavors and this fits that profile perfetly. It’s sweet, it’s slightly spicy, it’s tangy, and it’s just delicious. The dressing is a perfect honey mustard balance and compliments the other flavors perfectly. Genius. 

The amount of pear and grapes and lettuce is up to you so I didn’t put amounts below.

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Grape, Pear and Curry Cashew Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3/4-1 cup chopped raw unsalted cashews
  • 5 slices bacon (41/2 for salad, 1/2 for dog)
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp curry powder (madras or yellow curry)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Romaine hearts washed and dried
  • Bosc pear sliced very thin
  • Red grapes

Instructions:

  1. In a skillet set over medium heat toast the cashews until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cook bacon in desired vessel (microwave, oven, stovetop) to desired done-ness, set on paper towels to drain then chop. Give 1/2 slice to dog.
  3. In a medium bowl mix the butter, rosemary, cury, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and toasted cashews. Mix until everything is evenly distributed.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard and honey. Then add the olive oil while whisking to combine.
  5. When you’re ready to serve it place the lettuce in a bowl, add some cashews and grapes and drizzle with dressing. Gently stir to combine. Top with bacon and pear slices.  Or forget that whole bit and just put everything together in a bowl with dressing and mix it around.

Adapted from a recipe I printed 5 years ago from allrecipes.com.

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Thai Red Curry Coconut Shrimp (over coconut jasmine rice)

Let me start by saying that, if given the chance, I’d eat panang chicken over coconut rice from my local Thai take out place every day for forever.  It’s just something that I really love-creamy, spicy, over slightly sweet super fragrant rice. It’s fantastic.

That being said anything that has the red curry and coconut combo like the panang chicken gets a fast pass to the front of my ‘to make’ list.  It’s just so tasty!   This is a great weeknight dish. It’s very tasty, only dirties one pan and is fast to make-maybe 15 minutes start to finish. Up or lower the amount of the red curry you put in to your own taste. I also added a few squirts of sriracha too.  I used 21/25 shrimp and they were just the right size. I found the original recipe on skinnytaste.com while trolling the net for some new recipes with shrimp. Here’s my adaptation. The rice is my recipe.

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Thai Red Curry Coconut Shrimp (over coconut jasmine rice)

Ingredients for curry:

  • 1 tsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 scallions, chopped-whites and greens separated
  • 3 tbsp Thai Red Curry paste
  • 2 large garlic cloves, put through a press or finely diced
  • 1lb shrimp (21/25) peeled and deveined
  • coconut milk, light, 1 6oz can
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • sriracha if desired
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro, ripped into small pieces
  • kosher salt to taste

Ingredients for rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp light coconut milk (take out of the can for the curry)
  • unsweetened flaked coconut, cut into small pieces

Instructions for curry:

  1. In a large non-stick skillet heat the oil on medium/high heat. When hot add the white scallions and red curry paste and sautee for one minute or until the curry becomes very fragrant.
  2. Add the garlic and shrimp and cook about 3 minutes. Add salt if desired.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk amd fish sauce and stir to evenly combine and then simmer for about 3 minutes.
  4. Taste sauce and add more curry or sriracha if desired.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cilantro and remaining scallions.
  6. Serve immediately over rice or plain.

Instructions for rice:

  1. Prepare the rice with water as per the package instructions on the stove.
  2. When cooking time is up add the coconut flakes and milk and stir.
  3. Serve.

I used the last of the cilantro that I’ve been growing for this recipe. Do you know that when cilantro has hit it’s end it flowers? Well I didn’t. The flowers are very pretty and very delicate. I looked all of this up online and found out that this is normal and when the flowers go away the seeds left are the coriander seeds. I knew that cilantro and coriander were from the same plant but it’s amazing to see it all going on right in my own flower pot.

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